How long will we remember the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared back in 2014? About 45 years, say scientists who used Wikipedia page views to develop a new way of studying our collective memory (the memory we share as a society).
For a study published today in the journal Science Advances, researchers analyzed Wikipedia page views to monitor how frequently people visit topic pages after a news event. In this specific study, the team collected page views of airplane crashes from 2008 to 2016 and labeled these “current events.” Then, they collected the same information on all plane crashes from before 2008 and labeled them “past events.” Analyzing the relationship between the two sets of data shows how different topics are related to each other. The researchers found that terrible current events can help keep past events alive, because people reading about the current event follow links to learn about something from years ago. [Read more here...]
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