Collaborative content creation inevitably reaches situations where different points of view lead to conflict. One of the most prominent examples of collaboration online is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is a system where conflict is mediated by both policy and software, and where conflicts often reflect larger societal debates.
We are building a platform for the real-time analysis and visualization of such controversies in Wikipedia. Controversy metrics are extracted from the real time activity streams generated by edits to, and discussions about, individual articles and groups of related articles. An article’s revision history and its corresponding discussion pages constitute two parallel streams of user interactions that, taken together, fully describe the process of the collaborative creation of an article. Our platform, Contropedia, builds on state of the art techniques and extends current metrics for the analysis of both edit and discussion activity. Furthermore, the combination of these two approaches allows for a deeper understanding of the substance, composition, actor alignment, trajectory and liveliness of controversies on Wikipedia.