Since December 2010, a series of protests and uprisings have shocked North African countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and more. In this paper, focusing mainly on the Egyptian revolution, we provide evidence of the intense edit activity occurred during these uprisings on the related Wikipedia pages. Thousands of people provided their contribution on the content pages and discussed improvements and disagreements on the associated talk pages as the traumatic events unfolded. We propose to interpret this phenomenon as a process of collective memory building and argue how on Wikipedia this can be studied empirically and quantitatively in real time. We explore and suggest possible directions for future research on collective memory formation of traumatic and controversial events in Wikipedia.
Collective memory building in Wikipedia: The case of North African uprisings
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