How do Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia filter contribution? A case study of network gatekeeping

This presentation is part of the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 program.

Han-Teng Liao

Though open collaboration websites such as Wikipedia have attracted attention for their more inclusive and participatory potentials, it becomes increasingly clear that certain information filtering/control or gatekeeping mechanisms are set to render them manageable. Applying the network gatekeeping theory, this paper presents a case study of Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia, focusing on their editorial policies and practices, which have not been systematically examined. Through a detailed analysis of editorial priorities, power users, and geo-linguistic arrangement over how, by whom and for whom and which types of information are processed, the findings show different bases and salience components for distinct network gatekeeping processes. In Chinese Wikipedia, filtering copyright-dubious materials and accommodating Chinese geo-linguistic variants are more salient, whereas censoring politically-sensitive content and enforcing a national cultural political framework of People’s Republic of China are more salient in Baidu Baike. The usefulness and limitations of applying network gatekeeping theory for open collaboration websites is discussed.

A PDF file will be made available on August 5, 2013, through the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 conference proceedings.

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