February 5, 2015

Balance In The Mud

Yep: the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee that infamously sanctioned all GamerGate’s targets, spared not one word to consider the plight of Wikipedia’s victims, and foolishly extended sanctions to all “gender-related controversies,” indeed included thirteen men and one woman.

I had previously reported its composition as 11 men, 1 woman, and two members whose gender was not publicly known. On February 4, ArbCom finally cleared that up.

And, just to be perfectly clear: Wikimedia Foundation may complain that other reports were not accurate, but I was correct in writing that the original draft proposal sanctioned every major feminist voice then active in the topic, including all five GamerGate targets.

Some newspapers were briefly confused by the distinction between a draft decision and a final decision, but the final decision did in fact sanction all the feminist editors, adding some disposable GamerGate special-purpose accounts to present the appearance of balance. By "feminist” here, I mean the belief that women should pursue careers in computing if they wish, and that those who do should not be threatened with rape and murder nor should their sexual histories be the subject of interminable public discussion on Wikipedia. I am confident that this belief is shared by all Gamergate’s targets on Wikipedia, and by none of GamerGate’s fervent and fevered fans.

Speaking of inaccuracy, ArbCom’s own press statement declared loudly that no one was being banned – and the next day the same committee changed its mind and did ban one of the GamerGate targets.

No Wikimedia Foundation press statement that I have seen, official or otherwise, has the courtesy to identify me by my degree, affiliation, or title, much less to mention my extensive record of research in the field.