Wikipedia’s GamerGate page continues to spread lies to the misinformed. Last week, an editor put forward a proposal to change Wikipedia’s GamerGate title page from “GamerGate controversy” to “GamerGate harassment campaign.” It appears as though they have undeniable proof that pro-GamerGate coordinated a campaign to launch wide-scale harassment attacks on various women in the gaming community, similar to when mainstream websites published “Gamers Are Dead” articles all at the same time.
What the hell is happening behind the scenes at Wikipedia? I decide to investigate how the editors are so sure that GamerGate is all about harassment.
Anatomy Of A Smear
Most Wikipedia editors are convinced that GamerGate is a “harassment campaign.” In the Discussion section of the GamerGate page, the editors discussed how to best string “GamerGate,” “harassment,” and “campaign” together. When one editor (Mythiran) tried to start a real discussion, there was no response from the other editors.
Further investigation points to the talk that lead editors to change the title of the page. To summarize the discussion, almost all of the editors involved are convinced that GamerGate is a harassment campaign. Worse yet, these editors ignored how GamerGate began. They believe that Zoe Quinn is an innocent woman who did nothing wrong and she’s being harassed for no reason.
One editor who goes by the name of Dheyward attempted to reason with other editors by telling them that GamerGate isn’t all about harassment and that the pro-GG side were harassed too. His arguments were casually dismissed by PeterTheForth and then ignored. It was as though Dheyward was a little kid speaking up in a room when the adults are trying to have a conversation. However, two lines in the Wikitalk helped further me along the road in my investigation
These editors supposedly don’t take any sides. They edit articles by using reliable sources and after carefully reviewing the facts. So what do they consider to be reliable sources? What is this data they’re looking at? I investigated by checking PeterTheForth’s Wikitalk history to figure out what he considers to be a trustworthy source Before I knew it, I stumbled across a goldmine from A Voice for Men’s talk page.
Listen And Believe
How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement is the name of the BuzzFeed article. It’s not a statement in Wikipedia’s voice. BuzzFeed is, like it or not, still considered a reliable source. Grayfell (talk) 07:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Buzzfeed… is considered a reliable source on Wikipedia? If Buzzfeed is a reliable source, then what isn’t a reliable source?
It’s obvious to me now why these Wiki editors believe that GamerGate is about misogynistic harassment, given that every single article about GamerGate from the mainstream media shove that harassment narrative down everyone’s throat. We’ve all seen those articles and we know how terrible and inaccurate they were. ABC itself admitted that they don’t care about GamerGate; they reported it as part of the “War on Women” for ratings.
Sadly, In the world of Wikipedia, ABC is a reliable source and a random blog post by a random person is not a reliable source, even if ABC reported everything wrong and the random blog post got everything right. This is Wikipedia’s logic, and this is why their editors portray GamerGate the way that they did. As long as the source is considered “reliable,” they will listen and believe without question. Given that’s how they operate, these editors don’t understand how anyone can believe that GamerGate is nothing but a harassment movement:
The Guardian also points to her being a target of Gamergate harassment: “As well as persistent low-level harassment for the past two years, the attacks stepped up a notch in August 2014 when Sarkeesian was identified as one of the key targets of “#gamergate”. Ostensibly a campaign against corruption in journalism but in practice a grassroots attack on feminist critics in gaming, Gamergate has led to at least three prominent women in gaming having to take action over threats of violence.” Kaciemonster(talk) 18:58, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia editors edit articles using sources they consider to be “reliable.” As long as the website has a reliable reputation, every words in the article is treated as fact. Wikipedia editors are incapable of using logic to determine what’s right and wrong. You can show them evidence that disproves what they wrote in their articles, but the editors are not going to take you seriously because you are a random person and therefore not a “reliable” source.
The same logic applies to GamerGate, which is why it’s no surprise that the GamerGate page on Wikipedia is the way it currently is. Don’t expect the page to change anytime soon. Hell, it’s only a matter of time before they rename the title page “Holocaust 2.”