#GamerGate: Wikipedia’s Factual Inaccuracies Of GamerGate


[Update: A more comprehensive breakdown of each of the Wikipedia inaccuracies relating to the #GamerGate entry can be found here]

[Original article:] This #GamerGate Wikipedia article is a poorly written, factually inaccurate, politically influenced piece of typed-out propaganda. There are very few facts present in the article and it is a prime example showcasing why Wikipedia cannot be trusted as a neutral source for any topic, especially if the articles can be allowed to inherently mislead and misrepresent data for individual, group or agenda-driven purposes.

This is a breakdown of the factual inaccuracies of the article as of December 28th, 2014.

Citation needed. There is no proof that there has been ongoing harassment and threats primarily targeting women. This statement begs the question and is both unproven and a logical fallacy.

#GamerGate is a hashtag started by Adam Baldwin on August 27th, 2014 [via Topsy] to represent the scandal in video game journalism, as stated in his interview with AGP Nation. The Wikipedia statement lacks a citation to the appropriate reason Baldwin started the hashtag and that statement continues to commit the same logical fallacy as above.

Based on those two paragraphs alone, this article is neither neutral nor factually accurate.

This entire statement is factually incorrect. It is not an allegation regarding Quinn having a romantic relationship with Nathan Grayson, it is a proven fact, even by admission from editor-in-chief at Kotaku, Stephen Totilo. This was explicitly mentioned in the article on Kotaku. Wikipedia failed in accurately citing this fact, even from a third-party source.

It’s incorrect that there was a failure to identify significant ethical issues in games media. There was the discovery about the Shadow of Mordor brand deal that Total Biscuit uncovered. There was Phil Fish and the alleged IndieCade racketeering . There was the case of Allistair Pinsof and Kevin Dent allegedly being blacklisted, 40,000 users being hacked and a journalist failing to report on it, Wizardchan being falsely accused of harassment, the sloppy journalism from Ben Kuchera regarding Brad Wardell – an event that spawned an apology from a member of the Game Journo Pros list – as well as Breitbart breaking the story about the Game Journo Pros and their various ethical failures. That entire paragraph on Wikipedia was either constructed from a lack of fact-checking or a biased agenda.

The “History” section is unnecessary unless it was to go back and include both Gerstmanngate and Doritogate. Both had to do with the corruption within the media, the first involved Jeff Gerstmann being fired for a mediocre review score and the second involved a writer being out of a job from Eurogamer after exposing corruption, as detailed by Know Your Meme. Speaking of Know Your Meme, the site has a better, more accurate recount of #GamerGate than Wikipedia. Nevertheless, #GamerGate has been a long time coming, and the history should also include things such as the Diablo III DRM, Capcom DLC, Mass Effect 3 ending controversy and the SimCity DRM fiasco.

Under the Wikipedia entry of #GamerGate for “Subsequent Harassment”, this was falsely stated.

Citation needed. If you claim someone harassed you, you’ll need a citation that it came from that individual or group. Hearsay is not fact, stating it as such is both misleading and a lie.

Misleading and a false cause. The link in the citation has no proof or even mentions an association of #GamerGate with the alleged death threats mentioned in the Wikipedia entry. This is a blatant misappropriation of a citation and highly indicative of an editor engaged in narrative spinning. They should either switch the citation or remove the line, especially since it has nothing whatsoever to do with #GamerGate.

There’s also no mention of the #GamerGate harassment patrol finding Anita Sarkeesian’s harasser and reporting him to the authorities, but Sarkeesian refused to cooperate in having her harasser arrested. This was even documented by Kotaku. Purposefully omitting blatant facts for a publicly available piece of information is indicative of agenda-based propaganda.

The entire section regarding “Misogyny and antifeminism” should be removed, as it has no purpose or relation to ethics in media journalism. The hashtag is about a scandal relating to corruption in games journalism; adding in unnecessary sub-categories dealing with specifically with sociological, political and gender issues in cultured societies should be in a gender politics topic such as Wikipedia’s own “Gender studies”.

The ethical issues have either been ignored or brushed aside. None of the journalists have answered for their ethical breaches brought up in the Game Journo Pros, or the lack of disclosure regarding conflicts of interest, such as press being in relationships with PR or developers, as well as disclosure and transparency regarding native advertising, paid and affiliate links.

Additionally, the FTC does not consider the aforementioned issues “debunked” or “dealt with”, which is why Gawker is revamping their privacy policy on January 19th, 2015, and why Defy Media overhauled their ethics policies, as well as Destructoid, IGN, Polygon and Kotaku. The above statements in the Wikipedia entry are blatantly dis-informative.

Consumers can’t uncover corruption that happens behind closed doors between AAA companies and journalists; only journalists can report on that kind of closed-door corruption. The inclusion of those statements in the Wikipedia entry are disingenuous, intellectually dishonest, circular and deflective. Only those who support the current climate of corrupt journalism would shift the goalposts of fair reporting – and the uncovering of industry corruption – from journalists to consumers.

This paragraph corroborates what I mentioned above about #GamerGates’ goals inciting change and being effective in the industry. Why was this not the lede under the sub-section relating to ethics and corruption? Starting off the sub-section regarding ethics and corruption with misleading information is indicative of agenda-driven propaganda or inept editing.

I just recently sent select Game Journo Pros e-mail digests to Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia. If the editors try to deny their potency or relevance to the corruption coverage relating to #GamerGate it means the editors at Wikipedia are calling Jimmy Wales a liar, since he’s in possession of the e-mails now. Alternatively, if they acknowledge that he has the e-mails but refuse to report on the information and properly disclose to the public the proper citations from third-party websites who have reported on the issue, or if they’re willing to hide the information, then they are abetting in the corrupt behavior of the Game Journo Pros, which includes allegedly having breached federal antitrust laws.

What kind of encyclopedia organization would be willing to purposefully hide information that relates to a group of individuals who may have broken a federal law?

If a company purposefully tried hiding information relating to the Watergate scandal, would you donate to that organization? Furthermore, would you trust that the said organization is neutral with any of their coverage on any topic?

All of that is an embarrassing display of fact-checking incompetence. “Largely pushed by sockpuppets” was debunked with people being forced by those adopting racist and misogynistic tendencies against those using #NotYourShield to disclose their identity through pictures and videos to prove they were minorities, LGBT and women.

What’s more is that the 4chan chatlog story was actually peddled in the Game Journo Pros as a narrative conspiracy in order to get the media to falsely report that those using the #NotYourShield hashtag were sockpuppets. This was made evident from the leaked e-mails.

Even more than that, 4chan released their full chat logs in order to disprove the conspiracy concocted by the Game Journo Pros, but the media – and those who are pushing narratives at Wikipedia – refuse to report the truth. This media slant against #GamerGate was also evident and admitted to by a reporter from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the executive producer from the CBC’s The National.

What’s worse is that Jimmy Wales was even made aware of an editor being paid by a group who has vested interests in misinforming the public via the #GamerGate Wikipedia entry, but continues to refuse to take any action to maintain ethics of his website… even in the face of documented evidence [backup].

Fair neutrality should never favor ineptitude. Why would anyone bother donating to a site that stands by the principle of advocating sloppy journalism?

Any respectable journalist should feel ashamed to even be quoted in a Wikipedia article peddling biased, agenda-driven propaganda.

[Disclosure: I was a former member of the Game Journo Pros e-mail group]


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

39 thoughts on “#GamerGate: Wikipedia’s Factual Inaccuracies Of GamerGate

  1. Great work once again, Mr. Usher. I know it’s been said a lot during this whole affair, but the levels of apathy / outright corruption that has seeped into everything still blows my mind.

    1. the levels of apathy / outright corruption that has seeped into everything still blows my mind.

      Same here. I can’t get over it… it’s insane that people keep pushing goalposts and spinning new narratives as to why we can’t have a cleaned up media ring. It lets me know that they either don’t care or they’re actively supporting the corruption.

      1. I think it’s some of both. There’s a lot of corrupt, and many of the rest just don’t care enough if they care at all.

      2. If there is one good thing that has come from this, it is the lesson many have learned.

        Everyone pays lip service to the idea that ‘media lies’ but usually outright dismissal is only reserved for the likes of fox news. Those who are not the target of liars may not have any way or incentive to learn the truth. Those of us way outside the median of the bell curve have had a hard time convincing people just how corrupt these people are.

        Now that gamers see how they have been thrown under a bus, it is a chance for them to break off from the mainstream and dive deeper. This is a chance to spread the ideas of many thinkers who wouldn’t have interested gamers prior to this mess. For example, I’ve been spamming Karen Straughan’s work on gamergate in hopes people will check out some of her related videos which deal with trends much deeper than merely gaming. Cristina Sommers is another example. Before gamergate, who would have guessed any gamer would have even known who she is let alone raise her up as a champion?

        This is wonderful for people like me who have utterly failed to find ways to raise interest in these larger problems. I hope it continues because as bad as these corrupt people seems now, it was worse when only a few of us knew about it.

      3. The only major failure GG so far has done is the fact it didnt become a thing much sooner, when there were still hope for salvaging much of the old gaming media.

        Now it seems we need to lean more on killing their sites by promoting competition and unearthing their own collusion. Pity really, Gamasutra used to be a great site, now few bad apples heavily moderate any article that doesnt tow their line of corruption and collusion.

    1. >he’s an editor
      >on the internet
      >on an open wikia
      >he does it for free
      >he takes his “job” very seriously
      >he does it because it is the only amount of power & control he will ever have in his pathetic life
      >he deletes information he doesn’t like because whenever he gets upset he has an asthma attack
      >he deletes information he doesn’t like because they interfere with the large backlog of little girl chinese cartoons he still has to watch
      >he will never have a real job
      >he will never move out of his parent’s house
      >he will never be at a healthy weight
      >he will never know how to cook anything besides a hot pocket
      >he will never have a girlfriend
      >he will never have any friends

  2. We’ll see how the Arbcom case goes, whether they save themselves from the reputation fiasco they’re setting themselves up for. If the article does not get changed, and the worst offenders in the edit wars wont get serious sanctions, then Wikipedia is compromised. Then it is clear to everyone that Wikipedia cares more about the cronyism of its editor-community, than the integrity and the rules of the site itself.

    Those rules are there to make sure Wikipedia can someday become an accountable source of information. After all, what is the point of trying to make the biggest internet encyclopedia if its not trustworthy? Anyone who would continuously breach those rules should be removed from the community. The Slap on the wrist just because he’s my friend- policy they seem to have is really eating Wikipedia from inside out.

  3. This is the work of mostly two editors, Ryulong and NorthBySouthBaranof, they’re both extremely antiGG, Ryulong has taken money from Ghazi and he has admitted to this. It’s a shame that the image of Wikipedia has been stained by 3 or 4 people, and their pocket admins

    1. It’s been stained a long time, this issue just highlights it all the more.

      But this also raises broader issues for ‘social movements’ in general in that ‘facts’, using Wiki’s own criteria, have to be sourced from reputable primary locations and are only considered valid when this is true. This is problematic because social movements often fail in this regard (for obvious reasons), and too few primary sources of merit exist to back up a/the descenting position (that don’t just reiterate derisive talking points, or are dismissed out of hand). So even if there were no personal bias, Wiki would be biased by proxy (i.e. without there necessarily being any intention to be). That’s quite troubling.

      1. Based on the talk page discussions, many people involved seem to think that that’s “working as intended,” citing that Wikipedia doesn’t waste space on things like reasons why the moon landing may be faked or alternate explanations for 9-11. According to a large number of editors there, Wikipedia does not care about the truth, it only cares about what “reputable sources” report as the truth.

      2. The reputable sources being the same sites that are at the center of the controversy for the journalistic ethics, because new sites can’t be valid sources, nor can breitbart because it’s breitbart. The talk discussion pages just show the type of biases that those with the most control of the article have, it’s astounding. I’ve never trusted wikipedia, I usually go to the sources they use, but now I trust them even less.

      3. False:
        Wikipedia “Reliable Source” policy does not allow primary sources at all, then delves into orwellian newspeak about concepts like ‘legitimate journalism’ and not trusting ‘self-published sources’ out of hand.

        Proper academic criteria requires any source be affirmatively traceable through attribution to a primary source. Wikipedia’s idea of “reliable source” is the exact opposite.

        It’s ridiculous and pure sophistry.

  4. Yeah they were going out of their way to hide the full 4chan logs. I would need to dig into my pic folder but one of the sites that carried Quinns bullshit out of order storify was deleting every comment that contained a link to the full logs, or directing anyone where to get them. I Believe I was eventually shadowbanned as it just got to the point that my comments were no longer making it through “moderation”.

    1. Any time they have to silence information you know something is wrong.

      That chat log thing is still the most twisted bit of foolery I’ve seen from the media, only because the chat logs are out there for all to see but they would rather continue to parrot false information.

      Also funny because opposite the GJP, 4chan came forward to clear their name.

  5. So long as Ryulong, NorthbySouth, and the rest of their clique can wrap their slimy tentacles around the article without anyone else seeing through the veil (which really is not that hard if you inform yourself over Ryulongs previous editing history and his almost obsessive “protection” of certain articles [especially including mecha and Power Rangers]), so chances of the WP article actually going from feelings-based to fact-based are abyssmal. No single editor can hope to prevail against several other editors who entire life apparently is dedicated to what they perceive to be defending the damsel in distress (Oh the irony).

      1. Let me put it like this: If you edit an article relating to this field (especially the Power Rangers article) and insert false info (or info of which Ryuolong thinks it is false), it will take about five minutes until he has reverted the change, personally insulted you, and tried to get his admin friends on your behind.

  6. If this article doesn’t help a few neutrals understand what’s really going on, then I honestly don’t know what would because rarely have I seen a piece as good as this regarding this issue.

  7. As someone who is pretty neutral on the subject – I agree games journalism is a joke, this has been especially apparent since the whole Kane and Lynch fiasco, but I also agree the harassment is completely out of control (on both sides). If you go look up threads of twitter some of the shit said is ridiculous. It makes GG look really bad.

    But with that being said the Wikipedia article is one of the most biased articles I have ever read. It is truly unbelievable how one-sided it is.

    The sad thing is people who aren’t educated on the subject are going to look it up on Wikipedia and think everyone affiliated with GamerGate is a misogynist.

    It seems like every year gamers get a new label added, and they’re never flattering.

    1. the harassment is completely out of control (on both sides). If you go
      look up threads of twitter some of the shit said is ridiculous. It makes
      GG look really bad.

      See, I don’t think it makes GG look bad, I think it just shows the fickle and volatile nature of humans. You can go to Twitter on any controversial topic and find insults, angry comments and harassment; it’s not isolated to GG.

      What’s more is that — as you mentioned — moments of hostility and outbursts happen on both sides. The Wiki article makes no mention whatsoever of the harassment people have received for using the GG hashtag to help expose corruption; the swatting, doxxing, racism and sexism from people who claim to be “social justice” advocates.

      Either Wikipedia should go full-fledged and report everything happening to both sides or not include it at all.

  8. Just another reason for Parents that care about their sons to join the men’s and boys movement at the avoiceformen.com website.

    Another two interesting websites for parents that care about their sons is the community of the wrongly accused cotwa.info and the innocence project innocenceproject.org.

  9. Never trust wikipedia for anything that could be controversial, always look to the sources they use. I hope universities still don’t accept wikipedia as a source for an essay or any other academic paper.

  10. Jimbo is nothing but a PR mouthpiece for a while now. The central administrators of Wiki are a bunch of SJWs. That’s why those Anti-Gamer editors can run rampant with zero repercussion.

    Wiki is kill, basically.

  11. Although the Wikipedia article might have some issues I wouldn’t go so far as to call it corrupt. They struggle with reliable sources and avoiding original research.

    Maybe this particular blog post might be considered a reliable source in this case? I dunno.

    1. They don’t accept primary sources which would show, without filter, exactly what is happening.

      They don’t accept secondary sources which don’t fit the orwellian concept of “legitimate journalism”.

      They DO accept as “reliable” tabloids like the daily dot and any other news organization being criticized by the movement.

      But they’re not corrupt, they’re just looking for “reliable sources!”

      1. They seem to link an article from reason.com in the references which seems to completely contradict the narrative of misogyny and sexism, but ironically they use it to support that narrative.

        Strange how that’s just allowed to happen.

    2. A murderer kills you children. The event is noteworthy enough to warrant the attention of Wikipedia. The article written leans in favor of the murderer’s version of events. The sources cited are the murder’s personal writings and alibi. “Wikipedia article might have some issues” — that’s a huge understatement.

  12. Wikipedia is not a good place to get information on anything remotely political. There’s a great deal of double standards, powerful influences, and outright dishonesty in many of these articles, typically with attempts to hide them by archiving and outright deleting talk page sections, etc. Tbf, it’s still pretty good for other types of topics though.

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