Thank you. It is interesting to consider how a more granular coverage of elections, coverage which includes notable mass media events, e.g., news stories and social media events, caused by and/or strategically reacted to by political campaigns, parties, and organizations, coverage which includes election tactics and strategies, can enhance Wikipedia and provide its readers with fuller pictures of elections.

 

I am starting to think about possibilities with respect to these new articles. I am looking forward to seeing how Wikimedians choose to create and structure them. A hope is that future elections will improve as a result.

 

 

Best regards,

Adam

 

From: Risker
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2021 5:51 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Re: Encyclopedic Coverage of American Elections

 

Hello Adam -

 

This looks like a series of articles that could reasonably be made about the elections of any country:  for example, "Election tactics in the 2000 US Presidential election" or "Election tactics in the 1986 British House of Commons election" or whatever. Draft space is right there waiting for you or others to create the articles.  I'm sure for many of these elections there will be lots of available reference sources, both contemporaneous and in terms of historical research.  It will be important to ensure that no political bias is introduced into the articles.  Of course, there is also the question of whether these tactics had any effect on the outcome of any given election, and what that effect was; again, that will probably need reference sources from independent academic researchers and books. 

 

Incidentally, this is an international list; at least half of the people who post here live and work in countries outside of the United States.  I am uncomfortable to see Wikimedians referred to as "we, the American people", and I hope that you will reconsider that kind of approach toward any project.  Even English Wikipedia, which I assume is your target audience here, is edited more by people outside the US than those inside it. 

 

Risker/Anne

 

On Sat, 18 Sept 2021 at 14:50, Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com> wrote:

Wikimedia,

 

I have a psephological and election historical observation that I would like to share with Wikimedia.

 

Low-brow, crass, and manipulative political advertising and marketing, various hot-button, third-rail, dog-whistle, and wedge issues, have been deployed by candidates, campaigns, and political actors and organizations during American election seasons. These tactics are very much a part of our elections and appear to be subsequently omitted from encyclopedic (e.g., Wikipedia) and historical coverage of the elections (e.g., 2000 2020).

 

How low have election campaigns gone? Very. Yet, for some reasons, American encyclopedists and historians appear to be almost complicit, glossing over these problematic election campaign tactics. Each historical election appears to be reduced to a single encyclopedia article or small cluster of such articles, only some such articles attempt to list election issues, and no such article mentions campaign advertising and marketing themes and tactics deployed by campaigns, political actors, and organizations on radio, television, the Web, or social media.

 

I propose that encyclopedists, scholars, and scientists seek to attend to, remember, and record election campaign mass media tactics and manipulations lest we, the American people, be doomed to repeat them in future elections. Perhaps by remembering the election campaign advertising and marketing tactics utilized, including on social media, and listing them encyclopedically, a buoyant pressure can be created with which to elevate our American politics.

 

Thank you for your time and for considering these ideas with which to improve encyclopedic coverage of American elections.

 

 

Best regards,

Adam Sobieski

 

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