As the world followed the 2022 Russian-Ukrainian war in real time, the article about Russia on the English-language Wikipedia was invaded by disruptive edits conveying stances for and against Putin. Taking this edit war as its entryway, this article asks: how are freedom, collaboration and conflict articulated in the attempt to catalogue the entirety of human knowledge online, and to what extent does collective textual production subvert the notion of individual authorship? In ethnographically examining the tensions between collaborative cultures and technoliberal participation in the production of online content, I suggest ways for us to reconsider the multiple meanings of freedom, collaboration and authorship at play in projects of digital scope. In this sense, while Wikipedia emerges as a solution to the neoliberal problem of the restricted circulation of knowledge, I argue that Wikipedia’s collective character is legitimized not by the erasure of the individual, but by the celebration of expressive individualism.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Freedom in the free encyclopedia: Between collaborative cultures and technoliberal participation on Wikipedia
|Accepted/In press - 12 Nov 2023
- Digital media
- Social media
- Knowledge production
- Freedom of speech