The Hepworth Wakefield held a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, but perhaps the idea has yet to develop its potential

Sunday 8th March marked International Women’s Day. The event in question has been celebrated globally since the early twentieth century and its relevance in society remains as strong as ever in 2015. Across the world, participants took part in Wikipedia edit a thons. Wakefield’s Hepworth gallery was one of many locations which invited spectators to join Wikipedia and help fill the void of online entries about women artists.

The_Hepworth_Wakefield_2It was revealed during an introductory session that the demographic of Wikipedia users were 25 years and above, male, undergraduate and single. Whether there is a strong correlation to this demographic and the lack of online entries for female artists, the gap has been recognised by many and it was on this day where supporters across the world hoped to reduce the lack of entries on Wikipedia. The online database has grown excessively over the past decade and has become a staple resource for many seeking instant information on an array of subjects. Whilst there is speculation to the how genuine the content of many articles, Wikipedia has become one of the most popular resources worldwide.

The Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is an interesting concept which could potentially connect the world with events such as International Woman’s Day. Perhaps it has yet to develop to its maximum potential, as can be seen with the modest turn out on Sunday. Yet, as with most initiatives, it should hopefully pick momentum in years to come. The concept is inspiring and fulfilling. For a resource which has outshone Encylopedia Britannica, which no longer prints physical copies, Wikipedia is a tool that holds a strong relevance in today’s society. However, should it be argued why should Wikipedia be used as the primary resource to communicate to a worldwide audience when it comes to events such as International Women’s Day? Wikipedia should not be taken for gospel for anyone can contribute, edit and change articles, many times for the worse. Articles can be fabricated and many could be led to believe false information.

People came together to showcase and help fill the void of female artists.

In a world where social media is the first point gaining information for many in society, it could be argued that sites such as Twitter or Facebook could hold just as an important resource for gathering and spreading word from events such as International Woman’s day. Whilst it is up to the contributor which resource they may wish to use, it is no doubt that events such as International Woman’s Day can benefit hugely to help connect the world for worthwhile causes.

Mark McDougall

Images: Hepworth Wakefield

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