Sat 3rd March 2007, 9:22pm
QUOTE(omobomo @ Sat 3rd March 2007, 9:52pm)
Any chance of a discussion here of l'affaire EssJay, in general terms, for those of us who don't necessarily want to research every little facet of this brouhaha? I notice there's stuff elsewhere in this forum, but it doesn't seem comprehensive in nature.
If this is out of line here, I won't be the least bit offended if this post is removed (or moved to the appropriate place). Just looking for a place to get a toehold on this fascinating turn of events.
Okay, here's what I understand. Please correct me if I've got anything wrong:
Essjay pretended that he had not only a University degree, but an doctorate....and not only ONE doctorate, but two, the second being in Catholic Canon law He also said that he was a tenured professor at the University, a non-Catholic and a gay man in a relationship.
What has come out is that he has no university degrees at all, that he's not a tenured professor (and most of his other published "employment" history is probably false as well) and that his "partner" was probably only a "sockpuppet" or just another internet identity that he made up.
None of this would have been a problem, since people do stuff like this on Wikipedia all of the time, except that the New Yorker Magazine decided to write an article about Wikipedia and Jimbo decided that they should interview Essjay and he presented all of this as fact...and the fact checker didn't catch it...and it was published...and when Jimbo found out, he said that it wasn't that important anyway....
Since this guy has been hired as a paid employee of Wikia, which is the "for profit" arm of Jimbo's empire, this represents a problem. Jimbo is currently somewhere in India and can't deal with this. He seems to think that he's going to be able to deal with this when he's in Japan, but having personally spent much time in Japan, I think that he's going to be in for a big surprize.
Did I miss anything???
oh, yeah. The bottom line is that Wikipedia is a cult.....but you knew that already, didn't you???
In response to your further questions:
* What, if any, effect is Jimbo's nonchalant dismissal of EssJay's misprepresentations likely to have on the opinion of Wikipedia in the real world (in other words, of the punditocracy)?
That is just gonna confirm what Academia has already decided: that Wikipedia is a joke.
* How many of the (16,000 + from what I read) articles that EssJay had a hand in creating or substantially editing are likely to be reviewed as a consequence?
On Wikipedia? Probably none! Off of Wikipedia? Probably all of them!!
* How close to stressing the Wiki-world to the breaking point might this incident be?
Since everyone there is already clinically insane, what does this matter anyway???