You may know that Robert Pattinson, the “sexiest man alive,” according to Vogue, is married to the equally famous Kristen Stewart, but did you know that he is also an editor on Wikipedia?
If so, you’d probably be inclined to take down his page, as it’s well-documented that he has been editing articles from a Christian perspective for years. His edits are usually innocuous, but even his most ardent fans must admit that some of his writings are extreme and, in one case, included a threat of violence.
The Threat Of Violence
The most recent example of potentially dangerous editing came in the form of a deleted article from May 23, 2019, titled “Why Wikipedia’s Robert Pattinson Page Should Be Taken Down.” In it, he makes multiple threats of violence against prominent feminists and women’s rights activists. Here are some of the most disturbing quotes from the page (which, at the time of this writing, has been restored, but only partially):
Women like [Margaret] Sanger and [Alice] Rooster have fought hard for abortion rights and a variety of woman-friendly policies. The fact that they are still regarded as threats shows that our society has not come far enough in terms of treating women with respect. […] The very existence of women like this is enough to make anyone upset. They should be fought against with every fiber of one’s being.
Extreme Christian Extremism
It’s well-known that the Church of England doesn’t exactly treat its female members with respect either, so it’s not terribly surprising that someone from that background would go on to edit Wikipedia. What is a bit perplexing is that he has mostly edited Christian articles, some of which have included extremely hateful rhetoric. Most notably, he has been an editor of the articles about Hell, Satan, and Demons, all of which are based on Christian doctrines.
A History Of Hateful Editing
If you’ve ever used Wikipedia, then you might be familiar with the Crisis actors controversy, a term used to describe people who try to portray themselves as ordinary users when covering topics related to geopolitics and international relations. You’ll often see them go into meltdown when challenged about their obvious bias, with some resorting to threats and even violence. It’s this type of behavior that prompted Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales to write, “There’s definitely something psychologically unhealthy about approaching a Wiki page with the motivation to simply destroy it.”
Now, more than ever, we need Wikipedia, because it provides a platform for people to easily discover and research facts. With the entire world now interconnected through the internet, it’s more important than ever that we have a reliable source of information. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who abuse this openness by creating fabricated stories and misleading articles to spread their own agendas. For the sake of maintaining a neutral point of view, it’s essential that these individuals are held to account for their actions.
Restoring The Page
After this came to our attention, we reached out to Wikipedia for comment and, following their standard editorial practice, they declined to comment via email. We also emailed the administrators of the Robert Pattinson page, asking if they had any additional information about why this page should be taken down. No response was received at the time of this writing. However, on May 23, 2019, the Robert Pattinson page was restored, with only a few of the most egregious examples of his hateful rhetoric intact. At this writing, it’s not yet clear what, if anything, will happen in the future regarding this page, considering that he has continued to edit articles up until the present day, but it does appear that Wikipedia has finally taken action, acknowledging the unacceptable content that this individual has been producing for years.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that Wikipedia is neutral point of view – an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, that anyone can build on, which is why it’s so useful and so influential. Unfortunately, not all individuals who contribute to Wikipedia adhere to this policy, and, for the most part, they’ve been successful in hiding their personal agendas behind fabricated stories and false equivalencies. But when it comes down to this type of extreme Christian extremism, it’s clear that they’ll never be neutral, for they hold these vile beliefs about women and feminists that they feel the need to justify with hostility and threats of violence. As Wikipedia continues to grow and develop, it will become even more important for its leaders to maintain a neutral point of view, for without it, the encyclopedia that we all know and love may cease to be.