At Wikipedia, it's a man's world

An overwhelming 87 percent of Wikipedia contributors are men

Sorry, ladies, but when it comes to questionable online information, it looks like men have the upper hand. A new study breaks down Wikipedia users by gender -- and, whether it's reading or writing, this is one domain the dudes definitely dominate.

The Wikipedia Gender Gap

The study, conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation and previewed in a Wall Street Journal blog, finds an overwhelming 87 percent of Wikipedia contributors are men. Even when it comes to simply browsing and reading, the ratio still skews toward the guys: Sixty-nine percent of Wikipedia readers are male, the study indicates.

So what gives? According to the research, guys may be more altruistic and keen on getting the facts right -- at least, when we're talking about community-driven online encyclopedias. About 70 percent of contributors say their main motivation is sharing accurate information. (The other 30 percent, unfortunately, seem hell-bent on sharing inaccurate info. All the color-coding in the world probably can't stop them, either.)

Some other highlights from the research:

• The average Wikipedia-using guy is 26; the average Wikipedian woman is 24.

• About a fifth of the users hold a graduate degree.

• The main reasons people don't contribute are lack of time (translation: better things to do), satisfaction with simply reading entries (translation: better things to do), and lack of knowledge on how to actually edit the pages (translation: better things to do).

The complete study is set to be released in November, after which point a Wikipedia page about it will presumably surface...and soon thereafter be desecrated with erroneous information.

JR Raphael regularly mocks technology at eSarcasm, his new geek humor site. You can keep up with him on Twitter: @jr_raphael.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags wikipedia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?