September 21, 2016

Wacky Wiki

I think we’ve got to start a discussion of whether Wikipedia is serving as a recruiting ground for anti-Semitic and racist extremists emboldened by the Trump campaign. We’re seeing ongoing efforts, for example, to pretend that Pepe The Frog is just a cute cartoon – just like those guys in white hoods are just having fun. We‘re also seeing a concerted effort to pretend that Gamergate harassers have nothing to do with Gamergate itself, that they’re just outside agitators.

I suspect all this is meant not to change the encyclopedia but to advertise the Reddit and *chan forums where the real anti-Semitic and racist bilge gets peddled. An earlier tactic was to deny that Gamergate’s rape threats were really rape threats, and to argue ad nauseam that the victims were simply over-reacting sissie girls. And blood was probably coming out of them.

Wikipedia itself thinks that this embrace of racism and sexual harassment is just fine, since it boosts the number of “highly engaged editors” and increases site traffic.

Katherine Clark (D-MA5) has some legislative proposals. They’re not nearly enough, but it’s a start.