By Josh Greene, The Mather Group
This month’s Chaos Index sits at 61, a slight increase over last month’s score. This is mostly due to one factor, detailed below.
October saw a very specific trend: an increase in new pages created and published – which subsequently led to an increase in pages nominated for deletion.
The time between every 10,000 edits on Wikipedia continues to be the shortest it’s been in 2023, which speaks to an overall increase in editing and discussion activity on Wikipedia.
Even though Wikipedia is considered one of the most objective sources of information available on the web, there are still global biases the digital encyclopedia finds itself combating, both in terms of its content and its editors.
Recently, a study by researchers at Austria’s Graz University of Technology revealed those biases extend to economic conditions, as well. Analyzing 17,500 articles across four different language editions of Wikipedia, the team of researchers discovered that economically developed countries and their events receive more focus than those happening in less affluent regions.
Inspired by an academic reviewing the German and English language versions of 2020 terror attacks in Austria and Afghanistan, noting not only the differences in content, but a perceived bias towards covering the event from Austria (even though the latter was a more destructive, violent event), a bias that extends to many competing subjects occurring in countries with a lower GDP per capita.
It’s a great reminder of Wikipedia as an imperfect platform – or more specifically, 300 individual imperfect language editions, each with their own set of policies, guidelines, and resources available to develop and maintain accurate Wikipedia pages, – and the importance of understanding the nuances and biases of every platform (and its editors, of course).
NOTE: The Chaos Index is a proprietary metric for measuring turbulence throughout Wikipedia and tracking the community’s current sentiment towards corporate-related pages. The index measures community actions such as editing frequency, content deletion, message board posts, and many other activities that contribute to unstable corporate page environments.