Seventy-five percent of the world’s online population is from the global South, and nearly half is projected to be women. Yet public knowledge on the internet - exemplified by Wikipedia - is primarily constructed by (white) men from western Europe and North America. One in ten Wikipedia editors are estimated to self-identify as female. In other words, the internet of the majority is produced by the minority. But Wikipedia is only one example of the deeply skewed experience of the internet: from the design and architecture of the internet, to the production and reproduction of knowledge on the internet, this globalised “public sphere” not only reflects the structural and representative inequalities of our world, it can, in many ways, amplify and deepen them. Still, the internet’s socio-technical nature can also engender potentially emancipatory processes in which communities on the “margins” of both the physical and virtual worlds can produce and curate their own knowledge online.
Whose Knowledge? is a global, multilingual campaign that aims to make public knowledge and the online experience less white, male, straight, and global North in origin. Using Miranda Fricker’s concept of epistemic injustice and Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s exhortation to decolonize our methodologies, the Whose Knowledge? campaign has supported marginalised communities like Dalits from India and the diaspora, queer activists from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Kumeyaay Native American Nation, to begin centering their knowledge online. The authors are feminist scholars, organizers, and technologists, and we describe the practices of decolonizing ourselves in this effort, in particular our approach to embedding feminist and anti-colonial values as we decolonize design, process, and metrics. We offer these possibilities and provocations for thinking further about a future feminist decolonized internet(s).