Target: Lila Tretikov, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
Goal: Cancel ban preventing feminist Wikipedia editors from contributing to articles related to feminism and gender.
Wikipedia decided to ban a group of feminist editors from writing or editing articles related to gender and sexuality on the site following the controversy about sexism in video games, often referred to as “GamerGate.” The ban is meant to prevent the editors from including information about GamerGate’s known sexist aspects after disagreements kept occurring about how the controversy should be explained on the site. Some believe that GamerGate is about pushing for ethics in journalism ethics, while feminists explain it as an angry campaign against women and their voices in the gaming community. Wikipedia’s decision clearly takes sides, and takes a harsh stand against feminism.
Wikipedia is central to how people today understand and remember many things. An anti-feminist bias in Wikipedia could have very negative effects because it will skew articles and lead people to view anti-feminist ideas as the objective truth. In the case of GamerGate, it will prevent feminists from having a voice even on articles about the controversy’s victims, including Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic and blogger who was driven from her home after receiving death and rape threats for posting videos about sexism in video games. Explaining Sarkeesian’s story and GamerGate in general without a feminist perspective will result in a very biased and inaccurate portrayal of what actually happened and what it means.
Wikipedia is meant to be a democratic website, relying on its users for funding and content, and it has to be clear that actions like this are anti-democratic and are not supported by the general community of Wikipedia users and readers. Please let Wikipedia know that you demand that it cancel the ban and stop silencing feminists.
Dear Ms. Tretikov,
Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, with a panel of at least 11 men out of 14 arbitrators, recently decided to ban five feminist editors from editing any articles related to GamerGate and to gender and sexuality in general. It is unacceptable for a site with a democratic agenda to give in to the bullying and intimidation of a few users and to ban feminist perspectives on issues that are clearly centered around sexism. I demand that you immediately remove the ban and work to prevent the silencing of women in the Wikipedia community.
Pro-GamerGate individuals have been harassing and threatening feminist activists for months, sometimes to such an extreme level that they have to leave their homes. Now Wikipedia is literally giving the pro-GamerGate community the power to rewrite history and tell it however they want, excluding all feminist analysis and background. You know the importance Wikipedia has in how people understand events, stories, and history, and this ban could have very worrying results. Please act quickly to prevent this ban and to ensure women can still be a part of telling their own stories.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nohat via Wikimedia Commons