Attack on women philosophers

Saint Sophia, or Σοφία, the female personification of wisdom

Really this stuff is getting old, and it’s so commonplace I hesitate to even write about it. But since Sashi gave me a shout-out over on Proboards, I will give it a shot.

Here is the usual situation. Someone starts an article about some woman at an editathon, and some patrollers, usually some kids who don’t know anything about writing articles, decide that women can’t possibly do anything “notable” and proceed to try to delete the article.

I wrote about one such situation here, where a group of amateur patrollers decided to target a March 8 International Women’s Day editing event just because it was for women. One typical deletion discussion was at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Risa Horowitz, which pretty much sums up the arguments.

A typical sentiment:

“I would like to point out how demoralizing nominations like there are to new editors and projects like Art+Feminism, and I wonder if deleting is really the best we can do. Is it really not possible to improve articles like these?”

art feminism delection thread

Several articles were deleted several times, mostly without discussion. But the end result was that out of some 26 articles created, 25 are still blue links.

Now, to Sashi’s link. Just for reference, the article is philoSOPHIA, and the issue has now been brought to the arbitration committee for clarification.

In this particular case, I would say that first, SV is a very experienced editor, and that I would hate to find myself on the opposite side from her on anything, no matter how trivial. Second, if she has had to invoke discretionary sanctions for this, she has already lost. Many women will not edit at all except at editathons, and in particular they see Wikipedia “governance” as being rigged against them and want nothing to do with it. That there is now a “clarification request” at WP:AE is not a good sign. It is also not a good sign that Manchester regular RexxS has shown up, as well as hardcore gamergator Masim, and perennial arbcom candidate Salvidrim, also associated with gamergate-friendly sites. If this was just some random inexperienced patrollers, it could have been handled on the talk page or at AfD, but the entry of these individuals raises the stakes, as it also raises questions.

The previous tactic was to try to delete as many articles about women as possible, and if they could not be deleted, at least attach some templates to the top of them, to make them look bogus, and discredit the subject.  But there have been some new patroller tools come down the pike as part of the anti-harassment grants, so does this represent a change in tactics against the GLAM crowd?  Are the usual harassers turning back to arbcom as their traditional power base, and testing its strength and loyalty?

The situation itself is clear cut. Two individuals are edit warring. They should be stopped, but as usual, no one will stop them, because gender. They have invented a policy out of whole cloth, and should be told to start an RfC if they want this as a policy, not to try to shortcut the consensus process through arbcom, but instead they being treated like royalty, like this is already a real policy. Because there are women involved, as well as academics (a newbie with a PhD in philosophy), this has become a culture war, and the haters will be given an opportunity to drive them off.

The actual RfD policy is at WP:BEFORE:

“If there are verifiability, notability or other sourcing concerns, take reasonable steps to search for reliable sources.
“The minimum search expected is a normal Google search, a Google Books search, a Google News search, and a Google News archive search; Google Scholar is suggested for academic subjects.”

A search of Google books for “philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism” turns up a good 10 pages of references. These dudes could have added some sources. Instead, they chose to disrupt the article.

Note: still waiting for the creation of Julkaisufoorumi or rather the translation from the Finnish, which Headbomb rather petulantly insisted remain a red link. The source was quietly removed by his editwar buddy Randykitty in this mass edit.


Gamergate swarms harassment panel

A gaming festival has cancelled an anti-harassment work group because of harassment.

reddit pitchforksThe South-by-Southwest (SXSW) festival, a big gaming event in Austin, has cancelled two panel discussions about harassment due to threats of violence.  As a result, festival sponsors BuzzFeed and Vox have threatened to pull out of the festival entirely.

One of the former panelists describes how the Gamergaters cranked up their hate machine, using Reddit and the subreddit r/KotakuInAction to target panel members. The story is a compelling one, and the article well worth reading its entirety, although there will be nothing new or surprising to those who have followed these issues on Wikipedia.

The last question, is worth quoting in its entirety.  The Arbitration committee might give pause and consider how they are re-victimizing those who come to them for help, as well as picking at the scabs of the numerous bystanders to their endless stream of gender cases.

SXSW’s actions throughout this whole ordeal have been unprofessional, self-serving, and mendacious. They have never really taken seriously the idea of actively working to curb harassment or keep people safe; their one consistent motivation throughout has been the opposite—exploiting people’s abuse for drama and clicks.

The dividing line between calling attention to abuse to try to make change and turning abuse into spectacle to exploit victims of abuse and re-abuse them has been a matter of long debate and soul-searching among those of us who write GamerGate think pieces. I’ve confronted myself with the question of whether I’m overall helping or harming by getting paid to write an op-ed about horrible things that have happened to someone else. In this account I’ve avoided providing direct links to certain things I reference for precisely that reason.

One thing is certain, though: People who take people who’ve been abused and manipulate them into a situation where they involuntarily “face” their abuser are not good people. They are not helping. Their goal is more fireworks and attention and money, not healing.

Reddit canvassing against Liz

Just in case there were any Reddit Gamergaters who were not aware that a woman was running for admin, here is the Reddit attempt to manipulate the Wikipedia vote process, known in Reddit lingo as “brigading”:

WikiInAction: “SJW Liz at the GG Wikipedia page is trying to become a Wikipedia administrator. Vote closes today.” The name of the poster has been [deleted].

WikiInAction user “ggthxnore” linked to the RFA here saying, “You may recognize Liz’s name from StukaLied’s amazing summaries.” This may be one of them, at KotukuInAction.

Crossposted from KotukuInAction: [DRAMAPEDIA] WP GamerGate editor Liz is trying to become a moderator posted by GorillaScrotum

KotakuInAction: “[DRAMAPEDIA] WP GamerGate editor Liz is trying to become a moderator by GorillaScrotum” Amusing comment by SuprememREader, “Between all my accounts, I did probably more than 1 million Wikipedia edits since 2004…” So just how many sock accounts is that?

Liz’s Request for Adminship has closed, but the results are so close that it has gone to the Bureaucrats for a decision.