Wikipedia:Countering systemic bias

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For a description of the problem, see Wikipedia:Systemic bias.

Systemic bias is the inherent tendency of a process to favour particular outcomes. On the English Wikipedia, most editors are white, male, technically-oriented, educated and from the northern hemisphere. The underrepresentation of editors who are non-white, women and from other parts of the world has led to a lack of coverage of issues and topics related to, or of interest to these underrepresented editors.

Solutions[edit]

  • Always consider the context of any edits, and consider whether you are only including a North American or European perspective (because that is what you know about), or only including a male or educated person's perspective.
  • Be more conscious of your own biases in the course of normal editing, and try to be aware that some biases are unconscious. Take, as a simple example, the article on Lunch. It is very unlikely that the editors who worked on the article were trying to exclude Africa, but the article that was collectively created does not include examples from Africa.
  • Look at the articles you work on and think about whether they are written from an international and intercultural 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. Even though this is the English language Wikipedia, that does not mean that the encyclopedia should only cover countries and issues from the Anglosphere.
  • If you are multilingual, add information from Wikipedia articles in other languages to their English Wikipedia counterparts. If you have even moderate abilities in a second language, you may be able to use Google Translate to translate some material from non-English Wikipedia articles, and then proofread and correct them so that the material can be added to the English Wikipedia.

See also[edit]