The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In by The Rewriting Wikipedia Project: April 26, 2013, 1-3pm EST

by Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam

rewritewikipedia

As part of the Rewriting Wikipedia Project, we will be hosting the Global Women Write-In (#GWWI) virtually on April 26, 2013 from 1-3pm EST. This globally oriented project  encourages editors to add more entries and information on women around the world to Wikipedia, since entries on individuals from these groups are often missing or neglected.

While Wikipedia has increasingly taken on the role of most commonly referenced encyclopedia, the number and length of entries on ethnic/minority and marginalized people around the world are lacking. This is arguably the result of the internalized biases and interests of most Wikipedia editors. According to the Wikimedia Wikipedia’s Editor’s Survey of 2011, “If there is a typical Wikipedia editor, he has a college degree, is 30-years-old, is computer savvy but not necessarily a programmer, doesn’t actually spend much time playing games, and lives in US or Europe.” As a result, we also aim to encourage new people to become Wikipedia editors to diversify the profile of Wikipedia editors, and we provide support for these editors and develop best practices for rewriting Wikipedia.

The Rewriting Wikipedia Project is a working group within GO:DH that works in conjunction with the Postcolonial Digital Humanities (#dhpoco) movement to increase the number of and improve existing entries on marginalized peoples and cultures. The Rewriting Wikipedia Project argues that editing Wikipedia is one of the most important projects for global activists because Wikipedia is a commonly referenced source of information riddled with incomplete or missing entries on people from marginalized groups. Yet, anyone can edit Wikipedia, so this openness represents tremendous opportunity to help shape global forms of knowledge.

The write-in will be the first of a series of events sponsored by the Rewriting Wikipedia Project addressing inequalities in Wikipedia, and it builds on the success of the #TooFEW Feminists Engage Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon in March.

How can you participate?

  1. Contribute to the list of  Wikipedia entries that we should edit or improve. Add your ideas to the working list here, or in the comments below. You can find 'stub' articles -- those that have been marked as needing further information - by searching various categories.

  2. Sign up for a Wikipedia account (we recommend using a pseudonym).

  3. Watch this video to learn just how to edit Wikipedia. Be sure to set aside some time for this video. It’s an hour long, and we recommend clicking on FLASH – it tends to play better that way. If you don’t have time to do this, join the hashtag on Twitter or our designated chatroom.

  4. Review our resources for writing Wikipedia entries that stick and our useful links.

  5. Don't want to write? Add images to feminist articles. Here is the image use policy for Wikipedia.

  6. Track our work and tweet your own using the hashtag #GWWI.

  7. Join us on Friday, April 26th from your own computer!

Expand the Project

  • Teachers – Do your students need extra credit? Can Rewriting Wikipedia become a class project?

  • Students – Are you learning about some really cool people in POC/Trans*/Queer/Women’s History who don’t have wiki pages or have pages with incorrect information? You can fix that!

  • Friends – Do you know other folks who should know about our work? Please send this link to activists, faculty or others who might be interested in participating. Everyone is welcome!

  • Organizations – Do you know organizations that have information on different communities, histories, or projects that should be added to Wikipedia?

  • Too swamped to edit right now but want to contribute? Add your idea to our list.

Additional Resources

** Credits go to Jacqueline Wernimont and Moya Bailey, Fiona Barnett and Amanda Starling Gould for some of the copy above.

**Wikipedia image remixed from original image from Octavio Rojas on Flickr. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

4 thoughts on “The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In by The Rewriting Wikipedia Project: April 26, 2013, 1-3pm EST

  1. Barbara

    I was wondering if you could expand on why you suggest using a pseudonym to edit Wikipedia (I always use my name). Also, since this work is going to be tracked, should there also be a sentence added at the end of the edited articles? Something like “This article was written/edited as part of the Rewriting Wikipedia Project” with a corresponding link to the project itself. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. Roopika Risam

      Barbara – thank you for your question. Regarding pseudonyms, we are concerned that editing Wikipedia can be a contentious process. We have advocated using pseudonyms to avoid being targeted personally and professionally for the edits that we make. However, it is a matter of personal comfort with how one’s name might be used as a result of editing. Since one of our goals is to encourage instructors to incorporate wikipedia editing into course assignments, anonymity might be ideal for students who have not yet thought through the implications of their internet presence. We love the idea of including a note about an article being edited in conjunction with the Rewriting Wikipedia Project. Thank you for that suggestion.

      Reply
  2. Barbara Bordalejo

    Hi Roopika,
    If you are willing to include notes in the rewritten/newly written articles, then perhaps you might want to let people know the wording for it. Could you post a suggested note so we all know what to include?

    Reply

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