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Joseph Reagle
What seems most startling in light of decades of work on bias in technology-related fields is how an imbalance in participation not only persists, but is exacerbated in communities founded upon the liberal values of freedom and openness. Furthermore, this persists in projects like Wikipedia, which need not be overly technical (the focus of earlier literature) but share the liberal values and geeky esprit of the software communities.

This leads me to conclude that it is the values, rhetoric, and dynamics of these communities that play a significant factor in continued bias and imbalance. A founding aphorism of the free software movement was "free as in freedom" to distinguish between that which is free (gratis, as in someone buying you a beer) and freedom (libre, as is in few or no restrictions). So, while "free" may denote freedom, that freedom, so far, has included the ability of one group of participants to alienate another.
geekfeminism  women  freesoftware  freeculture  freedom  feminism  research 
january 2011 by pfctdayelise
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