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What Wikipedia Deletes: Characterizing Dangerous Collaborative Content
7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym '11)
  • Andrew G. West, University of Pennsylvania
  • Insup Lee, University of Pennsylvania
Date of this Version
10-4-2011
Document Type
Conference Paper
Comments
Seventh International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, Mountain View, California, USA, October 2011.
Abstract

Collaborative environments, such as Wikipedia, often have low barriers-to-entry in order to encourage participation. This accessibility is frequently abused (e.g., vandalism and spam). However, certain inappropriate behaviors are more threatening than others. In this work, we study contributions which are not simply ``undone'' -- but *deleted* from revision histories and public view. Such treatment is generally reserved for edits which: (1) present a legal liability to the host (e.g., copyright issues, defamation), or (2) present privacy threats to individuals (i.e., contact information).

Herein, we analyze one year of Wikipedia's public deletion log and use brute-force strategies to learn about privately handled redactions. This permits insight about the prevalence of deletion, the reasons that induce it, and the extent of end-user exposure to dangerous content. While Wikipedia's approach is generally quite reactive, we find that copyright issues prove most problematic of those behaviors studied.

DOI
10.1145/2038558.2038563
Copyright/Permission Statement
© ACM 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym '11), http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2038558.2038563.
Keywords
  • Wikipedia,
  • user generated content,
  • collaboration,
  • redaction,
  • content removal,
  • copyright,
  • information security
Citation Information
Andrew G. West and Insup Lee. "What Wikipedia Deletes: Characterizing Dangerous Collaborative Content" 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym '11) (2011) p. 25 - 28
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andrew_g_west/6/