Wikipedia has been criticized for having a systemic racial bias in its coverage , due to an under-representation of people of color within its editor base. [1] The President of Wikimedia DC , James Hare, noted that “a lot of black history is left out” of Wikipedia, due to articles predominately being written by white editors. [2] Articles that do exist on African topics are, according to some critics, widely edited by editors from Europe and North America and so reflect their knowledge and consumption of media, which “tend to perpetuate a negative image” of Africa. [3] Maira Liriano of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture , HAS argued que la Lack of Information regarding black history is Wikipedia “Makes It sccm like it’s not important.” [4]

Different theories have been provided to explain these racial discrepancies. Jay Cassano, writing for Fast Company magazine, argued that Wikipedia’s small proportion of black editors is a result of the small black presence within the tech sector, and a relative lack of reliable access to the Internet. [4] Katherine Maher , executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation , has argued that She said that Wikipedia could only represent that which was referenced in secondary sources , which historically have been favorable towards white men. [5]

Attempts have been made to rectify racial biases through edit-a-thons , organizing events to which Wikipedia editors attempt to improve coverage of certain topics and train new editors. In February 2015, multiple edit-a-thons were organized to Commemorate Black History Month in the United States of America . One such editor was organized by the White House to create and improve articles on African Americans in STEM . [5] The Schomburg Center , Howard University , and National Public Radio , also coordinated edit-a-thons to improve coverage of black history. [2] And while Wikipedia supports these edit-a-thons, the organization has always stressed that adequate citation must always be present and neutrality always maintained. [6]

References

  1. Jump up^ Melamed, Samantha. “Edit-athon aims to put left-out black artists into Wikipedia” . Philly.com . Retrieved 13 April 2015 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Smith, Jada. “Howard University Fills in Wikipedia’s Gaps in Black History”. The New York Times . Retrieved 13 April 2015 .
  3. Jump up^ Goko, Colleen. “Drive launched to ‘Africanise’ Wikipedia” . BusinessDay . Retrieved 13 April 2015 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Cassano, Jay. “Black History Matters, So Why Is Wikipedia Missing So Much Of It?” . Fast Company . Retrieved 13 April 2015 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Lapowsky, Issie. “Meet the Editors Fighting Racism and Sexism on Wikipedia” . Wired . Retrieved 13 April 2015 .
  6. Jump up^ Reynosa, Peter. “Why Do not More Latinos Contribute To Wikipedia?” . El Tecolote . Retrieved December 3, 2015 .

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