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Calling All Feminists: It’s Time to Edit Wikipedia

Posted on Aug 24, 2013
giulia.forsythe (CC BY 2.0)

A drawing illustrates the need for collaboration on Wikipedia.

It’s no secret the online encyclopedia has a shortage of female editors. Founder Jimmy Wales said 87 percent of the site’s editors are men, and his staff acknowledged that this fact has slanted the content. In response, FemTechNet has started a project in which it urges “feminists, academics, and activists to contribute to Wikipedia and help revolutionize its culture.”

Mother Jones tells us more about this enterprise:

“Storming Wikipedia,” a project of the feminist organization FemTechNet and an assignment given to students participating in FemTechNet’s new online course, is designed to fix this imbalance. During these exercises students edit Wikipedia en masse, “with the goal being to collaboratively write feminist thinking into the site,” says Alexandra Juhasz, professor of media studies at California’s Pitzer College and one of the course facilitators.

...According to Inside Higher Ed, “students will be given lists of women who have played key roles in science and technology,” and will tweak articles to acknowledge their contributions.

FemTechNet is also distributing a curriculum for a course titled “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology.” The class will be taught by a number of professors at colleges such as Brown and Yale, and will feature videos by feminist scholars discussing technology. The organization’s aim, it seems, is to imbue this male-driven world with fresh voices, and empower women to take Wikipedia—and technology—into their own savvy hands.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi


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