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Study finds that 77 percent of Wikipedia articles are written by just one percent of editors

By William Gayde ยท 10 replies
Nov 9, 2017
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  1. Wikipedia is the 5th most popular website on the Internet with an estimated one billion page views per day. It was started with the goal of making the sum of human knowledge freely available online. There are 43 million articles on the site, all written by volunteers around the world. However a new study by Purdue University has discovered some rather interesting statistics about this group of editors.

    The Purdue study focused on who is making edits to Wikipedia and how they are organized. They found that groups of editors tend to work in packs; one group taking the lead producing content and then falling back as another pack emerges.

    There were 250 million edits made to Wikipedia articles during the first 10 years of its lifetime. Of these edits, 77 percent were generated by just one percent of editors. There are roughly 130,000 registered editors that have been active in the last month on Wikipedia. This translates to a group of just 1,300 people that are responsible for creating 450 new articles every single day.

    The researchers have called Wikipedia both an organization and a social movement. They believe "the assumption is that it's a creation of the crowd, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Wikipedia wouldn't have been possible without a dedicated leadership."

    Publishing such a large amount of content on a wide range of topics is difficult work, so Wikipedia sees a lot of editor churn. About 40 percent of these top editors leave Wikipedia every five weeks. Wikipedia has been pushing to increase the number of active editors as well as increase female representation.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,013   +1,023

    The title makes this seem like a bad thing.... it isn't!! The "average" person is in no way qualified to be writing or editing articles that will be seen as "gospel truth" by the masses. This should be left to experienced, knowledgeable, editors - and 1% of the population is probably about the right percentage for that :)

    Now what happened to my article on the #1 ranked cribbage player in the world???
    senketsu likes this.
  3. monte

    monte TS Rookie

    Please define "experienced, knowledgeable, editors"? That's the problem...
  4. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,013   +1,023

    Where's the problem? I'm NOT stating that the people who are actually doing the editing are knowledgeable... I'm simply stating that having 1% of the population in charge of editing is not a bad thing...

    And as Wikipedia is the #5 website in the world, I don't think that there is a problem.... this simply looks like someone looking to find a problem that doesn't exist...
  5. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 418   +275

    It would appear that the percentage of editors involved correlates heavily with the accuracy of Wiki as a whole, at 1%. Interesting.
  6. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,013   +1,023

    Really? Care to link us to something inaccurate on Wikipedia? It's actually pretty good... and if anything's inaccurate, you can change it yourself :)
    senketsu likes this.
  7. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 418   +275

    No, it's not and no, you can't. The science and physics pages are especially heavily policed by the university staffs involved, and a veritable Swiss cheese of accuracy at best. You can't edit or add or even question the information. The history Wikis are almost entirely propaganda, when not complete fabrications outright. Sure, Wiki gets some topics right - like how many crayons are in the Crayola 64-pack, maybe. Wiki is just another Langley prop site.

    But feel free to believe whatever you like, of course, and disagree to your heart's content.
  8. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,013   +1,023

    Give us a link to something inaccurate.... And give some proof please :)
    senketsu likes this.
  9. havok585

    havok585 TS Booster Posts: 175   +43

    You're vulnerable (gullible) pretty much to everything the government says. (wikipedia only exists because the US government allows it, and their propraganda as someone said/ search for any geo-political article on wiki and everything is inLINE with the US government position to the letter).
  10. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,013   +1,023


    Care to link us to some EVIDENCE?

    Here's a link to their article on Snowden - something that fairly clearly doesn't paint the US in a favourable light...


    See any issues with it?
  11. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 103   +57

    How many people edit encyclopedias?

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