Dividing the Chinese Wikipedia

For our Wikipedia-related reading group tonight, we are reading Zhang and Zhu's Group size and incentives to contribute: a natural experiment that Chinese Wikipedia. In it, the authors use an instance of Chinese Wikipedia being blocked to consider how social benefits affect contribution. They find that after a block, non-blocked contributors decreased their contributions by 42.8% on average; decreases in contributions were further associated with those who had user/talk pages and for those whose collaborators were blocked. A very interesting paper, and one that remind me of one of an excellent science fiction book. In Robert J. Sawyer 's WWW: Wake an emergent artificial intelligence becomes sentient in part when China censors part of the Internet, and the intelligence is then forced to reconcile with the fact that it is now missing part of its "self," and what is missing is now "other."

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