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Geotagging reveals Wikipedia is not quite so equal after all

Wikipedia is often seen as a great equaliser. But it’s starting to look like global coverage on Wikipedia is far from equal. Reposted from The Conversation.   Wikipedia is often seen as a great equaliser. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people collaborate on a seemingly endless range of topics by writing, editing and discussing […]

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What is stopping greater representation of the MENA region?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores the potential barriers faced by Wikipedia editors from the MENA region.

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How well represented is the MENA region in Wikipedia?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows the MENA region tends to be massively underrepresented on Wikipedia — not just in major world languages, but also in its own: Arabic. Despite Wikipedia’s openness, it may simply be reproducing worldviews and knowledge created in the Global North at the expense of the Global South.

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The sum of (some) human knowledge: Wikipedia and representation in the Arab World

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. There are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores this phenomenon through one of the region’s most visible and most accessed sources of content: Wikipedia.

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The economic expectations and potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa

There has been a lot of hope and publicity about the economic potential of increased Internet connectivity in the East African region; including the hope of disintermediation and better connection to global markets. Chris Foster discusses initial findings of an OII project on Development and Broadband Internet Access in East Africa. Through surveys, interviews and in-depth observations, the project examines the expectations and stated potentials of broadband Internet in East Africa, comparing those expectations to the on-the-ground effects of broadband connectivity.

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Who represents the Arab world online?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the sidelines. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project examining representation of the Arab world online discusses how despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world.

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Is China shaping the Internet in Africa?

There are concerns that, just as Western countries have tried to promote their models of news media in Africa, China will try to export its own. However, no studies to date have proved this to be the case. Iginio Gagliardone (University of Oxford) discusses the themes of his paper “Partner, prototype or persuader? China’s renewed media engagement with Ghana”, which proposes a framework to understand Chinese engagement in the African mediasphere in terms of its original contributions, not simply as a negative of the impression left by the West.

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Seeing like a machine: big data and the challenges of measuring Africa’s informal economies

The mobile phone has created new channels of information about African informal economies and workers. In an era where so much of the apparatus for measuring Africa’s economies has been weakened, this kind of data reaps enormous potential for governments and private companies. Dr Laura Mann (OII) discusses the implications of big (and open) data on the research environment — as Africa becomes ‘more usable’ and ‘more legible’, she asks: for whom, by whom, and for what purpose is this data being used?

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The scramble for Africa’s data

Africa is fast becoming a source of ‘big data’, however there are big holes in the governance of the technology. The OII’s Linnet Taylor asks what can incentivise African countries’ citizens and policymakers to address privacy in parallel with (rather than after) the collection of massive amounts of personal data, how to devise privacy framework models for groups with restricted access to technology, and how such a system can be participatory enough to be relevant to the needs of particular countries and populations.

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Mapping the uneven geographies of information worldwide

The Internet is argued to enable democratisation of information production, but we know remarkably little about contemporary geographies of knowledge, and how these information landscapes are changing over time — including who is or isn’t represented. OII researchers Mark Graham and Steffano De Sabbata are mapping these geographies of knowledge, drawing on primary and secondary data to examine key facets of global information geographies — access, information production, and information representation.

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