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  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Wikipedia and the war on women’s dignity

By Nathalie Collida With research contributions from tarantino, James P. Persica, and Eric Barbour

Between what has become known as GamerGate and the Apple iCloud incident, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Internet has declared a full-on war on women’s privacy. Over 100 female celebrities have had their iCloud accounts hacked and personal, mostly nude photographs of themselves published on 4chan and Reddit. Video game developer Zoe Quinn endured a vituperative online harassment campaign from men’s rights advocates after her ex-boyfriend publicly accused her of infidelity – including, and, as it turned out, wrongly, of having had an affair with a journalist to ensure favorable coverage of her interactive fiction game, Depression Quest. In addition to being unfairly accused of corruption and called all kinds of names, both on the Internet and through anonymous phone calls, Quinn found her address revealed on Reddit together with illegally obtained nude photographs of herself.

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Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian recently went into hiding, after her latest series of videos analyzing how women are used as background decoration in video games resulted in death threats against her and her parents and the publication of their home addresses on twitter. Since launching her Tropes vs. Women project in 2012, Sarkeesian has become a popular target for misogynists. Attacks on the critic by men’s rights advocates and Internet trolls included graphic threats of rape as well as a crudely-made video game in which players scored points for punching Sarkeesian in the face. Following the latest Twitter onslaught, a slew of Angry Men on the Internet were predictably quick to suggest that she may have made up the death threats to garner sympathy and donations. Two men’s rights activists are now asking you to part with your hard-earned cash

…continue reading Wikipedia and the war on women’s dignity

A feminist’s Wikipedia biography

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 together. The screenshot below was downloaded directly from one of the internet forums organizing the harassment. They were proudly posting this image as a trophy to boast about what they were doing and to encourage others to join in.

Sarkeesian's Wikipedia biography at the height of the June 2012 harassment episode.

Sarkeesian’s Wikipedia biography at the height of the June 2012 harassment episode.

The vandalism included changing the text, changing the page categories, changing the external links to re-reroute to porn sites and adding a drawing of a woman with a man’s penis in her mouth captioned with “Daily Activities”.

Some of the vandalism was subtle, and bore the marks of insider knowledge. Adding her biography to the “Cancer” or

…continue reading A feminist’s Wikipedia biography

Flagged Revisions: how Wikipedia could have prevented anonymous defamation. And didn’t.

By Andreas Kolbe

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One of the worst things about Wikipedia is how it provides a platform for malicious, anonymous slander. It did not have to be this way.

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy’s dad was recently defamed as a Nazi collaborator in Wikipedia, and the hoax spread instantly to other websites, including one news website which reported that the spurious information had been removed, and now claimed the article was “censored”. Levy had to employ Haaretz’s lawyer to have the article withdrawn, an option not open to everyone, as he rightly observes:

Wikipedia had published, for one day apparently, information planted there, that my father, Dr. Heinz Levy, had collaborated with the Nazis and therefore was awarded the position of district legal adviser under that horrific regime. When he came to Israel, he changed his name from Heinz to Zvi in order to blur his past, it added. All of this was reported by Rotter and a picture was added of the page in Wikipedia before it was “censored.”

I was in shock. I have been the subject of quite a few aspersions before but never anything like that. What can be done about slander of this type? How does one start to refute a revolting lie which in another second will spread like wildfire among the virtual thorn fields of the Internet? […]

Wikipedia published the information, even if only for a very short time. Only the decisive intervention of Haaretz’s lawyer, attorney Tali Lieblich, who sent a sharply worded letter to the management of Rotter, led to the (immediate) removal of the slanderous item. Not everyone has a lawyer, or a friend who brings to his attention the fact that he has been slandered on the Web. From my point of view, the

…continue reading Flagged Revisions: how Wikipedia could have prevented anonymous defamation. And didn’t.