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Playing cards on Twitter

So this happened.

Yesterday, Andy Mabbett asked me on Twitter for a new feature of Reasonator: Twitter cards, for small previews of Wikidata items on Twitter. After some initial hesitation (for technical reasons), I started playing with the idea in a test tweet (and several replies to myself), using Andy as the guinea pig item:

Soon, I was contacted by Erika Herzog, who I did work with before on Wikidata projects:

That seemed like an odd thing to request, but I try to be a nice guy, and if there are some … personal issues between Wikidata users, I have no intention of causing unnecessary upset. So, after some more testing (meanwhile, I had found a Twitter page to do the tests on), I announced the new feature to the world, using what would undoubtedly be a suitable test subject for the Wikipedia/Wikidata folk:

Boy was I wrong:

I basically woke up to this reply. Under-caffeinated, I saw someone tell me what to (not) tweet. Twice. No reason. No explanation. Not a word on why Oprah would be a better choice as a test subject in a tweet about a new feature for a Wikidata-based tool. Just increasing aggressiveness, going from “problematic” to “Ugh” and “Gads” (whatever that is).

Now, I don’t know much about Oprah. All I know is, basically, what I heard characters in U.S. sit-coms say about her, none of which was very flattering. I know she is (was?) a U.S. TV talk show host, and that she recently gave some speech in the #metoo context. I never saw one of her talk shows. She is probably pretty good at what she does. I don’t really care about her, one way or the other. So far, Oprah has been a distinctively unimportant figure in my life.

Now, I was wondering why Erika kept telling me what to (not) tweet, and why it should be Oprah, of all people. But at that time, all I had the energy to muster as a reply was “Really?”. To that, I got a reply with more Jimbo-bashing:

At which point I just had about enough of this particular jewel of conversation to make my morning:

What follows is a long, horrible conversation with Erika (mostly), with me guessing what, exactly, she wants from me. Many tweets down, it turns out that, apparently, her initial tweets were addressing a “representation issue“. At my incredulous question if  she seriously demanded a “women’s quota” for my two original tweets (honestly, I have no idea what else this could be about by now), I am finally identified as the misogynist cause of all women’s peril in the WikiVerse:

Good thing we finally found the problem! And it was right in front of us the whole time! How did we not see this earlier? I am a misogynist pig (no offence to Pigsonthewing)! What else could it be?

Well, I certainly learned my lesson. I now see the error of my ways, and will try to better myself. The next time someone tries to tell me what to (not) tweet, I’ll tell them to bugger off right away.

3 Comments

  1. Jane Darnell wrote:

    Good Grief! So sorry you had to experience that. Thanks for the added twitter & reasonator functionality.

    Friday, January 12, 2018 at 18:21 | Permalink
  2. I must say Winfrey would not have been my first choice to demonstrate a Wikidata tool. As Magnus, I do not know much about her, other than she is a celebrated TV host. My concept of her tend to be a person less wikidata’ish. I note a recent critical article on her “Oprah Winfrey Helped Create Our American Fantasyland” https://slate.com/health-and-science/2018/01/oprah-winfrey-helped-create-our-irrational-pseudoscientific-american-fantasyland.html

    Too me Jimmy Wales or Andy Mabbett would surely be a more appropriate choice.

    If we should select a black female example, then who should we select? I know of one black(ish?) female Wikipedian, but I do not think she has a Wikidata item. The recent LEGO woman Mae Jemison (Q34091) could be a suggestion, though I do not think she is a Wikimedian.

    Friday, January 12, 2018 at 18:35 | Permalink
  3. If you want a test subject who ticks all the boxes, may I suggest Bonnie Greer?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Greer
    I had the pleasure of meeting her last year at the Byline Festival. Inspirational.

    Friday, January 12, 2018 at 18:48 | Permalink

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