Wikipedia Gives Congress a Timeout After Transphobic Edits

The Human Rights Campaign wants an inquiry after congressional computers were used to make Wikipedia edits that disparaged transgender people. Wikipedia is blocking Congress as a source for a month.

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Congress and Wikipedia are at odds again.

The open-source online encyclopedia is blocking congressional offices from editing pages on the site, for the second time in a month, after a user with an IP address linked to the House of Representatives made an inappropriate edit to the page of the Netflix hit "Orange is the New Black."

In the change that was red-flagged, a user altered the description of the character played by Laverne Cox from "a real transgender woman" to "a real man pretending to be a woman."

The Hill reports that Wikipedia is giving Congress a one-month timeout, and the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign is calling on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to launch an investigation of the nasty edits.

The group's vice president, Jeff Krehely, called the reports of the transphobic edits "deeply troubling" in a statement posted to the HRC blog.

At a time when more and more Americans are recognizing and upholding the rights and dignity of transgender Americans, it is an unwelcome reminder of how much work remains to be done.

The change was noted by the Twitter bot feed, @congressedits, which tracks Wikipedia edits from congressional IP addresses, and Human Rights Campaign said the same IP address had been linked to other disparaging changes made to transgender-related articles.

No word yet from Speaker Boehner's office on whether he plans to look into the complaint.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.