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Anonymous asked: Allegations LITERALLY just got out there...how do you expect Wikipedia to report minor assaults.
Hey, I’m one of the guys who got the new bit added to Day’s article. Wikipedia gets changed based on reliable news sources, and so far, the only one I’ve seen has been a small BBC Newsbeat article. When someone famous dies, news sites post about it as soon as the news breaks. (Topical example: Peaches Geldoff) Everyone hears about it, and Wikipedia’s editors add it to the article very quickly.
By comparison, Alex Day is not famous. He’s internet famous, yes, but that means nothing IRL. And the only place the news has been, for a very long time, is Tumblr, which is a notoriously poor source for information.
Furthermore, the whole scandal/furore has only been happening on Tumblr. There have been one or two Youtube videos, and a few Twitter posts, but nothing substantial.
Therefore, Wikipedia’s editors haven’t even known until very recently about what’s been happening, and have had little reason to edit the page.
Wikipedia has very strict rules on Biographies of living persons, and also on libel. It cannot afford to get anything wrong in these cases, and as VoBEDD says here, “suggestions of sexual abuse obviously need to be taken incredibly seriously”. This means that without a court case or an admission by Alex, there isn’t really that much that can be posted, and Alex hasn’t really admitted to doing anything other than being a fuckwit and pestering girls until they reluctantly agreed.
As VoBEDD says, “Wikipedia is not the place for “allegations” unless they can be backed up by reliable, third-party sources (and, sometimes, not even then).”
Because of this, there isn’t even a “minor assault” to put on Wikipedia, as legally, the allegations on Tumblr are just allegations.
(Perhaps you should “Educate yourself" :P)
I think a bigger issue than the Wikipedia article is to get the message out there that pestering someone into a reluctant “Yes” is not how consent works, which a number of recent youtube videos have done quite well to explain. I think that we can agree that what Alex has admitted to is abhorrent, but in the eyes of the general public, especially among males, that sort of thing is pretty much ok.
I think a better use of time would be promoting campaigns like This is Abuse. to get the word out that coercion and manipulation are NOT OKAY.
Right, ok… A few things…
Here is a tweet (one of many) that reported what was written on Peaches Geldof’s Wiki page shortly after her death was announced:
Wouldn’t you say that was libellous? How come that appeared so quickly and wasn’t changed until several people pointed it out? I thought bios had strict rules and were protected? But wait, they don’t all have that little lock on them (Alex’s ex-best-pal Charlie McDonnell certainly doesn’t have one on his, and he’s arguably more well-known)…
In truth, I assumed the page had an admin overseeing it because it was one of the FEW YouTuber bios that had that “lock” protection (which I had already clicked on and read more about the wiki rules surrounding it, thanks) - possibly the only one I came across. I also know people who have been admins of pages that they are personally connected to, such as the IT technician at my old school becoming the unofficial admin for our school’s wiki page years ago after a girl used it to go on a massive (but, honestly, hilarious) rant about some of the snobbishness at our school. I also thought it was likely being looked after (or at least closely watched) by an admin with special interests as there is literally NO CRITICISM of him or his work on that page - like, none. I’ve come across many bios where at least the reception of their work has been recorded and he got some VERY negative reception for a video last year that he had to make ‘unlisted’ (it was satire done very badly). That is nowhere on that page.
You say “Tumblr is a notoriously poor source for information” - fair enough. Wikipedia can’t accept these girls stories as absolute truth yet because there aren’t the sources to back them up and protect themselves from libel. Perhaps wikipedia can’t even say that over 13 victims came forward on there - perhaps wikipedia can’t even just mention that there have been massive discussions surrounding these events and issues from lots of official Tumblr blogs of prominent YouTubers who are friends with Day (or have announced that they are no longer friends on account of being unable to trust him anymore).
HOWEVER, on his official Tumblr account - aka FROM HIS OWN FINGERTIPS - he admitted to "not knowing" what consent is and also being manipulative in relationships. There are also other official blogs explaining that his merch is no longer for sale due to what has happened (you don’t have to mention why on the wiki page, but it is an interesting piece of information, letting fans know they can’t buy his products right now). I didn’t expect his wiki page to say anything libellous like “is an abuser/rapist”, but I was just totally shocked to see that there was absolutely ZERO information regarding these events. There are sources from his YouTube channel - why not his blog?
He also didn’t respond to the many criticisms of his “apologies” (fun fact: neither of which actually include the word “sorry”) and disappeared off the Internet, leaving non-Tumblr users in the dark (which is why I thought it important that the first page that comes up on google should have SOME info about it, especially when his fans might be searching his name to find out where the hell he has disappeared to).
YES the consent videos are fantastic & INCREDIBLY important - I’ve liked & shared them & visited the This Is Abuse website. Everyone MUST watch them.
HOWEVER - it is also important for fans of Alex to know WHY ALL THOSE VIDEOS SUDDENLY STARTED APPEARING (i.e. Alex Day saying, “I don’t know what consent is”). Fans need to know what people they follow are capable of and what they have admitted to. It is important for young female fans to be aware that he fully admitted to not knowing what consent is and being manipulative in relationships. It is vitally important to get at least those two pieces of information out there to try and prevent this stuff from reoccurring, with either him or another YouTuber in a position of power over a fan.
Alex Day may “only” be “Internet famous”, but he has a huge amount of influence and power over this +1million subscribers and fans. People ignoring that fact - and therefore not looking out for these girls/women enough - is one reason why this stuff happened in the first place and why the girls/women were so afraid to tell people about this stuff.
And one other thing:
“Alex hasn’t really admitted to doing anything other than being a fuckwit and pestering girls until they reluctantly agreed.” - Even if that is the only thing he has “admitted” to, that’s called coercing people into doing sexual things. That’s emotionally manipulating people into doing sexual things. That is not giving the girls the option to say “no”. “reluctantly agreeing” after being pushed and pushed into giving up, is not giving full consent. Sexually touching someone who you have pressured into doing it, & has therefore has not given full consent, is sexual abuse. Having sex with someone who you have pressured into doing it, & has therefore not given full consent, is rape.
So admitting to “pestering girls until they reluctantly agree”, is kind of a big deal.
I’ll go through in order here. Please note I agree with most of your points, but I feel I should address a number of them.
The reason Geldof’s article is semi-protected is because of vandalism such as the edits noted in your link. This happens to any article that is repeatedly vandalised, most often around the death of a notable person. Most of the time, the article is free for anyone to edit (in fact, Geldof’s article’s protection will expire on April 14th). Alex Day’s article was semi-protected after a couple of instances of vandalism, and a poorly sourced “good-faith” edit that was actually pretty good, but only linked to Alex’s “apology” post. The first bad edit said that he and his GF broke up “because he was caught molesting underage girls.” and the second said “Alex Day is also a massive cunt who pressures people into having sexual relations.”
These edits are the reason why the page was semi-protected. Charlie McDonnell’s article, however, has not recently been vandalised, and so, is free for anyone to edit.
On the subject of page admins, there isn’t really such a thing as a page admin. Editors and administrators can add pages to their watchlist and choose to maintain that page, but there isn’t a person who presides over an article. On the subject of the IT technician at your school, he did well to revert the edits the girl made to the page, but then to continue curating it presents a conflict of interest, and he shouldn’t really have done that. This leads into your next point, about neutral point of view, or NPOV as it is often referred to on Wikipedia.
Pages for people like Alex Day tend to be a bit one sided, as the only people who are genuinely interested in editing the article, until recently, would have been his fans. I don’t think the article is particularly well kept, but it isn’t the fault of a single biased editor. Improving the article by adding criticism would almost certainly be a welcome discussion on the talk page, which anyone can add to (it isn’t protected).
I agree with your point that it would be worth mentioning the allegations in the article, but to fit with Wikipedia’s rules, the source would have to be a news site writing about them. I think you raise a good point that other people saying they are no longer friends should be added, and I’ll definitely think about how/if this can be done.
I had a good read of Alex’s so-called apology, where I did notice that he didn’t apologise at all, but I also noticed that he doesn’t really admit to much wrongdoing. He admits to being “occasionally manipulative” and not knowing what consent is, but he states:
No, they didn’t “LITERALLY” just get out there. They appeared weeks ago, he said he “didn’t know” what consent was weeks ago.
Either 1) you don’t know as much about the situation as you think you do (or at least not as much as I and many others do, which is why I was concerned about the Wiki page), which is highly possible seeing as you said “minor assaults” (yeah, coercing people into sex and inappropriately touching them when they’re asleep is TOTES not a big deal… -_- )
or 2) you don’t know what the word “literally” means,
OR 3) you have no idea how quickly biographies can be changed on Wikipedia (i.e. when someone famous has died their page often gets changed within minutes of the news being announced).
Either way: go educate yourself. Please.
In my sexual experiences with people, nobody ever outright told me “NO, STOP” or pushed me away, or I’d immediately have stopped doing whatever we were doing; everyone I’ve done stuff with has been above the age of consent; and, in all the cases of me having sex with people, everyone says they consented to it.
It’s almost as if he got a lawyer to go over it for him.
I do think it’s worth including in the article that he asked for merch to be removed because of the controversy.
It is definitely important for his fans to know what has been happening, and I didn’t mean to detract from that by saying he’s merely “internet famous”, but I think a better way to reach out to the fans would be to make videos and get news sites to write about it. I think people will look more to news sites than to wikipedia for information about Alex’s ‘radio silence’.
Encouraging victims of abuse within the youtube community to speak up is incredibly important. Unfortunately, we’ve already seen abuse within the youtube community, but if we can get the message out there that the community will stand up for victims of abuse, and find ways to put in safeguards at cons and meets, then we can avoid having a huge problem like the BBC did in the 1960s and 70s. This is massively important.
With regards to your final paragraph, he hasn’t really admitted to coercing anyone into sex. He claims “everyone says they consented to it”. What makes it kind of a big deal is the part where he says “can we skip the part where you say no”, but at the moment, unless there is a court case, these are all just allegations.
I’m sorry about my previous post. Reading it again I come across as a bit of a prick which is definitely not my intention. I also tend to be a bit rambly, so I apologise if my posts are poorly organised and/or thought out.
I have to go out in a bit, but when I get back, I will have a look at an overall cleanup of Alex’s Wikipedia article to ensure that the page is informative, accurate and neutral.
The points you address (both related to the article and not) are very important and I think they need to be talked about.
Thank you for the clear & thoughtful reply - apologies if I came across arsey at all. I know we’re both on the same side here. It was just extremely irritating to see no mention of any of this stuff on that page. For me the “kind of a big deal” bit is also him saying “everyone says they consented”, but then saying he had no idea what actual consent actually was, meaning that the first statement was totally void.
I also totally agree that he probably had a lawyer or someone look over the “apologies”, and also that “sorry” was omitted from both so as to not accept blame for any of it (i.e. “no one told me what consent it so it’s not my fault”).
I know that there aren’t particular “admins” for each page, just that I felt that Alex’s page may have had particular people constantly vetting what was put up (as you said, the only ones interested in editing it being fans or those close to Day).
Anyway, ta for the pointers! I will try to suggest some edits on the talk page.
just to interject here, the Pennsylvania Court system in the US has ruled that saying ‘No’ is not enough. They ruled that ‘No’ doesn’t always mean ‘don’t’ but can be defined as a flirtatious come on.
His Majesty, Edward VI of England from the House of Tudor…His Majesty King Edward was Crowned King at age 9 until is death at age 15. He was born on 12 October 1537 and passed this life on 06 July 1553. By all accounts he showed an astounding intelligence and spoke 5 languages, and would have been a monarch to shake the world. Inevitable there were rumours that the young king was poisoned and the body interred was not his. This monarch more than any other monarch in English History is responsible for making an English Protestant State. He put incredible pressure to bear on the future Bloody Mary, to the point she had made plans to leave England to never return. During his reign scheme followed scheme, machination followed machination, much of it at the hands of the Duke of Northumberland and Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer who had a key plan in trumping up charges that led to the death of Queen Catherine Howard, a Catholic. Little was known or suspected that the king would die of Tuberculosis and Bloody Mary Tudor would ride the wave of support and take full measure for the indignities she suffered at the hands of Cranmer (who organised her mother’ divorce from King Henry VIII and Nortumblerland, which were burnt alive at the stake with nothing but a gunpowder necklace to keep them company. But it mustn’t be forgotten, His Majesty Edward VI was a Tudor through and through…at his tender age he sent his uncles, one the Lord Protector to the block. And totally disinherited Bloody Mary from the Throne for his Cousin, Queen Jane Gray.