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Expanding the Inclusivity of Wikipedia's Community
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
M. Paramo
E-mail address

There is an ongoing need to increase the amount of diverse voices within Wikipedia's ever-expanding global community. Wikipedia exists as one of the most popular websites in the world, yet its content creators, and as a consequence the articles they create, do not wholly reflect human diversity to its fullest extent. It is therefore critical to analyze this problematic reality while simultaneously considering the varying categorizations of gender, race, and sexuality, when attempting to address issues affecting community activity from underrepresented groups on Wikipedia. This analysis delineates solutions to Wikipedia's issues of representation by focusing specifically on the extrinsic channels of higher education and social media as outlets for encouraging inclusivity.

As institutions of higher education become more receptive to the usage of Wikipedia within the classroom, it is important to consider how this may increase the inclusion of voices and perspectives and alter the demographics of Wikipedia's community. The majority of universities are becoming more diverse and representative environments in which embracing one's identity, whether that be in regards to gender, race, sexuality, etc., is often ensured and regularly encouraged. In considering this, the developing relationship between Wikipedia and students in higher education can only be one that is mutually beneficial to both parties, by simultaneously ameliorating issues of representation on Wikipedia as well as enhancing the overall quality of the very content that students frequently access on the site.

Social media has a complex relationship with Wikipedia, playing an integral role in influencing content creation as well as the behaviors of community members. It is important to recognize that engaging with users of social media for the purposes of encouraging inclusivity within Wikipedia's community also exemplifies the grassroots ideology intrinsic to the site's uniqueness and success. The existence of phenomena such as "edit-a-thons" and support groups on social media platforms is a successful tactic that encourages and increases diverse voices within Wikipedia's community, whether that be in regards to feminist, queer, or other socially conscious individuals. With the immense reach that social media platforms and other online communities possess comes great potential to increase inclusion, and subsequently, diverse content on Wikipedia.

Length of presentation
15 Minutes
Special schedule requests
Cannot present October 10th.
Preferred room size
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