Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

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

by Patt Morrison

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales speaks during 'Wikimania 2012' international Wikimedia conference July 12, 2012 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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.


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?


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

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