Capitol Hill Staffers Blocked for Antitrans Wikipedia Edits

By Rebecca Juro

Originally published on Advocate.com August 21 2014 3:26 PM ET

An Internet protocol address attached to the U.S. House of Representatives has been blocked from making anonymous edits at Wikipedia for 30 days for making a series of offensive edits to entries on transgender people and issues, The Hill reports.

The block was activated late Wednesday when someone working from a computer on the IP address changed a description of Orange Is The New Black star and Emmy nominee Laverne Cox from “a real transgender woman” to “a real man pretending to be a woman.” Previously, there had been edits to entries on the term “transphobia” and antitransgender slurs.

One person at the blocked IP address claimed that some of the edits were “official business” and authorized by a member of Congress. “There's nothing illegal about editing Wikipedia to promote official business that has been explicitly authourized by the Representative,” the user said, “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.”

The block only affects those who attempt to edit Wikipedia anonymously. Users at that IP address can still edit Wikipedia by creating a personal account and logging in. “If you'd like to make good-faith edits, please create an account,” said Fran Rogers, the Wikipedia administrator who blocked the IP.

It’s the third time this House IP address has been blocked by Wikipedia. The account had been banned for similar offenses twice in July, once for 24 hours and then later that month for 10 days, for a series of edits to the site from the same I.P. address that were found to be “disruptive.”

 

Contributor: 
Rebecca Juro