Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, which acts as the organization’s top decision-maker, has banned several people from editing articles related to gender and sexuality. Why? Because they sought to prevent the site from taking a positive stance on GamerGate.
For anyone who has managed to forget what GamerGate is: it’s a movement that claims to be about ethics in games journalism, though many of its adherents are more devoted to harassing women who make, critique, or have some other form of involvement with the video game industry.
The arbitration committee has decided that those working to ensure Wikipedia doesn’t support this misogynistic campaign are no longer allowed to edit any gender-related articles. But what about those who edit those same articles in support of GamerGate?
Those people are, with only a few exceptions, free to continue editing. The Guardian reports that the few accounts which have had their virtual wrists slapped for editing pro-GamerGate items into gender-related articles are dummy accounts, more of which can always be made.
This means supporters of a movement which has forced multiple women to flee their homes, and caused one to cancel a speaking event after its host received a bomb threat, are free to contribute to Wikipedia. Those who don’t want the online encyclopedia to be seen as supporting the misogynistic efforts, meanwhile, have had their voices muffled.
[illustration by Brad Jonas]