Was just reading this puff piece about Caroline Sinders when this phrase caught my eye: “Sinders witnessed firsthand how bias can perpetuate itself during her time working as a design researcher at the Wikimedia Foundation, where she focused on the patterns of online harassment.” Witnessed? Focused? Past tense?
Sure enough, as of yesterday, April 16, her WMF account is globally locked, with the edit summary “(No longer employed with WMF)“. Her last edit was March 2. Her civilian account, User:Cellarpaper, has even fewer edits, and
still declares her to be a WMF employee.
Looks like she was working on an audit of harassment reporting for Improved tools and workflows to report harassment. She did complete one project, Research:Wikihounding and Machine Learning Analysis, a study of AN/I that concluded, “It is not yet clear what approach will work best for identifying and characterizing patterns of harassing behavior…” I wrote about this report here: Community Health group releases ANI survey. Sinders did not edit even one of these pages, not even a minor copyedit, but unlike a number of earlier WMF reports, this one was released on schedule.
On April 13, the report was uploaded to Commons, but not by her.
On April 13, she also had an opinion piece published in her hometown paper about police, data sets, and discrimination.
On April 16, yesterday, she was an invited speaker at a meetup in Berlin.
Her Twitter account still lists her as a WMF employee.
On April 15, she thanked Tom Fish (former arbitrator Guerillero) on Twitter for a link to a six year old archive on the topic of ANI . Interesting blast from the past comment from New York Brad, back before he lost his touch.
In the meantime, Sinders has become interested in “data sets as protest” and been crisscrossing the globe collecting data, which will be used for another one of her art pieces:
The data set will be open source, but Sinders has a very particular use in mind for it. “I’m eventually going to use all this data to train a feminist chatbot,” she says, which will be another art piece in itself without any explicit educational goal.
To collect this “data archive”, Sinders visits feminist bookstores and asks attendees to write their ideas on sticky notes. She just finished a workshop in New York and is scheduled for London, Belgrade (Serbia), and San Francisco.
The original Commons photo:
Nice work if you can get it.