Wikipedia had to ban congressional staffer making transphobic edits.

Cartoon-Personal-ResponsibilityThe other day I wrote about how we, the tax-payers, have paid House staffers to edit the wikipedia entry for the choco taco.  It turns out that some staffers spend a lot of time on wikipedia not just trolling, but being actively deceitful and hateful to the LGBT community – so much so that wikipedia has banned them.

According to The Hill, Wikipedia instituted the ban on Wednesday night after users operating from the House IP address made a series of anti-trans edits to the page for Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

Anonymous users operating from the Republican-led House were persistently re-editing the page to slur trans actress Laverne Cox by mis-gendering her mentions on the show’s page. For instance, they changed Cox’s description from “real transgender woman” to “real man pretending to be a woman.”

I wonder if any constituents were waiting to be heard by this person’s office but were made to wait while this was taking place.

One user in particular went on an anti-trans editing spree this week, changing entries on multiple pages related to transgenderism until Wikipedia administrators were forced to step in.

“An obvious transphobe is using this IP to edit the article on transphobia,” the Hill quoted one Wikipedia user as saying.

“I have no problem with Congressional staffers editing Wikipedia,” said another user to the anti-trans editor. “I have a problem only with YOU vandalizing Wikipedia.”

The person using the IP address responded — without revealing their identity — that the malicious edits were in fact “official business” endorsed by a member of the House. Their changes, they said, were intended to bring “fairness” to the discussion.

“There’s nothing illegal about editing Wikipedia to promote official business that has been explicitly authourized [sic] by the Representative,” the user wrote.

Authorized by the representative.  Wow.  But take heart, Wikipedia may let this person back as an editor – all they have to do is set up an account with their real name:

Wikipedia administrator Fran Rogers said that if the user would like to be unblocked, they can open an account with their name on it.

“If you’d like to make good-faith edits, please create an account,” said Rogers.

This is the third time this summer that administrators have had to block anonymous editors using House computers on grounds of “disruptive editing.”

Oh, you mean all the staffer and the Rep. that authorized this has to do is be accountable?  I’m sure they’ll think long and hard about that (before never doing it).

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.