Bonum Certa Men Certa

Fernanda Weiden, Google, FSFE & Wikipedia vanity pages

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Apr 06, 2024

[Article 2.5 years old]

Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship.

Fernanda Weiden (nanda) has a vanity page in Wikipedia. Weiden is a Brazilian/German system administrator. She currently works for Facebook, the page history tells us somebody created the page in 2006 during the time Weiden worked for Google. There is an alert about notability on the Talk page but nobody has acted on it.

The user who created Weiden's vanity page is Tobias Conradi, banned indefinitely for having multiple accounts.

Wikipedia has a policy on notability.

Women like Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower who testified before the US Congress and Timnit Gebru, the ethics boss sacked by Google are notable.

The actions of Haugen and Gebru are brave and commendable. In the absence of such actions, people make crude and derogatory speculation about how Weiden attended a number of tech conferences, showed her belly button (photo) and Wikipedia bosses allowed her to break the rules.

Fernanda Weiden, nanda, FSFE, belly button, midriff

Fernanda Weiden, nanda, FSFE, belly button, midriff

Reading Weiden's page is like reading a CV: she is doing the things her employer would expect her to do. Many professional women do the same tasks in their jobs and they don't have a Wikipedia entry.

Of particular concern, during her time at Google, Weiden was also a Vice President of the FSFE in Berlin. Google is FSFE's biggest donor, in other words, FSFE is perceived to be a mouthpiece or sockpuppet for Google, much like the sockpuppet account used to create Weiden's Wikipedia page.

Open Source organizations have developed an incestuous practice of interviewing their own members and puffing them up to celebrity status. FSFE recently did such an interview with Weiden. Comments like this stand out:

Q. Free Software Foundation Latin America was an obvious step to help strengthen the community and also support decision makers in the public sector.
A. <snip> Unfortunately I do not think that FSFLA managed to fulfil its potential at the time, but it was a great experience nevertheless.

In her own words, Weiden is not notable.

Weiden, as a system administrator, is a user of free software. She is not a developer and we can't find any code that she publishes. Placing users on a pedestal, with copy-cat organizations like the FSFE and vanity pages, is an example of creating false prophets. Women like this are small cogs in the big machine of Silicon Valley, displacing women like Frances Haugen or Timnit Gebru.

Fernanda Weiden, nanda, FSFE

Fernanda Weiden, nanda, Wikipedia

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