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Common Knowledge?An Ethnography of Wikipedia$
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Dariusz Jemielniak

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789448

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789448.001.0001

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Conflict Resolution on Wikipedia

Conflict Resolution on Wikipedia

Why Die for Danzig?

3 Conflict Resolution on Wikipedia
Common Knowledge?

Dariusz Jemielniak

Stanford University Press

This chapter is dedicated to conflicts on Wikipedia. It explains that while egregious errors are easily dealt with, when more fundamental and nontrivial details are under consideration, conflicts on Wikipedia abound; thus, Wikipedia cannot be perceived as mainly collaboration driven; it is also dissent driven. By analyzing one of the biggest edit wars in Wikipedia history (Gdańsk/Danzig), it shows that traditional methods for dispute resolution on Wikipedia are often ineffective, and consensus is often impossible to reach. While presenting possible alternatives (by seeking analogies with other participative organizations), it shows that a major reduction in the scale of conflicts is unlikely, as conflicts play a crucial role in motivating people to participate (by increasing their involvement and fueling engagement).

Keywords:   conflicts on Wikipedia, dispute resolution online, conflict trajectories in open collaboration, conflict as motivator

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