Two-thirds of Americans believe the limited number of Wikipedia contributors makes the site’s information biased
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, April 11, 2019 /CNW/ — In the era of fake news, the demand for impartial, reliable information is high. For over a decade, users have turned to Wikipedia for factual information, as the site has significantly impacted education and online knowledge-sharing. To better understand Wikipedia users’ sentiments, Everipedia, the world’s largest online English encyclopedia, recently surveyed 1,000 people living in the United States to explore their experiences and opinions regarding Wikipedia’s reliability. Although Wikipedia is a widely-used resource, some users are beginning to question its neutrality due to the limited number of editors responsible for creating content. In fact, Wikipedia has recently been in the news because a third of the site’s content is created by just one man.
The survey results show that the vast majority of Wikipedia users (65 percent) believe Wikipedia is biased due to its limited number of content contributors. While 75 percent of survey respondents indicated they use Wikipedia on either a daily or weekly basis, only 13 percent of users have submitted an edit to a Wikipedia article.
While this number is low, the percentage of Wikipedia users who edit articles is actually lower. According to the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia has approximately 36,000,000 users with a registered username, but only about 141,000 of them edit articles. That means only approximately .4 percent of Wikipedia users are active editors.
When users were asked to define the main reason they do not edit Wikipedia articles, nearly 70 percent said they never submitted an edit due to Wikipedia’s complicated editing process, limiting the number of Wikipedia editors significantly.
Users are also concerned with the lack of diversity within Wikipedia’s editor base, an issue the Wikimedia Foundation has acknowledged. On Wikipedia pages entitled “racial bias on Wikipedia” and “gender bias on Wikipedia,” there are quotes from the Wikimedia Foundation acknowledging that Wikipedia’s editor base is predominantly white and male.
Over half (60 percent) of respondents think the under-representation of people of color within Wikipedia’s editor base is a problem and only about one-third (36 percent) of respondents are satisfied with Wikipedia’s content regarding women or women’s issues.
“Wikipedia has paved the way for online knowledge-sharing resources,” said Theodor Forselius, CEO and co-founder of Everipedia. “However, when encyclopedic articles are only created by a relatively small group of users, content neutrality suffers. If users don’t feel welcome in the community, they will not contribute content. Users deserve an online encyclopedia that is inclusive and reliable.”
Users are also intrigued by the idea of compensating content contributors for their contributions. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents believe Wikipedia content would be better if contributors were compensated and three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents said they’d be more likely to contribute to Wikipedia if they were compensated.
Other interesting findings include:
- Only 8 percent of women respondents have ever submitted edits to a Wikipedia article
- 71 percent of men’s edits to Wikipedia were accepted while only 62 percent of women’s were
- Approximately 67 percent of respondents whose edits were rejected by Wikipedia never submitted edits again
- About a quarter of people who have submitted edits to an article aren’t even sure the edit was accepted
- Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of millennials and 69 percent of Gen Z think the fact that the median age of Wikipedia contributors (35-44) impacts how popular culture is covered on Wikipedia
About Everipedia International
Originally started in 2015 as a more modern and inclusive alternative to Wikipedia, Everipedia is now building the world’s first peer-to-peer encyclopedia on the blockchain, incentivizing content creators by making them stakeholders in the knowledge base themselves. With millions of monthly unique users and over 6 million wiki articles, everipedia.org has already surpassed English Wikipedia as the world’s largest English Encyclopedia by content. Find out more at everipedia.org and follow Everipedia on Facebook and Twitter.
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