Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/From the media to Wikipedia: the relationship between Chilean media news and malicious edits made in the virtual encyclopedia during the Social Outbreak of Chile in 2019.

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From the media to Wikipedia: the relationship between Chilean media news and malicious edits made in the virtual encyclopedia during the Social Outbreak of Chile in 2019.
start and end datesApril 2022 - April 2023
budget (USD)5,000-9,999 USD
applicant(s)• Soylacarli



Applicant's Wikimedia username. If one is not provided, then the applicant's name will be provided for community review.


Project title

From the media to Wikipedia: the relationship between Chilean media news and malicious edits made in the virtual encyclopedia during the Social Outbreak of Chile in 2019.

Entity Receiving Funds

Provide the name of the individual or organization that would receive the funds.

Carla Toro Fernández

Research proposal[edit]


Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

During the Social Outbreak of Chile in 2019, there was a contradiction between the reality collectively thought or imagined with the reality reported by the hegemonic media. The latter concentrated on narrating the events from the “high commands”, while the independent media narrated the events from interviews with civilians. In Chile the main communication media belongs elite groups which influence the public agenda and the informational treatment of what is transmitted. Therefore, understanding the role that the media had in the 2019 Social Outbreak is key to understanding the impact it had on different platforms, such as Wikipedia.

Taking the Social Outbreak as a temporary event, the news can be located around the events that occurred and also, the fact that these have varied approaches raises the questions: what news content in the media are the ones that most produce vandalism on the Spanish Wikipedia? What are the types of vandalisms that occur the most in the Spanish Wikipedia based on the topics analyzed in the media? and What is the relationship between the news in the media and the vandalism detected?

As Wikipedia is one of the most visited sites in Chile, this platform can be used as an object of study and the visits can be analyzed together with the history of editions of those articles that, as a result of the news, were the most visited during the social crisis. With the detailed history of the articles, it is possible to locate those editions that were reverted and cataloged as vandalisms, in order to classify them and know which issues are the ones that most generate this type of edition. With this it would be possible to know if what happens in Wikipedia is related to the media and if the vandalisms have any relation with the information that appears in the news. All of this in order to be able to anticipate this type of editions and understand how Wikipedia can contribute to the verification of the information.

There is no previous approaches of this in the Spanish Wikipedia, only on English and German Wikipedia. The methods used there are insufficient because they only looked for vandalisms in one article, and here we're not considering only the article about the social oubreak, we're considering all of the articles related to Chile in a frame of time. Knowing how the media affects Wikipedia vandalism leads us to understand how vandalism works socially and this can be of great benefit when creating new encyclopedia policies.


Approximate amount requested in USD.


Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

  • - 1 journalism student for 4 months (8 hours/week). Will help with the recopilation of the news to analyze and the classification of vandalisms. ~1,500
  • - 1 data scientist (1 month). Will automate the search for vandalisms related to Chile and later related to the Social Outbreak.~​​​ 1,000
  • - publishing ~3,000 (depends on the journal)
  • - Equipment ~ 1,500
  • ~2,000 to pay for the last semester of the master's degree so I can fully concentrate on this.
  • - Institutional overhead ~ 1,000


Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

One of the most relevant impacts is to be able to understand how the media affects Wikipedia, where this information can be of use to both user groups and chapters so that they can anticipate vandalism in the face of a social crisis. With regard to strategy recommendations, this research aligns with Identifying issues for impact, as it responds to understanding how our projects can be misused or manipulated by detecting threats with significant potential for harm (such as misinformation, misinformation or scams).


Plans for dissemination.

The first step is publishing the paper in an Open Access Journal. The results will be adapted to all levels of understanding* through a series of infographics and open talks about it. My goals is to be able to present this in conferences, classrooms and even in a wiki research talk at the WMF.
  • Wikimedia community and people outside the wikimedia community.

Past Contributions[edit]

Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

I work at Wikimedia Chile* as the community support officer and I contribute mostly on Wikipedia and Wikidata.
  • This research is separate from my job.

I agree to license the information I entered in this form excluding the pronouns, countries of residence, and email addresses under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I understand that the decision to fund this Research Fund application, the application itself along with all the information entered by my in this form excluding the pronouns, country of residences, and email addresses of the personnel will be published on Wikimedia Foundation Funds pages on Meta-Wiki and will be made available to the public in perpetuity. To make the results of your research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, I agree that any output of my research will comply with the WMF Open Access Policy. I also confirm that I have read the privacy statement and agree to abide by the WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.