Submissions:2016/Ill Doctrines of Oppression: The Blindspots of Believing in the Five Pillars

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Ill Doctrines of Oppression: The Blindspots of Believing in the Five Pillars
community, outreach, education
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.
E-mail address
Adjunct Associate Professor, City University of New York
It's been said that the truth believed is a lie. Perceptions lead to beliefs and ultimately blindspots, especially in a text-based and asynchronous Wikipedia talk page interactions. Talk pages assume a view of race and gender as if we are blind to its presence. As a social media researcher who studies the unintended consequences of participatory culture for marginalized groups, it is clear that no one escapes the unintended consequences of technology and as a community. But marginalized groups experience it much more often.

While attending the March 2016 Art+Feminism edit-a-thon and panels at MoMA, I had a remarkable insight that defied my “logic” after an edit war on the “twerking” article. With face-to-face help from more experienced editors at the edit-a-thon, I had a huge insight about systemic bias as a woman of color who edits. This talk is about that and other insights after teaching and observing 25 college professors (from Hawaii to Puerto Rico) transform their perceptions of Wikipedia in a week-long intensive as well as teaching 25 students in Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies to edit “hip-hop” articles. Learning how to successfully edit and engaging with the gatekeepers helps marginalized people see how oppression socialization is socially reproduced online while at the same time learning the critical social and technological skills that stems from Wikipedia's consensus building model.

Though anyone can use, edit, and contribute to Wikipedia, if you do not conform to existing editors’ perceptions of the 5 pillars, joining the community ain't easy. The very “rules” the gatekeepers wish to uphold are paradoxically being broken by them from the perspective of the newbie. This talk complicates the ill doctrines and hidden assumptions around what is “notable” and “neutral” given the invisibility of white, patriarchal superiority socialization and the tendency to vilify anything that unveils its power to oppress others.

Length of presentation
20-30 mins--I have three case studies to share
Special schedule requests
Prefer not to be scheduled to present on 7th due to teaching schedule constraints
Preferred room size
25 - 50 due to the nature of the topic and interests in outreach and systemic bias
Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?
While I'd love to attend, if funding is not available and awarded, I won't have the means to participate.

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  1. Mozucat (talk) 16:59, 1 September 2016 (EDT)
  2. DStrassmann (talk) 10:16, 17 September 2016 (EDT)
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