Blog Post

#tooFEW - Feminists Engage Wikipedia

#tooFEW - Feminists Engage Wikipedia

Help us storm Wikipedia! 

We've all had the experience of reading a page on Wikipedia and thinking, "Huh? That's not right? How could they say that about this person / that project / this moment in history?" Wikipedia is not a magical machine that pulls information from various sources and aggregates the data. It's edited. By people. And less than 15% of those people are women. And many folks do not think that's a problem - when we first announced this project, there was some hateful pushback - read more at Moya Bailey's blog.

To encourage better entries by (and on) feminists and people of color, we're organizing an event with several in-person locations, and a virtual component. We encourage all feminists to join this event on Friday, March 15!

This event is part of the celebration of Women’s History Month and WikiWomen’s History Month. We don't expect that the scales will shift overnight, but if we begin learning how to join Wikipedia, edit various pages, and form alliances amongst ourselves, we can help build a better Wiki for the benefit of all. 

Because we need more Feminists Engaging Wikipedia, our project is called #tooFEW.

If you can't physically attend to one of the edit-a-thon parties, please consider just jumping in, editing entries and following on the Twitter conversations using the hashtag: #tooFEW. (You could also organize a small pod of local folks in your own area!)

We will be live editing wikipedia on Friday, March 15th from 11am - 3pm EST.

 

How to get involved in the #tooFEW Edit-a-Thon:

1. Generate Wikipedia entries that we should edit or improve. Add your ideas to the working list here, or in the comments below. You can find 'stub' articles -- those which have been marked as needing further information -- by searching various categories. Here are the subs marked in feminism

2. Sign up for a wikipedia account (we recommend using a pseudonym.)

3. Watch this video to learn just how to edit Wikipedia. Be sure to set aside some time for this video, it’s an hour long, and we recommend clicking on FLASH – it tends to play better that way. (Although, we will provide editing help at the edit-a-thon, if you don’t have time to do this.)

4. Don't want to write? Add images to feminist articles. Here is the image use policy for Wikipedia.

4. Track and tweet the hashdag #tooFEW

5. Join us on Friday, March 15th from your own computer!

 

Or - Join us in person at:

1) THATCampFeminisms West: We will be working in person (at Honnold-Mudd Library in Claremont) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST. 

2) THATCampFeminisms South: Join us in person at Emory University Library – Jones Room, 3rd Floor Friday March 15  11am -3pm EST

3) Duke University: We will be working in person at the Franklin Humanities Insititute Conference Room, Bay 4, C-107, Smith Warehouse from 1pm-3pm.The event is sponsored by HASTAC and the Duke PhD lab. Anyone in the local area is encouraged to attend.

4) JustPublics@365 at the Graduate Center of CUNY. 11am-3pm EST. 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 6304.01. Anyone welcome - just need a photo ID for entrance to the building.

  

Expand the project:

 

  • Students – Do they need extra credit? Can this be a class project? Are you learning about some really cool people in POC/Trans*/Queer/Women’s History that don’t have wiki pages or have pages with bad information? You can fix it!
  • Friends – Do you know other folks who should know about this? Please spread this information to activists you know, faculty, etc. Everyone is welcome!
  • Organizations – These edit-a-thons work best with lots of folks working on specific things. Do you know organizations who have information on different communities, histories, projects who should be added to Wikipedia?
  • Too swamped and don’t want to login to Wikipedia but would like to contribute? Add your idea to this Google doc.

Further info on Women in Wikipedia:

 

 

 

 

We look forward to seeing you on Wikipedia and the hashtag #tooFEW!

** Credits go to Jacqueline Wernimont and Moya Bailey, Adeline Koh and Amanda Starling Gould for some of the copy and images above!

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4 comments

I am excited for Duke's Friday edit-a-thon FHI-sit-in. I've read that Twitter bots are undoing many of the #toofew type edits. Does this have anything to do with the editor's name/pseudonym? Should we be careful of the (fake) names we use create an account? Any advice?

asg

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It's not just #tooFEW articles. Many new articles are deleted for a variety of reasons, including them not being linked to by other articles or not following the (multitude of somewhat complicated) rules. 

For example, here are some of the major rules and guidelines. 

Some of our edits will be removed, and some of the articles will be deleted. From my perspective, the goal isn't necessarily that 100% of our work will remain -- though that would be nice -- it's to get more feminist editors registered, and for us to begin to learn how to edit. It will set the stage for further engagements down the road. 

As for user account names, I don't think that's the problem. You're encouraged to NOT use your real name:

Use of a real name allows contributions to be more easily traced to an individual. This may make a contributor more vulnerable to issues such as harassment, both on and off Wikipedia. You should consider the benefits and drawbacks of making substantial contributions under your real name before doing so, especially if you plan on editing or discussing potentially controversial subjects in Wikipedia articles or on any of the associated project or talk pages. While it is possible to rename accounts (see Changing your username below), a record of the previous name will still exist.

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The following is some more advice from David Golumbia:

"material on women & wikipedia:

probably the most important page: gender gap from Wikimedia foundation, with many links & ideas including a mailing list:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gender_gap
 

proposals for more female editors:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proposals_for_more_female_editors

general material on how to ensure articles aren't deleted/respond if articles are nominated for deletion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Help,_my_article_got_nominated_for_deletion!
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction_to_deletion_process


some overall tips on how to contribute for maximum chance of contributions persisting over time:
 
the "missing manual" is really excellent for staving off proactive deletion and changes. it's huge. 
in general, the best way to ensure articles stick around is to pick from the automatically generated lists of "most requested articles" (non-existent articles with many internal links in Wikipedia already), such as this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Most_wanted_articles
 
this is because one of the main criteria for keeping articles is having other articles that link to them. so the more that one can build a scaffolding of articles referring out to other articles, the better the chances of new material staying in.

I also suggest, for new editors but also for everyone (I regularly do it and have for years), especially for experienced writers, doing very minor grammatical and word choice cleanup on non-controversial articles. this helps establish a reputation as a "good faith" member of the community and tends, if you get involved in controversies, to help your input be taken more seriously. and many if not most Wikipedia pages can use the work."
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Considering the vast majority of Wikipedia’s editing is performed by its wikibots, let's collaboratively create a speculative #toofew FemWikiBot that could, theoretically, continue forward into the future the work we begin here today.

Join me March 15, 2013 on the #toofew FemWikiBot GoogleDoc, @stargould, or at Duke’s #toofew edit-a-thon FHI event to think through the thought experiment of #toofew FemWikiBot.

HASTAC link here: #toofew FemHack: #toofew FemWikiBot

Amanda Starling Gould

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