Wikipedia article on Sarah Stierch

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Before her termination as a Wikimedia Foundation employee in January 2014, Sarah Stierch had her own biography on Wikipedia, which looked like this:

Sarah Stierch is a former Wikimedia Foundation community fellow and employee,[1] and Wikipedian in Residence for the Smithsonian Institution Archives.[2]

Photo of Sarah Stierch

In 1997, Stierch began working in club promotions in Indianapolis, Indiana, with Matt Chandler. Stierch and Chandler were professionally known as "Temporary Structures". Together, they were successful in bringing various national acts to Indianapolis, including Fugazi, Poster Children, U.S. Bombs, and Sweep the Leg Johnny.[3]

In 2009, Stierch graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Native American studies. In 2011, she began working as a research assistant and intern in two museums. She graduated from George Washington University in 2012 with a masters degree in museum studies.[4]

Selected for a position as a Wikimedia Foundation fellow in 2012,[5] Stierch took a leading role in trying to increase women's participation in Wikipedia through such projects as the Wiki Women's Collaborative and the Wikipedia Teahouse, a forum designed to make new contributors feel more welcome.[6] She has been interviewed by both TechRepublic and The Daily Dot regarding Wikipedia's "gender gap"—specifically, the fact that about 90% of Wikipedia contributors are men.[7][8]

In January 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation announced that Stierch was "no longer an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation", after evidence was presented on a Wikimedia mailing list that she had "been editing Wikipedia on behalf of paying clients"—a practice the Wikimedia Foundation said was "frowned upon by many in the editing community and by the Wikimedia Foundation".[1]


1^ a b Gallagher, Paul (10 January 2014). "Wikipedia fires editor who enhanced entries for cash". The Independent. Retrieved 10 January 2014. Sandhya Soman (12 January 2014). "Wiki-paid-y a?". Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2014. Joe Mullin (10 January 2014). "Wikimedia Foundation employee ousted over paid editing. Longtime advocate for female editors is dismissed after taking a $300 side job.". Ars Technica. Retrieved 21 January 2014.

2^ Walker, Tim (2012-08-16). "What has Wikipedia's army of volunteer editors got against Kate Middleton's wedding gown?". Retrieved 2013-01-12.

3^ Lindquist, David (June 8, 2001). "2 work hard to bring music they love to hometown".Indianapolis Star. p. G16.

4^ Stierch, Sarah. "Who's That Girl?". Retrieved 2013-02-21.

5^ Siko Bouterse, (December 20, 2011) Announcing Community Fellow Sarah StierchWikimedia Foundation Community Blog

6^ Nancy Zeldis (3 May 2013). "Sarah Stierch, Wikimedia Foundation Coordinator, Encouraging More Women To Contribute". WeNews. Retrieved 20 January 2014.

7^ Nash, Nicole (1 June 2012). "Wikipedia's dearth of women contributors: An interview with Sarah Stierch". TechRepublic. Retrieved 23 January 2014.

8^ Sampson, Tim (24 January 2013). "The women of Wikipedia: Closing the site's giant gender gap". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 23 January 2014.

Down the memory hole

January 2013

(One year before Sarah Stierch brought shame upon the Wikimedia Foundation)

Biography nominated for deletion


Keep 14 (15, if you count Sarah's being "flattered" and offering to provide "reliable press coverage" and "I mean shit, I've been interviewed on Freakonomics, the ABC News (Australia), and the CBC")
Weak keep 2
Delete 9 (including nominator)

RESULT: Article kept, after 7.5 days of discussion

April 2014

(Four months after Sarah Stierch brought shame upon the Wikimedia Foundation)

Biography nominated for deletion


Keep 0
Weak keep 0
Delete 12 (including nominator) (13, if you count Sarah's own opinion, "It'll actually be doing me a service if it's deleted")

RESULT: Article deleted, after 2.2 days of discussion