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Dept. of Raging Disappointment

Boosting the Signal

Just so you folks know, I sent this email to the Wikimedia Foundation earlier tonight.

To Whom It May Concern,

This year, for the first time, I donated money to support the Wikimedia Foundation, and I thought I had done a good thing in doing so.

However, the recent news that your Arbitration Committee has made a decision to permanently ban five writers and editors, in response to pressure from members of the so-called Gamergate community, has decreased my respect for, and confidence in, your organization and its policies.

I hope someday to be able to donate to your organization again. For now, however, I join other members of the Internet community in saying that, until you fix Wikipedia's systemic bias against women, you will not get another penny from me.

And please do not indulge in the traditional defense of the disingenuous and cowardly; do not say, "We are not responsible." Of course you are, because you are financing and supporting the toxic atmosphere of its administrative and cultural infrastructure.

The buck stops with you.

Most sincerely,
Kathryn J. Routliffe

With many thanks to [personal profile] kerravonsen 

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/343644.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC)
Journalism doesn't come from a machine, it comes from a person. As a result, there will always be a "slant". That's the point of choosing your information source or using multiple sources. There are biases, there are angles, there are various ways of looking at a single situation.

Wikipedia is meant to be a collection destination for a million points of information. Everyone is meant to be able to contribute to, and provide compliment for, its content. People who want to pick and choose what's allowed on Wikipedia should be limited to whether the statement is a fact or not, and be done with it. Hell, Wikipedia doesn't even require relevant facts in hundreds of articles, why should an alleged gender or even cultural bias be a problem for them. They are NOT a credible source. They're meant to be the beginning of knowledge, like a grade school text book, and people should choose from there.

Therefore banning people who provide to the collective body of knowledge is wrong.

Thanks for sharing this.
Jan. 26th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
Wikipedia is meant to be a collection destination for a million points of information. ... They're meant to be the beginning of knowledge, like a grade school text book, and people should choose from there.

This is something that too few people realize (even I forget, I admit with shame). It's similar to the situation with search engines; people tend to forget there are other search engines than Google.

But the key point in your comment is definitely that banning people who provide to the collective body of knowledge is wrong - especially when the banning is targeted at a specific group.
Jan. 26th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this.
Jan. 26th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. I'm sorry this has to be a thing that needs signal boosting, but I'm glad I could do it.
Jan. 26th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC)
VERY well done you! I've only recently started reading up on so-called Gamergate, and I've been appalled by what I found. Ironically, Wikipedia's article on the controversy does actually lean towards seeing it as a blatantly sexist campaign leading to outright acts of violence against women, and in general does not support the claim that it's about so-called 'ethics in journalism'. And Wikimedia does this?

Icon aimed at misogynistic media organisations and people.
Jan. 26th, 2015 05:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, Wikipedia's previous attitude, and the attitude of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, of active and thoughtful neutrality-tending-towards-skepticism about Gamergate supporters, makes this action even more unfathomable.

And I credit kerravonsen for alerting me to this. I'm waiting to see if other main stream media pick up what the Guardian found, and how they play it.
Jan. 26th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have nothing intelligent to say, just a resounding face!palm and a very loud Urg.
Jan. 26th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
That about covers it, sadly.
Jan. 26th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about this. It makes me angry and sad.

Thanks for posting this.
Jan. 26th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
I hope that enough people engaging with the Wikimedia Foundation in serious conversation about this issue could eventually force them to ask their Wikipedia administrators to reconsider this, and perhaps to begin making more positive changes in the culture there.
Jan. 27th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
A staggeringly stupid decision. But Wikipedia is so self involved that they may not even be aware of the issue.
Jan. 27th, 2015 02:22 am (UTC)
Wikipedia would be unaware of the actions of its own Arbitration Committee? Lordy.
Jan. 27th, 2015 03:57 am (UTC)
This is disgusting - and kudos to you for informing them of their error and said consequences. I have a feeling (just from Andy's article) that you will not be the only one.

Gamergate was a sheer horror. The mysogynstic, narrow-minded and violent outpourings towards women and certain ones who chose to speak out was appalling and frightening: so of course the answer is to rid themselves of 'all feminists en bloc' and 'social justice warriors'. As a gamer and as someone who happens to be a woman, the whole thing was enraging. I wish I could say it was shocking, but in this day in age, even awareness of bad behavior does little to deter it. Quite the opposite in fact. These people acted as if someone was taking their lolly away and the gruesome and terrifying response pissed me off.

Quite frankly, WP siding with the knuckle-draggers doesn't surprise me. I've never gone out of my way to use the site, being well aware of the misinformation and nasty internal rumblings. They are actually the LAST site I ever resource from. Looks like I won't be hitting them again anytime soon, as being a female, my thoughts, input and ideas are obviously not needed - nor my interest necessary - to their site in the first place.

I'm sorry, was that 'catty'? That was 'catty' I'm sure. MEH.

Oh!! Came across this. I don't know how you feel about FOX, but I thought you might enjoy this from a journalistic POV no matter what: High Schoolers and Journalistic Ethics

Jan. 27th, 2015 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the link to the High Schoolers' piece. It was very well done, and I agree that Fox should pay attention to people like this. Of course, they won't, but it was gratifying to listen to. God bless those kids, and I hope some of them make it to my profession; it will benefit by their addition!

And I agree with you about Wikipedia. I like starting there for information, but doing so now makes me feel queasy.

*hugs, many, many hugs*

Edited at 2015-01-27 05:39 pm (UTC)
Jan. 27th, 2015 06:38 am (UTC)
Urgh, this stuff is disgusting. Thanks for sharing and speaking out, dear. ♥
Jan. 27th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Glad to boost the signal! (Still waiting for more coverage of this from the regular media. Still being disappointed about that.)
Jan. 28th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
Always with the media disappointments… *sighs*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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