Home

This supplement to my Tim Hunt Timeline disclosure was posted after a tweet by Louise Mensch (which has been deleted from Twitter). It can be seen here in a screenshot of a retweet by Jimmy Wales:

 

 

Louise Mensch tweets (and deletes) prolifically and aggressively: the Wikipedia page about her has a section on cyberbullying. Mensch had been tweeting at and about me quite a bit that weekend, so this new tweet didn't get much response. Until Jimmy Wales re-broadcast the allegation of "massively biased Wikipedia editing" to his 112K followers. What happened next was predictable on a Sunday night - a wave of abuse toward me began. By the time it subsided, there had been over a thousand visits to this page, which then contained only the text on Wikipedia documentation below. (Wales did not respond to my query to him, although he retweeted the unanswered question and my self-defense.)

Today I read an inspiring piece about Emily Temple-Wood and the effort she puts into women in science on Wikipedia. Temple-Wood speaks of the online abuse she gets as a result of her involvement with Wikipedia. I can just imagine! That women on social media face a high risk of harassment should be no news to anyone. Wikipedia has a gender bias and a harassment problem, too [PDF]. When even a leading figure in the Wikimedia Foundation sees nothing wrong with spreading a social media attack on a Wikipedian's good faith edits, it's going to be a long climb for women, isn't it?

Temple-Wood speaking out reminded me that more of us should. The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation "is to empower and engage people around the world" to participate. That can't happen when those people are attacked rather than defended.

Back to the inspiring: The publicity about Temple-Wood began with a wonderful post on the Wikimedia Blog. Read it to be inspired by the WikiProject on Women in Science. I wrote a post about Wikipedia activism on diversity in science over at PLOS Blogs in February. There are links to a range of resources - and here are some resources to help improve pages on astrophysicist Beth Brown and mathematician Alice Bache Gould.

[10 March 2016]

See also my post at PLOS Blogs on my analysis of the experience of Twitter harassment and the issue of those who enable it.

 

Wikipedia documentation, posted 2 August 2015:

The discussion of my edits on the Wikipedia page for Tim Hunt is online on the page's talk page here. The edit in relation to Athene Donald's blog post related to her comment here: I believed the original wording on Wikipedia was unfair to Donald, and others agreed.

These are the notes for all the edits I made on Wikipedia on that page (with an edit on the blackhead page in between):

 

[Update] Broken link fixed on 6 September 2015.

[Update] Edit on 11 March 2016: "we all should" speak out changed to "more of us should". Note with link to my PLOS Blog post on Twitter harassment added.