Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Editing wikipedia

Fewer than 15% of contributors to Wikipedia are women (New York Times link). Wikipedia wish to increase this* - with a modest but possibly unachievable goal of 25%.
Wikipedia shares many characteristics with the hard-driving hacker crowd, says Joseph Reagle, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. This includes an ideology that resists any efforts to impose rules or even goals like diversity, as well as a culture that may discourage women.

“It is ironic,” he said, “because I like these things — freedom, openness, egalitarian ideas — but I think to some extent they are compounding and hiding problems you might find in the real world.”

Adopting openness means being “open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,” he said, “so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.”
I have contributed a tiny little bit to Wikipedia, mainly tiny corrections as I go, but I always imagine whatever I add will be deleted anyway. That's what people tell me about wikipedia - that the articles are dominated by aggressive in-groups.

Perhaps I should just try to be more active, and see what happens.

ETA metafilter discussion on this topic

* I should rather say of course that 'some people central to wikipedia wish to increase this' - wikipedia doesn't have wishes
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