The Wikimedia foundation is holding a diversity conference at the National Archives in DC on June 17th and 18th. The keynote speaker at this event is none other than Zoe Quinn – real name Chelsea Van Valkenburg, Quinn became popular during the GamerGate saga and has been at the center of many online controversies.
According to the events FAQ on their website the event is “a conference about diversity in the Wikimedia movement on a variety of axes…The program will be devoted to topics concerning diversity in the Wikimedia movement worldwide”. It is not listed how many other speakers will be attending the event but this won’t be the first time Zoe Quinn has been given a public platform to speak.
Last year Quinn gave a speech on “cyberviolence” to the UN alongside fellow professional victim Anita Sarkeesian. Unsurprisingly, their presence at these events has done very little to combat any real life problems and the chances of this event changing that seem very slim. The Wikimedia website mentions in particular Quinn’s involvement with the Crash Override Network, a “Crisis helpline, advocacy group and resource center for people who are experiencing online abuse” that Quinn herself founded. Ironically, Quinn has perpetrated the same kind of online abuse that she claims to so fervently fight against.
More recently, Quinn has faced accusations from the head of an anti-cyberbullying initiative that she not only protects online trolls, but uses them to stage false-flag attacks against herself in order to profit from the resultant outpouring of sympathy.
It’s almost comical that the code of conduct for Wikimedias Diversity Conference is quite literally referred to as a “safe space policy,” a nod to widely-criticised censorship tools used by coddling left-wing activists on college campuses, but with a social justice warrior like Quinn giving the keynote speech at this event, it’s not much of a surprise. Also interesting, given the alleged urgency of diversity in this field, that the museum industry is currently dominated, in terms of raw percentages, by women in fields such as curatorship and conservation. The statistics currently lie at approximately 60% female to 40% male although it is true that ethnic minorities are generally underrepresented.
Why a white woman from a wealthy family like Quinn is giving the keynote speech at a diversity conference in an industry where only ethnic minorities lack representation remains a mystery.