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Submissions/Revolution of the Wiki

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.


Title of the submission
Revolution of the Wiki – Wikipedia amid political turmoil and Wikis as a model for political systems
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Panel, if other people want to join as speakers, otherwise it would be a presentation
Author of the submission
Dror Kamir
Country of origin
Wikimedia Israel, but the submission is on my personal behalf
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

The recent political events in the Middle East have been attributed to the deepening penetration of the Internet and its derived technologies into Middle Eastern countries. As a leading Middle Eastern country in what concerns usage of Internet technology, Iran saw an extensive use of social networking websites and blogs during the post-election events in the summer of 2009, both by protesters and government supporters. This model was later seen in the protests leading to the overthrowing of the governments in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011. Wael Ghoneim, a prominent figure in the Egyptian anti-government campaign, went as far as entitling the political developments in Egypt as "Web 2.0 revolution", comparing the organization of the demonstrations to the collaborative work on Wikipedian articles. After the overthrow of the Tunisian and Egyptian governments, Wiki websites, such as the Tunisian destour.org, emerged as an unofficial attempt to engage local citizens in the recreation of the regimes. Has Wikipedia been used in this context only as a buzz word, or is there something genuine in the comparison between Wikipedia and the political protests? Are these new Tunisian and Egyptian Wiki or Web 2.0 websites merely a naive attempt to engage the public in politics, or a real practice of democracy with future results to be expected?

As for Wikipedia itself – What can we learn from the fact that the Wikipedian articles about the political developments were published within hours from the beginning of protests? In some reports, the fact that the events were "covered" by Wikipedia served as an evidence of their power and importance? Is it fair to say that in some subjects Wikipedia is used to influence reality rather than describing it?

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
To be added later on

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  1. Yaron Koren 14:40, 17 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Hindustanilanguage 05:39, 18 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Marcus Cyron 15:33, 19 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Millosh 14:19, 20 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Vibhijain 11:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Amir E. Aharoni
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