Talk:Quinn Norton

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Quinn Norton's stories about body hacks, IP issues and most recently, her series of articles on the Pirate Bay are influential and often followed up on in more mainstream publications.

She's well-travelled in the internet and hacker world, and has been a guest blogger at Boing Boing.

If that's not enough, then half of the entries in the journalist section of wikipedia should also be deleted.—Preceding unsigned comment added by RSnotRSS (talkcontribs) 19:32, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Fair 'nuff...speedy nom withdrawn. Akradecki 19:34, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


This article represents me so poorly, and has for so many years, that I'd prefer if it was just deleted. I can live with not being notable enough for people to maintain a page on wikipedia, I'd just prefer if it was deleted rather than left to represent me worse and worse over time. - Quinn Norton — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi Quinn, thank you for your comment. I don't know you and haven't heard about you before, but I read the article and I don't have any negative impressions actually. However, any article can be improved. Can you indicate what information is incorrect or manipulative so that it represents you worse over time? Also, is there some notable stuff missing from the article?  « Saper // @talk »  20:34, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

My main work is on Anonymous and Occupy, with a long history of writing about digital rights and copyright. I have a body of work in the are on body hacking, and even taught a course at NYU, but the Northpaw is something I wrote about once, it's not a significant part of my work. I haven't lived in DC in years, and I'm not sure my personal life is noteworthy enough to be alluded at here. I've been a columnist for MaxPC for 5 years, and the 'recently' here shows I think everything you need to know about how well maintained this is. I don't mind that I might not be notable enough for people to spend their free time maintaining this page, srly, that's fine. I just don't want it vaguely rotting here like this. -- Quinn— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Paragraph About Aaron Swartz[edit]

The paragraph added today about Aaron Swartz is a complete misreading of the court documents, which is one reason material cited to primary sources is disfavored per WP:Primary ("Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided.") The document does not describe Quinn Norton as a "government witness"; it describes her as a witness, with no further clarification. "Government witness" implies that someone is cooperating in a prosecution for the benefit of the government; the document makes no such suggestion, merely identifying her as someone with knowledge relevant to the case. Furthermore, it seems to me that the placement of the quote here is intended to imply that Quinn Norton got some kind of payoff from or cut some sort of deal with the the government; as someone with some knowledge of prosecutorial boilerplate, what it likely means is that they gave Quinn Norton immunity not at her request but so she was unable to assert her Fifth Amendment right. My interpretation, of course, shouldn't be in the article since it's essentially OR; but so is any other reference to the court documents. -Polotet 03:13, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this attempt to paint Norton as cooperative witness, based on a misreading of one New Yorker article, should not be added to the biography. A link to the New Yorker article would be okay, but scrupulous readers of that article together with Norton's own account in The Atlantic will know that sources don't indicate she was cooperative. MikeGodwin (talk) 22:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
keep More sources are welcome, but from the New Yorker and Atlantic pieces I certainly read this as being 'cooperative'. #Andy Dingley (talk)
It's fine to summarize the New Yorker article, but it must be done WP:NPOV, not tendentiously. In addition, much of the selectively added "facts" are decontextualized in a way that makes them non-encyclopedic and makes the paragraph look like a personal attack on Norton. I'm *sure* nobody here wants to see the article quality diminished by a paragraph that says Norton talked to prosecutors without mentioning that she was threatened. MikeGodwin (talk) 00:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I have edited the personal section to include a more accurate account of Norton's interaction with prosecutors, based on *both* available accounts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MGodwin (talkcontribs) 00:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Ex husband[edit]

Rather than blanking the nreferenced edit, why not take 5 min with google? Plenty of refs. MarkBernstein (talk) 03:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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NYT hire[edit]

So she's apparently been hired as a New York Times editor, which should be added to the article. There's also been, um, a lot of heat on Twitter about how she's apparently friends with, um, Nazis. Don't know if there's been a write-up on this in a reliable source yet, but if one appears, I think that'd be worth covering, as well. john k (talk) 22:26, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

She's not "friends with Nazis". *One* of her hacker-sources (a well known guy who became tied to DailyStormer *after* she, and many other people, defended 'him' in writing - she wrote an article about him - this, in the face of an unjust CFAA conviction). A lot of people defended him, including GWU Law professor Orrin Kerr, who litigated his case against the DOJ. 'He' became involved in Neonazi activities *after* she's interviewed him and *after* she'd announced that he was a friend. Sapphiresblue (talk) 14:13, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
This kind of note on a person's Wikipedia talk page can inspire mobbing.Sapphiresblue (talk) 14:18, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

HuffPost came in: she's been fired, apparently, as of 2200 EST. Let me find a source: here, from CNN. Javert2113 (talk) 03:59, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Article cleanup[edit]

I am currently cleaning up and adding content to this article. KalHolmann -- request that you not crawl all over my edits as I am in the process of reworking the page and making sure that there are adequate citations. I have over 40,000 edits and do BLPs on the regular. I have only the best intentions here. So I don't appreciate being lectured in edit summaries, and would request that you let me work on this for the next couple of hours. I can paste a WiP template on the page but I think it's in basically good shape compared to what it was in before I started cleaning it up, and it might have high traffic due to the newsworthy NYT thing, so I would prefer not to do this templating. Please, I would just like to do this in peace, beg for a few hours here. -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 19:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

BrillLyle, don't be so touchy. It's precisely because of what you call "high traffic due to the newsworthy NYT thing" that I reverted your inclusion of a family member's name, which is private and not relevant to this article. Please continue your cleanup, which is otherwise exemplary. But if you again cross this line, I shall again revert it. KalHolmann (talk) 19:46, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
@KalHolmann: Wow. Some feedback for you -- that's not the most Assume Good Faith or even collegial response. Very patronizing, which I don't appreciate. I don't need your permission or judgment of my contributions here, especially since you are a newer editor. Maybe think about civility and kindness when editing, okay? I'm going back to focusing on adding content. Hoping this can be a positive experience. Please. -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 19:59, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

He told you not to put private information on the page, Erika. That's not patronizing, that's just common sense. Sapphiresblue (talk) 04:55, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Publications section[edit]

Javert2113 deleted a ton of what is only a selected list of articles written by the prolific subject of this entry. The argument seems to be a combination of (a) not seeing the Medium writing as an extension of Norton's work as a journalist and blogger, or maybe viewing Medium as a not worthy source for citations; please note that journalists are often paid to write for Medium, which I suspect some of Norton's work is paid in this instance, and (b) an argument over the number of items listed. I reverted the edit because it was (a) aggressive and destructive in the deletion of information and more importantly (b) lack of good faith was shown in the significant deletion of content without talking about the concern here on the talk page. This did not happen and I would encourage this editor to do that going forward.

I have no connection to Norton, had just read some of her work and had followed the whole Aaron Swartz story. But I really objected to how cruddy her page was when I went to learn more about her after the debacle at The New York Times. Part of what I discovered was that Norton is prolific, experienced, and has written on a wide variety of topics. She is sort of an incredible essayist, in my opinion. And I firmly believe that her writing about women in tech -- one of which was a four part series that was listed in this section -- is very notable and important to convey who and what she does and how she contributes. It underscores the work she does and is directly tied to her notability.

I don't want to get into a 3R thing here. I would like to have a discussion about a deletion of this much content from someone who is in the news right now. And I have to say that I have done similar lists for male subjects and have not encountered this type of pruning. So if possible, I would like to have a discussion here before the items are deleted. I think there is a very clear misunderstanding of the Medium platform and how Norton is using it. I also think that there needs to be a selected, curated list of Norton's work -- which was what the section was trying to establish. -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 08:50, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Additionally, only three of the articles from Medium are from Norton's personal space there -- and one of them supports BLP information -- and another is about Scoble and is an important story about #MeToo. So I think the curation is not reflecting self-publishing on Norton's part -- although she is known for being an early adopter of blogging.

I also tried to select a diverse group of articles Norton has written to reflect her career. Should they also be noted in her Career section and more detail and context provided? Yes, probably, but I have only started cleaning up and improving this article. I am not sure if I am done or not. But to have the scaffolding of these publications, which are not excessive for a journalist's Wikipedia entry, I think that's very clearly important to having a balanced entry. -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 09:21, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

First, all I originally meant to do was to clean up a number of the sources presented; a severe glut of hyperlinks is distracting and (sometimes) boredom-inducing, regardless of the content involved. I may have gone overboard; and, in doing so, I failed to examine the content of said sources, and for that, I apologize.
Second, I was unaware that Medium pays some of its bloggers and writers, nor am I knowledgeable about Norton's use of it. I admit, however, that neither the former not the latter (both being new information) changes my current view of it as a reputable source, which it is not, given its age (or, rather, lack thereof) and its status as, and I quote the Wikipedia page on Medium, "a blog host;" I feel that it should be included, however, given its connection to Norton. I understand that some of her work on Medium is useful and necessary to the proper cataloging of her page, but I don't wish it to clog up everything else. Perhaps the full collection of her Medium work might be better shown in a separate hyperlink (like the one for Seymour Hersh), linking, maybe, to her public stories page on Medium; with one or two of those (the most outstanding) being set aside for inclusion in the "Selected Works" section.
Have a wonderful day. --Javert2113 (talk) 16:22, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


Simply put, SapphiresBlue is going into an undue amount of detail about Andrew Auernheimer on this page. Most notably, Auernheimer was immortalized in song by Donald Glover using the name Childish Gambino who "rapped" Auernheimer's name over and over in "Life the Biggest Troll"[44] with no reference to racism, nor repercussions. in particular is clearly trying to prove a point (that Norton was treated unfairly). That entire paragraph would be more appropriate on weev's page than here. power~enwiki (π, ν) 04:54, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Then put it there. This is relevant to the Norton article, and "secondary sources said so". Quitcher censorship.

Sapphiresblue (talk) 04:56, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Norton was, in fact, treated unfairly. Many other persons - most more prominent than Norton - supported 'Weev' in recent years, without 'Weev's antisocial behavior becoming an issue for them. Secondary sources highlighted this in newspress articles. Why does it bother you that this is noted on Wikipedia` Sapphiresblue (talk) 05:16, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Copyedit and unfocused tags[edit]

I removed the unfocused tag User:Pablomartinez added and I reduced the copyedit tag. It previously said "This seems like a random list of everything this person has done. I believe the subject to be notable, but I also feel this is just a list of everything she has done, which may confuse her notability". This was too wordy and put one editor's opinion too prominently on the page - that is what talk pages are for. The description of her career could be more coherent so I left a reduced tag in place. The unfocused tag does not make sense: this article is entirely about Norton. There is no need to split the article or disambiguate. An article on her hiring and rapid firing from NYT would not be notable under WP:EVENT. I now see the tag was previously removed - per WP:BRD, you need to discuss the issue not edit war to retain the tag. Fences&Windows 08:55, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for removing the disambiguation: that wasn't a valid tag. Alternatively, you wrote ". An article on her hiring and rapid firing from NYT would not be notable under WP:EVENT". I disagree. Normally someone being hired-and-fired isn't a notably event, but her hiring-and-firing was covered by every top newspaper in the United States and some foreign papers as well. Today there's a NYT Op-Ed with this hire-fire as top news. So it's WP:NOTABLE. It should never have happened, but it did, and it can't be denied. That being said, the woman is a journalist, and a writer, and she's already started to raise the discourse with an OpEd in The Atlantic. (talk) 09:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Vandalism from Virginia[edit]

A Herndon-VA-based vandal, using iP, who has an understanding of Wiki-language removed a sector of the article, claiming they were "editorializing and synthesizing" yesterday. Sapphiresblue (talk) 14:39, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

I agree with the IP, here. Most of the sources cited had nothing to do with Norton specifically, making this WP:SYNTH. Using one source as a thin justification for a bunch of additional content based on personal opinion is unacceptable. Grayfell (talk) 05:26, 11 March 2018 (UTC)
Again, any sources which do not directly mention Quinn are useless for this, because articles shouldn't WP:SYNTH sources together to imply something not specifically stated. Donald Glover has nothing to do with Quinn Norton unless reliable sources specifically say he does, and only to the extent spelled-out by those sources. Saying journalists "quickly noted" something, and describing two different lawyers as "famous" (cited to a blog?), the peculiar use of quotation marks... this is all inappropriate WP:EDITORIALIZING, along with other problems. Discuss here before restoring. Grayfell (talk) 19:58, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

COI comments[edit]

Hi, this is Quinn again. There's some pretty inaccurate stuff here. I was never admitted to nor attended any university, much less two UCs. I snuck into lecture classes occasionally as a teen, but that hardly makes me a student of the university.

I was a contracted writer at Medium, first for my own collection, and then rolled into a larger Medium magazine called The Message. I wasn't self publishing, they were my primary source of income for more than two years. Also "words referring to gay people were covered by "in-group" referencing" is inaccurate: I said private use is covered by being part of the in-group, but that my use online was strictly restricted to exploring the alternate usages of Anonymous and 4chan in the time that I was covering them.

Also my friendship with weev was not as a source, but through mutual friends. I only used him as a source in one piece before his trial, and I stated that he was a friend, as well as talked about his racist language at the time. (it would become more virulent later) Nevertheless I denounced his racism publicly and privately before his trial, calling him a terrible person and pointing out white nationalist language in his twitter bio.

The car accident in 2011 didn't cause anything; I was diagnosed with cervical spinal problems and treated with physical therapy and botox beginning in 2008. The accident in 2011 caused a rash of headaches. (I've recently had three cervical discs removed and replaced with prosthetic discs.)

None of the article listed, (of which I would agree there are too many, tbh) include my writing on race, which goes back to my unknown blogger days. Some listed at the bottom of this piece, including my popular whiteness series:

I can't imagine a six hour twitter kerfluffle about me not knowing what #blackgirlsaremagic was is noteworthy enough to be here, but wikipedia gonna wikipedia. Anyway, I wrote a short bio here: It's not particularly exciting, but it's all true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

oh, just noticed one more thing: i was married in 2001, not 2005. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Posting new comments at the top of an older section is confusing and almost guarantees they will be overlooked. For simplicity, I have created a new section and moved these per WP:BOTTOMPOST. In the future, please also sign your posts per WP:SIGNATURE. Thanks. Grayfell (talk) 23:03, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Hey, in case someday someone cares about being truthful and accurate, on this page, here's something you could refer to. I am so tired of the Wikipedia novelizations of my life and it just wish it would go away. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

Overlong list[edit]

We catalog 36 of Quinn Norton's Selected works and publications. By contrast, Wikipedia's Albert Einstein BLP lists 22 of his Publications. Is it really necessary to have such an exhaustive list of Ms. Norton's work? KalHolmann (talk) 23:11, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

This is inappropriate. We should keep only a link to an outside list of publications. — JFG talk 05:50, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
No, why? She's a writer. We have publication lists on articles about writers. Nowhere in WP policy or common practice is there a real claim that "We should keep only a link to an outside list of publications." Einstein BTW was a physicist, not a writer. We wouldn't expect there to be so many publications. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:48, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
The comparison with Einstein is indeed undue. A better comparison would be with journalists and columnists. I don't see our articles citing a laundry list of a columnist's columns. Perhaps if she had written a book, that would be worth mentioning. A table of contents of her various columns doesn't seem necessary. If there are a couple of her articles that have garnered widespread attention, perhaps these could go in. I'm not familiar enough with this person's works to know which ones may qualify. — JFG talk 12:48, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
You throw around pejorative terms like "laundry list", and yet you did nothing to clean this up, simply blanked the lot and claimed that is was our practice to rely on external lists (which goes right against the "self-contained" aspect behind most of our EL policy).
Yes, we certainly would (and do) cite columnist's columns. We don't cite every article from them, but a journalist with a regular column is precisely the sort of writing that we do note.
There should be a section here on Selected works and publications. We should select them. I don't see 36 as overly long (just what is the appropriate number? - there isn't one) for a professional writer, but filtering is appropriate and perhaps more of it was needed. But that's not just blanking the whole section. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:59, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
This was on my to-do list. People ok if I comment them out for now and then we (me and whomever else wishes) can add back in those cited in secondary sources or otherwise having some claim of significance? Innisfree987 (talk) 15:47, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
(Specifically I think the #BlackGirlMagic subhead is completely undue and what it deserves is a mention in a list with a cite; I figure there are probably a bunch of similar pieces that are minorly noteworthy but not even really enough for a sentence, let alone a whole subsection.) Innisfree987 (talk) 16:01, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

where are all the cites for these blatant violations of wikipedia rules?[edit]

I've seen nothing about her being racist "ranter" and certainly not being "widle known" for it. I've also seen nothing anti-semitic, either. Bigoted? that should directly attributed to a sourced reputable media commnent if it were to be included at all.