[Osmf-talk] [Talk-GB] Live OSM discussion in ~45 minutes (7.30pm UK time)

Ilya Zverev ilya at zverev.info
Wed Jul 26 21:58:43 UTC 2017

I have just went and rewatched the recording of Monica's 11-minute talk. 
While I was dismissive of her arguments four years ago, now I see that 
all of her points were valid, and are still valid. We have done nothing 
wrt diversity in our project. HOT did something, some local communities 
did (e.g. GeoChicas), but OpenStreetMap in general is still white, male 
and disregarding of any external point of view.

The tagging issue Monica raised was more about the proposal process in 
general, and most of us (I hope) have known it to be highly flawed. But 
the case with the childcare was telling: not only voters did not know 
what childcare was, they did not care. Significantly more people in the 
world find childcare facilities and the distinction between childcares, 
kindergartens and whatever more important that swinger clubs and 
brothels, but these people are a minority in OSM, and since we have 
meritocracy slash democracy (none of that actually, but that's often 
heard), that means minorities are not effecting OSM.

Sadly, I have no idea how to fix this. Dave's reply shows we are still a 
long way from being a diverse community where all opinions are heard and 
not dismissed.


26.07.2017 23:02, Frederik Ramm пишет:
> Hi,
> ... 
> * Sadly the talk included the usual drive-by accusations of sexism in
> OSM. It said, and I am not making this up: "There has been some work by
> Monica Stephens that has discussed how new tag proposals for feminized
> or (inaudible) spaces are given less, quote, attention" (this is
> referring to a very badly researched 2013 article that essentially
> contrsated took low vote outcome on a childcare tagging proposal with
> brothels and swinger cluby in OSM to brand OSM sexist), and then went on
> "also, one of our interviewees mentioned that she had, quote, heard of
> women not being listened to or respected". -- What he's doing here is
> quoting an anonymous source that is quoting an anonymous source that
> says something about OSM, and that is good enough to make a sexism claim.
> The whole talk did, it seems to me, slightly overrate the importance of
> tagging discussions (they claimed to have interviewed 15 people but it
> is unclear how they selected those 15), and therefore the discussion
> that ensued was mostly around the question "how can we make sure that
> everyone has a say in tagging discussions".
> There seemed to be an underlying assumption that binding votes on
> tagging, or at least a well-defined process to standardize and maintain
> the global tagging ontology, was necessary (and not least, all those
> autocratic editor writes need to submit to the community vote and not
> invoke privilege to create presets that others must then follow).
> I wouldn't say this has given me any new insights or ideas for the
> future, but it is an interesting study in how (relative) outsiders
> approach OSM.
> I think we as a project really need to publish a more through, and more
> visible, takedown on that 2013 Monica Stephens article though. At the
> time I thought "oh well, bad research comes and goes, no need to start a
> fight every time a researcher writes something wrong about OSM", but
> that one seems to be found, believed in, and quoted by other researchers
> just too much.
> Bye
> Frederik

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