Posted in Long reads

Wikipedia's Hostility to Women

Saturday 16/11/2019 18:26:27 / Latest Version

From http://www.theatlantic.com

Link to item: Wikipedia's Hostility to Women

Some female editors have been the target of harassment from their male colleagues—and the gender bias has spilled over into the site’s content, too.

Sources & References

newswire

Comments

Arun IB
Tuesday 19/11/2019 07:13:26

The title is kinda misleading. The content is worth pondering over.

Angel Gill
Sunday 17/11/2019 23:17:57

This is pretty interesting! I listened to a podcast/radio piece, I don't remember which /where I found it... about how information is racialised...I can't remember everything... part of it was about how a lot of the stuff that is written about many countries in Africa on wikipedia were actually not written about by the people who of those countries due to access to technology etc...it was also about google maps and more...

Aron of Manitoba
Sunday 17/11/2019 02:30:04

A recent article about the harassment on Wikipedia:
  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/us/wikipedia-harassment-wikimedia-foundation.html
  A long list of wikipedia-related articles from the last 5-10 years:
  https://wikipedia-health.netlify.com/links/media/#diversity-gender-imbalance
 
  The problem of wikipedia is the insider culture, that does not accept new editors easily. Many old-timers are somewhat burnt out, not really contributing, just policing; they are very hostile to newcomers. Reporting harassment coming from long-time editors more often results in the punishment of the new user, than the offender (so-called boomerang cases). There's victim blaming, bullying. The abusive long-time editors are often friends with the administrators, who volunteered to keep order. The result is an order, where long-time editors are not bound by the rules, and new editors have no voice. As such, harassment is an everyday event.
 
  The Wikimedia Foundation that owns the servers does not stand up against incivility. It leaves the enforcement to the communities, where some of the influential administrators also take part in abuse towards less influential editors. Many issues are swept under the rug, and reports of abuse are even policed and censored in some cases.
 
  This years new direction, the Wikimedia Movement 2030 targetted a more civil, diverse and welcoming community. Maybe that will bring some change with time.

Peter Zimmerman
Saturday 16/11/2019 22:22:29

Important info to reflect on. Thanks

Anne Gray
Saturday 16/11/2019 19:45:33

Headlines often suck. I was part of a task force at one point trying to assess how to make wikipedia more welcoming to new editors, especially women. For a while I was active in the article rescue squad, trying to improve articles that seemed notable but needed improvement. There was a clear tendency for articles to get nominated for deletion if the topic or the awards and publication references cited weren’t in a sphere that is typically of interest to (white) men, at least in the English Wikipedia.
 
  So we discussed how to change the culture to try being more welcoming to new editors, and they added a bunch of new help and tools to sandbox an article before posting it, and tried to make it easier to report behaviors that seemed like harassment. There is now also the feature where you can “thank” someone for making an edit — a little bit of social lift for those not doing enough/in the right areas to get barnstars or whatnot.
 
  I think at that point we already had a bad rep, but I think the practice of running local wikipedia editing workshops might be helping there. not sure. Haven’t looked at the data for a while.
 
  I do know I was invited to give a talk to my local history writer’s group about how to edit it, though.

Srid R
Saturday 16/11/2019 19:25:17

I've experienced bias in Wikipedia along the political spectrum too. The call-out culture article, for example, went from this[1] to this[2]. I was surprised that other editors let the bulk of the article get deleted instead of working towards improving it.   

> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Call-out_culture&oldid=895107398
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Call-out_culture&oldid=923934324

Luci McKean
Saturday 16/11/2019 18:55:39

Hmm. This is a 2015 article. I wonder if/how things have changed since. I would say that the efforts described to bring more women editors failing so very badly would be in support of the headline. If the organization honestly wanted more gender equity then it could be doing more (again, referring to this article but hopeful that more has occurred since 2015).

Chelsea Lee Gilbert
Saturday 16/11/2019 18:51:10

Think it means the users, comanderring nature keeps control... and if you want to keep the narrative of a page you keep it by any means including hostility to oposition. who knows... internet is complex since it's people....

Jean-F Joubert
Saturday 16/11/2019 18:34:20

Not sure if the title is accurate. The premise it appears to defend is that Wikipedia as an organisation endeavours to be hostile to women. The author appears smart and thoughtful, and the documented evidence presented appears factual.. but the headline seems wanting in the logic department.