Wikipedia and knowledge equity
As the digital divide closes, the world and all its peoples are increasingly meeting online. But whose knowledge is dominating in these new digital spaces?
Date and time: Wednesday 12 June, 6 – 7.30pm
Venue: SSB Lecture Theatre 200
Social Sciences Building
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential.
In 2016, the UN declared Internet access to be a human right, on a par with clean water, shelter and food. Latest research shows that more than half of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants now use the Internet.
However, the initial euphoria of the Internet and its potential for giving everyone an equal voice is fading as it becomes clear that the online world reflects the inequalities of the offline world.
Join us as digital geographer Martin Dittus, from the Oxford Internet Institute, maps on a global scale the different ways knowledge is migrating online and identifies whose voices are loudest.
Wikipedia is the most prominent example of crowd-sourced online content. As the world’s largest online knowledge bank, it plays an enormous role in shaping how people understand the world. But while the open nature of Wikipedia, in theory, allows content to be created by anyone about any notable place or person, there remain significant imbalances in global participation and representation. Data and algorithms fundamentally shape our geographic interactions, impacting how we perceive, move through, and use the cities that we live in.
In response, the Wikipedia community has introduced the concept of ‘knowledge equity’ as an important strategic concern: “We will strive to counteract structural inequalities to ensure a just representation of knowledge and people in the Wikimedia movement.”
To better understand the effects of this transformation, Dr Dittus’ groundbreaking research investigates who owns, controls and shapes our online world.
This Sydney Ideas event will open the international conference Worlds of Wikimedia: communicating and collaborating across languages and cultures, which will be held at the University of Sydney from 12-14 June.