Saturday, August 1, 2015

Persona non Ph'der

This week's New Yorker has a curious editor's note on page 10.

Persona non Ph'der

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Jimmywales_wikepedia This week's New Yorker has a curious editor's note on page 10.

It sheds light on something that's become known to the magazine since its July 31 piece on Wikipedia -- mainly that the site administrator whose bio identifies him as a tenured professor with a Ph'd D in theology is really some dude from Kentucky who has never taught and holds no advanced degrees.

The magazine found out that EssJay, the Wikipedia mediator of contested facts, was really named Ryan Jordan. A BBC account reports that Jordan, 24, used such expert texts as "Catholicism For Dummies" to wrestle with theological disputes.

My favorite part of the editor's note is this line:

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikia and of Wikipedia, said of Essjay's invented persona, "I regard it as a pseudonym and I don't really have a problem with it."

Way to go Jimmy. That is so whatever.

Wales has since asked for Jordan's resignation. Jordan has complied.

Inquirer Columnist
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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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