September 12, 2015
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Wikipedia Update

At Wikipedia, Gamergate’s been demanding greater attention to its claims that Gamergate is concerned with ethics, demanding that if Wikipedia is to dismiss the ethics claims, it must first explain in detail how Gamergate views itself as a crusade against corruption.

I respond:

My local diner might call its fried chicken "world famous", but Wikipedia would want confirmation of that fame in the consensus of reliable sources. Here, the consensus of reliable sources holds that the chicken is not famous, or is only famous because people say it’s famous chicken when it's not particularly famous and probably also not chicken.

Actually, it’s all about the chicken.

Since our previous update, Gamergate’s launched two formal efforts to boot your humble correspondent for making funny faces, or perhaps for writing things that people sometimes read. A major plank in the latest case against me was that I intentionally sought a treaty or truce from Gamergate’s most voluble spokesman, which was thought shockingly uncivil. The fact that I include contact information in my business emails is cited on Wikipedia as evidence that I am gay and have established a liaison with certain administrators: I kid you not.

Back in the real world of Wikipedia, an extortion scam was recently uncovered in which a network of hundreds of sock puppet accounts colluded to demand monthly fees from small businesses to protect their pages from being deleted. This has led to lots of attention to petty fraud in Wikipedia, which I suspect is a snare: the real problem is not the extortion of $30/month from small businesses, it’s the $30,000/mo retainers from big businesses and political campaigns.