How Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown Demonstrates Wikipedia’s Woman Problem


According to Wikipedia’s 2011 Editor Survey, just 9 percent of Wiki editors are women. While the gender gap is better than it was—in the early ‘00s, it was more like 3 percent—and the proportion of new editors who are women is rising, the site remains a boys’ club.

During yesterday’s opening session of Wikimania—the annual Wikimedia confab, held this year in Washington, D.C.—co-founder Jimmy Wales took a question from the audience about the persistent gender gap. One contributing factor, he said, was topic bias. A pillar of Wikipedia is that a subject must meet a level of import to warrant an article. But the community’s geek-colored glasses mean that they may overestimate the value of some articles and underestimate that of others.

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