Research Summary

Social media and user-generated content



In this project, Professor Piskorski, jointly with Andreea Gorbatai, examines inherent trade-offs in provision of user-generated content, using Wikipedia as a research setting. In Wikipedia, every user has the right to add material to an article, but with no explicit attribution of authorship or copyright. Subsequent users can easily delete previously written material and add their own, which allows for fast improvement in the quality of articles. However, the process also has a demoralizing effect of seeing one's own well-thought out contribution deleted, leading many of Wikipedia editors to abandon the project. The objective of this project is to identify the types of social structures that keep the editors involved even though their contributions are routinely deleted.