Wikipedia to Sandifer: How Dare You Expose Our Bigotry
November 6, 2013 2:44 PM Subscribe
Sandifer had previously written about the fact that Wikipedia's administrators were allowing an active duty member of the US Military to remove any and all references to Chelsea Manning, or her decision to come out as transgender, while consistently banning trans advocates and allies who attempted to counter-edit the page, claiming the edits represented a "conflict of interest."
Sandifer will be unable to appeal the ban through Wikipedia's internal processes for a year, but he has stated that he is reaching out to Jimmy Wales, who still sits as the chairman emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation and the President of Wikia, inc.
"It is not the ban in particular that bothers me. I rarely edit Wikipedia anyway, have not used administrator powers in ages (though they were quite nice for finding well-written articles on fiction that got spuriously deleted on "notability" grounds). I knew there was a risk in criticizing the Arbitration Committee, and I took it because the consequence - banning - wasn't one that personally mattered to me much at all.
Nevertheless, the underlying issues are real. The Arbitration Committee has sanctioned people for complaining about transphobia while leaving transphobic commentary unsanctioned. It has further declared transgender topics to be subject to "discretionary sanctions," which mean that any editor who, in the judgment of an administrator, "fails to adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, any expected standards of behavior, or any normal editorial process" can be banned after a single warning. The result of this is a clear precedent that complaining about transphobia can result in being banned. And now they have moved on to trumping up reasons to ban people who call them out on that. "
This post was deleted for the following reason: This sounds like a lot of Wikipedia dramaz on an extremely hot button topic which means this needs to be a different sort of post once it's at MetaFilter so it's not just "look at those assholes" and a rehash of old arguments. -- jessamyn
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