Hi all,

The next Research Showcase will be live-streamed next Wednesday, July 17,
at 11:30 AM PDT/18:30 UTC.

YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9vvwV5KfW4

As usual, you can join the conversation on IRC at #wikimedia-research. You
can also watch our past research showcases here:

This month's presentations:

Characterizing Incivility on Wikipedia

Elizabeth Whittaker, University of Michigan School of Information

In a society whose citizens have a variety of viewpoints, there is a
question of how citizens can govern themselves in ways that allow these
viewpoints to co-exist. Online deliberation has been posited as a problem
solving mechanism in this context, and civility can be thought of as a
mechanism that facilitates this deliberation. Civility can thus be thought
of as a method of interaction that encourages collaboration, while
incivility disrupts collaboration. However, it is important to note that
the nature of online civility is shaped by its history and the technical
architecture scaffolding it. Civility as a concept has been used both to
promote equal deliberation and to exclude the marginalized from
deliberation, so we should be careful to ensure that our conceptualizations
of incivility reflect what we intend them to in order to avoid
unintentionally reinforcing inequality.

To this end, we examined Wikipedia editors’ perceptions of interactions
that disrupt collaboration through 15 semi-structured interviews. Wikipedia
is a highly deliberative platform, as editors need to reach consensus about
what will appear on the article page, a process that often involves
deliberation to coordinate, and any disruption to this process should be
apparent. We found that incivility on Wikipedia typically occurs in one of
three ways: through weaponization of Wikipedia’s policies, weaponization of
Wikipedia’s technical features, and through more typical vitriolic content.
These methods of incivility were gendered, and had the practical effect of
discouraging women from editing. We implicate this pattern as one of the
underlying causes of Wikipedia’s gender gap.

Hidden Gems in the Wikipedia Discussions: The Wikipedians’ Rationales

Lu Xiao, Syracuse University School of Information Studies

I will present a series of completed and ongoing studies that are aimed at
understanding the role of the Wikipedians’ rationales in Wikipedia
discussions. We define a rationale as one’s justification of her viewpoint
and suggestions. Our studies demonstrate the potential of leveraging the
Wikipedians’ rationales in discussions as resources for future
decision-making and as resources for eliciting knowledge about the
community’s norms, practices and policies. Viewed as rich digital traces in
these environments, we consider them to be beneficial for the community
members, such as helping newcomers familiarize themselves on the commonly
accepted justificatory reasoning styles. We call for more research
attention to the discussion content from this rationale study perspective.

Janna Layton (she, her)
Administrative Assistant - Audiences & Technology
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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