John M. Becker

Wikipedia Bans U.S. House Computer After Anti-Trans Edits

Filed By John M. Becker | August 21, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: House of Representatives, trolling, trolls, Wikipedia

CapitolHill.JPGA computer in the U.S. House of Representatives has been blocked from editing Wikipedia entries after a someone made a series of ugly transphobic edits to several pages on the site, including the entry for the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

The Hill reports:

Anonymous users operating from an Internet Protocol (IP) address linked to the House were banned from editing the site for a month late on Wednesday. The action came after a series of edits people using the IP address made to pages on the user-generated encyclopedia about transgender people that many on the site considered offensive.

The final straw came on Wednesday afternoon, when someone from the House edited the page for the Netflix hit show "Orange is the New Black" to change the characterization of an actor from "a real transgender woman" to "a real man pretending to be a woman."

Earlier this week, the account had been used to edit pages for "tranny" -- a derogatory term for transgender people -- as well as the annual festival Camp Trans and transphobia, the opposition to people who are trans.

"An obvious transphobe is using this IP to edit the article on transphobia," a Wikipedia user wrote earlier this month, urging administrators to block the account.

"I have no problem with Congressional staffers editing Wikipedia," another user wrote regarding the person behind the changes. "I have a problem only with YOU vandalizing Wikipedia."

To make matters worse, the anonymous staffer actually defended their bigoted remarks and implied that they were part of "official business" authorized by a member of Congress:

"There's nothing illegal about editing Wikipedia to promote official business that has been explicitly authourized [sic] by the Representative," someone working in the House wrote in a dispute this week over some of the changes.

"When you have other Representatives trying to push for laws such as [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], or when you have the [European Union] using neocolonialist methods to impose transgenderism on the nation of Georgia through a visa agreement, it's all the more important."

This is the third time this summer that this House of Representatives IP address has been blocked by Wikipedia for "disruptive editing."

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