Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plattsburgh Linked To Skepchick Wikipedia Attack

Once again skeptic-feminist Rebecca Watson has stirred up another controversy, this time with the social news website Reddit. And once again people are viciously attacking her online.

On a panel at the recent SXSW conference in Austin, Texas she criticized Reddit for its lack of moderation, allowing the promulgation of bigoted and hateful comments and viewpoints.

In her article at skepchick.org – "SXSW and Reddit’s Introspection Problem" - she gives examples of nasty comments made by Reddit fans and defenders. Watson has faced similar attacks before regarding the "Elevatorgate" incident at an atheist conference back in 2011.

Talking about the furor in a slate.com article - "It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too" - Watson said she had heard about sexism being experienced by women attending skeptic conferences. While at the atheist conference she decided to address this problem, writing:

"I used my time to talk about what it’s like for me to communicate atheism online, and how being a woman might affect the response I receive, as in rape threats and other sexual comments."

At the end of a long day she was leaving the hotel bar, returning to her room, when a man joined her on the elevator. The man said he was interested in her POV and would like to talk with her some more back at his room over a cup of coffee. She declined, thinking the man was hitting on her.

After she wrote about the incident she ended up receiving rape threats and sexual comments, the same kind of attacks that are reoccurring with the Reddit controversy.

The "SXSW and Reddit’s Introspection Problem" article mentions that her Wikipedia bio has also been re-edited and screwed up by some of her extreme critics. One attacker added the statement that she was "an insufferable cunt."

In the comments section following the article the Wikipedia vandalization was mentioned again. "krelnik" wrote that her bio was on his watch list and that one of the edits was done on a home internet connection in Plattsburgh, NY.

Yes, I live in Plattsburgh. Yes, I've written critical posts about Watson and the Skepchick site.

No, I didn't screw around with her Wikipedia bio. Any differences of opinion I have with Watson I address through this blog.


X. Dell said...

Well, there have to be other internet connections in Plattsburgh, right?

Doug said...

If only there were some way to trace the IP of who changed it. Eh, too bad the internet has no such options...