Bot activity on Wikipedia entries about Global Warming

Looking for material for an upcoming speech, I ran across this research project (by digital methods initiative) that inquires into the composition of issues on Wikipedia by contributors, and consequences for the (possibility) of carrying out public debate and controversy on articles surrounding Global Warming.

The bit that intrigued me is exemplified by the following diagrams… that look into the role of bot in article interventions and the link with controversies:

No crazy take-over from bots but I would find it intriguing to observe the evolution of this.

Why do I blog this? This is a fascinating topic to observe. I see it as an indicator of something that can have more and more implications, especially on the production of cultural content. One can read more about this in Stuart Geiger’s article “The lives of bots:

Simple statistics indicate the growing influence of bots on the editorial process: in terms of the raw number of edits to Wikipedia, bots are 22 of the top 30 most prolific editors and collectively make about 16% of all edits to the English-language version each month.

While bots were originally built to perform repetitive tasks that editors were already doing,
they are growing increasingly sophisticated and have moved into administrative spaces.
Bots now police not only the encyclopedic nature of content contributed to articles, but also
the sociality of users who participate in the community