Emotions and the collaboration of Wikipedia editors

In this paper we study the emotional expression of people who edit the Wikipedia. We classify Wikipedia editors according to administrator status (administrators vs. regular editors) and by gender (male vs. female).

Several patterns emerge from the data:

  • Administrators maintain a rather neutral, impersonal tone, and are more task-oriented than regular editors (who are more relationship-oriented).
  • Female editors communicate more often in a manner that promotes emotional connection.
  • Editors tend to interact more often with editors having similar emotional styles (e.g. editors who often express anger connect more with one another, as shown in the graphic where "angry" editors appear in red).

Paper available (open access): Emotions under Discussion: Gender, Status and Communication in Online Collaboration by Daniela Iosub, David Laniado, Carlos Castillo, Mayo Fuster Morell, and Andreas Kaltenbrunner. PLOS ONE. August 2014. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104880