Women are disproportionately subject to erroneous nominations for deletion from Wikipedia. Dr. Francesca Tripodi gathered data on articles that were flagged for removal under the site’s notability requirements but were ultimately found to be notable and not deleted. She found that “Even though women still make up less than 19% of all available biographies on English-language Wikipedia, women routinely make up a quarter of the biographies nominated for deletion each month.”
Most notably, over several months’ of data in the study, women’s biographies were twice as likely as men’s biographies to be miscategorized as non-notable.
Wikipedia is the Internet’s favorite information resource. It’s the 9th most popular website in the US this month. When Google or Bing display a tidy information pane about your search above the linked results, that’s often sourced from Wikipedia. Asking Siri or Alexa about a topic? They pull from Wikipedia too. So what — and who — is included in Wikipedia matters, because “in Wikipedia” spills far beyond the project’s own pages.
The gender gap on Wikipedia is well known. The Wikimedia Foundation notes that “On English Wikipedia, fewer than 18 percent of biographies are about women.” In addition to the well-documented challenges to representation among the site’s biographical articles and editor community, “Ms. Categorized” identifies a new hurdle to representation on Wikipedia—the intentional, disproportionate, removal of existing articles about women, nonbinary, and trans subjects.
As she writes, “Wikipedians trying to close the gender gap must work nearly twice as hard to prove women’s notability, devoting extra time to track the biographies they create to ensure notable biographies about women are not subsequently deleted… One month, multiple biographies about women were nominated with the same phrase copy and pasted over and over: ‘I don’t see how she manages to pass our notability guidelines.'”Read the full article