Saturday, December 9, 2017

Is Wikipedia a Confederacy of Dunces?

Sigurd Hoeberth (properly Höberth) -- founder of the first international Men’s Rights organization, founder of a men’s right periodical, founder of two political parties -- was active from 1926 through 1938, at which point when the Nazis marched into Vienna on March 14 (the Anschluss) and went about shutting down all politically incorrect organizations and publications.

Why? First, a sage Wikipedia editor presumed the existence of this historical figure must be a hoax. Another of their “research” editors wrote that “ I can find absolutely nothing about him anywhere.”  Another editor thought Hoeberth sounded like “something from a sitcom.” Finally, the deletion was decided on the view that he was not anywhere near important enough to warrant a Wikipedia deletion.

Höberth’s activities, ideas and career is discussed in detail in a 2009 thesis by a University of Vienna student, Kerstin Christin Wrussnig. Nevertheless, Wikipedia's crack team seems to have never found it. Nor did they find the German language periodical (Revue de Monats) which printed the portrait featured here. The many score (probably hundreds) of articles in English language newspapers dating from 1926 through 1931 seem to escaped the Wikipedia scholars’ dragnet, too. It goes without saying that fully cited web sources regarded as associated with “men’s rights” would be dismissed out of hand as “not reliable sources.”

Despite all the Keystone Cops-style Wikibungling Herr Hoeberth and the Der Bund für Männerrechte are discussed by authors for Vice in 2014, Cake in 2015 and The Walrus in 2016 yet readers are not assisted by Wikipedia in discovering the background facts.

With editors like this, who needs Nazi book-burners?



On April 7, 2015 Wikipedia DELETED its “Sigurd Hoeberth” page.

Alex Brook Lynn, “It’s Not ‘Female Privilege’ But ‘Patriarchal Back-Firing On Men’: Exposing Men’s Rights Activism,” Vice, Aug 4 2014

Shambhavi Saxena, “It’s Not ‘Female Privilege’ But ‘Patriarchal Back-Firing On Men’: Exposing Men’s Rights Activism, Youthkiawaaz/Cake, Jul. 30, 2015

Lauren McKeon, "Whose Side Are You On Anyway: Meet the Women Who Hate Feminism," The Walrus (Canada), Nov. 16, 2016

DIPLOMARBEIT Titel der Diplomarbeit Wollen Sie ein Mann sein oder ein Weiberknecht? Zur Männerrechtsbewegung in Wien der Zwischenkriegszeit Verfasserin Kerstin Christin WRUSSNIG angestrebter akademischer Grad Magistra der Philosophie (Mag. phil) Wien, 2009 Studienkennzahl lt. Studienblatt: 301/300 Studienrichtung lt. Studienblatt: Betreuerin / Betreuer: Publizistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Duchkowitsch



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