Wikipedia Wars

Hi all,

I was going to email Maura and Michael directly but then decided that my question might be useful to others.

I looked over the talk page of the person who reverted my wikipedia edit and am wondering how to proceed.  It appears he is in the habit of reverting others’ edits and doing so without much, or any, explanation.  My first instinct is to explain to him, with references, the reasons for my edits on his talk page.  But that kind of feels like he owns the page and I’m asking for his permission.  Thoughts?


7 thoughts on “Wikipedia Wars

  1. Christina

    @Maura A. Smale – – Those were some of my thoughts exactly regarding our Wikipedia page for class (Gee’s literature). I’m definitely trying to find a loophole to get some of the recent literature into Wikipedia without citing the primary sources directly. However, I’ll keep searching for some solid summaries now that I know that’s the preference for Wikipedia : )

  2. Maura A. Smale (she/her)

    @Christina – That’s a good question. I’d like to hear Michael’s thoughts on creating a new page — I wonder whether the new article will be subject to the same kind of scrutiny re: NOR that the educational game page has? I also wonder whether more journalistic sources might be a good place to look for citations to add to the article, or whether (which you may already have thought of) you can add in references to the article you’re working on for What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy?

  3. Christina

    Maura – Thank you for your clarification as I’ve been carefully following this page and referencing a few others.

    As a still-learning Wikipedian (is that a word yet?) I read through the WP: NOR page and if I’m understanding the source information correctly, it appears that we can’t pull in the most recent literature into Wikipedia. Since the gaming field is advancing fairly rapidly with few (in comparison with other fields) secondary/summarizing sources, if there hasn’t been a review of the original article and research, I shouldn’t pull it into the Wikipedia article. However, could I get around this by creating a page (via WordPress), summarizing the articles on that page, and then cite my personal page in Wikipedia? To me, this seems like it would be a significant flaw in the Wikipedia system. Although Wikipedia pages are peer-reviewed, does anyone check the citations? I noticed many “broken links” on a few of the pages I scanned and wondered about this. Furthermore, if we cannot find a source for the information on the page, should we pull out the information?

    Comment Tags: Citations, Games, Sources, Wikipedia
  4. Michael Mandiberg (they/them)

    The conversation about Social Identity Theory has evolved into a bit of a dispute between one of the other reverted editors, and the reversionist. I stepped in and proposed a moderation process going forward.

    I think that the question about to justify or not to justify is a good one. I think that in this case, what I did was to flip it, and make the reversionist justify any removals. I honestly don’t know if this is w/in the WP rules, but I’m going with it. Hopefully Silvana et al. will add the content back and he can justify any changes he would like to make.

    Also, note that an edit war would likely remove the Good Article status that the reversionist has worked hard on.

  5. Christina Shane-Simpson


    I’m completely in the same boat as you. While I’d normally support efforts to empower others, I feel as though the “justifying” of ourselves on Wikipedia gives these territorial users more power than perhaps they deserve. I’m open to suggestions from others on the topic.

    As a general concern regarding the edits on the Educational Gaming page, I tend to use and pull from the most recent literature when I write about a topic/concept. Oftentimes the research has not been around long enough (1-2 years) to have been summarized yet in a “true” secondary source style. It seems like many of the concerns from my “user war” came from using up-to-date research. Does this mean that other pages on Wikipedia lack the recent literature? Or how do these pages reflect the current field? Maybe they don’t? Just some thoughts.

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