Keeping the victim's narrative alive
Wikipedia is one of the most important electronic sources for individuals to access various information and statistics. Wikipedia ranks fifth in terms of most frequent websites visited, with over 480 million visitors per month.
As the escalating events and armed conflicts continue in the MENA region, the Euro-Med analyzed the human rights content on Wikipedia and concluded that the content of the encyclopedia was weak in both Arabic and English versions. Euro-Med kept track of the dominance of the official government-issued narrative on Wikipedia‘s articles, with an almost complete absence of the narrative of victims of violations in different regions.
Since 2015, Euro-Med adopted in its annual plan a project to train university students and new graduates in conflict zones to improve the Wikipedia encyclopedia and support its articles with the narrative of the victims of violations in various conflict areas.
- Euro-Med assisted students and new graduates through training workshops on what techniques and evidence to use to modify content in both Arabic and English.
- Target groups received intensive training in research and documentation, interviews with victims and eyewitnesses.
- Target groups supported Wikipedia with dozens of new amendments and articles that have contributed significantly to highlighting the voices of victims and the oppressed in areas of conflict and war.
As an approach to integrating marginalized groups and victims of violations into defending their rights, Euro-Med launched the WikiRights project aimed at keeping the victim's account as present as the official and governmental version.
Euro-Med seeks to achieve a number of goals through the project, including:
- Enriching and promoting human rights content on Wikipedia
- Creating new human rights content and updating available content according to recent developments.
- Creating groups and teams interested in enriching, following up and editing the content on Wikipedia.
-Strengthening the narrative of victims of violations and highlighting them to the other side's story.
The project provided comprehensive information and material on Wikipedia including: its basics, guidelines, Wikipedia in conflict zones, and victims of violations on Wikipedia. The meetings discussed the nature of Wikipedia's work in both in theoretical and practical terms.
The beneficiaries of the project received information and data about the history of Wikipedia, its number of articles, and the most widely used and covered areas. Beneficiaries also received practical training and models on how to create an encyclopedia account, post essays or edit existing articles, with a detailed explanation of Wikipedia's standards and policies to ensure proper use of the encyclopedia.
The project produced a specialized staff capable of systematic publishing and editing, and coordination of teamwork. The staff also trained other activists on the basis of research and using resources in the process of documentation and editing, through learning from their former fellow-trainees.
The WikiRights team anticipates keeping the story of victims of human rights violations present in equal measure with the official/governmental, often misunderstood, story by implementing the project in all areas of conflict around the Middle East and North Africa.
DONATE to support this project