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Press Releases

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Wikipedia’s struggles with harassment and criticism: past and present

by Kingsindian

Introduction Early in October, Buzzfeed published a expose, titled “Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream”, based on leaked emails of Milo Yiannapoulos, a former writer for Breitbart News.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo YiannopoulosImage Credit: KmeronLicense: CC BY 2.0

The story is long and complicated and covers lots of areas. Among the revelations in the story were some email exchanges between Yiannopoulos and journalists in the “liberal media” which Breitbart News frequently rails against. Some of the emails exchanged between Yiannopoulos and David Auerbach, then a journalist at Slate, were about governance issues at Wikipedia. Auerbach has broadly denied Buzzfeed’s claims, saying: “Inasmuch as the story concerns me, it is utter bullshit”.

The story which follows spans several areas including harassment, politics, anonymity, and the nature of online discourse. Like in the Buzzfeed story, one theme connecting many of these areas is a long-running and ever-evolving saga called Gamergate, which started in mid-2014. The issues discussed here go beyond Wikipedia and affect the lives, politics, and culture in the “real world” as well. While we will touch on the real-world issues as appropriate, our focus will be on how these issues affect and are affected by, the mechanisms and personalities on Wikipedia.

…continue reading Wikipedia’s struggles with harassment and criticism: past and present

Diversity Conference at National Archives not so ‘Open’

The National Archives will be the site of a controversial “Diversity Conference” hosted jointly by the Wikimedia DC organization and the federally-funded Archives. The June 17-18 conference is billed as “open to everyone”, but that’s a small falsehood being presented to the public.

…continue reading Diversity Conference at National Archives not so ‘Open’

WMF Harassment Survey was a Waste of Time

A recent Wikimedia Foundation survey on harassment turns out to be almost entirely useless.

…continue reading WMF Harassment Survey was a Waste of Time