Sunday, December 24, 2017

#Wikimedia - #diversity and #inclusion requires #trust

All the Wikimedia projects have their culture. Each project has its own culture and there is this overall stated ambition that diversity and the inclusion that is needed to make it work is alive and well.

We have our diversity conferences and the best result is how the "gender gap" is approached. It gets a lot of attention and the positive effects are noticeable. There is however more to diversity and some of the beliefs we hold so dear prevent the inclusion from those that are at the outside looking in.

One of the Wikimedia traditions is that we do not trust; trust is in the citations, the sources. We do not trust each other, why should we? When for diversities sake, people who receive the "Harriƫt Freezerring" are added, it is accepted because there is a Wikipedia article that mentions them.. But when people are added because they are "artists from the African diaspora" there is a problem. There are no articles yet and the point of adding the artists first is because Wikidata enables managing projects in multiple languages.

There are many people who are targetted for attention in Wikipedia editathons. There have been editathons in the past so there is an established track record for the Black Lunch Table. That did not bring trust, the trust needed to accept that the BLT will manage the people on the list. The trust that bare boned items will get sufficient statements eventually.

The problem with trust is that when it is not given, it can not be assumed for other, similar situations either. The trust that retractions from scientific papers will be included so that we know what Wikipedia articles are inherently wrong. Retractions are absent at this time and while I trust the people involved in the inclusion of citations, why trust at all when equally worthy causes are not trusted? Why include all these scientific papers without similar quality control?
Thanks,
       GerardM
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