February 3, 2015

What They Do

"deter any responsible party from reading it. You may judge the success of that strategy for yourself.

Armies of Mordor, allied with the Haradrim of Arbcom.

Gamergate: it’s really about ethics in weaponizing Wikipedia.

Though there's no question that the effect of the Arbcom decision has been to encourage GamerGate to take over – Zoe Quinn’s page, for example, now describes her harassment in past tense and implies that it perhaps GamerGate had little to do with it – on the whole, the pages have received more capable defense than I had expected.

This is entirely due to a number of feminist editors who had played a lesser role in the past, but who, seeing the need, have literally stepped into the breach ArbCom created. As before, I use “feminist” here to denote people believe that women should pursue a career in computing if they feel like it, and that women ought not to be raped or crippled if they do pursue a career. This is a radical notion for GamerGate and also, it seems, for Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s misogyny, overt and subtle, has been much discussed lately. This might be a good occasion to take a fresh look at its anti-intellectualism, which dovetails neatly into the anti-intellectual and paranoid traditions of American politics. Question: is this entirely to be laid at Jimmy Wales’ door? If you know good discussion of Wikipedia’s anti-intellectual foundations, Email me.