Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Wikipedia is the most consulted source of information on the web, on a global level. The collective writing of articles, open to the participation of all, can give rise to major conflicts between contributors, in texts and debates, given the high stakes involved in achieving agreement on a public presentation of controversial topics. We present analyses of how disagreements are managed across socio-technical and dialogical spaces in French Wikipedia, with respect to two case studies, on Freud and the Turin Shroud. We adopt a mixed methods approach, combining results of analyses of interviews with moderators in these articles and argumentative discussions underlying them, within a broadly pragma-dialectical framework. We show, on one hand, that moderators’ attempts to resolve disagreements by requiring participants to cite sources simply displace conflicts to the nature of those sources, their validity, their authors and the good faith of their proponents. Debates concerning sources themselves draw on social actors’ perspectives in dialogical spaces, beyond the discussion itself. Disagreements are managed rather than resolved dialectically by displacing them to alternative socio-technical spaces, such as different sections of the text itself, or participants’ personal pages.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aakhus, Mark and Marcin Lewiński, M.
    2017 “Advancing Polylogical Analysis of Large-Scale Argumentation: Disagreement Management in the Fracking Controversy.” Argumentation311:179–207. 10.1007/s10503‑016‑9403‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-016-9403-9 [Google Scholar]
  2. Aikin, Scott F. and John P. Casey
    2022a “Argumentation and the problem of agreement”. Synthese200(2):1–23. 10.1007/s11229‑022‑03680‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-022-03680-4 [Google Scholar]
  3. 2022b “Bothsiderism”. Argumentation361: 249–268. 10.1007/s10503‑021‑09563‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-021-09563-1 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bakeman, Roger and John M. Gottman
    1997Observing Interaction: An introduction to sequential analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511527685
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527685 [Google Scholar]
  5. Baker, Michael J., Jerry Andriessen and Sanna Järvelä
    2013Affective Learning Together: social and emotional dimensions of collaborative learning. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203069684
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203069684 [Google Scholar]
  6. Baker, Michael J., Françoise Détienne and Flore Barcellini
    2017 “Argumentation and conflict management in online epistemic communities: a narrative approach to Wikipedia debates.” InInterpersonal Argumentation in Educational and Professional Contexts, ed. byFrancesco Arcidiacono and Antonio Bova, 141–157. Berlin: Springer Verlag. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑59084‑4_7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59084-4_7 [Google Scholar]
  7. Baker, Michael J., Françoise Détienne, Céline Mougenot, Tim Corvin and Miles Pennington
    2020 “Argumentation, Eureka and Emotion: An analysis of group projects in creative design training”. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction26(100436). 10.1016/j.lcsi.2020.100436
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2020.100436 [Google Scholar]
  8. Baker, Michael J., Matthieu Quignard, Kristine Lund and Marije van Amelsvoort
    2002 “Designing a computer-supported collaborative learning situation for broadening and deepening understanding of the space of debate”. InProceedings of the Fifth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA 2002), 55–61. Amsterdam: Sic Sat Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bakhtine, Mikhail
    1929/1977Le Marxisme et la Philosophie du Langage [Marxism and the Philosophy of Language]. Paris: Minuit. [Ist edition: Voloshinov, Leningrad 1929].
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Barcellini, Flore, Françoise Détienne and Jean-Marie Burkhardt
    2008 « User and developer mediation in an Open Source Software Community: boundary spanning through cross participation in online discussions.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies66(7): 558–570. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2007.10.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2007.10.008 [Google Scholar]
  11. Barth, Else. M. and Erik C. W. Krabbe
    1982From Axiom to Dialogue: A philosophical study of logics and argumentation. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110839807
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110839807 [Google Scholar]
  12. Benkler, Yochai and Helen Nissenbaum
    2006 “Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue”. Journal of Political Philosophy, 14(4): 394–419. 10.1111/j.1467‑9760.2006.00235.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9760.2006.00235.x [Google Scholar]
  13. Borra, Erik, Esther Weltevrede, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, David Laniado, Giovanni Magni, Michele Mauri, Richard Rogers and Tommaso Venturini
    2015 “Societal Controversies in Wikipedia Articles”. InProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 193–196. 10.1145/2702123.2702436
    https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702436 [Google Scholar]
  14. Clark, Herbert H. and Susan A. Brennan
    1991 “Grounding in communication”, inPerspectives on Socially Shared Cognition, eds. Lauren B. Resnick, John M. Levine, and Stephanie D. Teasley, 127–148. Washington: APA Books. 10.1037/10096‑006
    https://doi.org/10.1037/10096-006 [Google Scholar]
  15. Denis, Alexandre, Matthieu Quignard, Dominique Fréard, Françoise Détienne, Michael Baker and Flore Barcellini
    2012 “Détection de conflits dans les communautés épistémiques en ligne”. Actes de la conférence conjointe JEP-TALN-RECITAL 2012, volume21: TALN, 351–358, Grenoble: Éditions ATALA & AFCPaclweb.org/anthology/F/F12/F12-2027.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Détienne, Françoise, Flore Barcellini, Michael Baker, Jean-Marie Burkhardt and Dominique Fréard
    2012 “Online epistemic communities: theoretical and methodological directions for understanding knowledge coelaboration in new digital spaces”. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation41(1): 3511–3518. 10.3233/WOR‑2012‑1036‑3511
    https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-2012-1036-3511 [Google Scholar]
  17. Détienne, Françoise, Michael Baker, Dominqieu Fréard, Flore Barcellini, Alexandre Denis and Matthieu Quignard
    2016 « The Descent of Pluto: interactive dynamics, specialisation and reciprocity of roles in a Wikipedia debate.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies861: 11–31. 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2015.09.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2015.09.002 [Google Scholar]
  18. Doury, Marianne
    2012 “Preaching to the converted. Why argue when everyone agrees?”. Argumentation261: 99–114. 10.1007/s10503‑011‑9237‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-011-9237-4 [Google Scholar]
  19. Fuhrer, Joffrey, Florian Cova, Nicolas Gauvrit and Sebastian Dieguez
    2021 “Pseudoexpertise: A Conceptual and Theoretical Analysis”. Frontiers in Psychology121. 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.732666
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.732666 [Google Scholar]
  20. Gandica, Yérali, Fernando Sampaio dos Aidos and José Carvalho, J.
    2014 “The dynamic nature of conflict in Wikipedia”. Europhysics Letters108(1): 1–6. 10.1209/0295‑5075/108/18003
    https://doi.org/10.1209/0295-5075/108/18003 [Google Scholar]
  21. Geertz, Clifford
    1973The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Giles, Jim
    2005 “Internet encyclopaedias go head to head.” Nature4381: 900–901. 10.1038/438900a
    https://doi.org/10.1038/438900a [Google Scholar]
  23. Goldman, Alvin I.
    2001 “Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust?”. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: 63(1): 85–110. 10.2307/3071090
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3071090 [Google Scholar]
  24. Goodwin, Jean
    2007 “Argument Has No Function”. Informal Logic27(1): 69–90. 10.22329/il.v27i1.465
    https://doi.org/10.22329/il.v27i1.465 [Google Scholar]
  25. 2010 “The authority of Wikipedia”. InArgument Cultures, ed.Juho Ritola. Windsor, ONT: Proceedings of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Gould, Stephen J.
    1999Rocks of Ages: Scienc and Religion in the Fullness of Life. New York: Ballantine Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Grosz, Barbara J. and Candice L. Sidner
    1986 “Attention, intentions, and the structure of discourse.” Computational Linguistics12(3): 175–204. https://aclanthology.org/J86-3001.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Hakkarainen, Kai, Jiri Lallimo, Seppo Toikka and Hal White
    2011 “Cultivating collective expertise within innovative knowledge-practice networks.” InLearning Across Sites: New tools, infrastructures and practices, ed. BySten Ludvigsen, Andreas Lund, Ingvill Rasmussen and Roger Säljö, 69–86. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hibbert, Kathryn and Sharon Rich
    2006 “Virtual communities of practice.” InThe international handbook of virtual learning environments, ed. byJoel Weiss, Jason Nolan, Jeremy Hunsinger and Peter Trifonas: 563–579. Dordrecht: Springer. 10.1007/978‑1‑4020‑3803‑7_22
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3803-7_22 [Google Scholar]
  30. Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.
    2003 “Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction: Multiple methods for integrated understanding.” Computers & Education41(4): 397–420. 10.1016/j.compedu.2003.07.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2003.07.001 [Google Scholar]
  31. Ho-Dac, Lydia-Mai, Veronika Laippala, Céline Poudat and Ludovic Tanguy
    2016 “French Wikipedia Talk Pages: Profiling and Conflict Detection”. InProceedings of the 4th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities, Ljubljana, Slovenia. nl.ijs.si/janes/cmc-corpora2016/
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Jackson, Sally
    2015 “Design Thinking in Argumentation Theory and Practice.” Argumentation291: 243–263. 10.1007/s10503‑015‑9353‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-015-9353-7 [Google Scholar]
  33. Jhandir, M. Zeeshan, Tenvir Ali, On Byung-Won, Lee Ingyu, and Sang Choi Gyu
    2017 Controversy detection in Wikipedia using semantic dissimilarity. Information Sciences418–4191 (2017), 581–600. 10.1016/j.ins.2017.08.037
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ins.2017.08.037 [Google Scholar]
  34. Khazraie, Marzieh and Hossein Talebzadeh
    2020 ““Wikipedia does NOT tolerate your babbling!”: Impoliteness-induced conflict (resolution) in a polylogal collaborative online community of practice.” Journal of Pragmatics1631: 46–65. 10.1016/j.pragma.2020.03.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2020.03.009 [Google Scholar]
  35. Kittur, Aniket, Bongwon Suh, Bryan A. Pendleton and Ed H. Chi
    2007 “He Says, She Says: Conflict and Coordination in Wikipedia.” Proceedings of CHI 2007, 453–462. San Jose, CA: ACM. 10.1145/1240624.1240698
    https://doi.org/10.1145/1240624.1240698 [Google Scholar]
  36. Lave, Jean and Étienne Wenger
    1991Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511815355
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815355 [Google Scholar]
  37. Lewiński, Marcin
    2010 “Collective argumentative criticism in informal online discussion forums.” Argumentation and advocacy47(2): 86–105. 10.1080/00028533.2010.11821740
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00028533.2010.11821740 [Google Scholar]
  38. 2013 “Debating multiple positions in multi-party online deliberation: Sides, positions, and cases.” Journal of Argumentation in Context2(1): 151–177. 10.1075/jaic.2.1.07lew
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jaic.2.1.07lew [Google Scholar]
  39. Muller Mirza, Nathalie and Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont
    2009Argumentation and Education: Theoretical Foundations and Practices. New York: Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-0-387-98125-3
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Muntigl, Peter and William Turnbull
    1998 “Conversational structure and facework in arguing.” Journal of Pragmatics291: 225–256. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(97)00048‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(97)00048-9 [Google Scholar]
  41. Naess, Arne
    1966Communication and argument. Elements of applied semantics (English translation ofEn del elementaere logiske emner, Olso, Universitetsforlaget 1947) London: Allen and Unwin.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Plantin, Christian
    1996L’argumentation. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Schwarz, Baruch B. and Michael J. Baker
    2017Dialogue, Argumentation and Education: History, Theory and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316493960
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316493960 [Google Scholar]
  44. Suh, Bongwon, Gregorio Convertino, Ed H. Chi and Peter Pirolli
    2009 “The Singularity is Not Near: Slowing Growth of Wikipedia.” InProceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration. New York: ACM. 10.1145/1641309.1641322
    https://doi.org/10.1145/1641309.1641322 [Google Scholar]
  45. Van Eemeren, Frans H.
    2018Argumentation Theory: A Pragma-Dialectical Perspective. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-95381-6
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Van Eemeren, Frans H. and Rob Grootendorst
    1984Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions. Dordrecht-Holland: Foris. 10.1515/9783110846089
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110846089 [Google Scholar]
  47. Van Eemeren, Frans H., Rob Grootendorst, and Francesca Snoeck Henkemans
    1996Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory: A Handbook of Historical Backgrounds and Contemporary Developments. Mahwah New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Viégas, Fernanda B., Martin Wattenberg & Kushal Dave
    2004 Studying Cooperation and Conflict between authors with history flow Visualizations. Proceedings of CHI 2004, Volume6, Number1, pp. 575–582. April24–29, Vienna, Austria. ACM. 10.1145/985692.985765
    https://doi.org/10.1145/985692.985765 [Google Scholar]
  49. Yasseri, Taha, Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham and János Kertész
    2014 The most controversial topics in Wikipedia: A multilingual and geographical analysis. InFichman P., Hara N., eds. Global Wikipedia: International and cross-cultural issues in online collaboration, pp. 25–48. Lanham USA: Scarecrow Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Yasseri, Taha, Robert Sumi, András Rung, András Kornai and János Kertész
    2012 “Dynamics of Conflicts in Wikipedia.” PLoS ONE7(6): e38869. 10.1371/journal.pone.0038869
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038869 [Google Scholar]
  51. Yin, Robert K.
    2009Case Study Research Design and Methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Zenker, Frank and Shiyang Yu
    2023 “Authority Argument Schemes, Types, and Critical Questions”. Argumentation371: 25–51. 10.1007/s10503‑022‑09573‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-022-09573-7 [Google Scholar]
  53. Ziembowicz, Karolina, Roszczyńska, Magdalena, Rychwalska, Kurasińska, Agnieszka and Nowak, Andrzej
    2022 Predicting conflict-prone disputes using the structure of turn-taking: the case of Wikipedia, Information, Communication & Society, 25:13, 1987–2005. 10.1080/1369118X.2021.1924224
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2021.1924224 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error