Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias

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WikiProject Countering systemic bias
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The Wikipedia project suffers systemic bias that naturally grows from its contributors' demographic groups, manifesting an imbalanced coverage of a subject, thereby discriminating against the less represented demographic groups. See an explanation of systemic bias on Wikipedia for how this may affect articles and content. This project aims to control and (possibly) eliminate the cultural perspective gaps made by the systemic bias, consciously focusing upon subjects and points of view neglected by the encyclopedia as a whole. A list of articles needing attention is in the CSB Open Tasks list.

Generally, this project concentrates upon remedying omissions (entire topics, or particular sub-topics in extant articles) rather than on either (1) protesting against inappropriate inclusions, or (2) trying to remedy issues of how material is presented. Thus, the first question is "What haven't we covered yet?", rather than "how should we change the existing coverage?" The 22 October 2013 essay by Tom Simonite in MIT's Technology Review titled "The Decline of Wikipedia"[1] discussed the effect of systemic bias and policy creep on recent downward trends in the number of editors available to support Wikipedia's range and coverage of topics.

See further reading for studies, statistics, or other information that demonstrate contributor or subject imbalances.

Countering systemic bias task forces[edit]

Some task forces that focus on particular aspects of systemic bias are linked below:

Tasks[edit]

There are many things you may do, listed roughly from least to most intensive:

  • Sign up as a participant and mention any interests you may have related to "Countering systemic bias" (CSB).
  • Add the Open Tasks box ({{WikiProjectCSBTasks}}) to your User or User talk page to let other people know about the issue.
  • Read news articles in as many languages as you know, from as many news sources as you can find, from as many political view points as you can find (especially those that you would normally not read) when examining a topical or recent event or editing an existing article related to a particular subject.
  • Don't overlook the official news outlets of a country. Certainly they will be more one sided than wikipedians may like, but they may provide a different way of thinking about an article. They may also be useful as a primary source of information about why the government of that particular country has its opinion on a subject and why it acts the way it does. The readers of Wikipedia could benefit from this, regardless of whether they agree with that view or not (if they don't, they may use it to find errors in its logic or thinking). For example, official news outlets may be useful indicators of how Mainland China thinks about Tibet or Taiwan. Secondly, they may provide relevant non-controversial information about the country or its leaders which could help in improving the article on that topic, for instance, date and place of birth, occupation of leaders, cultural heritage of, links to and other tidbits which may not be available elsewhere.
  • See if there are web pages on a particular subject which were written by people from other countries or cultures. It may provide you other places to look or other points of view to consider.
  • Be more conscious of your own biases in the course of normal editing. Look at the articles you work on usually and think about whether they are written from an international perspective. If not, you might be able to learn a lot about a subject you thought you knew by adding content with a different perspective.
  • Occasionally edit a subject that is systemically biased against the pages of your natural interests. The net effect of consciously changing one out of every twenty of your edits to something outside your "comfort zone" would be substantial.
  • Create or edit one of the articles listed on the CSB template.
  • If you don't particularly like any of the subjects on the template, our open tasks list has a wide array of articles in need of attention.
  • Add to the open tasks list. No one person can fix a system-wide problem, so be sure to tell people when you find needy articles.
  • Rotate articles from the open tasks list to the template, and other helpful tidying tasks.
  • Check articles to see if they still need work, and if they've been improved move them to the right section or leave a note.
  • Give feedback on this WikiProject on the talk page.
  • If you're multilingual, add information from Wikipedia articles in other languages to their English Wikipedia counterparts.
  • Contribute to articles on under-represented topics that you are familiar with.
  • Be careful not to worsen the bias with your deletion nominations. If you are not familiar with a subject area, or it has meaning outside your experience base, discuss your concerns on the talk page or another appropriate forum before making an AfD nomination.
  • Change the demographic of Wikipedia. Encourage friends and acquaintances that you know have interests that are not well-represented on Wikipedia to edit. If you are at high school or university, contact a professor in minority, women's, or critical studies, explain the problem, and ask if they would be willing to encourage students to write for Wikipedia. Contact minority or immigrant organizations in your area to see if they would be interested in encouraging their members to contribute. The worst they could say is, "No". But keep in mind that immigrant organizations may well have a different point of view than the majority of people in the countries they emigrated from (their members may, for example, be members of a minority themselves or may have emigrated because of a disagreement with the government not shared by the majority of the population), which introduces its own systemic bias.

Related WikiProjects and regional noticeboards[edit]

There are several WikiProjects and regional notice boards that have potential to help out in our efforts. We may also eventually want to create new WikiProjects as part of this effort.

See also:

Africa[edit]

These are the African WikiProjects.

Pan-African WikiAfrica
Continental Africa 
Northern Africa Algeria | Egypt | Libya | Morocco | South Sudan | Sudan | Tunisia | Western Sahara 
Eastern Africa Burundi | Comoros | Djibouti | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Kenya | Madagascar | Malawi | Mauritius | Mozambique | Rwanda | Seychelles | Somalia | Tanzania | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe 
Middle Africa Angola | Cameroon | Central African Republic | Chad | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Republic of the Congo | Equatorial Guinea | Gabon | Sao Tome and Principe 
Southern Africa Botswana | Lesotho | Namibia | South Africa | Swaziland 
Western Africa Benin | Burkina Faso | Cape Verde | Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Ivory Coast | Liberia | Mali | Mauritania | Niger | Nigeria | Senegal | Sierra Leone | Togo
Territories French Africa | Madeira | Saint Helena | Spanish Africa
Culture Igbo | Yoruba
History African military history | Early Muslim military history | Ottoman military history
Society African diaspora | Protected areas
Related Arab world | Arab-Israeli conflict | Commonwealth | France | Portugal | Spain | United Kingdom

Latin America[edit]

These are the Latin American WikiProjects.

Continental Latin America 
Regional Caribbean | Central America | South America
Central American countries Belize | Costa Rica | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Nicaragua | Panama 
North American countries Mexico
South American countries Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela 
Territories Falkland Islands | French Guiana | Galápagos Islands | South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Culture Argentine cinema | Argentine football |
History Mesoamerica | Latin American/Commonwealth Caribbean military history 
Society Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Asia[edit]

These are the Asian WikiProjects.

Continental Asia 
Regional Arab world | Caucasia | Central Asia | Commonwealth | East Asia | South Asia | Southeast Asia | Western Asia
North Asian countries Russia 
Central Asian countries Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan 
East Asian countries Hong Kong | Japan | Macau | Mongolia | North Korea | People's Republic of China | Republic of China (Taiwan) | South Korea 
South East Asian countries Brunei | Burma (Myanmar) | Cambodia | East Timor | Indonesia | Laos | Malaysia | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | Vietnam 
South Asian countries Afghanistan | Bangladesh | Bhutan | India | Maldives | Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka 
West Asian countries Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Cyprus | Georgia | Iraq | Iran | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Palestinian territories | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | Yemen 
Culture Indian cinema | Iranian football | Korean cinema | Persian cinema | Persian literature | Southeast Asian cinema
History Ancient Near East | Indian history | Ottoman Empire | Pakistani history | Soviet Union | Three Kingdoms | Zoroastrianism
Military history Chinese | Early Muslim | Japanese | Korean | Middle Eastern | Ottoman | Russian and Soviet | South Asian | Southeast Asian 
Society Dravidian civilizations | Hazara | Kurdistan | Pashtun | Punjab


Also

Europe[edit]

Other projects[edit]

Related cleanup templates[edit]

The template {{globalize}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/Northern}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/UK}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/USA}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/Canada}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/South Africa}} may be placed to produce

The template {{globalize/North America}} may be placed to produce

The template {{overcoverage}} may be placed to produce

The template {{toofewopinions}} may be placed to produce

The template {{recentism}} may be placed to produce

The template {{religion primary}} may be placed to produce

See Template:Globalize for a list of region- and bias-specific sub-templates similar to {{globalize/UK}} and {{globalize/USA}}.

When these templates are used they should be accompanied by a brief note on the talk page to outline what exactly you feel needs to be addressed.

Members[edit]

Please add your name to the members page.

If you have specific interests relating to Countering Systematic Bias, feel free to briefly describe them there or on the this Wikiproject's talk page so we can get a sense of the strengths of the project.


  1. ^ Simonite, Tom. "The Decline of Wikipedia". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


WikiProject Countering systemic bias open tasks
This project creates new articles and improves neglected ones.