Wikipedia, the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, is facing controversy after banning a long-time editor for “off-site harassment.” No details of the alleged offence were given to other Wikipedians, who now accuse the site’s quasi-official disciplinary committee of lacking transparency.
In an announcement on New Year’s Day, Wikipedia’s arbitration committee (ArbCom) proclaimed that “The Devil’s Advocate,” a veteran Wikipedia editor, had been banned indefinitely for “off-site harassment” related to the controversial Wikipedia article on GamerGate.
Other Wikipedians were provided with no details of the alleged harassment by ArbCom, the elected committee of editors who manage disciplinary action and dispute resolution on the site. Editors were quick to sound the alarm about this lack of transparency. “Unless I am missing something (which is entirely possible), this action seems entirely opaque,” wrote one Wikipedia editor. FULL REPORT