January 23, 2022

Conference Paper: “Black Lives Matter in Wikipedia: Collaboration and Collective Memory around Online Social Movements”

The following paper was recently shared on arXiv.


Black Lives Matter in Wikipedia: Collaboration and Collective Memory around Online Social Movements


Marlon Twyman
Northwestern University

Brian C. Keegan
Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

Aaron Shaw
Northwestern University


via arXiv
To be Presented at: CSCW ’17, February 25 – March 01, 2017, Portland, OR


Social movements use social computing systems to complement offline mobilizations, but prior literature has focused almost exclusively on movement actors’ use of social media.

In this paper, we analyze participation and attention to topics connected with the Black Lives Matter movement in the English language version of Wikipedia between 2014 and 2016.

Our results point to the use of Wikipedia to (1) intensively document and connect historical and contemporary events, (2) collaboratively migrate activity to support coverag of new events, and (3) dynamically re-appraise preexisting knowledge in the aftermath of new events. These findings reveal patterns of behavior that complement theories of collective memory and collective action and help explain how social computing systems can encode and retrieve knowledge about social movements as they unfold.

Direct to Full Text Paper (13 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.