A Pattern Emerges: “Gwen Gail,” Wikipedia Censor of Differing Points of View

Over the weekend, I tried repeatedly to include my blog in the bibliographic component of the Wikipedia entry on “Academic Freedom.” In addition, I was about to correct about seventeen errors in analysis and update its bibliography which uses derivative sources that are not recognised as seminal to the field of analysis. I thought I would be doing Wikipedia’s public a service but someone named Gwen Gail began to instantly remove my insertion of my blog entry. Without identifying herself as an editor or even an employee of this “non-profit” company, she then banned my ability to edit. She then in a fury goes to my page–which was originally entered by another person a few years ago– and makes all these harassing and bullying corrections and criticisms.

I found this blog entry in the myopic and arcane world of Wikipedia technopolitics, and noted several of her colleagues disagreed with her clear and blatant ideologically motivated reasons for censoring me.

Kirstein blog

Hey. I saw you blocked that IP, and it looks like the author of the blog – Kirstein himself – called you out on a blog post. Don’t know if this could lead to any sort of trouble, but I thought you might want a heads-up on that. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 20:05, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

For some reason I get an error when I click on that. Gwen Gale (talk) 20:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

The whole blog seems unavailable, but Google (no cache available) has “Peter N. Kirstein » Blog Archive » Censored on Wikipedia Academic …9 Nov 2008 … I have tried to merely include this blog in the bibliography of “Academic Freedom” on Wikipedia and some CENSOR removes it because it is too…” dougweller (talk) 21:29, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

“…far astray from Wikipedia’s policies on external links”? :) Gwen Gale (talk) 21:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Hm, that’s odd. It’s the top post on the main blog, for what it’s worth. I’ll quote it here for you.


I have tried to merely include this blog in the bibliography of “Academic Freedom” on Wikipedia and a Gwen Gale self-appointed CENSOR removes it because it is too “radical” and a “private” blog. Insteaad of behaving in a civil manner, this “owner” of Wikipedia has blocked me from further editing. Such cyberpower is abusive and worthy of condemnation but I will not be silenced by this Ms Gale who dares to censor me. I have this blog, I have my website, I have many vehicles of expressing my views!! Who are you Ms Gale to determine who is politically correct and meets your ideological litmus test of approval before they can put a link on Wikipedia? This is America! What do you know about academic freedom? Are you a university professor or otherwise an expert on the subject?? I would never censor you but defend your rights of speech. I am willing to conduct in an adult manner a civil and polite exchange DIRECTLY with you. This is my e-mail kirstein@sxu.edu.

Goodness, many of the entries are “private” if there is such a categorisation on the Internet! On Saturday, November 9, 2008 and Sunday November 10, 2008 I professionally linked this blog under the bibiliographic category “Web Resources and Support Organisations.” Someone twice removed it for ideological reasons–a kind of sub rosa vandalism–within minutes! This person clearly cannot claim ownership of that site and in the absence of vandalism, vulgarity, libel, ad hominem remarks or abusive commentary, had no legitimate right to remove it. I am a specialist and published author on academic freedom and will not allow such egregious interference with my first amendment rights.

It then goes on to list a handful of his credentials. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 21:45, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

What’s his PoV anyway? I only blocked him for edit warring over trying to link a blog. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:47, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I’m not clear on the whole story; I got involved ’cause there was a WP:3RR open for the addition of the blog link. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 21:57, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

And meanwhile he thinks we care about whatever PoV he’s trying to flog. For all I know, I may agree with him. Gwen Gale (tak) 22:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

He’s all about academic freedom. See Peter N. Kirstein. This could get interesting. In fact, it could get much too interesting. dougweller (talk) 22:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I can see his blog today. He says:

Repeatedly Censored For Being “Radical” by Gwen Gale on Wikipedia Academic Freedom Site… HERE I AM CENSORED AND SILENCED BY A PERSON WHO DARES TO VIOLATE MY ACADEMIC FREEDOM… !!

Says he’s a “tenured, full professor at St Xavier University” but he seems to have muddled Wikipedia, which is a private encyclopedia website with sourcing and behaviour rules grown through consensus and supported by its private owners (the WmF), with what he thinks is the “Wikipedia Academic Freedom Site.” I don’t know what he means by academic freedom. In a free market, folks should be able to teach and learn what they please, which also means each private school in a free market would be able to choose wholly on their own whether to offer their teachers and students whatever they thought “academic freedom” might be, swayed only by their own goals, means and whatever market tides might flow upon them. As for state funded schools, any notion of academic freedom is but a lie: The lack sometimes helpful, but often utterly unhelpful and misleading. Does he know his IP was blocked only for edit warring (over a link which didn’t meet WP:EL) and nothing else? I’d think he must have read the block notice. Or is he rather stirring things up with a bit of handy polemic propaganda? :) Gwen Gale (talk) 14:09, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Apparently others have had similar problems with Ms Gale’s censorship and persecution of differing perspectives from her own. To be judicious, I do not know the facts of the following incident and cannot make an independent judgment. Nevertheless, there appears to be an inescapable pattern of attempting to thwart points of view that differ from her own. This is intolerable for the Internet and the dissemination of knowledge and I believe her supervisor–if there is one– should investigate and assess her job performance. I would judge it as unprofessional and unworthy of continued service in that position. In any event, I Googled her and found this recent entry of October 13, 2008:

“Back on topic. Gwen Gale is unbearable. Based on her edit history, she seems to be an extreme conservative who loves Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin, and she’s been watching me like a hawk as I contribute to different articles. I’ve seen multiple conservative editors run to her when they have a problem that needs enforcing. She told me to stay away from a conservative, and a conservative to stay away from me, but when the other dude posted on my talk page, she did nothing, and when I posted on the other dude’s talk page that same day, she said if I ever posted on that guy’s talk page again, she’d ban me for a week. This is politically-motivated assassination.”
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