November 7, 2016

Wiki and the Alt-Right

Benoit Landry, who uses the Wikipedia alias “Salvidrim!” and who is the first announced candidate for Wikipedia’s powerful arbitration committee, launched his candidacy with an attack on yours truly. Landry has previously expressed support for the notorious Gamergater whose screen name reflects his love for the sweet, sweet song of Nazi dive bombers, and who likes to call me “Reichstag.” Why that name, do you (((suppose)))?

Landry argued that my resistance to using Wikipedia for harassment is just as bad as the harassment. Just in case you’re keeping score at home, some of the harassment I opposed included:

There is, of course, no comparison between the petty vitriol that Gamergate and their many Wikipedia supporters have directed at me and the horrific harassment they have directed at the women who have been their chief targets – women who have lost jobs and been forced from their homes.

One the one hand we have rape and murder, on the other, stern censure. Clearly: both sides are equally bad!

Update: Benoit Landry has now withdrawn his accusation. He writes on Twitter:

I apologize for characterizing the abrasiveness of your attitude and the excessive volume of your voice as “harassment.”

If Wikipedia administrators like Mr. Landry had succeeded in stopping the use of Wikipedia to threaten and smear Gamergate victims at any point in the past two years, abrasiveness would be unnecessary. Their failure to stem that flood might be attributed either to incapacity, to indifference, or to quiet support; perhaps Mr. Landry may take a moment from his campaign to enlighten us on this count.

With regard to excessive volume, I confess that it can be hard to gauge the correct volume to adopt with Wikipedia, when Wikipedia is being used to threaten one’s colleagues with rape and murder. Especially when people keep sending one gas chamber pictures.

Polls open in the US in a few short hours. I'm with her.