The Wikipedia article I analyzed was for the television show American Horror Story. Not only is this one of my favorite television shows, the show is relevant and pertains to my generation, who are supposed to be on the forefront of the new-age form of collective intelligence.
One can see this television show is pertinent to both American culture and the internet from one glance at the article’s edit history. The article is edited, or attempted to be edited, almost everyday by various users. Even though Season 3 just recently ended, a lot of the the editing going on recently is about Season 4, allegedly said to be airing sometime between 2014-2015. This shows that fans of the show aren’t satisfied with solely covering what has already happened on the show within the Wikipedia article, they are already itching for something more to talk about. A user named CAWylie seems to be one of the self-selected leaders of the edit history, scolding those trying to include speculation for the future of the series.
A lot of the editing going on for the American Horror Story article pertains to giving fair credit to those who worked on the television show. Who was considered a guest star versus a recurring role of the series is an example of this. Also, CAWylie removed an edit recently due to “unneeded disambiguation. Levine has done the music for every episode.” With the series on FX turning into such a successful hit, its no surprise that the fans of the show want to give recognition to the hardworking people who helped make such a show possible.
The first thing that struck me when I looked at the edit history for this Wikipedia article were the amounts of edits being removed by an authoritative user due to “possible vandalism” by some unknown IP address. Going back through the months of edit history, a majority of the edits on the page are these possible vandalism, and the first thing I asked myself is why? Are internet users attempting to sabotage the page just because it is a popular show right now? Or are people trying to show dis contempt with the possibly controversial dark themes and violence of the show by serving as cultural vigilantes? I think these are good questions to ask and my personal opinion is that it is probably both. As Henry Jenkins states in this week’s reading, “This playful relationship to learning and knowledge is one of the things that motivates the community’s participation.” It is clear that fans of the show are motivated to keep the page vandalism free, as these attempts to defile the page are taken down quite frequently. Jenkins claims that “Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy training from individual expression onto community involvement…” The community for American Horror Story seems to be a very involved one, and doesn’t seem likely to go away anywhere in the near future.
Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Tell Us About The New Media Literacies (Part One).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 26 June 2007. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab.html> (Part Two): <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/06/what_wikipedia_can_teach_us_ab_1.html>
“American Horror Story” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc. 12 February 2014. Web. 15 February 2014