WikiEqual 2.0: A Mainstream Media Critique
Today, a new phase in the WikiEqual campaign begins.
The core mission of WikiEqual is to challenge and hopefully change the Notability Policy in Wikipedia, which largely relies on whether a subject has been repeatedly featured in mainstream media or not. In this way, Wikipedia is made to include only people and topics that the mainstream media has shown a repeated interest in. As we all know, the mainstream media cannot be trusted to be truly impartial and truly inclusive of all perspectives. It is influenced by those with money and power, and is biased towards reporting on ideas and subjects favored by the rich and powerful.
In other words, the reason why the Notability Policy is unfair is because mainstream media is unfair in its coverage. The Notability Policy is an unfair gatekeeper because it relies on an unfair gatekeeper, that is, the mainstream media. A strong argument against the Notability Policy must be based on a broader argument against relying on the mainstream media to be unbiased. This will, thus, be the focus of the next phase of the WikiEqual project.
I also want to clarify that, this campaign to critique mainstream media bias will NOT be a feminist project. In fact, WikiEqual has never been a feminist project per se, it was always about challenging the bias that the Notability Policy creates. A lot of early WikiEqual writing addressed feminist concerns, because of the context of the project’s birth. At that time, there was a feminist movement for inclusion of more female biographies on Wikipedia, and that movement often came against the Notability Policy, sparking a wider debate about the Notability Policy. It was in this environment that WikiEqual was born. But going forward, WikiEqual needs to be a much more broad based movement. It will serve the needs of those who want a more equal digital media landscape, whether they are feminists or not.