Submissions:2021/Wikimedia reducing major conflicts

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2021.


Wikimedia reducing major conflicts


Global & Local, Relationship Building & Support, Inclusion & Diversity

Type of session:



Wikipedia is acknowledge as being one of the few places where people with very different perspectives collaborate to produce a narrative that all can more or less live with.

How can we use this to reduce destructive conflict between Wikipedia editors and between different groups in the totality of humanity?

The background for this talk includes a discussion of 8 different presentations at Wikimania 2021 that discussed either (a) Managing conflicts in Wikipedia, (b) Problems with biased editing, (c) Broadening media coverage of societal conflicts, or (d) New law regarding "terrorism". We also discuss research into what seems to be driving the increase in political polarization seen in many different countries around the world since 2004, when Facebook was founded.

We then ask participants to discuss the following: (1) What groups can we work with to encourage more people to edit Wikipedia and use Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata and Wikiversity to improve the quality of information available to all, especially about major conflicts? (2) How can we approach groups to organize, e.g., Edit-a-thons and encourage them to hire Wikimedians in Residence? (3) What might participants consider doing to help connect with other organizations concerned with major conflicts and encourage them to work with Wikimedia Foundation projects to (3.1) help each side in a conflict understand their opposition while also (3.2) improving the quality of information available about all major parties to a conflict?

For example, Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedia Chile, and Wikimedia Columbia organized edit-a-thons that taught people how to upload photographs to Wikimedia Commons, how to edit and create Wikipedia articles and how to use Wikidata. In doing this they successfully recruited hundreds of new editors who made thousands of contributions that generated tens of thousands of views. In this way they succeeded in broadening the perspectives available to the public on major pro-democracy demonstrations that occurred in those three countries recently.

Other examples might include any organization that might share these concerns, e.g., PeaceWorks Kansas City ( and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)


"Managing conflict on Wikipedia and internationally": This summarizes 8 presentations on conflict at Wikimania 2021 and makes suggestions to support this workshop.

"International Conflict Observatory": This reviews literature on major conflict and makes recommendations including encouraging organizations doing research or advocacy on conflict to hire Wikimedians in Residence to do things like the topic of this workshop. It was the basis for a presentation at the 895th Military Operations Research Society Symposium in June of this year.


1. Draft slides for this presentation are available at:

Anyone with this link should be able to view them.

2. We would happily present on this topic in Spanish as well as English. Spanish is the primary tongue of Ferrante. Graves has an advanced knowledge of Spanish, having taught classes and published a book and articles written directly in that language.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Spencer Graves & Luisina Ferrante, WMAR

E-mail address:;

Wikimedia username:

DavidMCEddy (WikiConference User:LauraEckenberg)

Affiliated organization(s): (and Wikimedia Argentina?)

Estimated time:


Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

No. (Some of the ideas in this talk were mentioned in a talk I gave at the 89th Military Operations Research Society Symposium, 2021-06-23, based on the Wikiversity article on "International Conflict Observatory".)

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)