It may be the first stop for school homework and general knowledge, but Wikipedia may not be giving readers the same version of the facts. Depending on the language you are reading, the free online encyclopaedia may use different sources, which can give readers a bullet train facts for kids take on events. As part of a project, researchers in Germany have created a tool which analyses where the web references come from, highlighting any geographical bias. Analysis of English and German Wikipedia articles on the annexation of Crimea, show differences in the proportion of references from Russia and Ukraine, which could bias the story.
Created by a team from the University of Koblenz-Landau, the Wikiwhere tool can be used to compare different language versions of the same article to see if the editors might be influenced by where the sources are from. Remarkably, the German version, compared to its English counterpart, includes a notably higher imbalance in favor of Russian sources against Ukrainian ones, and also a lesser overall ratio of Ukrainian and Russian sources in relation to the native language of the Wikipedia edition,’ they explain. A team of German researchers has created a tool which analyses where a Wikipedia aericle’s web references come from. Such patterns could be an indicator of bias towards certain national contexts when referencing facts and statements in Wikipedia. They hope the tool could be used to check articles for geographical bias based on the article language.
In one example, the team compared the English and German language versions of articles on Crimea. The results showed that the German article cited a higher number of references from Russia than Ukraine. In the English language example, there were more Ukranian references than Russian. Crunching the numbers on Wikipedia articles on the annexation of Crimea, they report that the German language page uses 31 links from Russia and 13 from Ukraine. By comparison, the English language page uses a greater proportion of links from Ukraine, with 94 links compared with 79 originating from Russia. To use the tool, users copy the URL of the Wikipedia page they want to analyse and paste it into the search bar.
Wikiwhere then analyses the article’s references to bring back the locations, country of origin and IP address of the references. The team adds that using such algorithms could potentially be used to find out where others references originate, such as from corporations and media networks, which could help to spot bias. Is this the hardest crossword ever? A shocking video has emerged of a gang of men attacking a lone victim on the streets of Birmingham last week. Another Southwest Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing on Wednesday after a bird strike. The plane returned to Nashville on Wednesday morning 25 minutes after taking off for Phoenix. The mystery surrounding Natalie Wood’s death has deepened further after her sister claimed key evidence in the case disappeared last year.
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