What are Public Servants Doing on Wikipedia? New article in Canadian Public Administration

Journalists have made much of a bot that reports on edits made to Wikipedia by public servants, framing these edits as absurd and wasteful, or as acts of state-led propaganda. But maybe these edits actually generate public value. After all, Wikipedia is one of the most commonly cited information sources on the web, and public servants have a fair bit of useful knowledge to share. Also, weren't we supposed to be encouraging governments to be more open and collaborative in the digital age? With these questions in mind, Elizabeth Dubois and I analyzed the edits that Canadian federal public servants make to Wikipedia, and found that many of these edits represent valuable contributions to public knowledge. Drawing on freedom of information requests, we also analyzed draconian managerial responses to negative media coverage of public servants' Wikipedia edits. We use this analysis to speak to debates on the institutional barriers to open government in today's public sector bureaucracies.

The full article is available for download here. You can also read some media coverage of our findings in this National Post article

Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by LiteThemes.com.