Cross posting from [cultural partners]
Begin forwarded message:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Klein,Max <kleinm(a)oclc.org>
Date: Wed, May 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Subject: [cultural-partners] Sex Ratios in Wikidata Wikipedia and Authorty
To: Wikimedia Chapters cultural partners coordination - closed list <
I wanted to share with you some data I collected about sex ratios in
Wikidata, after the so called categorygate New York times article. I wanted
to see how other languages stacked up about representing sexes in their
This is how Biography articles stack up in all languages:
See the full blog post at http://hangingtogether.org/?p=2877
Wikipedian in Residence, OCLC
Cultural-Partners mailing list
Please treat emails sent to this list as confidential.Ask senders for
permission before forwarding emails off-list.
Student of Medicine and Surgery
Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode
Blogs : *nethahussain.blogspot.com
Can you please tell me how to remove my email from this list. I originally
joined because I was interested in becoming a Wiki-woman! But I was in
denial over the amount of time I would've had to dedicate to the effort.
Thanks for your help.
All the more reason why I love free knowledge and open sharing.
An image of Angela Davis, never published until recently, now available
under an open license.
"Radical simply means 'grasping things at the root." - Angela Davis
*Museumist, open culture advocate, and Wikimedian*
It is impossible not to get upset. In my memory we worked to honor Alice
Paul. She never saw the ERA pass. (and neither have I)
It's is so soon in the history of the world that women have been able to
vote.It has not even been 100 years in the U.S.
Of course they are scared. of course they are mean. equality is terrifying
to them. so they do these kinds of things over and over and we fight back
little by little...but each day another woman steps up on
your shoulders and is carried to make an edit that changes their horridness.
it is a long slow fight.
I have been at it for years and years in the pre-Internet days and I drop
out for months at a time. Then go back. Your work, Sarah has been read by
an entire class I teach and given much heart to many young women.
Don't give up.
On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM, anna jonsson <annabarro(a)hotmail.com>wrote:
> [image: Emoji]for your good work !!
> Anna Jonsson
> Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 08:29:40 -0700
> From: sarah.stierch(a)gmail.com
> To: gendergap(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Gendergap] Topless image retention on Commons and use on enwp
> Sorry if this gets a little off topic from the actual focus of the
> subjects. I just need to personally vent and this gives me a chance (thanks
> Katherine). I assume I can't be the only one who feels this way, and it
> seems you might also.
> I totally understand the "it depresses me" situation. I got involved in
> some of the discussions about the women's foo categories only to get
> bombarded with comments when I brought up "I don't know if anyone here is
> even a woman involved, from what I know, I think I might be the only woman
> here," and then to be snapped at "How do you know I'm not a woman?" by
> someone with a male user name (Jeremy). I felt like a total fail, and
> basically left the conversation only to get comments on my talk page. I
> have officially declared I'm "burnt out" on any and all gender
> conversations, specifically triggered by the recent category situation.
> 95% if not more of the people discussing all of these things are, from
> what I believe, identifying on Wikipedia as the masculine. It's really
> troubling for me, and right now I'm at the point where I just can't fight
> it right now. I'm feeling depressed about it, hopeless, and all of the
> other fun things that go with burn out. (Funny, I didn't suffer burn out
> this severe when I was a fellow, but I did have two minor bouts of burn out
> during that year, this is by far the worst)
> I basically had to stop doing the painful nomination and arguing about
> nudity and women's images on Commons. Part of this was because it was so
> demoralizing and depressing, and the other was the repeated "You'll never
> be an admin on Commons if you keep doing this," and I always wanted to be
> an admin on Commons. The fact that I let this argument - being made by male
> Commonists - trigger me to not participate in the conversations is an
> entirely different psychological issue in itself! Oy vey.
> Gah. :(
> On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 8:08 AM, Katherine Casey <
> fluffernutter.wiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Came across this kerfuffle today. I'd love to see what more
> gendergap-focused people think about the following progression of events
> (note: the image is NSFW, but each of the links I'm providing are SFW if
> you don't click through to the image/article):
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Exhibitionism#Image_at_top_of_page<---discussion about whether to use an identifiable woman's topless photo
> on the top of an enwp article. The person raising the discussion notes
> that "*I find it hard to believe that this woman wants her picture on
> WP, and I don't think we have a right to show her because of a momentary
> indiscretion in a public place."*
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Mardi_Gras…<---Same image is nominated for deletion on Commons, with similar rationale
> - The image is kept.
> - Discussion on enwp spins off from the same issue:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BLPN#Photos_of_private_people_doing_…, splitting between one faction saying "It's legal, so it's fine" and
> another saying "It's a matter of ethics, not legality."
> Speaking personally, my takeaway from reading through this situation has
> gone through "mortification in empathy for the image subject, who was
> almost certainly drunk and unable to consent", "frustration with Commons's
> dismissive approach to the questioning of identfiable sexual images", and
> finally "realization that in all three discussions, I see *no *users who
> I know to be female. Not one. It seems quite likely that the issue of
> whether this woman's right to be protected by BLP extends to images of her
> breasts...is being discussed 100% by men."
> I don't quite know what my point is here, other than to note that to me,
> this feels very, very representative of the way women and women's issues
> are treated on WP and on Commons, even when we're supposed to be
> hyper-aware of the gendergap and its effects, and it depresses me.
> Gendergap mailing list
> *Sarah Stierch*
> *Museumist, open culture advocate, and Wikimedian*
> _______________________________________________ Gendergap mailing list
> Gendergap mailing list
Hi Theo, thank you for documenting my experience on meta, clearly a
rookie mistake on my part, I hadn't revisited that page since and just
now saw Sarah S note. I'm not giving up but I'm still figuring out the
best way/area to contribute. I'll definitely reach out for guidance in
navigating WMF :)
G. White had a good/well articulated point too, specifically the <<..
framing our response as a whole-of-organisation *technology*, *policy
and curation project *that is needed as a result of organisational
growth. >> For a global organization of this scale that’s built
primarily on people & technology, the demands on a 170-employee must
be enormous, so a holistic approach including technology, policy and
curation is sensible. I can’t speak for the technology part I have
little expertise there, but the reason I started this topic was to
make the case for the “people’s” part – specifically around
*accountability* and *representation* (women and others). This idea is
not novel, far from it, but in my sense the latter is highly
contingent on the former. it would seem this is a small part of a
larger conversation. :)
Date: Sat, 11 May 2013 09:59:33 +0530
From: Theo10011 <de10011(a)gmail.com>
To: Increasing female participation in Wikimedia projects
Subject: Re: [Gendergap] Accidental Troll Policy - beyond gender gap
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
I share some of your concerns and agree with your insightful observations.
My comments are inline-
On Sat, May 11, 2013, Sylvia Ventura <sylvia.ventura(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Theo, thank you for the thorough response. You bring up very valid
> points, specially around privacy standards across countries/continents with
> a very different political and cultural makeup. And not something likely to
> change unless supremacy over wikipedia is given to one specific entity or
> state (nah). And losing our Freedom of Speech is not up for question.
> A coupe of thoughts on the comment <<that internet itself promotes
> anonymity>> that might have been the case in the early days, but as more of
> our 'real lives' activity migrates online and replaces the physical world;
> internet has become the 'repository' of knowledge, but also goods and
> services, it's increasingly the place where 'untangle assets' get traded
> and human interactions take place
> (social/professional/commercial/financial/legal…). As we create our online
> trail, so is our personal profile. It's just a matter of time before we
> access everything about anyone with a simple email address (Google already
> pulls chunks of info from linkedin twitter, quora, etc to feed your G+ ID …
> and so does rapportive on email) It's already possible to spot the fake
> (ID) from the real.
Yes, agreed. Those are some smart observations. I generally agree with your
concerns above and also fear that as corporations get larger, our privacy,
and its value might be getting smaller. As more devices get networked
together, our digital footprint increases several folds- our phones,
televisions, PCs and the information retained in them, all converge at some
point. From a privacy stand-point, the future does seem to have a bleak
I only have a minor disagreement with the last statement. As Thomas already
pointed out, merely spotting a fake ID doesn't really have the same
limitations. The entire system is predicated on the idea that the user in
question chooses to be honest. The system is only effective for those who
choose to be bound by it. A user can choose to provide a false email
address, a false name, or a completely fictitious identity, and the only
way to discern would be to physically visit them and ask to see their
papers - which seems an even more draconian interpretation of the original
> More and more you see these "vetting" mechanisms use cross pollination of
> personal data (i.e. signing up to Airbnb to book room with your Facebook
> account or google account). As far as anonymity is concerned I think we're
> beyond the 'point of no return'. This if from a North American perspective
> of course, but Europe will soon join us with different levels of
> implementation (the trade off is always Access vs Privacy and that's a
> though sell), and so will the rest of the planet. This sounds a bit
> Orwellian and a bit depressing I agree, and that's why it is SO VERY
> important to get Wikipedia and sister projects to thrive and grow and be a
> strong space, repository of human knowledge, human history, representing *
> all* voices.
An insightful thought. We do trade ease vs. privacy more and more; perhaps
not directly related, but we do have a unified login across all projects
and languages - one login can be used automatically across all Wikimedia
projects. And now, we have an upcoming initiative whereby remaining
accounts across all projects would be unified under one login(SUL). It
would certainly promote access (which we already have), even force it, but
who knows if we might have traded something for it along the way.
Going back slightly to the original issue you mentioned about Meta. I
looked for your username across meta, and only found this mention. But
it doesn't link to a user account, instead and goes to a red-link in the
main namespace for Slv. I see Sarah also left a message on the
associated talk page without realizing that it wasn't a user talk page.
Now, working off the assumption that this was the issue your encountered,
it only means that you didn't technically create or log-in to your account
on Meta, and instead created an article perhaps. Mediawiki divides things
between namespace and a userspace (lets call it your profile - "user:<your
ID>"). The namespace is reserved for articles only, which on Meta means-
essays, policy pages, stroopwafel addiction pages, discussions pertaining
to multiple projects or languages (more or less). An admin would delete
anything that they deem doesn't fit into the description of the project,
but they hardly ever ban a user outright for that misunderstanding. Meta
community is actually pretty lax and gives more leeway for new users.
The biggest difference between a friendly and a new environment, is
familiarity with other users. Interacting with other users and admins makes
a great deal of difference for new users. I would suggest that you don't
abandon Meta yet, and consider engaging again. As far as Meta goes, if you
ever have any issues or queries, please feel free to leave a message on my
talk page there , I would do my utmost to help when I can.
There's a new let's-do-stuff-together group working to promote free
software and free culture among women in India. Feel free to check out
that page for more. It looks like they're working to hold an event on
20 May, in case you want to find out more or help!
Engineering Community Manager
I command Sarah, Sarah, Anne and few other women and men commenting on this
list for their tireless work trying to move the needle. I wish I had seen
more movement/women coming forward and stepping up – but I would not be
surprised if many of us were…. uncomfortable. I know I am.
or simply burned out … which seems to be the case.
I had to think long and hard about writing this. Sarah, once again is
trying to be constructive by creating momentum and a page
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gender_gap/Policy_revolution to capture and
focus conversations. I think it's a great initiative but I also think the
problem we're dealing with is more systemic and might need
a tougher conversation.
How can we 'speak openly' in a forum like "Policy Revolution" when a few of
us are playing a different game – most folks here use their real
identities, take their contribution work at heart, we know who we are. But
then we have the Ghosts, those hiding behind the cloak of “Privacy”
(perverse effect of a well-meant policy I am sure) while
trolling, harassing, messing with images/content with impunity. If we are
serious about creating a broader more sustainable more representative
participation to the projects the WMF folks (those with some level of
mandate) need to seriously revise the community’s rules of engagement and
stand behind it.
A have been sitting on this note (below) for a while, I understand the need
for privacy in the context of political/individual/speech freedom and to
insure personal safety in some cases. This group is composed of some of the
smartest people on the planet, we surely can come up with some mechanism to
protect those who need protection (anonymity) while creating a healthy,
open, constructive, environment.
== NB: this was written shortly after Hersfold resignation, focuses on
harassment but its relevant to all questionable behavior.==
Accidental troll policy
My ID was recently deleted on Meta-Wiki, the reason given was: wait for it…
Vandalism. Little than I knew I had breached protocol – as a newbie I had
created a page on Meta and had clearly broken the rules. Or was it, since
then, I learned that your individual history (been banned/suspended, etc…)
determines your capacity of progressing in the ranks of WP – so this might
have been purely accidental or not.
But back to my point, after being notified of my ban, as a good citizen and
a steward of open-culture I felt it was my duty to get educated. I checked
the Wikipedia’s user policy. What I found was lengthy, detailed but overall
clear. Except for a portion that was particularly unsettling. The one
about “Use of Real Name and Harassment”. [[excerpt: use of real name may
make a contributor more vulnerable to issues such as
both on and off Wikipedia]]
After reading the posting about the Resignation of arbitrator
Signpost I can’t let go of the idea that the policy might
actually enable the very problem it is trying to avoid <harassment> by
perpetuating the culture of obscurity and by allowing trolls to hide behind
In an era where information is a commodity, where online traceability is
child’s play for anyone with rudimentary tech skills I can’t imagine that
concealing one’s real-life identity on Wikipedia will minimize the
incidence of harassment. The reasons for
againshed a gloomy light on this. Granted, arbitration is a “hot seat”
but unless we are willing to put in place a “witness protection program”
style for wikipedians involved in conflict resolution, it will be
impossible to prevent this from happening again.
So the question I’m thorn with is who’s really benefiting from the “Privacy
- no Real name Policy”? The folks trying to do their job sensibly and
seeking some distance between their work on Wikipedia and their personal
lives/families/jobs or the trolls that haven’t yet found that clear
boundary and are, by design, allowed to create a toxic and unwelcoming
Looking at it from the other end. What if the system promoted total
transparency? Where everyone in it is really who they say they are. A
system where real-life ID is tied to the online work, no place to hide,
where the very act of signing up and becoming a wikipedian is a pledge for
civility, respect and trust. Where personal status is a currency based on
both hard and soft skills, (number/quality of contributions and the manner
in which we interact with each other). Maybe you get to play anonymously
for a while but if you want to get serious and become a ‘ranked’ wikipedian
tell us who you are.
I honestly don’t know how much implementation of a formal vetting system
would violate the foundation’s DNA – and it might - but knowing what
mechanisms/policies facilitate harassment will help us find solutions to
prevent it from perpetuating. In this case ‘anonymity’ could be a weak
How about associating a Wikipedia ID to a mobile phone number at sign up,
send the access code and instructions to new users before they get started
– à la craigslist. If this is not acceptable let’s find another way to tie
in real-life ID with Wikipedia’s ID and keep the community healthy, truly
open and safe. Who do we risk losing by getting to know who we are? The
trolls – yes. because there will be no place to hide and play big bad wolf.
Who do we attract? Potentially everyone that has once considered
contributing to Wikipedia but found it to be unsafe and off-putting.
Some might argue: “look, this is not a social club, this is how we’ve
always done it, grow a skin or move along”. I’d say: totally agree,
institutional knowledge is important, let’s keep the good - and there is
plenty - and shed the bad. Wikipedia has evolved greatly in the past 10
years and so has the world, and general expectations for social
interactions have changed. We are steadily losing some and still missing
many voices on Wikipedia. Clearly harassment is not the chief cause, but
since *people* are the most important part (asset) of Wikipedia, we need to
start developing a much-needed social protocol and insure the free flow of
knowledge over ethos.
(changing the topic back)
On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM, Sylvia Ventura <slventura(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Anne, you're absolutely right on the 'high profile'. The broader the
> reach, impact, exposure, the more likely you are to become the target of
> good and bad 'attention'. The question is, much like in real-life, the
> higher up you are in an organization the more 'support' and/or protection
> you will likely need/get, as a community should we be able to insure a
> similar mechanism. This community resilience won't be built on a MadMax
> fighting-your-way-through model (I know it's rather dramatic :)
>From all the stories I've heard over the years, admins and arbitrators get
the worst of it -- being in a position where you delete articles or mediate
disputes on the project (and let's face it, the folks who get into
arbitration-type situations on wikipedia are often not the most stable or
reasonable people on earth) seems to be the most direct way to potentially
exposing yourself to lots of harassment. And if you're identified as
female, it's way worse.
Conversely from my experiences being pretty visible on the *organizational*
side of things (and talking to colleagues), there is a low level of
harassment that comes with that gig, but *nothing* like the horror stories
I've heard from some admins.
This is clearly untenable; the projects need to grow experienced
contributors who can serve in positions of leadership and as mentors on the
projects, and we can't expect everyone to just suck it up ("so sorry, you
will have to work with crazy people"). I worry that folks often just find
themselves unsupported. I don't know what the answer is.
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers <at>
Hi Theo, thank you for the thorough response. You bring up very valid
points, specially around privacy standards across countries/continents with
a very different political and cultural makeup. And not something likely to
change unless supremacy over wikipedia is given to one specific entity or
state (nah). And losing our Freedom of Speech is not up for question.
A coupe of thoughts on the comment <<that internet itself promotes
anonymity>> that might have been the case in the early days, but as more of
our 'real lives' activity migrates online and replaces the physical world;
internet has become the 'repository' of knowledge, but also goods and
services, it's increasingly the place where 'untangle assets' get traded
and human interactions take place
(social/professional/commercial/financial/legal…). As we create our online
trail, so is our personal profile. It's just a matter of time before we
access everything about anyone with a simple email address (Google already
pulls chunks of info from linkedin twitter, quora, etc to feed your G+ ID …
and so does rapportive on email) It's already possible to spot the fake
(ID) from the real.
More and more you see these "vetting" mechanisms use cross pollination of
personal data (i.e. signing up to Airbnb to book room with your Facebook
account or google account). As far as anonymity is concerned I think we're
beyond the 'point of no return'. This if from a North American perspective
of course, but Europe will soon join us with different levels of
implementation (the trade off is always Access vs Privacy and that's a
though sell), and so will the rest of the planet. This sounds a bit
Orwellian and a bit depressing I agree, and that's why it is SO VERY
important to get Wikipedia and sister projects to thrive and grow and be a
strong space, repository of human knowledge, human history, representing *
Date: Sat, 11 May 2013 02:23:53 +0530
From: Theo10011 <de10011(a)gmail.com>
To: Increasing female participation in Wikimedia projects
Subject: Re: [Gendergap] Accidental Troll Policy - beyond gender gap
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
It seems the crux of your argument is against the nature of the Internet
itself, rather than anything specific to Wikipedia. There is nothing unique
about anonymity on Wikipedia. In fact, it could be argued that internet
itself promotes anonymity - Internet protocol don't require any real user
identification for access, beyond giving a rough idea of someone's access
point, the only information that is there is what a user willingly chooses
to divulge. As the adage goes - On the internet, nobody knows you're a
dog. And in this day and age, a dog can indeed have a FB profile, a
twitter account, gmail, a youtube channel, a tumblr and even a Wikipedia
account (TOS doesn't have anything against dogs....I think). I don't see
what is unique on Wikipedia that promotes pseudonymous or anonymous users
anymore than other places - it would always come down to what someone
chooses to reveal and their own level of personal boundaries.
Then there is the entire idea about the wisdom of the crowd, which implies
that the individual is irrelevant to a certain extent, nameless at best. It
is the collective that gives the crowd its identity and strength - to that
purpose it is easier to join the crowd, as it is easy to leave.
There is something also worth mentioning here about American/European
elitism, where coming from places in Middle-east, South-America, and parts
of Asia, associating your political opinion with your real-world identity
can have very real and dire repercussions. In India, for example, two women
were arrested for expressing their opinion on FB at the demise of a
political figure, I believe one of them posted a comment and the other
"liked" it on Facebook. They were both arrested in the middle of the
night by police from a completely different area. And that is probably one
of the tamest example I could think of, when you consider what the
political situation is in the parts of the middle-east. I'm sure I can pull
up horrifying stories about bloggers in Egypt or Iran or elsewhere, who
don't truly share the luxury of free speech.
Then the second implication, I don't think anonymity alone permits someone
to cross any lines. It would be a facile argument to disprove, that once
anonymity is removed from the equation that you can expect someone to be
more civil. You still don't know anything about the person on the other
end, neither would they about you, besides what you choose to reveal - you
would remain two perfect strangers. Now, implying that associating their
name with that a single comment to you, would be singled out and have
real-world implications, be it work or family - would be another stretch.
All this seems like a case of "telling on someone" as children, usually
their parents and expecting intervention. Online platforms already have
system that resembles this, whether its an admin, or flagging something or
contacting support. Then, most work-places I have known can't censor
someone's personal or political opinion or what they do or say in their own
personal time, impeaching them would be against their civil rights - even
if it is politically incorrect - it would have to be of their own volition
to change. As Voltaire put it - "I do not agree with what you have to say,
but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." (or perhaps it was
Evelyn Beatrice Hall.)
If such a totalitarian system were ever to be conceived that won't permit
anonymity, I suppose it would get complicated with different nationalities,
especially EU, where handling and sharing someone's personal information
requires far more restrictions, not to mention the oppressive regimes would
have their own "requirements". I suppose someone would have to weigh what
they gain vs what they lose. Sadly, they might lose Freedom of speech and
Privacy, for the chance that someone would be nicer on the internet.