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In recent months, there has been a controversy surrounding the Wikipedia GamerGate entry on the controversy concerning conflicts of interest. Several Wikipedia editors have demonstrated conflicts of interest over the article with concerns to their affiliations to the topic and comments they have posted on other websites. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, has stepped in on the subject several times, on Twitter, reddit and Wikipedia talk pages, notably in his comments that Wikipedia editor, Tarc and other “point of view warriors” should voluntarily step down from editing the page.

However, most recently Wikipedia admin, The Wordsmith, has asked Ryulong, a controversial and prevalent editor of the article to once again step down, due to a perceived conflict of interest and concerns over a “paid-editing scandal”. After Ryulong went to the subreddit GamerGhazi, a known anti-GamerGate page, and invited readers to ask him anything, Wales came to comment on the thread that:

“If you’ve become part of the wider Internet drama (for example, by starting an AMA about yourself) surrounding Gamergate, then you likely should step away from the article. ”

Following the question and answer thread, Ryulong declared that he would in fact step down, as he could understand how entering into this discussion with a related subreddit, could be perceived as a conflict of interest. The same day, a user of the reddit page, asked fellow users for funds in order to help the Wikipedia editor pay a friend back a debt he borrowed in order to cancel a mobile phone contract, and extra money in order to help her ship possessions from Japan back to the States. It appears that within an hour of  the posting to the now deleted GamerGhazi thread, a helpful stranger, under the pseudonym Fishfox Nuro, had funded his entire $350 GoFundMe project. It is unclear whether this Fishfox Nuro is related to Twitter user @FishFox_Nuro, who retweets several anti-GamerGate sentiments, and describes themself in their bio as an “SJW Lunatic”, a term sometimes used by GamerGaters to mock those who oppose the movement.

Despite the promotion of his funding project on the subreddit, and his apparent payment from an anti-GamerGater, Ryulong decided to return to editing the contentious article. It is clear that both the answering of questions on a GamerGate related subreddit, and receiving funds from a campaign posted to the same subreddit, could be perceived as a conflict of interest, and TechRaptor applauds Wikipedia admins for attempting to step in and return the article to neutrality.

What are your thoughts? Is there a conflict of interest? Please comment below.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.