How can we advance human understanding on the internet when so many people are left out of the conversation? And what can we do to change that?
For African societies, information on Wikipedia about history, place, and culture is mostly created by people living elsewhere. Last time researchers measured, they found that 3/10ths of a percent of Wikipedia’s information comes from African sources. These gaps in information and participation on Wikipedia can mislead the world and cause readers to miss out on African life.
To change how Wikipedia sees Africa, we need to increase participation from African contributors. That’s the goal of our community partner WikiLovesAfrica (WLA), an annual photography competition. In 2020, we worked with WLA to test ideas for increasing contributions of photographs to Wikipedia from African contributors.
Links and Resources
- Study Results: Changing How Wikipedia Represents Africa With Photo Recruitment Campaigns (Citizens and Technology Lab) August 2020.
- Study materials:
- Matias, J.N., Devouard, F., Kamin, J., Klein, M., Pennington, E. (2020) Pre-print: Broadening African Self-Representation on Wikipedia: A Field Experiment. Open Science Framework
- Experiment Plan: Discovering the Motivations for Contributing to Public Goods on Wikipedia
- Meta page on Wikipedia: WikiLovesAfrica Recruitment 2020