Internet Geographer


Wikipedians without borders

Our team recently held a workshop for Wikipedia editors in Amman in order to discussion barriers to participation and representation in Wikipedia (with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa). The event had participants from all over the region (from Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, The Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon).

However, this very diversity of participants initial proved slightly controversial: with some editors worried that it would be unhelpful to include both Arabs and Israelis for instance. Despite these concerns, we managed to have very productive discussions and realise that there are some general goals and hopes related to knowledge sharing that united all of us.

As a result, some of the participants have decided to put together a group call ’Wikipedians without borders.‘ The stated goal of the group is Wikipedians from around the world reaching out, individually and collectively, to share their thoughts, ideas and projects for increasing human knowledge and cultural understanding.”

The group might not solve any of the structural inequalities and uneven power relations that we see in the encyclopaedia, but will at least provide a platform for a diverse group of editors to come together and better understand each other’s perspectives. This might then ultimately work to make Wikipedia a more balanced and representative source of knowledge.  

I wish them the best, and invite anyone interested in getting involved to check out their new Facebook page