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The blog of Academe Magazine. Opinions published here do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.

When Congressional Staff Become Wikipedia Contributors

The following passage is excerpted from a news report from The Hill:

“For days, someone in the House had been editing multiple pages related to transgender issues that critics called ‘transphobic.’ The situation came to a head this week when the person changed the description of Orange Is the New Black actor Laverne Cox from ‘a real transgender woman’ to ‘a real man pretending to be a woman.’

“That move caused an administrator to ban anonymous edits from the IP address for a month.

“Gay rights group Human Rights Campaign called for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to launch an investigation into which office was responsible.

“The person behind the edits—presumably a congressional staffer—remains anonymous but said in one of the Wikipedia’s behind-the-scenes pages that they were promoting ‘official business that has been explicitly authourized [sic] by the Representative.’”

The full article can be found at: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/technology/215796-congress-turns-wikipedia-into-forum-for-pranks-battle#ixzz3BWFln7WS

That congressional staffers seem to be involved in this sort of sophomoric skullduggery should come as a surprise to just about no one. The House has not been engaged in drafting meaningful legislation for years, and the main preoccupation of many of its members has become the promotion and exploitation of political divisiveness. It may be good politics, at least in the short term, but it is not good governance. In fact, it is simply not governance in any traditional or convention sense.

 

About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University, where I have been a faculty member for almost 25 years. I serve as the president of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes two bargaining units, as the vice-president of the Ohio Conference of AAUP, and as a member of the executive committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized.

One comment on “When Congressional Staff Become Wikipedia Contributors

  1. martinkich
    August 26, 2014

    Reblogged this on Ohio Politics.

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This entry was posted on August 26, 2014 by in faculty.
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