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Wikipedia's Wales Reverses Decision on Problem Admin 241

Posted by Zonk
from the who-can-you-trust dept.
ToiletDuck writes "Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales appears to have changed his mind concerning Essjay, the administrator who was caught lying about his academic credentials. Wales issued a statement today on his User Talk page requesting that EssJay voluntarily step down. Wales defended his earlier comment about EssJay, claiming 'I only learned this morning that EssJay used his false credentials in content disputes ... I want to make it perfectly clear that my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on.' Wales did not comment on whether EssJay would continue to serve in his paid position at Wikia, the for-profit cousin of Wikipedia."
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Wikipedia's Wales Reverses Decision on Problem Admin

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:44PM (#18221538)
    Who really cares.
  • From the... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Who gives a *&@# department.

    What difference does it make? A nobody fakes his way into a coveted spot, only to get busted in the future. History is full of such low-lifes.
  • Bad hiring decision (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034)

    Wales did not comment on whether EssJay would continue to serve in his paid position at Wikia, the for-profit cousin of Wikipedia."

    Ulp.

  • by Larry Sanger (936381) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:48PM (#18221566) Journal
    Jimmy has more questions to answer [citizendium.org]. He makes no attempt to explain several fundamental points that got people worked up in the first place. What did he mean in telling The New Yorker "I have no problem with" Essjay's duplicity? When did he learn of that duplicity? (I think it was last January, since that's when Essjay got on the Wikia payroll.) And then why did he ignore the obvious moral implications of that duplicity--to the point of giving him a job and even appointing him to Arbitration Committee--until now? Jimmy needs to answer these questions convincingly, if he can.
    • by Internet Esquire (1070224) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:03PM (#18221686) Homepage
      Jimbo may have questions to answer, but -- since you're so concerned with factual accuracy -- you might want to get your facts straight before making any more accusations or indictments. To wit, Essjay was hired by Wikia *this* January (i.e., about 60 days ago) not *last* January. And now that Jimbo has found out the extent of Essjay's deception -- i.e., not a simple case of pseudonymity -- Jimbo has asked Essjay to resign from his positions of trust at Wikipedia. For a longer tome on my views, please see my blog post: http://blog.xodp.org/2007/03/credentialists-and-im postors.html [xodp.org]
      • What cheap shots? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Larry Sanger (936381) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:18PM (#18221790) Journal
        NetEsq writes: "...now that Jimbo has found out the extent of Essjay's deception -- i.e., not a simple case of pseudonymity..."

        Wait a second here. Of course Jimbo knew that "Essjay" was not Essjay's real name, since "Essjay" isn't a person's name. The point is that, if Jimmy's company, Wikia, hired Essjay last December or January, then Essjay had to come clean then about the fact that he wasn't a tenured Ph.D. theologian guy after all. That's heavy-duty deception that Jimmy presumably had to have learned about then. Indeed, Jimmy admitted that he knew as much The New Yorker: what else was "I don't have a problem with it" refer to? All that Jimmy says he learned this morning is that Essjay used his false credentials to win debates on Wikipedia. And he couldn't be bothered to check whether his employee had done this? And isn't it obvious, in any case, that Essjay must have risen through the Wikipedia ranks faster partly on the strength of his credentials?

        These are legitimate questions, not "cheap shots."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MadJo (674225)
        I fail to see the difference between "this January" and "last January". Aren't both actually about January 2007?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Aladrin (926209)
          Adding 'last' or 'next' to a month or day name means you are not talk about the closest one, but the one beyond that. I really wish people would stop saying it because it IS confusing.

          'January this year' and 'January last year' are a LOT clearer.

          Also, say you are in September and say 'this January' ... Which one do you mean? The one coming, or the one last year? Often, you'd mean the January in the future, but ... Not always. Too much context is needed.
        • by zsau (266209)
          I fail to see the difference between "this January" and "last January". Aren't both actually about January 2007?

          The meaning of "next" and "last" is the point of frequent confusion. To some people, they refer to soonest or most recent event mentioned: This is usually what someone means when they say "turn left at the next lights".

          But in reference to time, people often use the construction "next x" or "last x" to refer to the x of the preceding or following time period. So "next Tuesday" would mean "Tuesday o
    • Maybe we can't get it on Wikipedia, but at least here on Slashdot we can get neutral-point-of-view commentary from well-credentialed, unbiased parties!
    • Larry, your comments would carry a lot more weight if they didn't reek so strongly of sour grapes. It seems like you're trashing Wikipedia in an effort to prevent Citizendium from going the way of Nupedia.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:51PM (#18221596)
    He simply edited it with updated information.
  • Tortured prose (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Demona (7994) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:59PM (#18221650) Homepage
    "Fully based on a lack of knowledge", indeed. But what kind of fool conflates the use of a pseudonym with claiming credentials one never earned? So much for the vaunted Objectivist reputation for truth and integrity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Careful there, buddy. Excessive use of that Thesaurus will make you go blind.
    • by minus_273 (174041)
      when did Jimbo claim to be objectivist? the whole wikipedia project is for the "common good" if hes an objectivist, he needs to read Atlas Shrugged again and pay attention to the fate of the 20th century motor corp..
      • by dr.badass (25287)
        when did Jimbo claim to be objectivist?

        "Wales has been a passionate adherent of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. When asked by Brian Lamb in his appearance on C-SPAN's Q&A about Rand, Wales cited "the virtue of independence" as important to him personally. When asked if he could trace "the Ayn Rand connection" to having a political philosophy at the time of the interview, Wales reluctantly labeled himself a libertarian, qualifying his remark by referring to the Libertarian Party as "lunatics" and citing "freedom
    • by LGagnon (762015)
      Did Rand's cult ever have a reputation to begin with? Rand herself was notorious for her hypocrisy. Her "philosophy" (widely rejected by academia) is full of poorly done arguments, unsourced statements, and pseudo-psychology. She never attempted to prove that she told the truth, and she never had any integrity at all outside of the trust of her cult.
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Brandybuck (704397)
        As a libertarian, I can attest to the massive damage the objectivists have done to the movement. It's a philosophy based on a cheap scifi novel, a cult centered around the personality of a woman who railed against cults of personality, and an irrational belief that the universe can be explained in one trite axiom. It's an individualist groupthink circle jerk. It's Scientology without bad Hollywood actors. I'll gladly trade them all in for a handful of stoned anarcho-capitalists.

        "Nathaniel! Bring me another
      • by inviolet (797804)

        Did Rand's cult ever have a reputation to begin with? Rand herself was notorious for her hypocrisy. Her "philosophy" (widely rejected by academia) is full of poorly done arguments, unsourced statements, and pseudo-psychology. She never attempted to prove that she told the truth, and she never had any integrity at all outside of the trust of her cult.

        If nothing else, Objectivism got a lot of traction towards the eternal problems in epistemology. The other areas of philosophy, like ethics and politics, are,

      • Her "philosophy" (widely rejected by academia) is full of poorly done arguments, unsourced statements, and pseudo-psychology.

        Doesn't that describe just about every philosopher in mankind's history? ;)
  • O RLY? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:00PM (#18221662)

    was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on.'

    When has lack of knowledge about a subject ever stopped anyone on wikipedia? If it's good enough for ordinary users, it's good enough for Jimbo!
  • From the Article Summary:

    my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on.
    EssJay did exactly the same thing. To this I can only add that I did not read the article so this post is also fully based on lack of knowledge.
  • by Parallax Blue (836836) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:10PM (#18221742)
    Even before this there were serious doubts as to the accuracy and credibility of the information on Wikipedia. That a top administrator and contributor to Wikipedia has faked his academic credentials and used them to influence Wikipedia content will only make this worse.

    I can't think of a more damaging relevation to the Wikipedian ideal than this one, and even if it isn't a death blow to Wikipedia, scholars and researchers EVERYWHERE will have a field day with this; college professors will point to this as an example of why they don't accept citations from Wikipedia. In general, Wikipedia may be totally discredited by this scandal.

    One nagging question that I have is why there is no push to validate academic credentials on Wikipedia. Ordinary users that do not claim to have any academic credentials beyond their own knowledge are fine, ones that claim to have advanced degrees in such-and-such should be required to prove this, or at least be able to validate their credentials when asked. I have no idea how this would be done, only that it SHOULD be done.. Essjay is an excellent example as to why.

    I shudder to think how many more Essjays are out there right now, editing articles and claiming expertise, when in fact they have none.

    -PxB
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DaleGlass (1068434)

      Even before this there were serious doubts as to the accuracy and credibility of the information on Wikipedia.

      Well, duh. Wikipedia can be edited by anybody, and the site itself says "However, Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here."

      I can't think of a more damaging relevation to the Wikipedian ideal than this one, and even if it isn't a death blow to Wikipedia, scholars and researchers EVERYWHERE will have a field day with this; college professors will point to this as an examp

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by limecat4eva (1055464)
        Indeed. This says less about Wikipedia's unreliability than it does about the culture of venality and self-importance surrounding Wikipedia and its administration. It's a big reason Wikipedia can't attract more (and more diverse) contributors.
    • I can't think of a more damaging relevation to the Wikipedian ideal than this one, and even if it isn't a death blow to Wikipedia, scholars and researchers EVERYWHERE will have a field day with this; college professors will point to this as an example of why they don't accept citations from Wikipedia. In general, Wikipedia may be totally discredited by this scandal.

      I totally disagree. This kind of event is a logical result of the ideals of wikipedia - an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It doesn't say,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jack Action (761544)

      Mod the parent up.

      This is very serious for Wikipedia in the real world. You can pretty much assume all the hagiographies written in the media recently will end. Essjay lied to the New Yorker and a pulitzer prize winning reporter; and Jimbo Wales backed him up. This will taint every serious article written by a journalist from this point forward.

      As for Wikipedia and academia, this is the death-knell. The ultimate authority at Wikipedia -- Wales -- stated plainly that faked credentials don't matter.

      • If Wikipedia getting duped, and as a result having inaccurate content it has to retract, is a "death-knell" for Wikipedia, then wouldn't The New Yorker getting duped, and as a result having inaccurate content it has to retract, also be a "death-knell" for The New Yorker? Here's a professional organization, with paid staff to check these things, and their article still got it every bit as wrong as Wikipedia did.
        • Not quite, because The New Yorker apologized for the error when it was revealed, and it's not like this is the first time a source has deceived a journalist. But the management of Wikipedia rewarded the liar by giving him a job and putting him on the highest judicial body on the project--and continues to show little understanding of the seriousness of the problem.
          • The claim was that this sort of gross error in reliability on Wikipedia's part sounds its death-knell, and I would argue that if true, that the similar gross error in reliability on The New Yorker's part does similarly---retracting an incorrect article after the fact is just as "reliable" as fixing an incorrect Wikipedia article after the fact is.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Eloquence (144160)

      Wikipedia is not built on credentials. That Essjay occasionally pointed to his hoax bio when editing articles may have influenced other editors, but did not gain him special privileges. The privileges he does (to this day) have are janitorial, not editorial, and were based on the fact that he made thousands and thousands of edits, most of them administrative in nature (of the 19891 edits he made, only 1372 were in the article namespace -- see edit count tool [wikimedia.de]). There is no process by which a person with an a

      • I believe there was, in the past, an idea to depreciate the term "Administrators" because the term seems to denote an authority which is not actually present. Being is an administrator is a position of responsibility, but not one of authority. Had this idea been implemented and Administrators were referred to as something like "Special Access Editors" or even "Superusers", "Sysops" (as the primary term), "Wiki mongers", etc, that the current situation may not have occurred, and we wouldn't be seeing this on
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Larry Sanger (936381)
        Nobody ever suggested that Wikipedia should validate statements that people make on their user pages. But if it turns out that Essjay made up some credentials which had to have helped him get ahead in the Wikipedia game--it's silly to suggest otherwise--then it's amazingly telling for Jimmy to hire him, and to put him on ArbCom, in spite of this. And, Erik, you imply that Jimmy didn't know that Essjay had made up credentials; but of course Jimmy must have known this, because he hired him last December or
        • by Eloquence (144160) on Sunday March 04, 2007 @12:13AM (#18223304) Homepage

          To understand why this happened, you have to appreciate the full background of Essjay's activities on Wikimedia. He made around 20,000 edits, especially in an administrative function. Imagine seeing a single person showing up in the Recent Changes of Citizendium every day, making hundreds of diligent little edits, chasing vandals and trolls away, sending friendly messages ... a person willing to help at every opportunity whenever you need someone intelligent and reliable to work with. That was Essjay; nobody in this whole story has claimed otherwise. His reputation was flawless, his work respected by all. When he revealed his identity to Jimmy and others who had long worked with him, he probably did so in an underhanded way, slightly embarrassed, with the rationalization we all know ("protection against trolls"), one which (for a mere pseudonym) would actually be credible given Essjay's role in the community.

          In other words, the conditions were perfect for many of those who trusted Essjay to accept this deception and ignore it. And so they did. I agree that doing so was foolish and wrong. It was also human nature. Look at the story of any exposure of fraud, and you will find that the people closest to the person being exposed are often the ones who will defend them beyond reason. There are some who continue to defend Essjay even now, including people in the community I have a lot of respect for. I barely knew Essjay; if I had worked with him as closely as many in the community have, I might be inclined to defend him, too. This is not specific to the nature of the deception, but to the strength of the emotional bonds that were established.

          For the most part, I am happy with the way Jimmy has responded now. Not entirely, because I would have preferred it if he had also acknowledged the error of downplaying false credentials as a "pseudonym." But I agree with him that we should also be capable of showing forgiveness to a person like Essjay. I can easily see how a young, gay Wikipedian found it "funny" to create a fake persona diametrically opposed to their real lifestyle ("All my students must read ''Catholicism for Dummies''", paraphrased, was one of his earlier comments), and then (getting increasingly addicted to the project) becoming trapped in their deception and rationalizing it. That doesn't make that person a criminal, or someone we should never permit to contribute again. It makes them someone who has made a mistake, who should acknowledge that mistake, and then make a renewed effort to establish trust in the community.

          The Wikimedia Foundation is not a one-man show. This is a difficult situation, and we are collectively dealing with it in the best way we can. As we so often do, we will have to balance openness and control, and implement reasonable mechanisms of oversight. I am confident that we can only improve through this experience. What we are not going to do is jump to conclusions, place authoritarianism above reason, and dogma above human beings. Truth is not black and white; it is often subtle and elusive. I have much more confidence in the open, noisy, passionate, but ultimately human debates that are characteristic for Wikipedia's culture, than I do in the approach you have taken.

      • That was said far better than I could have. (Though I don't think you meant to say that featured articles can have hundreds of cites for each fact.) And, indeed, you make a very good point about Citizendium--if someone manages to pull one over on Larry, considerable damage can be done because authority carries more weight there than actually being able to back up one's statements. (If it didn't, what would be the point of all this real-name, real-experts stuff?) He certainly shouldn't be dancing about all t
    • I couldn't disagree more. Wikipedia has, and always will be, a good general reference. That's it. If its goal is to be an encyclopedia anyone can anonymously edit, than anyone will edit it anonymously! If you want credible sources then you have to find credible sources. Wikipedia isn't it, but it may have links to credible sources.

      For research Wikipedia can be somewhat of a starting point, but real sources of information still need to be discovered. Try starting with the See More links at the bottom o
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:51PM (#18222018) Homepage

      I can't think of a more damaging relevation to the Wikipedian ideal than this one, and even if it isn't a death blow to Wikipedia, scholars and researchers EVERYWHERE will have a field day with this; college professors will point to this as an example of why they don't accept citations from Wikipedia

      Wait, wait... are you suggesting that citations from the Wikipedia should be acceptable for academic research? Even without this case of someone contributing with fraudulent credentials, the Wikipedia just isn't authoritative enough to cite.

      Don't get me wrong. I love the Wikipedia. It's incredibly useful and it's a great example for people to understand the power of mass-collaboration that the internet allows. When someone brings up a topic I'm not familiar with, the Wikipedia is often the first place I look to get an overview. However, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, which certifies that any given fact in the Wikipedia is going to be correct at any given time. Sure, the general ideas are probably correct (excepting cases of vandalism, which happens too), and incorrect facts are likely to get fixed sooner or later. However, there isn't any authority that is even attempting to make sure that the page you're about to load will be absolutely correct at the exact moment you load it.

      College professors refuse to accept citations from Wikipedia are right to refuse. This is especially true given that they're dealing with fricken college students. If you're a college student, it's your job to do research. You have few responsibilities other than to ensure that your research is reliable, and if you can't handle that, then what the hell are you doing in college?

    • by zoftie (195518)
      Degree is not a certificate of knowledge, but performance of a work done. It does not pertain to quality of individual's knowledge. It seems people have forgotten that going to university is for higher education for one self's enhancement of intellect. Fact that people use graduation papers that for certification is deceitful. After all president Bush has graduated from Ivy League school. So quality of knowledge cannot be verified by having school papers. For example, numerous awards for recognition of furt
    • Wikipedia today is as accurate or inaccurate as it was two weeks ago. If it was appropriate to use two weeks ago, it's still appropriate now, and likewise in the negative case.

      In any case, I'm in academia myself, and plenty of people here use it. You just have to, like any other source, use it appropriately. I wouldn't cite Wikipedia as an authoritative source for scientific facts, but then I wouldn't cite Britannica as an authoritative source for scientific facts, either. What I (and most people I know
    • In general, Wikipedia may be totally discredited by this scandal.

      Oh rubbish. Hardly anybody will remember it in a month - although I'm sure Larry Sanger will. Hey Larry, you say this will determine how much you personally will support Wikipedia in the future, so in what ways do you support Wikipedia now? Apart from critising it, that is, a necessary job which you do fairly well, but not as well (or as fervently) as Andrew Orlowski, among others.

      And I don't give a FRA about whether college profs accept Wikip
    • by inviolet (797804)

      Ordinary users that do not claim to have any academic credentials beyond their own knowledge are fine, ones that claim to have advanced degrees in such-and-such should be required to prove this, or at least be able to validate their credentials when asked. I have no idea how this would be done, only that it SHOULD be done.. Essjay is an excellent example as to why.

      Well said. Indeed, the need for 'provability' is far larger than wikipedia. There are a million venues in which it would be beneficial for par

  • Innevitable (Score:5, Funny)

    by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:25PM (#18221830) Homepage
    "my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on."

    Well, that's what happens when you get all your info from Wikipedia.
  • I know this is Slashdot, but you guys are overreacting on this whole matter. Imagine it was not Wikipedia, but any other company, let's say, Canonical. Imagine there is this guy whose online curriculum says is a M.S. in Computer Science, Java Certified and whatnot. He finds and files a lot of bugs on Ubuntu, helps to create packages, contribute with code, and do such a great job that Canonical decides to hire him, just to discover that he is really only an undergraduated in C.S. Canonical hires him anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkOx (621550)
      That situation is not the same. It would be evident to many people that the patches are indeed quality and that credentials or not the individual is talented. Then again as a potential employer I would be extremely cautious about hireling someone who misrepresents himself for no good reason. What else is he going to lie about? Could I ever expect any truthfulness from him especially when he does have a reason to lie?

      Back to the issue at hand though.. In this case its not something like code that either
    • by Bri3D (584578)
      No. This is totally different. It's easy to verify a bug report (does it exist or not) and code (does it work or not, are there security flaws). It's very difficult to verify information on theology, and it's almost certain that a lot of questions other editors or users had were quashed by EssJay's claimed ThD (he has a PhD in that, he must be right!)
      Code is a field where I feel a degree doesn't mean much (it's easy to tell good code from bad code and degree is irrelevant; code is objective, either it works
    • Allowing him to be involved/hired/whatever would not be a wrong decision. Allowing him to use his falsified credentials (or elevated status resulting from falsified credentials) as leverage in a discussion would be irresponsible and detrimental.

    • Three questions: 1) Would it be the wrong decision?

      Yes. Hiring is all about trust; just because someone's doing something good now, doesn't mean he'll do it well forever.

      2) Would your confidence on their product (Ubuntu) be diminished?

      The current flavour of Ubuntu, no. But given that Canonical seemed so easily misled, I will have concerns about Ubuntu's long-term viability and the processes that support.

      3) Would it make front page on Slashdot?

      If the guy is caught lying to a news-collation exercis

  • by Rix (54095) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @08:36PM (#18221906)
    Essjay has faith in the idea that he holds a PhD. Doesn't that qualify him in the field of theology? ;)
    • by shaitand (626655)
      lol I couldn't help but notice the same thing myself. People are making it out as if Essjay had claimed some sort of expertise with these credentials. That would imply that there are really people who see theology degrees to be legitimate educational credentials in the first place.
  • by jeevesbond (1066726) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @09:02PM (#18222066) Homepage

    Some of us have known for a long time that Wikipedia administrators are evil. See what the highly reliable Conservapedia [conservapedia.com] has to say about them:

    The administrators who monitor and control the content on Wikipedia do not represent the views of the majority of Americans, and many are in fact not American. For example, only 10% of Americans accept evolution as it is taught in public school, yet many Wikipedia administrators accept it as a sourced fact, and will censor material that contradicts evolution.

    As everyone knows, Conservapedia editors are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by adameros (851468)
      Conservapedia is no better. The amount of bias it the same, just in the opposite direction.
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      Dear god...is it parody? I honestly can't tell anymore.
    • We all know that Wikipedia administrators will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

      Apologies to DNA

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      Conservapedia is better?! WTF?! I just checked out that site, and sadly, I ain't impressed. I got a particular kick out of their article on the Law of Mass Conversation [conservapedia.com]. The article on homeschooling [conservapedia.com] is also a riot, particularly the list of 'High-achieving Christians who were educated at home.' (ironic how Jesus Christ is on that list, considering that at the time he would have been educated, he was actually Jewish,...
  • I'm sure there's something I'm missing here, I'll confess right out that I knew nothing about this until 5 minutes ago and I haven't bothered to try and look into it much further, but how are the credentials of a poster or an administrator relevant to WP?

    Surely the entire point of WP is that it's an encyclopedia, therefore it contains no original research meaning that (in theory at least) any and every point of contention in each article can and should be backed up by a reference, meaning that no poster sho
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ToiletDuck (57205)
      He was using his fake credentials to enhance his reputation on Wikipedia. Reputation is everything for the typical Wikipedean. Special privileges are doled out to those that have convinced The Community that they are trustworthy servants to The Project. They say these positions are janitorial roles; that they are but a mop and a bucket for servants to The Project. In reality, they are status symbols for the obsessed, or tools used to enhance one's ability to push a particular point of view.

      He was using his
    • If you have the time and inclination to read through the published litriture on a subject especially a more controversial one you can pick sources to support practically anything you wan't whether or not it is truthfull.

      also in many cases the actual authoritive sources are difficult or expensive to access (is anyone really going to bother buying a book or making an inter-library loan just to check out a wikipedia reference?) this means you can make up references and the chances of anyone checking them are m
    • Tbe problem is not with his editing Wikipedia, but with:

      1. His use of a fabricated set of credentials to create greater perceived credibility on certain topics than he might otherwise have been accorded.
      2. His ascent to a variety of trusted positions within Wikipedia and other projects while continuing to actively deceive the community which placed trust in him.
  • by Erwos (553607) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @09:22PM (#18222196)
    Jimmy Wales shows us the qualities of a good Wikipedia administrator:
    1. Doesn't know what he's talking about, yet talks anyways.
    2. Soft on folks who deliberately falsify information.

    What more could you ask for? Er, wait...
  • I don't really see what the problem is. If he really was a tenured professor and was going around telling people he was a high school dropout, would anyone care? His edits need to be factual and sourced just like anyone else's. This is Wikipedia's biggest strength. Larry Sangar is starting a Wikipedia fork where the biggest difference is that it will still let 12 year old kids edit, but it will prevent the 12 year old kid from editing the work of a PhD prof. The thing is, if the work of a PhD can't stand up
  • Wikipedia — Serious business.

    Speaking of serious, I seriously can't believe someone would lie about themselves on the Internet, of all places (and on Wikipedia too!), for their own benefit!
  • ...on a number of issues. He may not have known precisely to what extent Essjay was using his falsified credentials to gain the upper hand in a multitude of content disputes, but Wales was fully aware that Essjay had created a persona based on fictitious credentials.
  • by Jekler (626699) on Sunday March 04, 2007 @01:19AM (#18223820)

    I've seen dozens of posts where people say everyone is overreacting. I think a lot of those people are losing sight of the core of the issue.

    This isn't a simple case of "He wasn't who he said he was." If it were just a matter of hiding his name, age, or location, that would be fine. It's a matter of falsifying credentials, namely, having a doctorate and being a tenured professor. People work years to achieve both of those, he just sits down at his computer and decides "I got those."

    It's all part of this "Generation Me" syndrome. They think they deserve anything they desire, without working for it. Honorific titles, titles of achievement, tenure, knighthood, a million dollars, whatever, they deserve it because they're so fucking special. They were breastfed self-esteem, they jerk off to pictures of themselves, and they think the whole world should appreciate their blessed presence.

    I have an AAS in Software Applications and Programming. I don't care what anyone says about my degree or where I went to school (ITT Tech), it doesn't matter, because I earned it, and that's more than this wanker can ever say for himself.

  • Why is Jimbo making decisions on what happens on Wikipedia anyhow? Hasn't he stepped down both from Wikipedia and Wikimedia foundation?
  • I read through the original article. Then through the links. Then some of the posts. Oh dear, oh dear. Most upsetting.

    We should not believe all we read in the web. We should not believe all we read in books either. Some stuff is accurate, some is mistaken, some is made up. Unless it is all chaos, and will always be chaos, we believe that in time the errors should be found and be corrected. Sometimes people come across a large chunk of fakery. The discrediting of the work of Dr. V.J. Gupta cast doubt on mu

  • I want to make it perfectly clear that my past support of EssJay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on.'

    In other words, he thinks WikiPedia is great because he does not know (or is in denial) about the problems within it.

May the bluebird of happiness twiddle your bits.

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