Thursday, March 01, 2007

More on certain fraudulent Wikipedians

There's some interesting new evidence in relation to Ryan Jordan. Specifically, this edit -- one of Essjay's very first edits -- in which he refers to "his students" and his "Ph.D." (neither of which ever existed). It's quite clear that Essjay invented this persona before he even started editing Wikipedia under the Essjay identity. I cannot, at this time, believe that he created this identity merely to protect his anonymity, as many have suggested. No, no, this was, from its onset, a direct, deliberate fraud.

I still don't understand why Mr. Jordan did this. Perhaps it was social engineer, or simply attention seeking. Whatever it was, however, it was quite thoroughly immoral and unethical of him, and he should be quite ashamed of himself. From his "apology", however, it's quite clear that he's not. One wonders if the fact that his fictitious boyfriend "Robbie" (presumably Essjay's sockpuppet) voted for Essjay on his own RfB will have any effect: normally, the penalty for this sort of vote fraud is a lengthy block and a revocation of all privileges. It's something of a surprise to me that Essjay hasn't oversighted these edits yet.

However, this really shouldn't be about Mr. Jordan. It's not. His problems are real and quite sad and problematic, but that's not the real issue. The real issue here is that Jimmy Wales, despite being aware that Mr. Jordan had put all this energy into creating such an elaborate deception and foisted it off on the Wikipedia Community for nearly two years, nonetheless doesn't "really have a problem with it" (for more context, see this randomly-select blog article). Apparently Mr. Wales doesn't give a shit if his contributors pass themselves off as things they're not, even when representing Wikipedia in the media, lie to him and to everyone else, and generally treat Wikipedia as if it were their giant personal plaything. (Yes, I know, it really is Wales' personal plaything. Maybe he just doesn't mind sharing his toys.) I can only hope that Wales was merely uninformed as to the truth depth of Jordan's deception, and, now that it's no doubt harassing his cell phone continuously, as the media are all trying to get comments from him (hey, anybody want his cell phone number? I have it somewhere! haha, just kidding), he will presumably have enough sense to realize that he really does have to hang Jordan out to dry if he wants to retain any sense of dignity and respectability for Wikipedia.

The only other downside to this is that I'm almost certainly not going to get any sort of timely action on my efforts to get Wales to put an end to publishing libel about me on Wikipedia. I poked him last night on this issue, and he hasn't replied, but of course he's way too busy to deal with the likes of me. Oh well. Nobody believes anything they read on Wikipedia anyway.

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