Womyn’s Centre document defaced with racial slurs

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) Womyn’s Centre has been forced to delete their online list of women-owned businesses.

According to Céline Brown MacDonald, a temporary employee fulfilling co-ordinator duties at the Womyn’s Centre, the incident occurred sometime during the last week of May.

A June 12 post post on the centre’s Facebook page alerted students to the vandalism.

“We will begin working on a new [list of businesses] and deeply apologize to anyone who was affected by the hack,” the post stated.

The list was a Google document open “in good faith” for anyone to edit and add businesses they wanted to support, Brown MacDonald said. She said the centre realized the list had been hacked after a student raised the alarm.

“The list, which was meant to support community members, was erased and spoiled with offensive language and images,” that included racial slurs, Brown MacDonald said in an email.

According to her, this is the first time the Womyn’s Centre has experienced a hack. Brown MacDonald said the centre has “contacted the appropriate authorities and [is] awaiting a response.”

A former Womyn’s Centre co-ordinator who created the original list of women-owned businesses has volunteered to compile a new list from scratch, she said.

To prevent future hacks, Brown MacDonald said the new document “will only be editable by [Womyn’s Centre] coordinators, with new passwords put in place.”

“It’s unfortunate that well-intentioned members of the community will not be able to use the editing feature, but we will ultimately not allow bigotry to prevent us from creating valuable resources for women in the community,” Brown MacDonald said.

Photo credits: file photo