Here’s a follow-up to last week’s Wikipedia controversy of the week, the revelation that a New Yorker writer of a story about Wikipedia had depended on information from an admin who claimed to be â€œa tenured professor of religion at a private universityâ€ but who turned out really to be a Labrador retriever. Anyway, last week, Wikipedian-in-chief, Jimbo Wales seemed to dismiss the issue. Now, he’s using the discussion section of his User-page on Wikipedia to request that Ryan Jordan (who Wales still refers to by his user name, EssJay) to resign from any “positions of trust” within “the community.”
“I understood this to be primarily the matter of a pseudonymous identity (something very mild and completely understandable given the personal dangers possible on the Internet) and not a matter of violation of peopleâ€™s trust. 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. Even now, I have not been able to check diffs, etc. I have asked EssJay to resign his positions of trust within the community….In terms of the full parameters of what happens next, I advise (as usual) that we take a calm, loving, and reasonable approach. From the moment this whole thing became known, EssJay has been contrite and apologetic. People who characterize him as being “proud” of it or “bragging” are badly mistaken.
(For those who just can’t get enough of this kumbaya singing — and some angry responses — here’s the RSS feed of changes on Wales’ talk page so you can follow along at home.)
(via: Stephen Dubner)
Bonus link: Quote from Nick Carr: “In the byzantine world of Wikipedia, with its arcane language, titles, and rules and its multitude of clans, Essjay wore the robes of a wizard. He was allowed to stand beside – and to serve – Jimbo the White. Together, they would bring “knowledge” to the unenlightened masses. But then the Wizard Essjay tried to slip through the gates of the real. Now the game is up.”