Those of us living in San Francisco were recently treated to the front-page headline "Wikipidiots" emblazoned on the freebie "SF Weekly" all over town. The Feb 13th article by Mary Spicuzza partly concerns the heightened "internet rage" that seems to afflict San Franciscans, but mostly focuses on "edit wars" on Wikipedia, and the difficulty of establishing the credentials, credibility, reputation, etc. of people hiding behind on-line personas.
Spicuzza reports on her attempts to track down and interview a Wikipedia user who seems to have gotten into quite a few Wiki-spats who goes by the handle "Griot". Who is this guy/gal? What makes them tick? Where do they live? Why do they write so much about the Greens? Much of the information Griot reveals about him/her-self is unverifiable, and purposely obfuscating. But Spicuzza does end up constructing a caricature of Griot--the online persona--based on digging through Wikipedia, the discussions, edit histories, and so on.
Most people aren't investigative reporters with the drive and time to do that kind of digging every time they read a possibly controversial wiki page. Wikidashboard is a tool/visualization that embeds itself into Wikipedia pages and offers a way of seeing the authors and their edit histories, and allowing drill-down on such information in a much more usable way than the standard Wikipedia interface.
As stated on the Wikidashboard page:
The idea is that if we provide social transparency and enable attribution of work to individual workers in Wikipedia, then this will eventually result in increased credibility and trust in the page content, and therefore higher levels of trust in Wikipedia.You can check Wikidashboard out here.