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Submissions/Religion and Wikipedia – opening the gate for closed cultural groups.

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Religion and Wikipedia – opening the gate for closed cultural groups.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews learning
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)

Presentation and discussion

Author of the submission

Arielinson - Ariel Elinson

E-mail address



Arielinson (talk) 09:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Israel

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia is an open place for sharing knowledge and making it available to everyone. But some groups are restricted from using Wikipedia and sharing their knowledge due to religious and cultural limitations. The presenter is a secular Wikipedia editor, who teaches Ultra-Orthodox religious Jews design technology. The presentation will discuss the barriers which prevent religious users from contributing to Wikipedia. It will specifically talk about the restrictions imposed on Ultra-Orthodox Jews such as: The restrictions on watching any female photo by Ultra-Orthodox male users; The restriction on being exposed to modern media and Television; And the intentional blocking of specific websites by Internet Service Providers to religious users (at their own request). These and many other restrictions might prevent millions of users from sharing their unique knowledge on Wikipedia. The presentation will allow open discussion on Wikipedia and its impact on users of all other religions and unique cultural views. It will encourage participants to offer ideas and ways to open Wikipedia to other groups which are currently prevented from sharing their knowledge due to cultural restrictions. The fact that many people are prevented from using Wikipedia might be considered as "their problem". But Wikipedia's vision of gathering the world's knowledge into a free, open and accessible media - might lose a lot of knowledge and resources from many closed cultural groups and that makes the issue as "our problem". The question which will be discussed is how to make Wikipedia accessible and available to more cultural groups. These solutions might be technological as well as educational. The presenter will bring his own examples and experiences in presenting Wikipedia to his own Ultra-Orthodox Jews as students for Graphic Design, as well as the opportunities and obstacles he faces in his work. The presentation will call for others to join in the effort to open Wikipedia to culturally closed groups.


WikiCulture & Community

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes


Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Panyd (talk) 21:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Atropine (talk) 23:11, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Mrjohncummings (talk) 00:05, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. CT Cooper · talk 21:57, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]