Summary:

The Wikipedia Post covers the past five years of the dispute about GamerGate on Wikipedia. It begins with the first fights over the article on indie game developer Zoe Quinn, a central figure in the corruption scandal that sparked the controversy, and continues through fights over the GamerGate article itself. The early stages of the dispute culminated in a case brought by this author before the site’s Arbitration Committee, often likened to a Supreme Court, which was the subject of considerable media controversy. A false narrative regarding that case became established in the media. …


One consequence of Wikipedia being the top information source in the world is that the general public can be very easily misled by misinformation that winds up on the site due to routine vandalism, incompetence, or savvy manipulations. It is why Wikipedia is a popular target for paid corporate editors, government operatives, and political activists. Being able to control what appears on Wikipedia means being able to control what is likely the very first site people find when looking up a topic using every popular search engine. …


Editors active in the GamerGate dispute, such as the so-called Five Horsemen of WikiBias, their various protectors, and anti-GamerGate Wikipedia false narrative architect Mark Bernstein, were presented as heroic defenders against outside activists using “throwaway” accounts. While the actual throwaway accounts created for the sole purpose of advancing an anti-GamerGate agenda would remain untouched for nearly five years, many of the others had prior sanctions and would face varying degrees of additional sanctions.

Ryulong


Following the GamerGate ArbCom case, I was subjected to a ban from GamerGate articles. After I received several blocks for ostensibly violating the ban due to me removing what were acknowledged to be violations of Wikipedia’s policies on unsourced negative claims about living people, which are normally a valid cause for claiming an exemption from a ban, I commented about editor Ian.thomson running to become one of the site’s administrators. When I attempted to alert some editors to my concerns, I had my existing one-month block extended by three months(See Part 8).

Not even a month after he would obtain…


After the removal of the Five Horsemen of Wikibias, the GamerGate article gradually worsened, rather than improved. While a small number of established editors were still involved and pushing an anti-GamerGate bias, most notably Mark Bernstein who created the false narrative adopted in large part by the media, the biggest contributing factor was the emergence of a clique of editors whose accounts were created for the sole purpose of advancing an anti-GamerGate narrative. Several of these accounts would rise to be among the top ten contributors to the GamerGate article(See Part 8). …


Breitbart News was not always the focus of so much attention as it has been since its role in favoring Trump during the 2016 election made it a source of such unrelenting ire for the left. Prior to its coverage of GamerGate, Wikipedia’s page about Breitbart was largely left alone by editors. However, it was a target for many of the site’s left-wing editors. …


One of the major side conflicts in the GamerGate dispute on Wikipedia involved the article on Anita Sarkeesian. A major point of conflict existed over whether to include criticism of the feminist YouTuber’s videos. Initially, this was not much of a fight as “reliable” sources effectively blacked-out coverage of all legitimate criticism to focus on harassment, with editors quite happy to provide sources on the latter. Some of these editors were also active on the GamerGate article advancing an anti-GamerGate agenda(See Part 3).

The more GamerGate went on, however, the more sources began cropping up that could be used for…


In the heat of the GamerGate controversy in 2014, a feminist Wikipedia editor named Laura Hale would publish a research paper regarding the supposed effect of Wikipedia’s supposedly toxic environment being harmful to women. Repeatedly invoking the boogeyman of GamerGate by name and implication, Hale’s paper focused heavily on one of Wikipedia’s own major feminism-related controversies surrounding the so-called “unblockable” editor Eric Corbett. At the conclusion of her paper, Hale calls for various actions to be taken to “fix” Wikipedia’s community such as pressure from outside social justice and feminist groups. She also suggests “interventions” from employees of the Wikimedia…


The persistence of the anti-GamerGate editors, particularly the single-purpose accounts who came to dominate the GamerGate article(See Appendix C), and the gradual whittling away of editors sympathetic to GamerGate would firmly take its toll. Mark Bernstein was even allowed a little leeway on his ban from gender-related controversies after he was found editing the article on Milo Yiannopoulos. He abused that leeway to inject misleading content into Google’s article regarding the controversy over James Damore’s memo on the company’s policies regarding gender discrimination. Feeling especially bold, Bernstein decided to test his luck at the end of 2017 by getting involved…


Despite the dramatic circumstances of Robert “Gamaliel” Fernandez losing his position on the Arbitration Committee and his self-proclaimed “retirement” from Wikipedia, Fernandez would get back to editing in just a few months, though oddly still calling himself “retired” to this day. However, his lower activity and commitment to stay away from GamerGate administrative activity put Mark Bernstein at the mercy of others without his most loyal protector. Even knowing he was on a tight leash and under watch, Bernstein couldn’t help but nibble away at the edges of his GamerGate ban, which covered gender-related controversies and the people associated with…

T. D. Adler

T.D. Adler edited Wikipedia as The Devil’s Advocate. He was banned after privately reporting conflict of interest editing by one of the site’s administrators.

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