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Summarize feedback on first draft of knowledge gaps taxonomy
Closed, ResolvedPublic


  • Combine similar feedback
  • Maintain attribution
  • Prioritize updates / responses

Main source of feedback on meta but also include various discussions / meetings / etc.

Event Timeline

Weekly update:

Most of the requested changes are more minor (or so big that I don't think worth it) but there are a few larger changes that I would argue for:
* Add Power to taxonomy to bring together race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, politics, etc. (NOTE: this will require some additional thinking because as MG pointed out, what does it mean to have a power gap that is separate from e.g., gender?)
* Add section on Barriers / Causes and move a number of gaps to this section
* Making geography / language gaps consistent across all three dimensions (and other standardization where possible)
* Better clarifying upfront the scope (not metrics yet; why just reader/contributor/content, etc.) and terminology (e.g., why gaps vs. diversity)

Comments were broken up into the following categories (more details in doc):

  • Individual Gaps
    • Contributor Contextual Gaps
    • Income
    • Nationality / Race / Ethnicity / Religion Gap
    • Language
    • Geography
    • Readability
    • Multimedia
    • Structured Data
    • Policy Gaps
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Recency bias / Time Gap
    • Politics
    • Mediawiki / Tools / Bot infrastructure
    • Miscellaneous
  • Causes / Barriers
  • Meta
    • Definitions / Terminology
    • Format
    • Standardization
    • What's Missing?
    • Sources
    • Clean-up
    • Wikidata
  • Measurement / Action / Next Steps
    • Metric Definitions
    • Surveys
    • Selection vs. Extent vs. Framing
    • Internal vs. External
    • Action

Weekly update: moving slowly but been debating with MG about what changes to recommend based on the feedback we've collected. Biggest challenges are around:

  • What is a barrier? What is a gap? Sometimes this is obvious but other times it's not.
    • For example, with internet connectivity, it feels odd to say that we're aiming to have a high diversity of readers / contributors based on internet connectivity (ideally everyone would have good internet speeds / access). Internet connectivity, however, is clearly a barrier to diversity of readers / contributors because populations of people who would provide valuable perspectives to Wikipedia are prevented from doing so due to internet connectivity.
    • But what about disabilities? Do we view physical / mental / etc. disabilities as merely barriers to access or do we understand that individuals with these disabilities often identify in cultural communities around these disabilities and thus it's less about it being a barrier and more that we do want a diversity of people based on how able-bodied they are because that will bring new perspectives to Wikipedia.
  • How do we center the concept of power in the taxonomy? What does it mean to e.g., have gender as a gap while at least some of sexual orientation / race / ethnicity / nationality / political orientation / religion might not be specific gaps but are clearly important for many of the same reasons (people with these different identities bring new viewpoints to Wikipedia and have been excluded from history / Wikipedia). The current motivation is clear but feels lacking: gender is very well-studied, relatively easy to measure, and relatively universal in how it impacts representation. Race, on the other hand, while no less important, is less well-studied with regard to wikis, not well-tracked on the wikis, and highly contextual (i.e. what race means and its relationship with power varies by country and changes greatly over time). While ability to measure at a global scale is relevant to certain use cases for the taxonomy and an arguably objective way to choose which gaps are elevated and which are discussed but not central, it ignores the use-cases for the taxonomy that look to it as defining what is important to understand and work on when it comes to diversity and readers/contributors/content. There's no obvious way to solve this, but the feedback clearly is that we need to continue to think about our inclusion criteria and what it means for aspects of identity / representation that are not elevated as individual gaps.

Update: closing this task as the summarization is complete and we have moved to make changes to the taxonomy. High-level changes to taxonomy documented here:
Changes to the taxonomy will be tracked so that they can be linked back to the original prompts from the feedback that led to them.