Wikipedia Vandalism


Wikipedia vandalism is an example of social software misuse, i.e., a kind of anti-social behavior in online communities. Another example is the distribution of spam via the e-mail infrastructure which is done by a small percentage of all mail users. There exist many other unaccounted social software misuses which threaten online communities, such as vandalism and edit wars in Wikipedia. A surprising fact, however, is that spam is one of the few misuses for which detection technologies are being developed. Goal of this project is research and development of new technologies for the automatic detection of social software misuse.

In all online communities there are some participants who show an anti-social behavior. They misuse the social software in diverse ways and with diverse intentions, however, their actions always harm the welfare of the community. We distinguish three categories of misuses: destructive misuses (vandalism, flame wars, trolling / griefing, defamation / mobbing, stalking, intentional leaking), profit seeking misuses (spam, phishing, plagiarism), and counterproductive misuses (lobbying, serial sharing, topic drift, edit wars, accidental leaking). Destructive misuses are meant to harm, impede, or destroy someone or something, while profit seeking misuse are meant to raise one's personal profit by illegal or unethical actions. Both kinds of misuse are conducted deliberately which, however, is not the case with counterproductive misuses: here, the sum of one's otherwise well-intentioned actions forms the misuse.

Our efforts are directed at developing new automatic detection approaches for vandalism and edit wars in Wikis. Especially the Wikipedia community will benefit from such solutions. [demo]


Students: Robert Gerling, Dennis Hoppe