By Andreas Kolbe
Anita Sarkeesian is a media critic and video blogger whose work focuses on sexism in video games. Her video blog, Feminist Frequency, is used as reading material in numerous universities’ women’s studies courses. Last year Sarkeesian became the target of a sustained harassment campaign because of her Kickstarter project, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. The attacks on her were coordinated from various video game forums.
Sarkeesian was subjected to a torrent of hate on YouTube – thousands of abusive and often sexually explicit hate messages. At the same time, her Wikipedia biography was vandalised. Sarkeesian herself spoke of harassment via Wikipedia vandalism.
She posted a screenshot of her vandalised biography on her blog:
The image below shows the result of the vandalism that took place over the course of June 5th and 6th, 2012. This was not done by just one or two trolls but was a coordinated cyber-mob-style effort involving a whole gang working
…continue reading A feminist’s Wikipedia biography
By Nathalie Collida and friends
It’s no secret that Wikipedia has a shortage of female editors. According to a survey commissioned by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2011, a mere 8.5 per cent of the people contributing to the online encyclopaedia identify as women. In a recent op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, Sue Gardner – who became the figurehead of Wikipedia when she signed up as Executive Director with the Wikimedia Foundation 5 years ago – tried to explain this by focusing on what she perceives as the “geeky, tech-centric, intellectually confident, thick-skinned and argumentative” nature of the average Wikipedian. Outside observers, among them Web2.0 expert Joseph Reagle, add another component to the mix: good old-fashioned sexism. His latest study, “’Free as in sexist’ Free culture and the gender gap” examines how the combative locker-room culture of Wikipedia’s male contributors – a good portion of whom are teens and pre-teens – makes women less likely to participate. While Reagle’s
…continue reading Wikipedia – Men and children first
By Eric Barbour
Here we examine a major scandal and Arbcom case, and a major embarrassment for Wikipedia, which transpired in August-September 2007. It is almost forgotten today. The principal is a well-known conservative attorney, and the apparent “victim” was filmmaker Michael Moore. The real victim was the truth.
[Editor's note: the numbers in brackets are links to individual edits on article or discussion pages at Wikipedia, what are called by Wikipediots "diffs." The practice of citing "diffs" is integral to WikiLawyering, one of the more exciting and fulfilling aspects of the Wikipedia Experience.]
Essentially, Wikipedia was being edited by Ted Frank, notorious tort-reform activist and right-wing attorney, with the assistance of his conservative “Team America” Wiki-Friends, most notably MONGO plus minor conservative WP figures Crockspot and Noroton. At first he edited under his real name, then later under THF, starting in June 2006. A popular subject: tort reform. By March 2007 he was
…continue reading Portrait of a Wikipedian: Ted Frank
This article explains how a single user on Wikipedia with an agenda can manipulate the project over an extended period. Wikipedia lists a number of articles under the category “English murderers“, and as of writing this category has a handful of subcategories: English assassins (7), English murderers of children (36), English people convicted of murder (155), English female murderers (40), and English regicides (mostly those involved in the execution of Charles I). For some reason Wikipedia does not have a category “English male murderers” which some may consider a bias in itself.
Lets focus on the two categories English people convicted of murder (155) and English female murderers (40). It turns out that 35 of the 40 “English female murderers” are also in the category “English people convicted of murder”; the remainder are male. Assuming that eventually the missing 5 women will get
…continue reading Gender, Bending Wikipedia