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Women and Wikipedia: the world is watching.

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By Gamaliel
Andrew Lih at WikiConference USA

You may think of Wikipedia as some kind of libertarian techno-utopia that is immune to outside forces, but Wikipedia exists only because the world allows it to exist. It is supported by funding and donations, by academic research, and by its prominence in Google search results. At WikiConference USA two weeks ago, Andrew Lih asked "Where will Wikipedia be in another 15 years?" and warned that we could easily go the way of any number of other failed web projects. Its failure to deal with misogynistic harassment and systemic bias issues could be a contributor to its collapse. Something dramatic could happen, like Richard Branson putting Jimmy Wales in charge of a new billion-dollar web encyclopedia. More likely, it will go out not with a bang but with a whimper, slowly and incrementally, perhaps as the funding shrinks or Google drops the search engine prominence of what it perceives to be a misogynistic cesspool. Historians will look back on this as the turning point, and as old men (as we are, after all, mostly men) we will wonder whatever happened to that fun project where we used to spend so much of our time.

Maybe you don't care. A lot of us came here from other web projects and might disperse into new projects if Wikipedia fails. But if you do care, you will only have to do one thing: get out of the way. Stop interrupting every conversation about these issues by attempting to minimize them with your mansplaining. Stop disrupting every attempt to enforce the few rules that we do have and harassing the people attempting to enforce them. Stop objecting to every attempt to build new policies and structures to grapple with these problems. If you are in a position of community trust, such as an administrator, functionary, or arbitrator, resign.

If you do this, we'll fix the problem for you and preserve your sandbox for as long as you want to play in it. You will find to your surprise that little will change for you on Wikipedia. You will have to do a lot less mansplaining and be a lot less belligerent, but you'll still be able to work on encyclopedia content otherwise unmolested. No matter how good you think your content creation and other contributions are, if you’re unable to cope emotionally with diversity, you put at risk the survival of your work beyond the short term.

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Thank you!--Nattes à chat (talk) 22:21, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

An editor is banned for harassment and it attracts a small encyclopedia's worth of comment. One of Wikipedia's most shameful failings is detailed and it attracts two words worth of comment. Oh my aching head. Gog the Mild (talk) 12:07, 6 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • @GoodDay: It's easier said than done. Although there is consensus to have gender-neutral language across the main space, there is no restrictions on users' identification. I supposed it's a reflection of our real world - people just cannot exist without having a gender identity. Having a genderless society is a utopia. THE NEW ImmortalWizard(chat) 20:29, 10 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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