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Wikipedia workshop for residents

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The process on how to share and upload information on Wikipedia will be conveyed during a workshop at the Kimberley Public Library today.

Members of the Kimberley Book Club who will form part of the Wikipedia workshop. Picture: Supplied

THE PROCESS on how to share and upload information on Wikipedia will be conveyed during a workshop at the Kimberley Public Library today.

The workshop is being organised by the Wikimedia South Africa Foundation and the Kimberley Book Club, a non-profit organisation (NPO) for readers in the city.

The Director for WikiMedia SA, Bobby Shabangu, said the initiative is to convey free knowledge and also increase content on small towns, cities and cities in Africa.

“We have hosted edit workshops around the country where we taught people how to edit and add information on Wikipedia. There is so much knowledge and content on the African continent but there is not sufficient information about the continent on Wikipedia. Many people read Wikipedia but do not contribute to the content of what they are reading.

“We then partner with libraries, art galleries and other higher academic institutions where we can teach people how to add their own content. People have a variety of content which they can share on the platform,” said Shabangu

He said the workshop will also eliminate the current trend of fake news.

“As Africans we have so many stories to tell and we need to be the first respondents to such information. Currently we have so many platforms where information on our stories are not accurately relayed or there is simply none. There is a lot of information on Europe and the United States, but there is not much information on our African matters such as politics, leaders and traditions found across the continent. There is also not a lot of information to be found online on small towns. We need people to share their stories and the stories of their communities with the rest of the world,” he said.

Shabangu said the workshop aims to show how easy it is to add information on Wikipedia.

“We currently have a small group of content contributors in South Africa. We found that contributors are also based in bigger cities, like Cape Town and Johannesburg. There are not many contributors from smaller twins in the country. Anyone with a smartphone, laptop or tablet with internet access can become a contributor,” Shabangu.

He added that contributors will not free-reign.

“We have Wikipedeans who go through the content to ensure the information is accurate and not harmful. Some of the information we found online on some topics were skewed. This workshop will also provide an opportunity to rectify that.

“We have not had many incidents of misinformation as we find that people who are passionate about a certain topic do take the necessary precautions to ensure that the information they share is accurate and factual. Contributors take pride in their work and in sharing their stories,” he said.

Shabangu concluded that the workshop can also be used to share information on Wikipedia.

“We will share the history of Wikipedia and the guidelines of the platform. Contributors need to understand that there are guidelines in place, and that there are laws as well as regulations to consider when adding content. We will then show them how they can open an account and how to add content on Wikipedia. We envision that this workshop will give any storyteller, writer and the general public the knowledge and voice to share their stories,” Shabangu said.

The founder of the Kimberley Book Club, Rethabile Dladla, said this will be the first workshop to be hosted in the city.

Dladla said she hopes that attendees will use the opportunity to tell their own stories accurately.

“I am hoping people will gain experience and that they will get into the habit of editing as well as editing information. There is so much incorrect information online about various communities. Who else to know the accurate information and have better knowledge on it than those who are staying in those communities,” said Dladla.

The workshop will take place from 1pm.

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