For the last three or four days, the gamergate reddit “WikiInAction” (sorry, no link-love) has been engaged in a silent edit war. They are desperately trying to hide some comments on its latest thread, “Feminists / Cultural Marxists Plan to Brigade-Edit Wikipedia”, that purports to show a communist plot to take over Wikipedia with women. The article that is making them crazy is about an editathon for women artists.
The way Reddit works is that you can get threads hidden by “downvoting” them. The comments are still there, but in order to see them, you have to click on a tiny pale grey link that says “comment score below threshold (3 children)”
“The bias they are referring to is the lack of coverage of topics of specific interest to women due to the unbalanced gender mix of Wikipedia editors.
“In practice, mostly they just write articles about female artists.”
This comment was hidden yesterday, reappeared this morning, then was downvoted and hidden again just a few moments ago.
The other thing they don’t want you to see is the links to two pages on Wikipedia that actually show what is going on, that “clarify the real situation instead of imagining a conspiracy”: lists of articles improved and new articles created. This is from a 2016 editathon.
You can see how the page views shot up after the comment was posted, then went to zero when the comment was hidden. Page views started going up again last night after the comment became visible again.
If you want to follow the progress of the censorship attempt in real time, without skewing the pageview count, here is a direct link to the pageview metrics for Wikipedia:Meetup/ArtAndFeminsm/Outcomes2016improved and Wikipedia:Meetup/ArtAndFeminism/Outcomes2016new.
This is what gamergate cares about, hiding the facts, so people can’t think for themselves. So much for “free speech”. But then I think we knew this was a political movement all along, and not a social or cultural one.
( hmm, this is actually kinda fun….)
UPDATE: final tally.
The edit war on WikiInAction over hiding the Art+Feminism link continues full force — this morning it was hidden yet again. In the meantime, the “brigading” comment has a solid net 31 votes while the two Wikipedia Art+Feminism pages listing articles improved and articles created have had 79 and 74 page views respectively. Kind of ironic, a bunch of barely literate man-children have been induced to look at a list of women artists.