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Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007, 01:32 am
swisscelt: Now what?

So now that EssJay has [apparently] left Wikipedia, and a cadre of administrators, stewards, and the like are doing their level best to sweep the whole incident under the rug, what's left to do? We're being told to discuss this on the Village Pump, but I see nothing there. On the Community Noticeboard, an ad hoc (and highly disorganized, IMO) discussion is brewing, but already people are calling for its closure.

I've said it before: This is serious. We can't just pretend that because this is happening on Teh Intrawebz it won't be taken seriously in the American media and, ultimately, American and other national societies. How Wikipedia deals with this is as crucial to the continuing survival of this enterprise as any corporate scandal was to their respective companies. It's time we ALL grew up: This is the real world, people.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)

blah blah blah. How else do you expect an organisation that lets anyone edit to operate? the world is not ending. people will continue to accept imperfect sources of information and the comforting illusion of authority.

you sound like you want a solution like everyone has to be video-interrogated for three hours to make sure they're not telling any lies about themselves.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC)

And you sound like you have something to hide. ;-)

In all seriousness, I don't care about editors. Credentials don't matter when everybody is asked to provide verifiable sources. But you'd think someone in as high a position as Essjay was would be at least interviewed, and perhaps told to drop the fake identity for one more in line with what his actual achievements are.

Come on, this is common sense. You don't hire a VP who falsely claims to have a degree from Wharton, and you don't hire a high-level administrator who falsely claims to have a ThD. And I'm sorry, but by continuing to use the name, Essjay continued the hoax.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)

no, I just pretty much don't care. it would be relatively easy for anyone who was motivated to find out all kinds of scurrilous details from my past. but since I'm not an admin at enwp I'm not making enemies who have that motivation with any hurry.

see the thing is, how did essjay get that 'high position'? He got all his 'high positions' because he was a respected community member, due to the quality of his edits and his demeanour, how he carried himself in debates. Not because other people were wowed by his ThD claims.

do you think being an admin is a 'high position'? there are over 1000 now... should we doing the reference checks on all of them? I don't think so.

all his other 'high positions' were derived from how he conducted his work as an admin.

or are you referring to his being hired at Wikia? because he told them all the truth, and even put it on his user page there, which is how he was 'found out' after all.

I stand by the idea of 'judge someone by their edits'. Yes, he's made some dodgy ones where he's used the lever of false authority to apparently gain favour in content debates. insert gasp of shock here. everyone has some dodgy edits in their contributions closet. no one is perfect. and IMO no one should have to be. I can count on a couple of hands the dodgy edits but I probably don't makes enough dollars in a year to pay you for each good edit he has made.

I wasn't ever even close to him. I just think the Wikipedia community needs to take a walk outside in the park sometimes... or lots of times. :)

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
infrogmation: Exit Essjay

Well, if the "scurrilous details" were done in Wikipedia, and while supposedly speaking to the national media as one of Wikipedia's best representatives, I think removal from positions of trust is certainly warrented.

Admin is a position of a certain amount of trust-- granted to reliable editors after the test of experience and time. Essjay's position was significantly beyond that, trusted with check user and dispute resolution.

It wasn't a matter of a few dogdgy edits. Essjay's deliberitely lying to the national media IMO shows lousy judgement in addition to dishonesty, and the attempted slander of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist in his first semi-apology even worse.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
swisscelt: Re: Exit Essjay

THANK you. That's the issue here, not that he had some inconsistencies on his user page.

Well that, and Jimbo's reaction(s) to all this.

Mon, Mar. 5th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
pfctdayelise: Re: Exit Essjay

Essjay's deliberitely lying to the national media IMO shows lousy judgement in addition to dishonesty, and the attempted slander of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist in his first semi-apology even worse.

Yes, and he was asked to resign, and he did. So what exactly is the big problem?

I'm not saying he should have been allowed to keep those positions. I just don't think the ensuing drama matches what's actually taken place.