Quick hit: Wikipedia begins purging feminist editors

It’s never been clearer that neutral point of view is a joke.

The Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) is the highest user-run body on Wikipedia, or “Wikipedia’s supreme court”. Contrary to its public image as a freewheeling, anarchic site where anyone can edit, Wikipedia actually is a bureaucracy to rival the IRS.

ArbCom’s latest decision: banning five editors who in their personal lives are feminists from editing feminism-related articles. Specifically, all five editors had been attempting to rewrite Wikipedia articles with a pro-Gamergate slate to have a more neutral point of view. No editors who’d expressed a pro-Gamergate point of view in their personal lives were banned; five feminists were.

I’ve previously written on my blog about how Wikipedia administrators decided I couldn’t be neutral because I identified at the time as genderqueer. But if this latest twist isn’t Wikipedia throwing down the gauntlet to declare that “neutral point of view” really means “point of view that soothes white, heterosexual, cis, abled men’s egos”, I don’t know what is.

The Guardian has the full story.

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About Tim Chevalier

Tim has written Haskell code on the job, worked on the Rust programming language at Mozilla, and been a graduate student in computer science at Portland State University and at UC Berkeley. He is currently a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Heroku, whose opinions his writing does not represent. He likes cats and bikes. His personal blog is at http://tim.dreamwidth.org/

4 thoughts on “Quick hit: Wikipedia begins purging feminist editors

  1. Kootiepatra

    Uh, I guess it didn’t occur to Wikipedia that feminists, although not “neutral” towards feminism, are experts in it. How does it not make sense to draw on their expertise for an informed, well-researched article?

  2. davidgerard

    >Looks like the Guardian jumped the gun a bit. There’s no final decision yet.

    This has been a standard insider talking point, and it’s disingenuous. The proposed decision has vote counts on it. I would be very pleased if the final decision was substantially different, but I would also be extremely surprised.

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