Porn Star Wiki Sends Journalist Running for Cover
Edits to a bio of Michael Lucas on Wikipedia left journalist David Shankbone victimized by a virtual stalker.
Posted Jun 12th, 2008 07:38 PM by G. Zisk Rice
- David Shankbone is no Johnny-come-lately to the world of journalism. He has written about and photographed controversial people and topics for a variety of publications - people like Shimon Peres, Al Sharpton, Augusten Burroughs, Evan Wolfson, Eric Bogosian, Larry Kramer and Madonna.
It wasn't until his brush with a gay porn star that he found himself scared out of his wits.
In an article entitled "Nobody's Safe in Cyberspace
," published in the June issue of Brooklyn Rail
, Shankbone recounts his ordeal as the victim of a cyberstalker who evidently took exception to the way Shankbone, one of Wikipedia
's volunteer editors, edited Michael Lucas
' bio. The personal attacks - and subsequent lack of support from Wikipedia and the authorities - so scarred Shankbone, he resigned from the Wikipedia crew.
"Internet cruelty is easy," he wrote. "We do not have to look at the people we hurt. For someone like me, who only wanted to make sense of my own trauma through art and knowledge, it is easier to return to a paralegal's life."
Lucas, who had asked Shankbone to make the changes to the bio, said he was horrified to learn about Shankbone's experience.
"I am shocked and dismayed that important corrections quickly snowballed into such outrageous reactions," Lucas said. "It is sad that this exchange of information can be hijacked by narrow-minded imbeciles."