Wikipedia Vandal Patrols Prove Effective

Kent Anderson in his Scholarly Kitchen article points us to a Wikipedia study published in First Monday. The author, P D Magnus, introduced incorrect information he called ‘fibs’ into some Wikipedia articles about famous philosophers, and then waited to see how long it took for the ‘vandal patrol’ to find and correct them.

The answer was on average 2 hours and 15 minutes, but lower profile articles took longer. I think this is pretty impressive and gives me even more faith into a resource which I increasingly use in class. Just two days ago I discussed Wikipedia with the class. We looked up various online resources about a particular topic, service oriented architecture as it happened, and concluded the Wikipedia entry was of a high standard.

Roll on Wikipedia.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

2 Responses to Wikipedia Vandal Patrols Prove Effective

  1. pmagnus says:

    In the study, fibs were only tracked for 48 hours. So the average time only includes fibs that were flagged or corrected. At least half of the fibs were not flagged or corrected in 48 hours, after which they were removed as part of the study protocol.

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks for this clarification.

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