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Wikipedia Needs More Female Contributors

The organization hopes its upcoming conference will find ideas to bring more female editors on board.

Wikipedia Needs More Female Contributors
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When it comes to the Internet’s encyclopedia, men rule the ranks, making up 87% of Wikipedia’s contributors.

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Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales dropped that little factoid at the Wikimania conference in Hong Kong. As a result of this imbalance, the collaboratively edited encyclopedia has been looking for ways to attract more female editors and hopes its upcoming Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Berlin will bring forward ideas to diversify the organization’s user base.

“They say neutrality is the principle, but I can’t find it neutral when there are lots of articles about porn stars but articles on female authors get deleted,” Silvia Stieneker, a German editor, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not fair, and not neutral.”

It’s not just Wikipedia that skews heavily male. Despite the “Gray Lady” sobriquet, a recent analysis has found that men make up most of The New York Timesfront-page bylines. The newspaper also quotes male sources three times more than women–six times more on international affairs, four times more on politics, and even twice as much on style issues.

[Image: Flickr user Cary Bass]

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal

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