Laverne Cox | Transgender | Wikipedia

Congressional Staffers Blocked From Making Changes On Wikipedia After Anti-Trans Edits Surface

Wikipedia

Someone using an IP address linked to Capitol Hill has been making anti-trans edits on Wikipedia pages - and it's been happening all month long. Twitterbot @congressedits has tracked the activity which is coming from somewhere within Congress and the program has created a record of those edits on the several of the site's pages, such as one on transphobia.

Business Insider reports:

LavIt's impossible to know whether the edits are coming from one or multiple users, but the changes come from an IP address, 143.231.249.138, that has repeatedly been linked to House of Representatives computers. In the "talk" discussion section of one article, an individual making the changes has also claimed to be a staffer on Capitol Hill.

The anonymous user has demonstrated a relatively specific focus on transgender topics. For example, a Wednesday edit to the "Tranny" article changed the phrase "assigned sex" to "biological sex" — a term that has been criticized as transphobic. Articles on "body integrity identity disorder" and "gender identity disorder" were also edited. Even the Wikipedia article on transphobia was edited on Tuesday to include an external link — since been removed for its reported "hateful or abusive content" — defending transphobia.

"This article is too pro-trans," the user complained after his or her edit was removed. "When I attempted to add an alternative point of view regarding this topic ... it was reverted right away."

A Wikipedia editor blocked the IP address due to numerous offensive adjustments several times this month already but on Wednesday, the website decided to put a stop to any further hate speech by barring all Congress staff members from making edits on the site.

According to The Hill, transphobic new edits that surfaced on Wednesday afternoon related to actress Laverne Cox led to the wide ban:

The final straw came on Wednesday afternoon, when someone from the House edited the page for the Netflix hit show “Orange is the New Black” to change the characterization of an actor from “a real transgender woman” to “a real man pretending to be a woman.”

GLAAD responded later that afternoon:

"It's chilling to think that this dangerous misinformation about transgender Americans could be coming from our nation's Capitol," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "At a time when transgender people still face horrific rates of violence, trailblazers like Laverne Cox are helping millions understand that ignorance like this can have life-threatening consequences."​​

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Comments

  1. No surprise here to see our elected House members actively trolling the internet and further, disseminating misinformation to promote hate and bigotry. This only goes to prove that anything from Wikipedia is suspect when anything can edit the information there to suit their own selfish hateful agenda. Maybe we need to boycott Wikipedia for allowing this type of editing to be done by ANYONE because intentional misinformation is dangerous.

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Aug 22, 2014 8:15:27 AM


  2. or maybe we should *commend* Wikipedia for addressing what many other sites won't - that sometimes "a different point of view" is not actually a valid one of worth, and it just bigoted nonsense.

    they removed it. blocked the IP address. took further steps.

    why boycott wikipedia? there's no need. they're on top of it.

    the site maintains that as it can be publicly edited things are subject to change - but their team works hard - and the use of citations in articles is beneficial - and those without citation are labeled as such.

    how sad that someone out there in politics is so decidedly driven to make life for transpeople harder and more fraught with prejudice.

    of course, the lowest of society will continue to use internet anonymity to lash out at what they don't understand, and what they choose to hate. this post here will become a hotbed of anti-trans comments, made by the same worthless coward, under various aliases.

    but...what if Andy blocked the IP address? or published it?
    after all - it's like a heckler in the crowd - give 'em the mic and they turn and run, they don't have it in them to speak in the spotlight, they only want to scream in the darkness.

    so, if wikipedia can understand that sometimes a "different point of view" is really just a hateful pile of crap being spewed by a deranged and unhinged bigot...maybe this and other blogs should, as well.


    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 22, 2014 8:31:06 AM


  3. So 'biological sex' is now trannyphobic?

    Why exactly?

    Big and burly Laverne Cox is biologically male - she has male chromosomes that no amount of operations or make-up is going to change.

    She has no idea of what it is like to be socialised as a female either.

    Another day - another tranny tantrum.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 22, 2014 9:04:17 AM


  4. Wikipedia...is garbage.

    Posted by: Ted | Aug 22, 2014 9:19:45 AM


  5. MaryM - f k u.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 22, 2014 9:38:21 AM


  6. Why haven't we been given the name of the republican staffer who made the changes?

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 22, 2014 9:38:54 AM


  7. Now they're claiming that even the term "biological sex" is transphobic?
    This is ludicrous. What's next? The terms "man" and "woman"?

    Reminds me of a sketch at the beginning of Monty Python's Life of Brian, where the hyper-politically-correct activist who wants to become a woman laments (s)he is being oppressed because the others remind him/her that (s)he doesn't have a uterus.
    I repeat: ludicrous.

    Posted by: Pandion | Aug 22, 2014 9:47:19 AM


  8. Daniel: They way Wikipedia is set up, people can semi-anonymously edit, but their IP address is logged. So, with this troll, they can tell that the IP address came from within the House of Representatives (of course, where else but the Republican-controlled House), but they can't be more specific than that without a subpoena or some rather scary and illegal tracking software.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 22, 2014 9:47:45 AM


  9. How the f is biological sex offensive?! I thought they were just attacking gender terms and always claim that sex and gender are separate. I can't keep up with the demands of these tranny messes. I mean trans messes (thanks jiz.)

    Posted by: me | Aug 22, 2014 10:19:47 AM


  10. Me (MaryM/Rick), if "tranny issues" confuse you so, maybe you should keep your mouth shut. You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 22, 2014 12:12:34 PM


  11. @ "How the f is biological sex offensive?!"

    Well, it aint. But vitual sex is much easier for us old folks...if you have a computer. I don't. (tear drops)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 22, 2014 12:25:55 PM


  12. Biological sex.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Aug 22, 2014 1:02:42 PM


  13. Biological sex is inaccurate because it simplifies sex to a single set of organs. Biological sex effects the brain as well, and research suggests that many transsexuals have brains which biologically are most similar to those of the gender they identify with.

    Posted by: Nathan | Aug 22, 2014 1:24:01 PM


  14. Well said, Nathan. "Biology" is only simple if you want to use a high-school understanding, and ignore things like hormones, physical structures, and other indicators that actual doctors and biologists use to determine sex.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Aug 22, 2014 1:40:49 PM


  15. Like any fraudulent enterprise, trans activism has to limit the flow of information lest the marks get wise to the con. But information wants to be free. The truth about the pathology of transgenderism is getting out.

    BTW, no surprise that GLAAD is weighing in on this even while it does nothing to investigate the upcoming "ex-gay" film with James Franco. This was a group founded by lesbians, gays and bisexuals to combat homophobic defamation in media, but it is now completely transjacked by people who never contributed a dime or a day's labor. It's primary concern is heterosexual crossdressers and transsexuals. LGBs should not be supporting it.

    Posted by: Helene | Aug 22, 2014 2:52:55 PM


  16. Me/MaryM/Helene/enchantra (all are established aliases of Rick): so many names to post the same transphobic comment over and over, as though repeating a lie eventually makes it true.

    Rick, you hate women so much and yet you posted as woman on this thread three times now. You already think women are inherently homophobic. And now you're trying to make then seem transphobic too. You're a sick puppy. Have you considered euthanasia? Maybe a nice lobotomy? You seem to be suffering with a debilitating mental illness.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 22, 2014 4:22:32 PM


  17. This is an old political trick by any standard, despite the Internet being "new". You create a reference that you like, then use it to back up your claims. You, edit an encyclopedia to say the sky is green, then go "Hey, look, it says here in the encyclopedia that the sky is green, just like I told you!". Many, many position papers are created just for this purpose.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 22, 2014 5:05:58 PM


  18. "This article is too pro-trans," the authoritative genius writes, to defend his own transphobia and his current existence as a raging nuclear douchebomb.

    Posted by: radioredrafts | Aug 22, 2014 6:02:53 PM


  19. @ToThePoint @Ted : several years ago an article appeared in Nature that compared the Wikipedia to the Encyclopedia Britannica on accuracy for technical/scientific topics. Both made mistakes, but there was not a huge difference in the error rates. The Wikipedia is not "garbage". It is not perfect either.

    Sometimes on a contentious topic (typically where politics are involved) there have been some cases of people vandalizing Wikipedia pages or purposely inserting false information. This gets corrected quickly. In an even smaller number of cases, a more specific response such as blocking certain individuals, to the extent that they can be identified, is also used.

    Keep in mind that the Wikipedia started as an experiment to ask an interesting question - how little centralized control is needed to insure quality? The way they are trying to answer that question is to add control mechanisms only when there is a proven need for them, with a goal of keeping the amount of centralized control to a minimum.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 22, 2014 7:36:53 PM


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