Patt Morrison for July 24, 2012

How does the gender disparity among Wikipedia editors influence what you read?

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks dur

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks during 'Wikimania 2012' international Wikimedia conference July 12, 2012 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Mary Gardiner, co-founder, Ada Initiativ

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Gardiner, co-founder, Ada Initiative, speaks during the 'Wikimania 2012' international Wikimedia conference July 12, 2012 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. Wikimania is an annual gathering of editors from Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.


What’s more culturally important, Kate Middleton’s wedding gown or the most obscure of Linux distributions? For Wikipedia editors, Linux distribution wins hands down, with over 100 articles. As for the wedding dress, someone flagged it for deletion—on the day of the royal wedding itself. The entry was ultimately saved by a group of editors worried about the Wiki-community’s persistent gender gap, including Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

While plenty of female editors also scoffed at the entry, and representatives of both genders rolled their eyes over the notion that an entry on a dress could correct Wikipedia’s hormonal imbalance (only 9% of the site’s editors are female), the incident raised questions about how much influence Wikipedia’s gender gap actually has on its content.

WEIGH IN:

Are Wiki-editors with itchy keyboard fingers getting rid of pertinent content that someone of a different chromosome set would find more relevant than (for the sake of argument) Linux distributions?

Guest:

Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, a project to encourage women in the open-source community


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