"Anonymous calling": The WikiScanner scandals and anonymity on the Japanese Wikipedia

Omri Reis


The Wikiscanner tool, which traced the origin of edits on Wikipedia, stirred media scandals throughout the world. Relying on a “trace ethnography” method, following the discussion on Wikipedia articles, this article deals with the Japanese edition reaction to the scandals. I argue that this reaction represents a unique form of online publicity that facilitates anonymous normative discussion. In addition, by contextualizing the reaction to the historical and cultural conditions of the Japanese Web, the article contends that Wikipedia enables a rare model of anonymous public debate which bridges earlier Japanese conceptions of anonymity and publicity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i12.9184

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