While Wikipedia is one of go-to resources for most internet users, the diversity of the information presented is often sorely lacking. Anasuya Sengupta wants to change that.
According to Sengupta, currently the vast majority of Wikipedia editors are “white men from Europe and North America,” as she recently explained to the BBC. As she noted in a blog post in February, “The knowledge of marginalized communities is the knowledge of the majority of the world… It is the hidden crisis of our times.”
Whose Knowledge? has created several initiatives that partner with activists, educators and others in order to fill in those gaps. The #VisibleWikiWomen campaign ran through March of this year and challenged participants to add more images of women to the online encyclopedia. The goal, according to the organization’s explainer, was to draw attention to the notable women on Wikipedia because they “are often literally invisible online.”
Another initiative, focused on Dalit history and notable Dalit figures, was the result of a partnership with Equity Labs. For Dalit History Month, which falls in April, the group focused on sharing information about the contributions of Dalits around the world.
Sengupta said the need to elevate marginalized voices is more important that ever, given the recent anti-media wave much of the world is experiencing.
“I think people work very hard to make [Wikipedia] accurate, but I do think that one of the things we have to recognize is that ” Sengupta told the BBC. “But one of the things we have to recognize is that accuracy is also based on context and accuracy, it’s also about power. I think we need to recognize that this is the world we live in.”