House of Representatives banned from editing Wikipedia, again

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Half of America’s hallowed legislative body has been banned from editing Wikipedia anonymously. The Hill reports that the ban will affect all IP addresses from the House of Representatives for more than a month — the third such ban this Summer.

The ban was due (at least in part) to changes made at Netflix’s Orange is the New Black page related to the description of a transgender character. “Transgender” was changed to “man pretending to a be a” woman. Wikipedia administrators evidently recognize the existence of transgender persons as something other than “pretending” and sought to ban more of the politically motivated revisions.

The change only bans House staffers editing Wikipedia anonymously. People can still update the site by creating an account and logging in, the Hill report states. “If you’d like to make good-faith edits, please create an account,” wrote Wikipedia administrator Fran Rogers, explaining why only identified accounts would be accepted during the ban.

The first 10-day ban took place last July, after someone in the House claimed that the website Mediate was a “sexist transphobic news and opinion blog”.

It’s not surprising that the bans are being imposed on House members and staff. The House has for a long while been a hotly partisan place, perhaps more so than the Senate. It was the House of Representatives that was mostly responsible for the shutdown of the government in 2013.

In a turn of events that is equally fascinating and frustrating, Wikipedia has become an index of just how partisan the Washington DC has become.

More information:

Wikipedia is a project operated by a non-profit organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, and created and maintained by a strong community of 80,000 international active volunteer editors. Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia has be... read more »

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