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Tue Jan 27, 2015, 03:39 PM

 

Wikipedia Purged a Group of Feminist Editors Because of Gamergate

Silencing Feminists is exactly the wrong answer.

There's been way too many attempts to silence the conversation as of late.
No progress can be made if no one is communicating.

For nearly as long as the antifeminist culture war known as Gamergate has raged across the internet, a microcosm of the battle has taken place on Wikipedia. Should Gamergate defined as a push for ethics in gaming journalism, or a paranoid campaign against women in gaming? This week, Wikipedia's highest court made a major decision in favor of the former.


http://internet.gawker.com/wikipedia-purged-a-group-of-feminist-editors-because-of-1681463331

15 replies, 1752 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wikipedia Purged a Group of Feminist Editors Because of Gamergate (Original post)
Veilex Jan 2015 OP
shenmue Jan 2015 #1
Veilex Jan 2015 #12
shenmue Jan 2015 #13
chrisa Jan 2015 #2
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #3
chrisa Jan 2015 #4
el_bryanto Jan 2015 #5
chrisa Jan 2015 #6
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #7
chrisa Jan 2015 #8
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #11
Maedhros Jan 2015 #9
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #10
YoungDemCA Jan 2015 #14
chrisa Jan 2015 #15

Response to Veilex (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 03:42 PM

1. Um, question:

is there a Femipedia or something yet? Why not?

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Response to shenmue (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:09 PM

12. "is there a Femipedia or something yet?"

 

As it happens, one is in the works:
http://www.femipedia.org/

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Response to Veilex (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:46 PM

13. Yay!

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Response to Veilex (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 03:54 PM

2. Wikipedia needs to be free of subjective entries and opinions.

It's very hard for things like Gamergate, but in this instance, imo, the facts should be reported and nothing more. Facts include recognized major events, who was involved, and the perspective of each side (usually through primary quotes). These should be purposefully reported in a robotic fashion as to not bias the article, with separate, opinion-free sections for each side.

There should not be opinions on who is right, who started it, or hearsay. Alluding to Zoe Quinn's sexual practices, or referring to the Gamergaters as "misogynist" is not acceptable for Wikipedia. The former is slanderous, and the latter is a personal opinion.

It is also not acceptable to introduce biased or loaded language into the article.

Therefore, it's my opinion that articles like this should be written by a neutral third party who has no interest in either side. Feminist editors who are anti-Gamergate cannot be objective when writing a Wikipedia article about Gamergate. Pro-Gamergate users also cannot be objective. Neither should be allowed to contribute. Wikipedia is supposed to be a source of objective facts, not a medium to influence public opinion. That is what blogs are for.

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Response to chrisa (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:08 PM

3. ProGamerGate?

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:15 PM

4. I don't understand what you're asking. Please elaborate.

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Response to chrisa (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:17 PM

5. I mostly use Wikipedia to look up obscure comic book characters

and to see what book in a book series comes next. I didn't realize it had a deeper purpose.

Most ongoing debates are going to have proponents on Wikipedia, particularly when they relate to geek culture. Also in any debate both sides believe that they have the facts on their side - Gamergate jerks believe that a clear recital of the facts supports their position. The clear instances of misogyny and dirty tricks are not as important, if they are important at all, compared to their deep concern over "gaming journalism ethics."

If you allow the gamergate folks to present the debate, than one assumes that people reading the wikipedia article will come to the conclusion that the women in the debate are illogical and wrong.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:22 PM

6. The thing is, their "facts" usually aren't facts.

Calling gaming journalists "corrupt," slandering Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu, and most of the stuff they say about Anita Sarkessian - they're all opinions. They have no place on Wikipedia. Even the Zoe Quinn story itself is hearsay. It should not be reported directly as fact.

In my personal opinion, what's going on here is an editing war, where two sides are trying to exert influence on Wikipedia. This is not what Wikipedia is for. There shouldn't even be a "debate" on Wikipedia. That's why contributors are banned.

I think gamergaters are morons, and I support the Feminist side of the argument 100%. However, my opinion has no place on Wikipedia, which is supposed to be an encyclopedia. I would not contribute to a gamer gate article, as I cannot be objective.

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Response to chrisa (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:37 PM

7. Do you know if only feminists were banned?

I haven't been part of wiki in a long time, although I have a friend involved in the Esperanto pages. It seems odd that "feminists" (as apposed to who?) were the only ones banned. Especially given the large gender discrepancy in Wiki editors.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:39 PM

8. According to the article, gamergate accounts were banned too, but they were probably trolls.

Imo, any account that violates the rules should be banned. If pro-gamergate users were given any favoritism, that would be wrong. It would also call into question Wikipedia's mission and motives.

Reading the arbitration for this, it also seems like many of the people were banned for talk page decorum, edit-warring, and single purpose account editing.

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Response to chrisa (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 05:33 PM

11. I should sign up again

Not for this particular case, but because it's a usually fun and interesting. The only things I ever seem to do was clean up vandalism. Thank you for the info!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 05:03 PM

9. I went to the Wikipedia site where the decision was discussed and found this:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate/Proposed_decision&oldid=643277787

This appears to be the basis for their action:

Battlefield conduct

2) Wikipedia is a reference work, not a battlefield. Each and every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Borderline personal attacks and edit-warring are incompatible with this spirit. Use of the site to pursue feuds and quarrels is extremely disruptive, flies directly in the face of our key policies and goals, and is prohibited. Editors who are unable to resolve their personal or ideological differences are expected to keep mutual contact to a minimum. If battling editors fail to disengage, they may be compelled to do so through the imposition of restrictions.


I read through the entries covering the banned editors here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate/Proposed_decision#Ryulong_.28remedies.29

Here is a sample entry:

While I understand where the opposers are coming from, this is not any ordinary topic. In NBSB, we have a prolific editor who has made about 500 edits to the Gamergate controversy article, and over 2300 (yes, 2300) more to its talk page. They have also made around 700 edits to this case. This is evidence of deep investment. Simply put, it is difficult to imagine how a person can be part of the problem one day, and part of the solution the next. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine that such a determined editor can met their editing opponent half-way to resolve an editing dispute. Our role is to get the article back to normal as rapidly as possible and we will not do that by handing it back to the poor admins having failed to pass an obvious remedy. Roger Davies talk 00:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


It appears that these editors were banned because of "edit warring" with the GamerGate people.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 05:30 PM

10. Wow

I'll look into it more when I get home. To tell the truth, I was aware of this from another article that didn't give out much information but had a similar title. I wrote it of as inflammatory. Now I'm very curious. I agree with posters who want Wiki to be as unbiased as possible. I do wonder how much the gender discrepancy plays in articles about any gendered topic.

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Response to chrisa (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:22 PM

14. Many of the Gamergaters are misgonyistic

 

They've proven themselves to be. If you've been paying any attention, at least.

How about objectively reporting on the rape threats, the death threats, the constant barrage of petty misogynistic insults, the posting of personal information (including phone numbers and addresses), and the other forms of harassment and abuse that women have been subject to in this "Gamergate" fiasco?

There are a lot of people in the US-including many elected officials in the one of the two major political parties-who believe global warming is a hoax and that the Earth is 6000 years old. I suppose their side should be given the same weight and consideration as well! After all, we wouldn't want to be "biased" or "subjective."

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 28, 2015, 01:44 PM

15. You're actually talking about two things here.

"They've proven themselves to be" is a subjective observation. That would be like writing, "Hitler was a bad man" on a Wikipedia article about Hitler. It's not a fact - it's an opinion. On the other hand, "Hitler committed mass genocide" is a fact. Calling gamer gate "misogynist" is an opinion. Saying that gamer gate has targeted women is a fact.

Second, if you read the Wikipedia entry on gamer gate, all of the facts you stated are in the article. I never argued that they shouldn't be. They are already reported objectively so that a reader of the article can form their own opinion, rather than being told an opinion.

Imagine reading a Wikipedia article on the Iraq War that says, "The Iraq War was fully justified because Saddam Hussein was a tyrant. Liberals who criticized the war were wrong to do so, and probably had ulterior, anti-American motives." Would you trust this website as a source of information? That's why Wikipedia and its community have to be so stringent on what is written there.

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