Bots vs. Wikipedians, Anons vs. Logged-Ins (Redux): A Global Study of Edit Activity on Wikipedia and Wikidata

Title: Bots vs. Wikipedians, Anons vs. Logged-Ins (Redux): A Global Study of Edit Activity on Wikipedia and Wikidata

Authors: Thomas Steiner

Abstract: Wikipedia is a global crowdsourced encyclopedia that at time of writing is available in 287 languages. Wikidata is a likewise global crowdsourced knowledge base that provides shared facts to be used by Wikipedias. In the context of this research, we have developed an application and an underlying Application Programming Interface (API) capable of monitoring realtime edit activity of all language versions of Wikipedia and Wikidata. This application allows us to easily analyze edits in order to answer questions such as “Bots vs. Wikipedians, who edits more?”, “Which is the most anonymously edited Wikipedia?”, or “Who are the bots and what do they edit?”. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such an analysis was done for Wikidata and for really all Wikipedias—large and small. According to our results, all Wikipedias and Wikidata together are edited by about 50% bots and by about 23% anonymous users. Wikidata alone accounts for about 48% of the totally observed edits. If we do not consider Wikidata, i.e., if we only look at all Wikipedias, about 15% of all edits are made by bots and 26% of all edits are made by anonymous users. Overall, we found a stabilizing number of 274 active bots during our observation period. Our application is available publicly online at the URL http://wikipedia-edits.herokuapp.com/, its code has been open-sourced under the Apache 2.0 license.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

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