London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke out against the “gender page gap” on Wikipedia Tuesday as violent crime in the city soars.
In a message sent out on Twitter, Khan complained that more men are involved than women with voluntarily editing content for the online encyclopedia.
“The vast majority of Wikipedia editors are men – and just 17% of its biographies are of women,” Khan said. “We’re calling on Londoners to help us redress this gender imbalance and ensure women’s stories are fully represented online.”
The vast majority of Wikipedia editors are men – and just 17% of its biographies are of women. We’re calling on Londoners to help us redress this gender imbalance and ensure women’s stories are fully represented online https://t.co/Q98QoJFEH2 #BehindEveryGreatCity
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 12, 2018
Khan’s message also included a link to an article from The Telegraph in which he further lays out his stance.
“With 83 per cent of biographies on Wikipedia about men, you may not be surprised to learn that men also make up around 85 per cent of those who edit pages on the site,” Khan writes. “That is also something we want to see change – after all, anyone can be a Wikipedia editor if they want to, and this could go a huge way in leveling the playing field.”
Despite anyone, including women, being able to freely edit content for the site, Khan claimed that women have been met with, among other things, “abuse or conflict” while trying to update the site.
“By giving women and girls the skills and support they need, we can shine a spotlight on those who play a vital role in making London the greatest city in the world,” Khan adds.
The mayor’s initiative was immediately flooded with criticism by those more concerned about growing crime in the city, including stabbings, shootings and thefts.
“How dare you prattle on about this nonsense when knife crime is soaring,” one Twitter user said.
How dare you prattle on about this nonsense when knife crime is soaring. 🤬
— B (@disneypins84) June 12, 2018
Another compared the country to a South American slum, accusing Khan of ignoring more pressing issues in the city.
Really? People getting stabbed in London as if it is a south american slum and that is your priority? You are such a joke.
— The Cosmonaut (@AskTCosmonaut) June 12, 2018
Others more directly criticized the Wikipedia issue itself, arguing that the mayor’s entire premise was false.
Fucking idiot. There is equality and just because there are more men doing something, doesn’t mean women are prevented from doing it
— pro trump (@protrump1212) June 12, 2018
In April it was revealed that London’s murder rate had passed New York City’s for the first time in modern history due largely in part to knife crime.