1st Edition

Wikipedia and the Representation of Reality

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

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    A contemporary examination of what information is represented, how that information is presented, and who gets to participate (and serve as gatekeeper) in the world's largest online repository for information, Wikipedia.

    Bridging contemporary education research that addresses the 'experiential epistemology' of learning to use Wikipedia with an understanding of how the inception and design of the platform assists this, the book explores the complex disconnect between the encyclopedia's formalized policy and the often unspoken norms that govern its knowledge-making processes. At times both laudatory and critical, this book illustrates Wikipedia's struggle to combat systemic biases and lack of representation of marginalized topics as it becomes the standard bearer for equitable and accessible representation of reality in an age of digital disinformation and fake news.

    Being an important and timely contribution to the field of media and communication studies, this book will appeal to academics and researchers interested in digital disinformation, information literacy, and representation on the Internet, as well as students studying these topics.

    Preface  1. Wikipedia’s pillars and the reality they construct  2. What counts as information: The construction of Reliability and Verifiability  3. What counts as knowledge: Notability, knowledge gaps, and exclusionary practices  4. How Wikipedia decides on who gets to contribute: Wikipedia community and engagement  5. The reality that shapes Wikipedia


    Zachary J. McDowell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His research focuses on access and advocacy in digitally mediated peer production spaces. In particular, Zach’s research focuses on digital literacy, self efficacy, and how digitally mediated tools, particularly Wikipedia, shape these areas of inquiry.

    Matthew A. Vetter is an Associate Professor of English and affiliate faculty in the Composition and Applied Linguistics PhD program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research asks questions related to technology, rhetoric, and writing, with a specific interest in investigations of the ideological and epistemological functions of digital communities.