The CSS Blog Network

The ‘Wikipedia Dispute Index’: A Collaborative Seismometer?

Exploiting online networks in order to map and predict cross-linked social phenomena such as the commonality in consumption (Amazon), electoral behavior (Google), the spread of civil unrest (Twitter) or even the outbreak of diseases (Google and EMM) continues to be both an intricate and promising field of research.

Thus, it comes as little surprise that Gordana Apic, Matthew J. Betts and Robert B. Russell from the University of Heidelberg recently suggested an indicator for measuring geopolitical instability by applying the principle of association fallacy, primarily used in life sciences, to online encyclopedia Wikipedia’s entries whose impartiality is contested. In their brief research paper titled ‘Content Disputed in Wikipedia Reflect Geopolitical Instability‘, the authors accordingly argue that “quantifying the degree to which pages linked to a country are disputed by contributors” correlates with a country’s political stability. In other words: since instability is best represented by its underlying conflicts, the multitude and diversity of user-generated associations, namely: disputes, is believed to reveal some form of qualitative pattern that can be arranged as a stability ranking. » More

This Week at the ISN…

It's week 31 on our 2011 editorial calendar, Photo: mag3737/flickr

This truncated week of ISN coverage starts today, following Monday’s Swiss National Holiday:

  • On Tuesday, the growing private-public partnership to enhance virtual cyber-range techniques is under the ISN Insights’ microscope.
  • Wednesday’s ISN Insights article — by Dr Rupak Borah of the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations at Manipal University, India — addresses the question: Is a China-India thaw in the offing?
  • ISN Insights examines the gender-specific roles and challenges faced by female child soldiers with help from Cassandra Clifford, founder and executive director of the Bridge to Freedom Foundation in Washington, DC.
  • And Friday’s podcast discusses Bolivia’s growing economic woes.

And in case you missed any of last week’s coverage, you can catch up here on: America’s economic decline; humanitarian interventionism; global drug policy reform; the rise of Bitcoin; and terrorism as a political instrument.

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