Submissions/Big in Japan: Combating Systemic Bias Through Mobile Editing

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 1014
Title of the submission
Big in Japan: Combating Systemic Bias Through Mobile Editing
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Oliver Keyes
E-mail address
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation, although most of this research is being done in my spare time.
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Systemic Bias is recognised by the volunteer community, the overall movement and the outside world as a problem with Wikipedia's content. The subject areas in which we're weak or strong are inherently dependent on the interests of the people who contribute to the projects, which makes a broad base of contributors - and, hopefully, a corresponding broad base of contributions - important.

Traditionally, the Wikimedia projects have primarily been contributed to by people from the developed world, particularly men. At the same time, these contributions have primarily come from people using laptops and desktops from relatively static locations at relatively static times.

With the development of the mobile web and the work to make mobile editing a reality, we have a completely new way for people to contribute, one that features substantial differences in when and where it can be used. Editing has traditionally been a static activity, for a user's time at home or at work. With mobile editing, contributions can be made on the train, walking or waiting around, or in the pub (although the jury is still out on whether drunk people editing is actually a positive thing). Editing has also traditionally been an activity for people who can afford laptops and desktops - primarily the developed world. With mobile editing, contributions can be made by anyone who can purchase a cheap Android device - a far lower bar.

This presentation discusses the development of mobile editing as a conduit for new contributions and contributors, demographic differences between desktop and mobile contributors, and the potential for mobile to help solve for systemic bias. In particular, it investigates mobile editing's role in enabling contributors from geographic regions where we've historically been weak, and looks at the variation in subject areas for desktop versus mobile contributions and contributors.

This presentation contains science, sociology and dinosaurs.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Probably; not down to me ;).
Slides or further information (optional)
None yet, but I'll try to throw up a link to my dataset and code when I've finished it.
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. --Netha Hussain (talk) 13:34, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Steven (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Rsrikanth05 (talk) 14:31, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --Iopensa (talk) 17:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. GorillaWarfare (talk) 21:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Foxj (talk) 21:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 21:14, 7 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Tom Waits or Alphaville? That is the question. SarahStierch (talk) 00:12, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Quiddity (talk) 19:03, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Dinosaurs! the wub "?!" 22:38, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. -Elitre (talk) 12:25, 20 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Halfak (WMF) (talk) 22:37, 20 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Sdivad (talk) 16:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Your name here