An Edit-A-Thon aimed at fixing the built-in gender bias vexing Wikipedia was launched recently at West Virginia University (WVU). The facilitator, Kelly Doyle, brought together several dedicated feminist research writers at the downtown library of WVU. The problem Ms. Doyle and her mentor, professor Carroll Wilkinson are addressing with this event is that, although there are some articles already on Wikipedia covering the lives and contributions of famous women, they have obvious gender bias insinuated by male writers. It is not that male writers are doing so on purpose, it is inherent in the process, being as a full 90% of Wikipedia contributors have been men under 30 years of age.
Kelly Doyle said of this event, “My position is the Wikipedia-in-residence for gender equity, so that’s what all of my events focus around, adding content about women from West Virginia and hopefully expanding that out to Appalachia. Our goal here is really to just, and my position really, is about adding content about women to Wikipedia and making that information as accurate as it can be.”
She and Doctor Wilkinson are planning to use the event on a recurring basis to author many improvements to Wikipedia that correct and improve stories about women who became famous in the state of West Virginia.
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