We will be releasing a short film before Christmas which looks at what the Wikimedia community in the UK has been doing in the past few years to address the Gender Gap, and I hope that this will go some way to communicating what we have achieved as a community and a local chapter.

John Lubbock

Communications Coordinator

Wikimedia UK

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On Mon, 9 Dec 2019 at 11:48, Fæ <faewik@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks for the sources Charles.

Having previously chatted with Jess during an LGBT+ event about the
Wikipedia "experience", it is entirely fair and factual to say that
the environment is hostile. When running and planning newbie events,
we have to be honest about how deeply unpleasant things are promoted
on Wikipedia under the guise of "free speech" and how the effective
protection of trolls drives away minority viewpoints. Though one can
play the system and work around many of these issues, you are still
treated as a biased lobbyist or extremist if you are seen as
undermining the dominant view which keeps male and heteronormative as
the central tone and default "normal" of Wikipedia.

The situation is worse in most non-English Wikipedias.

That the press has picked up on this story, could be seen as an
opportunity to embrace the criticism and to do more to make the
environment less hostile for committed contributors like Jess.
Regardless of the trivial of this incident, the underpinning issues
are real and measurable and are the real reason for this long-running
perception of Wikipedia culture.


On Mon, 9 Dec 2019 at 10:32, Charles Matthews
<charles.r.matthews@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> A notability tagging incident on English Wikipedia some ten days ago is receiving ongoing media attention. It would be a good idea to get the facts straight.
> The rather curt onwiki discussion is at
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1024#IP_mass_tagging_notable_mostly_women_scientists_for_notability
> The articles targeted were some of those authored by User:jesswade88, who is known for her work on STEM and the gender gap.
> That ANI report makes it clear enough that this was a spree resolved by blocking an IP address. Nothing is said there about any actual deletions. It would be helpful if it could be confirmed that nothing was actually deleted on grounds of lack of notability.
> Jess Wade was on Woman's Hour,  BBC Radio 4 speaking about this incident. She began with comments about WP demographics that made me wince a bit. She made clear her positive feelings about WP, editing and Wikimedia, but that of course is less sensational than the narrative of a "hostile environment". There was quite a lot of Twitter comment, with some people swearing off editing WP: which is pretty much what the spree was designed to achieve, surely. Others indicated they were inspired to edit.
> There have been articles in the Daily Telegraph:
> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/07/physicist-embroiled-sexism-row-wikipedia-female-scientists-wrote/
> And in the Daily Mail:
> https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7769415/Physicist-accuses-white-men-North-America-Wikipedia-editors-sexism.html
> These are pretty bad journalism, in terms of respect for the facts. It appears to me that the enWP admin response was perfectly adequate, rather than there being a systemic problem there.
> The Woman's Hour interview was reasonable, the press reports unreliable. I think the point here is that good intentions aren't enough to curb the latter: the Mail's article of 2 January about Jess's project
> https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6544657/London-scientist-creates-Wikipedia-page-underrepresented-group-DAY.html
> is of course very upbeat, but that hardly entitles the Mail to a hatchet job in December.
> Charles

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