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Wikidata weekly summary #368Edit

Wikidata weekly summary #369Edit

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sports problemEdit

Hi, Andrew! I was reading the threads about your analysis at GGTF and WiR, and I started to kind of pull the discussion off track there with my statistical nerdiness so I thought I'd ask here. I was just astounded that 46% of BLPs are athletes. I'm trying to reconcile this in my head, because I'm reeling. Can it possibly be that almost half of BLPs are notably primarily due to their athletic career? That is, this isn't Donald Trump being coded as a golfer and therefore part of that 46%? If 46% of wikipedia's BLPs are for people who are notable primarily for their athletic career, that's not a gender problem, it's a sports problem. --valereee (talk) 09:58, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

@Valereee: It's really quite a startling figure, isn't it? I vaguely suspected it would be high, but nothing like that level. There are 536k athlete articles in total - 33% of all biographies, and about 9% of all articles. (It's a higher proportion of BLPs than all biographies because of the strong recency bias)
One caveat is that our definition of "athlete" is a little debatable. The Wikidata ontology, which we're using here, considers dancers to be athletes, which I guess is something you could argue either way; ditto chess players, racing drivers, etc. I would estimate no more than 20-40k people fall into these "maybe or maybe not what we mean when we say athlete" groups; the headline figure is probably reasonable, give or take 5-10%.
The second caveat is the one you raise - are we picking up people who are really notable for other reasons? In theory the Wikidata "occupation" field should not be used for people unless it is a significant part of their life - my feeling is that there will inevitably be some miscategorisation here, along the lines of your golf example, but it's relatively low level.
I've done some tests by looking for people who have some kind of other non-athletic occupation listed as well. Other than things like "football manager", the most common non-sport-related single occupation was "politician" (2.5k) or "actor" (3.5k, and a third of those are dancers). Given that some athletes do go on to become politicians (or even vice versa), this seems like a plausible sort of number and suggests the classification is reasonably clean.
Looking at the breakdown by field, I make it 171k (association) footballers, 33k (gridiron) footballers, 32k "athletes" in the more restrictive sense, 31k cricketers, 26k baseball players, 20k rugby players, 20k basketball players, 19k ice hockey players. Those groups together give us about two thirds of the total - there will be some overlap for individuals who're listed twice, of course, but it highlights the sort of thing that drives the numbers - large well-documented team sports. And of those, by far the largest proportion seems to be (historic?) football players... Andrew Gray (talk) 22:51, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
As I asked at WiR talk, where does this 46% figure come from? I'm not seeing it at all. The Denelezh figures look like 22% "sports figures" to me, & that's not BLPs, but people born after 1800. So, no, it can't possibly be. We have to be careful with things like this, as the next thing you know, claims like this are plastered over the world's media, and believed. Johnbod (talk) 00:03, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Johnbod, I actually think 'wikipedia has a sports problem' would be a better thing to be plastered all over the world's media than 'wikipedia is sexist.' --valereee (talk) 10:24, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
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