GamerGate Wikipedia Ruling Bans Harassed Feminist Editors, Outrage Ensues [Update]

Maryam Louise

Update: The primary source of this article has been brought into question. The extreme GamerGate harassment against five feminist Wikipedia editors resulted in their banning from the publication, not in them being recognized as victims. In the ongoing GamerGate saga, Wikipedia made a decision to ban feminist authors on the website over the weekend of January 22. Earlier in January, retaliation over the controversy reached a peak when about 20 police officers were sent to GamerGate critic Grace Lynn's former residence.

In a breaking news article by The Guardian UK, five Wikipedia editors were banned from gender-related articles and 10 editors were, "deemed to be breaking the site's rules amid GamerGate controversy." The offenders were tried by Wikipedia's highest courts and since the news was announced that Wikipedia would ban five feminist editors tied to the GamerGate conflict, voices of outrage have ensued online.

— PixelBlock (@TinyPixelBlock) January 25, 2015

"But #GamerGate has been permanently tarnished and highjacked by a handful of people who are not what you would hope. You might not be the person to lead it. I don't know who is. But I strongly recommend that someone organize a 'gamer's union' of sorts, with a real mission statement, with real rules, with real organization and leadership.... moaning on a Twitter hashtag is getting you nowhere, particularly for the reasons I have outlined in this note."

— EscapeVelocity (@EscapeVelo) January 24, 2015

Mark Bernstein includes a long background history of the Wikipedia GamerGate controversy on his website. Statements made by Mark Bernstein about how Wikipedia was involved in GamerGate and how the controversy became harassment includes the following.

"Late last year, a group of computer game enthusiasts and journalists apparently decided to strike out against what they considered unfair feminist critique of violence and sex in their favorite games. They called themselves '#GamerGate.'... But it's not clear that they really had a grievance, that the purported fears were anything more than a rationalization for anonymous persecution....The #GamerGate crowd decided that their ideal tactics were to identify women in the game industry who were "social justice warriors," and to drive them out of the field."
"Through Twitter and unsavory chat boards, these women were subjected to intense harassment. Their sexual histories were dissected. They were repeatedly threatened with assault, rape, and murder. Their employers were sent anonymous email, both embarrassing and threatening. Some of the women had to cancel speaking engagements. Some have been forced from their homes."