Please join us for a free virtual event presented by the NASIG Equity & Inclusion (E&I) Committee, and hosted by the Continuing Education Committee (CEC).
For the last five decades, sociologists have argued that gender is one of the most pervasive and insidious forms of inequality. Research demonstrates how these inequalities persist on Wikipedia - arguably the largest encyclopedic reference in existence. Roughly eighty percent of Wikipedia's editors are men and pages about women and women's interests are underrepresented. English language Wikipedia contains more than 1.5 million biographies about notable writers, inventors, and academics, but less than nineteen percent of these biographies are about women. To try and improve these statistics, activists host “edit-a-thons” to increase the visibility of notable women. While this strategy helps create several biographies previously inexistent, it fails to address a more inconspicuous form of gender exclusion. Drawing on ethnographic observations, interviews, and quantitative analysis of web-scraped metadata this talk demonstrates that women’s biographies are more frequently considered non-notable and nominated for deletion compared to men’s biographies. This disproportionate rate is another dimension of gender inequality on Wikipedia previously unexplored by social scientists and provides broader insights into how women’s achievements are (under)valued in society.
Speaker: Dr. Francesca Tripodi is a sociologist and media scholar whose research examines the relationship between social media, political partisanship, and digital inequality. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and a Senior Research at the Center for Information Technology and Public Life at UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds a PhD and MA in sociology from the University of Virginia, as well as an MA in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown University. In 2019, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on how search engines are gamed to drive ideologically based queries, a subject that is the focus of her forthcoming book with Yale University Press titled The Propagandists’ Playbook. She also collaborates on an interdisciplinary team funded by the NSF to study cultural complexities of search literacy and uses web scraping to examine patterns of gender and racial inequality on Wikipedia. Her research has been covered by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, The Columbia Journalism Review, Wired, Slate, The Guardian and The Neiman Journalism Lab.
Moderator: Xiaoyan Song is the Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University. She's serving on the NASIG E&I Committee and has been responsible for coordinating E&I webinars for NASIG.
Registration is free for this event!
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