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Developer(s)Wiki-Watch project group at the European University "Viadrina", Germany under the leadership of Wolfgang Stock and Johannes Weberling
Initial releaseNovember 2011; 12 years ago (2011-11)
PlatformWeb browser (Web app)
TypeRecommender system
LicenseCC BY-SA 3.0 (Content only)

Wiki-Watch, formally known as Arbeitsstelle Wiki-Watch im "Studien- und Forschungsschwerpunkt Medienrecht" der Juristischen Fakultät der Europa-Universität Viadrina[1] (English: Wiki-Watch Project at the "Study and Research Centre on Media Law" from the Faculty of Law at Viadrina European University) is a German university project for transparency of Wikipedia and Wikipedia articles, aimed especially at media professionals.

Wiki-Watch conducted and published a survey of administrators of German Wikipedia and blogs regularly about German Wikipedia problems. Wiki-Watch's site provides statistical insights on Wikipedia.[2][3][4][5][6]

Part of is a free software application for page analysis. This tool automatically assesses the formal reliability of Wikipedia articles in English and German. It produces a five-level evaluation score corresponding to its assessment of reliability.[7] Second, its "Exclusive Insight" shows what is occurring in Wikipedia in nearly realtime.[8] The Wiki-Watch blog spots current trends in Wikipedia and is a source of news coverage about the Wikipedia project.[9][10]

Wiki-Watch was developed at the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany. The development team included professors Wolfgang Stock and Johannes Weberling [de].[7][11][12]

Wiki-Watch's formal page analysis[edit]

Wiki-Watch's formal analysis relies on tracking each entry made in a Wikipedia article. It checks the number of sources, the number of editors and the number of links to the article. Within the additional implemented WikiTrust each editor is also given a "quality score" that assesses the reliability of their edits.[11]

Hundreds of thousands of editors have contributed Wikipedia entries[13] and the reliability of the information within Wikipedia has been the subject of debate among experts.[14] Since 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation had been considering marking text that had not been reviewed or edited by multiple editors as "untested". This form of reliability checking could enhance acceptance of scholarly Wikipedia content within educational establishments.

Text tracking has incorporated into the WikiTrust system, in ongoing development at the University of California Santa Cruz[11][15] and implemented in Wiki-Watch. Specific text fragments that have not been edited by multiple authors with a good score are flagged as potentially unreliable[16] or unsafe.[17] The reliability and reputation scoring system uses a color code scheme to evaluate pieces of text, based on the edit history and number of revisions by users, thereby signaling what may be unreliable changes within an article. The reliability of each editor is assessed by reviewing the changes they have made to various articles, and tracking their contributions to see how well the contributions survive after edits by other editors.[18]

The page analysis is comparable to WikiBu with some differences. WikiTrust is more detailed than WikiBu. Wiki-Watch stresses more the quality of sources, while WikiBu stresses more the quantity of views over sources. Wiki-Watch is aimed at media professionals, while WikiBu is aimed on pupils and teachers.

"Exclusive Insight"[edit]

In "Exclusive Insight" Wiki-Watch shows a compact overview of current Wikipedia developments (What and Who). Users can choose views between one hour and one month. A logged-in user can see more detailed statistics: most read pages, new pages, most edited pages, and so on. Additionally, graphs are supplied for the most read pages, displaying each day's views so that the reader sees if interest in an article is rising or ceasing.[19] The "Exclusive Insight" displays edit wars and deletions, as well as the activities of administrators and power editors.[19][20]

Criticism of co-founder[edit]

In July 2011 the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper published articles describing an alleged conflict of interest between co-founder Wolfgang Stock's work for Wiki-Watch and his work for a pharmaceutical company that was a client of his agency Convincet.[21][22][23] Stock had last made edits to Wikipedia articles in the area of pharmaceuticals and health issues in spring 2009, which was one year before founding Wiki-Watch (late 2010) and two years before the accusation (July 2011).

In a formal reply in Der Spiegel, Stock refuted the allegations, calling them "wrong" and "false".[24] Stock claimed that he had made his edits of entries related to a pharmaceutical company "before my consulting work for the pharmaceutical company."[24] By his own admission, Stock's edits derived from personal interest and concern and were not paid by anybody. Only later, from summer 2009 on, he had worked as a communications consultant for the pharmaceutical company.[25][26][27] "Given the ongoing legal dispute" on the accusation, Stock gave up his leadership position of Wiki-Watch[24] and his access rights to its Internet platform,[28] but remained a team-member in September 2011.[24]

The Viadrina European University called the allegations "demonstrably false".[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wiki-Watch - Impressum". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  2. ^ Deutsche Presse Agentur (13 January 2011). "German watchdog monitoring English Wikipedia". Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ Möller, Christian (10 January 2011). "Wikipedia: On Watch". The Information Society Blog. Archived from the original on 27 December 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2012. Wol[f]gang Stock is confident: 'With Wiki Watch and WikiTrust in place no one will be able to smuggle in an additional name or other false information unnoticed in the future.'
  4. ^ Corinth, Ernst (4 November 2010). "Netzgeflüster: Einblicke ins Wiki". Hannoversche Allgemeine. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  5. ^ Torsten Kleinz; Jo Bager. "Wikipedia-Admins: männlich, gebildet und genervt". Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Hollstein, Miriam (31 October 2010). "Undurchschaubare Wissensmacht". Welt Am Sonntag: 4.
  7. ^ a b Mann, Selena (14 January 2011), New tool used to evaluate Wikipedia, Canada: IT World
  8. ^ Wiki-Watch. "Exklusive Insight". Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  9. ^ Wiki-Watch. "International Press Review by languages". Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  10. ^ Wiki-Watch. "German Press Review". Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b c News, CA: CNW, 14 January 2011, archived from the original on 18 January 2011, retrieved 2 May 2011
  12. ^ Wiki-Watch: new tool checking Wikipedia reliability, CE Daily News, 14 January 2011
  13. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q (4 December 2005), "Snared in the Web of a Wikipedia Liar", The New York Times
  14. ^ "Can you trust Wikipedia?", The Guardian, 24 October 2005
  15. ^ Wikipedia Considers Coloring Untested Text, Information Week, 31 August 2009
  16. ^ German watchdog monitoring English Wikipedia, Monsters and Critics, 13 January 2011, archived from the original on 16 January 2011, retrieved 2 May 2011
  17. ^ dpa: Wiki-Watch-Projekt wird fortgesetzt - Stock legt Leitung nieder of 7 September 2011.
  18. ^ Tech: wiki software, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 6 September 2007
  19. ^ a b Alfred Krüger (3 November 2010). "Aufpasser für Wikipedianer: Portal 'Wiki-Watch' will Online-Lexikon durchsichtiger machen". heute online, ZDF. Retrieved 4 November 2010.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Schwan, Ben (27 October 2010). "Wissenschaftliches Projekt Wiki-Watch: Wikipedia von innen". Die Tageszeitung.
  21. ^ Jörg Wittkewitz (2011), "Hier prüft der Staatsbürger das Insulin noch persönlich", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German), no. 151, pp. 42, article was taken offline after Johannes Weberling and Wolfgang Stock announced legal action
  22. ^ Jörg Wittkewitz (11 July 2011). "Kritik an Wiki-Watch: Schon Großmutter war zuckerkrank". FAZ online. Retrieved 11 July 2011. – article was taken offline after Weberling and Stock announced legal action. The FAZ had to print a formal reply: Gegendarstellung zum Beitrag "Schon Großmutter war zuckerkrank" vom 11.7.2011. Archived 18 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stock, written on 1 August 2011.
  23. ^ Jörg Wittkewitz (8 July 2011). ""Der Rest war Handarbeit" : Interview mit einem Wikipedia-Administrator". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 9 July 2011. – article was taken offline after Weberling and Stock announced legal action
  24. ^ a b c d Stock, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang (15 September 2011). "Gegendarstellung". Der Spiegel.
  25. ^ Grill, Markus (2011). "Wir bleiben im Hintergrund". Der Spiegel. No. 28. pp. 74–76.
  26. ^ "Zielkonflikt: Wikipedia-Autor arbeitet für Sanofi-Aventis". Spiegel Online. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  27. ^ Markus Grill (15 July 2011). "Wiki-Watch-Gründer gerät in Erklärungsnot". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  28. ^ a b European University Viadrina (7 September 2011). "Medieninformation Nr. 129-2011 vom 7. 20 September: Wiki-Watch organisiert sich neu". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2012.

External links[edit]