Wikipedia users who proclaim their political affiliations within the online community consider their identity as "Wikipedian" stronger than potentially divisive political affiliations, according to research published April 3 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by David Laniado and colleagues from Barcelona Media, Spain, and University of Southern California.
Previous studies of blog networks have revealed that liberal and conservative blogs tend to link to others with similar political slants rather than to one another, described by researchers as "divided they blog". In the current study, researchers analyzed how Wikipedia users displayed political affiliations and interacted with others who stated different affiliations. Unlike previous analyses of other social media, the authors found no trends indicating a preference to interact with others of the same political party within the Wikipedia community. As the authors state in their paper, "The results of our analysis show that despite the increasing political division of the U.S., there are still areas in which political dialogue is possible and happens."
Their results suggest that Wikipedia users who declare political loyalties consider their identity as being 'Wikipedian' stronger than their political affiliations.
Citation: Neff JJ, Laniado D, Kappler KE, Volkovich Y, Aragon P, et al. (2013) Jointly They Edit: Examining the Impact of Community Identification on Political Interaction in Wikipedia. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60584. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060584
Financial Disclosure: The authors have no support or funding to report.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
PLEASE LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL goes live after the embargo ends): http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060584
Disclaimer: This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLOS ONE. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLOS. PLOS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.
About PLOS ONE: PLOS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLOS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.
All works published in PLOS ONE are Open Access. Everything is immediately available--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases and otherwise use--without cost to anyone, anywhere, subject only to the condition that the original authors and source are properly attributed. For more information about PLOS ONE relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and our embargo policy, see the everyONE blog at http://everyone.plos.org/media.
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.