Representing metro manila on Wikipedia
Date of Issue2018
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Purpose: The advent and wide use of new digital technologies suggests that the Internet is becoming a powerful new media for the imagination of city space. If this is the case then issues concerning urban representation on social media platforms such as Wikipedia provide an area of overlap and interest between urban studies and information studies. This article examines the representation of Manila, Philippines, one of the world’s major mega cities, on the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Design: My broad approach to the study of Wikipedia is qualitative in nature. For this study the entire Metro Manila article was downloaded on May 3, 2017 and subjected to textual analysis. Findings: While the Wikipedia article on Manila cannot be classified as promotional, it is clear that much of the city remains invisible in this work. Such a puzzle becomes understandable when we examine the urban studies literature where we find that the spatial logic of the city itself helps conceal much from view, so that what we read on Wikipedia is a view from the islands of privilege rather than the oceans of marginalization that make up much of the city's spatial form. If such a spatial structure is to change, representations such as found on Wikipedia need to be challenged. Originality/value: Wikipedia is a key element of today’s information infrastructure yet despite its importance it remains relatively understudied within the field of information science. More specifically, the role of Wikipedia in representing cities, the dominant settlement form in the world today, has not been previously studied.
Online Information Review
© 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Online Information Review and is made available with permission of Emerald Publishing Limited.