Manypedia: Comparing  Language Points of View  of Wikipedia Communities
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Manypedia: Comparing Language Points of View of Wikipedia Communities



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Manypedia is at
These slides have been presented by Paolo Massa at WikiSym, 8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, 29 August 2013, Linz, Austria.
Manypedia is joint work of Paolo Massa and Federico Scrinzi (and it is open source too!)

The paper is at
If you like Manypedia and you have a chance, don't forget to cite our paper, thanks!



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Manypedia: Comparing  Language Points of View  of Wikipedia Communities Manypedia: Comparing Language Points of View of Wikipedia Communities Presentation Transcript

  • Manypedia: ComparingLanguage Points of Viewof Wikipedia Communities Paolo Massa Bruno Kessler Foundation - Trento, Italy (joint work with Federico Scrinzi)WikiSym, 8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, 29 August 2013, Linz, Austria
  • Do editors on Arabic Wikipedia andeditors on Hebrew Wikipedia writethe same history of “Gaza war”?
  • 53% of American Internet users look forinformation on Wikipedia as of May 2010 (36% inFebruary 2007) [21]88% of 2,318 university students use Wikipediaduring a course–related research process, evenif an instructor advised against it [11]Wikipedia is the sixth most visited site of theentire web [1] Wikipedia used by many for getting “THE TRUTH”[21] Pew Research Center. 2011. Wikipedia, past and present. A snapshot of current Wikipedia users.. Jan 13, 2011. Retrieved onAugust 4, 2011, from[11] Head A. J. and Eisenberg M. B. 2010. How today’s college students use Wikipedia for course–related research. First Monday,Volume 15, Number 3. 1 March 2010.[1] Alexa ranking. Retrieved on April 4, 2012.
  • Who are Wikipedians?The Wikipedia project suffers from systemic bias thatnaturally grows from its contributors demographicgroups, manifesting an imbalanced coverage of asubject, thereby discriminating against the lessrepresented demographic groups.The average Wikipedian on the English Wikipedia is amale, technically inclined, formally educated, an Englishspeaker (native or non-native), European–descent, aged15–49, from a majority-Christian country, from adeveloped nation, from the Northern Hemisphere, andlikely employed as a white-collar worker or enrolled as astudent rather than employed as a labourer. → a certain VISION of the world
  • Neutrality as WP founding myth [23] from Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ “Editors must write articles from a Neutral Point Of View (NPOV), representing all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias.” The neutral point of view policy “says nothing about objectivity” and “in particular, the policy does not say that there is such a thing as objectivity in a philosophical sense—a "view from nowhere" [18], such that articles written from that viewpoint are consequently objectively true.” (...) “Rather, to be neutral is to describe debates rather than engage in them. In other words, when discussing a subject, we should report what people have said about it rather than what is so.” (...) “is it possible to characterize disputes fairly? This is an empirical issue, not a philosophical one: can we edit articles so that all the major participants will be able to look at the resulting text, and agree that their views are presented accurately and as completely as the context permits? It may not be possible to describe all disputes with perfect objectivity, but it is an aim that thousands of editors strive towards every day”[23] Roy Rosenzweig. Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past”
  • Neutrality is hard Writing “without bias” is “difficult” since “all articles are edited by people” and “people are inherently biased” [23] “Most frequent debate topic on discussion pages is whether the article adheres to the NPOV” and the “Armenian genocide” page is one example of the fact “those debates can go on at mind-numbing length, such as literally hundreds of pages” [23][23] Roy Rosenzweig. Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past”
  • Representing Points of View“Neutrality requires that each article or other page in themainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints thathave been published by reliable sources, in proportion to theprominence of each viewpoint” (“Wikipedia:NPOV”).Each article should “accurately indicate the relativeprominence of opposing views. Ensure that the reporting ofdifferent views on a subject adequately reflects the relativelevels of support for those views, and that it does not give afalse impression of parity, or give undue weight to a particularview. For example, to state that “<According to SimonWiesenthal, the Holocaust was a program of extermination ofthe Jewish people in Germany, but David Irving disputes thisanalysis> would be to give apparent parity between thesupermajority view and a tiny minority view by assigningeach to a single activist in the field”.
  • Its an issue of perspective.What you see (and write)depends on the your point ofview.At least on Wikipedia, it is not“implicit” but it is “explicit”.And on WP you are often “invited”to express and reason about yourPOV.
  • Writing different histories?“a Nazi and a non-Nazi version of thepresent war would have no resemblanceto one another, and which of them finallygets into the history books will bedecided not by evidential methods but onthe battlefield” [20]History is written by the winners[20] Orwell G. 1943. As I Please. Tribune. GB, London.
  • History is written by the winners.History is written by Wikipedians.“What gets into the history books willbe decided on Wikipedia throughnegotiations of different points ofview” [0][0] Paolo Massa, now
  • When Wikipedia does not conform to the “official” government POV … censor!
  • or adapt it to the “official” government POV
  • or create your own WP! = Cuban government Wiki!
  • or create your own WP! = Cuban government Wiki!Built from a decolonizer point of view [3][3] BBC. 2010. Cuba launches online encyclopaedia similar to Wikipedia. 14 December 2010.
  • or create your own WP! = Cuban government Wiki! Page “United States”: “empire of our time, which has historically taken by force territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies” (...) “It consumes 25% of the energy produced on the planet and in spite of its wealth, more than a third of its population does not have assured medical attention”Built from a decolonizer point of view [3][3] BBC. 2010. Cuba launches online encyclopaedia similar to Wikipedia. 14 December 2010.
  • Conservapedia (
  • (?POV)
  • (CPOV)
  • (APOV)
  • (VPOV)
  • (SPOV)
  • (?!?!POV)
  • What is acceptable in the communitydepends on the POV the communityadopts. Wikipedia adopted the Neutral POV
  • “those who create Wikipediasarticles and debate their contents areinvolved in an astonishingly intenseand widespread process ofdemocratic self-education” [23][23] Roy Rosenzweig. Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past”
  • Wikipedians strive to achieve neutrality by discussing/negotiating INSIDE the English Wikipedia, INSIDE the French Wikipedia, … What about ACROSS wikipedias? Mediawiki platform does not encourage across language Wikipedias discussions! Is there aLinguistic Point Of View (LPOV)?
  • Language Articles Edits Users ActiveEnglish 3,912,105 526,077,676 16,551,900 138,763GermanFrench 1,385,907 1,232,680 106,360,859 82,236,250 1,403,006 1,255,780 22,218 16,471 285Dutch 1,035,566 30,563,443 447,929 4,724 language editionsItalian 906,636 52,569,842 734,348 8,061Polish 889,056 30,490,485 482,397 5,126SpanishRussian 880,350 840,061 58,577,562 45,884,948 2,171,257 824,528 14,931 12,638 ofJapanesePortuguese 799,975 718,501 42,776,541 30,249,021 609,565 982,460 11,971 5,347 WikipediaSwedish 452,121 17,015,139 267,277 3,149Chinese 434,117 20,427,481 1,176,713 6,569Vietnamese 395,102 6,565,432 275,115 1,195Ukrainian 377,111 9,371,511 129,879 2,075Catalan 369,852 9,431,935 110,711 1,427Norwegian 333,538 10,858,373 229,329 2,169Finnish 293,424 12,009,060 200,609 1,947Czech 226,545 8,544,830 180,433 2,201Hungarian 213,940 11,946,177 195,196 1,996Korean 194,252 9,694,187 182,338 1,938
  • Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ“Wikipedia seems to have an Anglo-American focus. Isthis contrary to the neutral point of view? Yes, it is,especially when dealing with articles that require aninternational perspective. The presence of articles writtenfrom a United States or European Anglophone perspectiveis simply a reflection of the fact that there are many U.S.and European Anglophone people working on the project.This is an ongoing problem that should be corrected byactive collaboration between Anglo-Americans and peoplefrom other countries. But rather than introducing their owncultural bias, they should seek to improve articles byremoving any examples of cultural bias that theyencounter, or making readers aware of them.” And then“this is not only a problem in the English Wikipedia. TheFrench Language Wikipedia may reflect a French bias,the Japanese Wikipedia may reflect a Japanese bias,and so on.”
  • Wikipedia:Describing points of view“English language Wikipedia articles should bewritten for an international audience”.
  • Each language Wikipedia exhibits a self- focus bias towards articles about regions where that language is largely spoken [12] 74% of concepts are described in only one language and only 0.12% are described in all the 25 investigated language Wikipedias [13][12] Hecht, B., & Gergle, D. 2009. Measuring Self-Focus Bias in Community-Maintained Knowledge Repositories.Proceedings of Communities and Technologies 2009 (C&T 2009), pp. 11-20. New York: ACM Press.[13] Hecht, B., & Gergle, D. 2010. The Tower of Babel Meets Web 2.0: User-Generated Content and its Applications in aMultilingual Context. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2010). New York: ACM Press.
  • We call this phenomenon “Linguistic Point ofView” (LPOV). The presence of diverse pointsof view on different language editions ofWikipedia would disprove the “globalconsensus hypothesis” which posits that “twoarticles about the same concept in twodifferent languages will describe that conceptroughly identically” [13].
  • Is there a Linguistic Point Of View (LPOV)?
  • Enter
  • Enter ManypediaSearch for any page from any languageWikipedia and compare the same page on anyother language Wikipedia(56 languages - Google translate)
  • Enter ManypediaA web tool for comparing Linguistic Points ofView (LPOV) of Wikipedia communities.(56 languages - Google translate)
  • Open
  • Few (interesting) Manypedia comparisons
  • The vast majority ofAmericans believe thatthe United States is afree country U.S. double standards on human rights, is a derivative of hypocritical foreign policy
  • In Vietnam, books used thename “Resistance againstAmerican” for the war [10](…)Some [11] felt the name“struggle against the U.S.”is not neutral (because itwas also a Vietnamese civilwar); [11] while others willargue that the name of theVietnam War shows (theview) of the West (rather)that of people living inVietnam.
  • Greek Wikipedia:Turkish Wikipedia: Northern Cyprus “is underNorthern Cyprus “is an Turkish occupation sinceindependent state” 1974 in violation of international legal norms” English Wikipedia: Northern Cyprus “is a contested territory between Northern Cyprus is de facto independent state (...). Tensions between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Turkey and Greece Cypriot populations culminated in 1974 with a coup détat, an attempt to annex the island to Greece and a military invasion by Turkey in response. (…) Northern Cyprus has received diplomatic recognition only from Turkey.”
  • Portal:current events Hundreds of pages related to Israeli-Palestine conflict Arabic WP vs Hebrew WP
  • Simply inconsistencies
  • Differences in what is acceptable to look at … (sex-related)
  • Future work: case study forempirically validating howwidespread LPOV is and how peopleuse Manypedia.
  • SummaryMediawiki socio-technical system doesnot encourage negotation of POVsACROSS different language Wikipedias.Manypedia can be used for checkingother language communities POV.
  • Is it possible to write from an internationally neutral POV? Is it desirable?Globalized knowledge, lose Fragmentation of worldspecificities and traditions of society in language specific local cultures communities (tyranny of the majority) (echo chambers) ONE Globalized POV MANY Localized POV
  • Licence of these slidesThese slides are released underCreative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 2.5You are free: * to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work * to make derivative works * to make commercial use of the workUnder the following conditions:Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work onlyunder a license identical to this one. * For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. * Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.More info at
  • Thank you!Questions?
  • Manypedia: ComparingLanguage Points Of View (LPOV)of Wikipedia Communities Paolo Massa Bruno Kessler Foundation - Trento, Italy (joint work with Federico Scrinzi) Screenshot!!! Manypedia is awesome Manypedia is very awesome ;-) ;-)