Who Wrote That reveals authorship information on Wikipedia

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 31, 2022
Updated • Jul 31, 2022
Firefox add-ons, Google Chrome extensions

Who Wrote That? is a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox and Chromium-based browsers, such as Google Chrome, that provides you with authorship information on Wikipedia.

wikipedia who wrote that

Most articles on Wikipedia are free to edit. While that makes the editing process comfortable, it may also lead to texts on the site that are biased or factually wrong. Sometimes, you may want to know who wrote an article, or part of it, to help in your judgement. Wikipedia editors may also use authorship data for moderation on the site.

The information is already available on Wikipedia, but it is not well presented and it takes time to go through it.

Who Wrote That? is powered by WikiWho, a platform that parses texts to reveal " who wrote and/or removed and/or reinserted which exact text at token level at what revision".

The extension is compatible with most modern browsers. It requests access to the site's it supports, but no more than that. Currently, Who Wrote That? works on the English, German, Turkish, Spanish and Basque Wikipedia articles.

A click on the "Who Wrote That" sidebar link opens the main interface. The extension pulls data from WikiWho when it is opened. Once done, you may hover over text to get information about the author.

Popular articles may have dozens or even hundreds of authors, while less popular ones may have one or a handful of authors only.

who wrote that

Most authors are displayed with their username and the time of the edit. There may also be a reason for the edit, and information on how much the author has contributed to that particular article.

Links are provided to look up an author, open the author's talk page, which allows you to read messages and comments, and the contributions page, which lists all of the author's contributions chronologically.

Who Wrote That? is closed automatically when you navigate away. You need to open the interface again, when a new article is loaded in the browser.

Closing Words

Who Wrote That? is a handy browser extension for Firefox and Chromium-based browsers that gives you quick information about authors on Wikipedia. While mostly useful for site editors, using the extension may help others in judging the quality of an article.

Now You: do you use Wikipedia?

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Author Rating
5 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Who Wrote That?
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  1. Lucifer said on September 12, 2022 at 12:39 am

    And if you started by reading the warnings on Wikipedia !
    The reliability of the thing, we can have doubts !

    It’s a factory for Trolls, communication companies and secret services !


    – « Wikipedia makes no guarantee of validity »
    – « Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here »
    – « however, no warranty whatsoever is made that any of the articles are accurate. »
    – « The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by non-professionals. »

    The disclaimers I adore :
    – « Use wikipedia at your own risk »
    Clearly, we can die using Wikipedia ; that’s great !

    – « Please be aware that any information you may find in Wikipedia may be inaccurate, misleading, dangerous, unethical, or illegal. »
    – « All information found on the site is without any implied warranty of fitness for any purpose or use whatsoever. »

    This one is a masterpiece all by itself :
    – « None of the authors, contributors, administrators, vandals, or anyone else connected with Wikipedia, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in or linked from these web pages. »

    Vandals are linked to Wikipedia ; our friends the vandals !

    – « Do not rely upon any information found in Wikipedia without independent verification. »

    It’s like being a lawyer and summoning as a moral witness : Trump Donald !

  2. Rolls-eyes said on August 1, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    @Paul(us), in a couple of articles your comments on spelling include the word “wrought”. It’s “wrote”, if you want to be so pedantinc.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 1, 2022 at 8:27 pm

      Pedantic or simply “tatillon” as we say in French, which the dictionary translates to “fussy, finicky, particular, painstaking, meticulous… punctilious” : no idea what to chose, I ignore the nuances among those English words.

      Otherwise I do agree that whatever the reason, the reason should be applied to ourselves as well :=) On the other hand spotting mistakes others than ours is maybe relevant of those who don’t consider themselves to be the center of their interests!

      I ask the jury to be lenient with my client, M. Paul(us).

  3. David said on July 31, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    This doesn’t work for me on either Firefox or Chrome.

  4. Henk said on July 31, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Very often, if someone comes up with a browser extension aimed at one specific website, it indicates a real shortcoming in that website’s design. It’s no different this time. The Wikipedia people should take notice and better integrate this functionality in the site itself.

  5. Tom Hawack said on July 31, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    I do call upon Wikipedia articles quite extensively, Wikipedia mainly but also the other Wikimedia projects [https://www.wikimedia.org/].

    I prefer their mobile pages because they display only the substantial content, and the rendering is extra-fast. Rather than using the REDIRECTOR Firefox extension to redirect Wikimedia to their mobile display I now use the ‘User-Agent Switcher’ extension and set the User-Agent for these sites to ‘iOS / Firefox’ which forces these pages to open in their mobile display.

    Side-note : latest user-agents : [https://www.whatismybrowser.com/guides/the-latest-user-agent/]

    Regarding this apparently most valuable ‘Who Wrote That?’ extension, the article states that it is accessible via the Wikipedia’s article sidebar. The sidebar is not available on Wikimedia mobile pages, unfortunately.

    The article states as well that “The information [authorship]is already available on Wikipedia, but it is not well presented and it takes time to go through it.”. I ignored that. How is this done? Thanks :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 31, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      Tom, just select “view history” from the top menu. Not sure if it is also available on the mobile site. You will notice that the data is not really well presented.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 31, 2022 at 4:28 pm

        Martin, no ‘view history’ on Wikipedia mobile pages, indeed. In the pros and cons of standard vs. mobile Wikipedia pages, that’ll be a -1 for mobile of course.

        WikiWho does offer a “WhoColor userscript for the Tamper-/Greasemonkey browser extensions [https://www.wikiwho.net/], using live data from the WhoColor API” with documentation at [https://f-squared.org/whovisual/#color]. I assume it works on mobile pages but not sure. I might try it later on.

        Anyway, extension or not, userscript or not, the article will have initiated thoughts on the Wikipedia authorship, most interesting when we know that some articles slip from honest editing to subjective advocating, before and after Wikipedia moderation.

      2. Shiva said on July 31, 2022 at 6:54 pm

        Thanks, Tom.
        I installed the script. Wikipedia may be sometimes a good place to start, but not the ultimate destination. This script seems useful to me to flush out where some paragraph that leaves some doubts comes from.
        It also works well, you can start from the author or the text. Although for now I have to settle with en.wikipedia.

      3. Tom Hawack said on July 31, 2022 at 7:55 pm

        @Shiva, glad the script works nice for you.

        I just had a look at it (install aborted) and it doesn’t include the mobile pages :
        // @include /^http(s?):\/\/(en|es|eu|de|tr).wikipedia.org\/(.+)/

        I prefer scripts to extensions when they perform as well.
        WhoWrote, the concept, isn’t fit for my capacities given I wouldn’t really know what to do with the provided information. I believe it is most valuable for article editors and/or for information investigators so to say.
        This lack of mine remains nevertheless somewhat compensated by the fact I never believe or suspect whatever information : in this regard notorious fakes are by themselves information… on falsification.

        Wikimedia and its most famous project, Wikipedia, are invaluable but truth is never in the hands of one alone (hence the Wikipedia Free concept: free to consult & free to edit), nor in the hands of a multitude : neither autocracy nor democracy hold an hypothetical universal truth, an honest autocrat can enlighten truth and a dishonest multitude hide it (and vice-versa). Democracy allows the best for anyone and the worst for everyone : that’s life. At the end it’s always an individual’s honesty that leads or controls the band. I guess the point is to never follow the band, yet neither to discriminate it.

        So I’ll agree with you : “Wikipedia may be sometimes a good place to start, but not the ultimate destination.”. Is there any ultimate destination by the way? I’d rather say “not the only destination” and emphasize on the requirement for as many sources as we can get, read, discuss, contradict. Then, maybe, do we get closer to truth, at the horizon.

        That was Tom’s lyricism on an early sunny and beautiful Sunday evening :=)

      4. rip said on July 31, 2022 at 8:20 pm

        Tom – you are waxing very prosaic today. (I think that’s positive.)

        Thanks for all of your very helpful comments on many ghacks topics. You go into quite a bit of depth and frequently take a different perspective on some.

      5. Tom Hawack said on August 1, 2022 at 12:35 am

        Side-note n+1 : I guess “ultimate destination” would not be the best slogan to promote a fabulous cruise to senior citizens, I remember a friend of mine, when we were kids, who had sent to one of our teachers who was hospitalized a word wishing her what was meant to be friendly : “Reposez en paix” … “Rest in peace”, that is. She must have laughed. But she wasn’t a senior citizen, lol.

  6. Paul(us) said on July 31, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Martin you wrought “Who Wrote That reveals authorship information on Wikpedia”
    Should that not be Wikipedia?

    Informative article by the way about a handy program.

    1. Shiva said on July 31, 2022 at 9:39 pm

      You missed out “Called Super Super Secure Mode”, but I challenge a serious person not to go crazy with these slangs.
      At the end between Super-Super and Super-Duper I watched ABBA’s Super Trouper video again noticing some new (funny) lyric videos. I must therefore thank the author for the typo.

      1. Paul(us) said on August 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm

        Thanks Shiva!

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 31, 2022 at 4:01 pm

      Of course, thank you very much!

      1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2022 at 7:52 pm

        Mr. Brinkmann has an excellent command of the English language. It’s even more impressive since he is not from an English speaking country.

    3. spleechekcs-speelchecks said on July 31, 2022 at 3:49 pm


      That the daily bread on GHacks, no spellcheckers and no proofreading, the authors are hardcore and who cares about spelling.

      1. Paul(us) said on August 1, 2022 at 12:17 pm

        @spleechekcs-speelchecs, I do!
        And somebody with a @ name like you for sure cares about spellcheck and proofreading mistakes. :-)

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