Talk:Submissions/The Cultural Significance of Vandalism on Wikipedia
Thank you for solving the puzzle I had for a long time. It is a good to learn that what appears in the Wikipedia archive can sometimes be misleading. As a newcomer to Wikimania, I am looking forward to experiencing the inclusive learning environment.
Si-Chi Chin 10:20, 19 March 2012 (PDT)
Unfortunately, the leading example in the abstract is flat out wrong:
- "Did you know an image of a tree was once the portrait of Abraham Lincoln on Wikipedia for two years (2004-2006), surviving for about 4,000 revisions ?
It can be verified using the Internet Archive that this was not so. The image that had been used in the article at that time correctly showed Abraham Lincoln, it's just that it was later deleted and then (in 2008, long after the given time span) replaced by a tree image under the same file name (which is used in the article Lincoln (tree) today). This is why the old revision links given above show different content today than at the time when they represented the most recent article version. That the redwood tree claim made it into a press release by the University of Iowa in 2010 is troubling.
And with all due respect (I'm sure that the presenter's quantitative work on vandalism detection is interesting and of high quality - back in 2010 I mentioned it, very briefly, in a Signpost article), the fact that this example was even considered plausible does not raise hopes that this presentation will draw from a lot of familiarity with Wikipedia's processes. (Surely there are examples of vandalism edits surviving for years, but not of such a visible kind in such a prominent article.)