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2023:Program/Equity and Community Health/3RESHM-What I learned from studying Wikipedia bias for 18 years

From Wikimania

Title: What I learned from studying Wikipedia bias for 18 years


Heather Ford

Heather Ford is a writer, researcher and thinker of internet technologies. Her key work has been for Creative Commons as co-founder of Creative Commons South Africa and Wikipedia in her book about how Wikipedians wrote the story of the 2011 Egyptian revolution (“Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age” MIT Press). She is the co-founder of a number of digital activist and community groups including Creative Commons South Africa, ethnographymatters.net, InfoCamp and OxDEG (the Oxford Digital Ethnography Group) and she has worked as a Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford University, as a Google Policy Fellow, a Fellow for the Software Sustainability Institute in the UK and a University Academic Fellow in Digital Methods at Leeds University.

Pretalx link

Etherpad link

Room: Room 307

Start time: Thu, 17 Aug 2023 14:15:00 +0800

End time: Thu, 17 Aug 2023 14:45:00 +0800

Type: No (pretalx) session type id specified

Track: Equity, Inclusion, and Community Health

Submission state: confirmed

Duration: 30 minutes

Do not record: true

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

In this session, I’ll talk about my experience first working to advocate for Wikipedia in South Africa from around 2005 until I started researching Wikipedia bias as a Master’s and then PhD student from 2009. I’ll cover what I learned about the shape and source of Wikipedia’s biases and why bias may not be the best frame for thinking about Wikipedia’s ultimate goals and challenges.

Description[edit source]

The aim of this session is to talk about Wikipedia research over the past two decades specifically in relation to bias. In it, I’ll cover my own experience and motivations for starting research on Wikipedia (as a previous open content activist) and the main trends in research on Wikipedia bias. I’ll end the session with an argument about why bias isn’t the best frame for thinking about Wikipedia’s goals and challenges, and how we might broaden that frame in thinking strategically about Wikipedia as a global knowledge project.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

The session is specifically about the history of thinking about Wikimedia’s diversity goals and the extent to which progress towards them has been adequately measured, as well as how research might better serve Wikimedia projects.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Empty Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Tick Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand