Hablon User Group/UP Internet Freedom Network - Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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The UP Internet Freedom Network, an organization consisting of students and volunteers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) that advocates internet freedom, organized their very first Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. The event is in partnership with Youth Advocate for Peace and Justice (YAPJUST) and sponsored by UPLB Mathematical Sciences Society, Anakbayan UP Los Baños and UPLB College of Human Ecology Student Council. The workshop and the actual edit-a-thon were conducted on September 27, 2020 and on the previous day, September 26, 2020, there were educational discussions about the topics that the participants of the edit-a-thon would cover. The edit-a-thon is officially titled as Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Documenting Desaparecidos and Red-tagging against activists in the Philippines.

The main purpose of the edit-a-thon is to combat historical revisionism by improving articles in Wikipedia that have this issue. Specifically, the organizer intended to correct articles about desaparecidos or forced disappearances and red-tagging of activists in the Philippine setting as well as other related topics. By making these articles better, the edit-a-thon would make quality Wikipedia articles that are accessible to everyone. The edit-a-thon also sought to broaden knowledge on past and present social issues as well as historical events that are available online, to tackle gaps on today's lesser-known issues, to give well researched, sourced, and reliable content, and to engage with new audiences.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the activities of this event were done online. On the first day of the event, several speakers were invited by UP Internet Freedom Network through Zoom for the educational discussions regarding the target Wikipedia articles that the participants would edit. The speakers were Congresswoman Sarah Elago, Desaparecidos Chairperson Linda Cadapan and Paolo Anico of YAPJUST.

Jojit Ballesteros of the Hablon User Group (HUG) was invited by UP Internet Freedom Network in this event to give a training on Wikipedia editing for the forty-nine (49) students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños who participated in the edit-a-thon. On the second day of the event, Bel Ballesteros and Jojit Ballesteros, both of HUG, conducted the Wikipedia lecture and training for the participants before the start of the actual edit-a-thon. The lecture and training were done online through Discord platform. They stayed up to the end of the event to answer queries from the participants.


Date Start time Activity Speaker Notes
Day 1:
September 26
3:45pm Introduction of participants After every each discussion, attendees were encouraged to participate in an open forum.
4:00pm Welcome remarks
4:05pm Educational Discussion: Red-Tagging under the Duterte regime Sarah Elago
4:05pm Educational Discussion: Introduction about Desaparecidos Linda Cadapan
4:05pm Educational Discussion: Desaparecidos under the Duterte regime Paolo Anico
Day 2:
September 27
3:00pm Welcome remarks
3:10pm Wikipedia Training 1: Wikipedia and its Community Bel Ballesteros Presented a lecture entitled "Wikipedia and How it Works"
3:40pm Wikipedia Training 2: Wikipedia Technical Editing Training Jojit Ballesteros Gave a demonstration on how to edit Wikipedia and showed the participants how to navigate the Wikipedia interface
4:10pm Break
4:20pm Live edit-a-thon
6:50pm Closing ceremony

Edit-a-thon mechanics[edit]

The UP Internet Freedom Network grouped the participants into threes. A group consisted of one researcher, one writer and a moderator. Researchers were the ones who searched, verified and studied sources while writers were tasked to compose and show the writing in a easy to understand way. Moderators were UP Internet Freedom Network members who guided the participants on their work and who may also act as a writer or researcher.

A team leader was picked by each group who was designated to edit a specific article or section in Wikipedia. Participants communicated with other attendees through a Discord text channel. A document in Google Docs was edited and verified first before their final edit can be put into the Wikipedia article. Every team's progression was monitored through a Google Sheets worksheet.

Lessons learned[edit]

Educational discussions before the actual edit-a-thon about the topics of the Wikipedia articles to be enhanced provided the information needed for such improvements. Likewise, having the activity online makes the edit-a-thon effective in terms of improving Wikipedia articles and safe for participants health-wise.

The event would have been more productive if the two hours allotted for the actual edit-a-thon were lengthened.

Presentation file[edit]

Download the original file

External links[edit]