Research:Are the bots really fighting


This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.
Please contact the project lead before formally citing or reusing results from this page.

A paper was recently published that asserted some interesting dynamics about bots in Wikipedia.

Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia
M Tsvetkova, R García-Gavilanes, L Floridi, T Yasseri
PloS one 12 (2), e0171774

In this work, the authors make a basic assertion in their title "Even good bots fight". We are extremely skeptical of the assertion that the bots on our wikis "fight" or engage in any other type of substantial "conflict" at all. In this study, we'll explore what, exactly, the bots are doing when they revert each other.


We'll use a combined strategy of quantiative analysis (for discovering bot edits) and content analysis for coding the types of activities that bots engage in. In order to discover the basic classes of bot reverting activities, we'll apply en:grounded theory.


To be announced. See the the talk page for our work log.