Research:Wikipedia Wars and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Sarah Sanbar


Duration:  2021-June – 2021-August
This page documents a completed research project.

I am writing my MA dissertation on Wikipedia Wars and the Israel-Palestine conflict. I will be looking at the process of collaborative knowledge production on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the effect it has on bias in the articles. This will involve understanding the profiles and motivations of editors, contention/controversy and dispute resolution in the talk pages, and bias in the final article.


The dissertation is divided into two parts that look at the who and the how of knowledge production on Wikipedia pages relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and will use a range of methodologies.

1. The who: The Wikipedians behind the articles

- Using the authorship tool to identify the most active and prolific editors of pages relating to the conflict - A survey of active and formerly active Wikipedians who edit pages relating to the conflict. The purpose of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of the profiles and motivations of Wikipedia editors active on pages relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This section aims to examine how editors’ positionality may bias or influence the narrative presented on Wikipedia pages.

2. The how: Collaborative Knowledge Production on the Israel-Palestine Conflict

- Using Contropedia to identify controversial topics in articles and the associated talk pages to pick out key points of contention within relevant articles.

This section seeks to identify and assess areas of dispute within articles, the nature of the dispute, and the manner in which it is resolved.

Policy, Ethics and Human Subjects Research[edit]

King's College London

Ethical Clearance Reference Number: MRSU-20/21-25648


The survey will be open to responses until 16 August 2021.

Deadline for dissertation is 26 August 2021.


Pending—to be shared by end of September.