Type Wiki farm
Wikia, Inc. is a corporation that profits from ads hosted on content submitted by unpaid yet dedicated fans, particularly fans of videos and media. It was founded by Jimmy Wales (also the founder of Wikipedia) and Angela Beesley in 2004. Until 2006, it was known as Wikicities. Over the course of its existence, many wiki communities left Wikia due to disagreements with Wikia over increases in ad size and changes in webpage design, including Wikifur, Illogicopedia, the Transformers wiki community (which become TFwiki.net), and the WoWWiki community (which became Wowpedia). Although Wikia resembled Wikipedia in appearance in its early days, it greatly departed from its roots in order to generate profits from larger and more numerous ad spaces.
Wikia possesses a GamerGate wiki (gamergate.wikia.com) and is home to the Geek Feminism Wiki (geekfeminism.wikia.com). On December 13, 2014, Wikia, which has close ties to Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia, censored gamergate.wikia.com's Wikipedia article.
On November 12, 2014, Jimmy Wales started the "Proposed Wikipedia Entry" and advertised it via Twitter:
I have an idea for pro #gamergate folks of good will. Go to http://gamergate.wikia.com/Proposed_Wikipedia_Entry and write what you think is an appropriate article.
— Jimmy Wales
In the end, Jimbo and his "Proposed Wikipedia Entry" hardly made a difference in how Wikipedia documented GamerGate, but it did draw attention and new editors to GamerGate.Wikia.com for around a month or so.
Censorship and Wikipedia favoritism
On December 8, 2014, a Wikipedian asked Jimbo to ask Wikia to censor GamerGate.Wikia.com's "Wikipedia" article, which was called a "shitlist". Jimbo didn't seem to notice this suggestion, but on December 11, another Wikipedian resurrected the discussion, leading to Jimbo saying on 13 December that he contacted Wikia staff about the page. Also on December 13, a Wikia asked the monitors of Wikia's Community Management board to delete the article, declaring it an "attack page." They were advised to approach Wikia's Volunteer Spam Task Force for help. Shortly after they asked the VSTF to delete GamerGate.Wikia.com's "Wikipedia" page.
Shortly after, "Dragon_Rainbow" of the VSTF deleted the page without consulting its authors or the GamerGate.Wikia.com community at large, and on the next day, Wikia staff member "DaNASCAT" protected the page in order to prevent recreation. A few days later, on December 17, Dragon_Rainbow also deleted the discussion page for the Wikipedia article. Jimbo revealed that although he had sent a message to Wikia's support team, the page was deleted before his inquiry was seen. When Twitter users asked Jimbo to explain Wikia's actions, Jimbo defended Wikia and the deletion, questioned GamerGate's commitment to ethics in journalism.
On December 18, Wikia staff member DaNASCAT published a public response to concerns raised by GamerGate.Wikia.com users:
Reviewing the list in question a number of representatives for Wikia confirmed, myself included, that the list, while having some "canon"-esque material, mainly encouraged harassment and intimidation of a number of Wikipedia users based upon how they handled the Gamergate page on Wikipedia.
Wikia does not tolerate content that compromises the online or offline safety of users, regardless of the topic or the reporter. For instance, I myself routinely delete content that stems from off-Wikia forums in which someone banned on that forum starts a wikia more or less to spread hate speech about those forum mods.
Due to the high traffic and history of no admin intervention on the issue, I ultimately decided to prevent it from easy re-creation. Any further questions may be directed to Wikia at Special:Contact.
On the same day, a Redditor published a private e-mail from Jimbo that reveals Jimbo's strong feelings on GamerGate. Jimbo called people who investigate corruption in journalism and publish their findings online "vicious assholes" and questioned the decentralized, leaderless approach of GamerGate. The email was confirmed by Jimbo on his talk page.
Alternatives to Wikia and their GamerGate wiki
Wikia is not the only wiki farm. Alternatives to Wikia include:
If you are viewing this article, then you probably know that GamerGate.Wikia.com is not the only GamerGate wiki out there, and unlike Wikia, Wiki.GamerGate.me will not delete content to spare the feelings of a few Wikipedians.
- Wikipedia, a local, editable copy of the article that Wikia deleted
- Archive of the page prior to its deletion
- Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales Isn’t Taking Any of Gamergate’s Threats, Tells Them Off Spectacularly | The Mary Sue (anti-GamerGate piece)
- Read me first: How will Wikia cope when the workers all quit the plantation? | Technology | The Guardian
- Infothought: Google effects as Digital Sharecroppers leave Wikia's Electronic Plantation
- Infothought: "WikiFur" Escapes From Wikia, Inc.
- Infothought: Mass Escape of the Digital Sharecroppers - "The Anti-Wikia Alliance"
- Anti-Wikia Alliance
- Encyclopedia Dramatica's entry on "Wikia" (NSFW)