Wikipedia's Wales fires lying 'professor'
By Nick Farrell: Monday 05 March 2007, 06:45
OWNED OF Wikipedia - Jimmy Wales - has performed a u-turn on whether he thinks it is a good idea for a man who lied about having a triple doctorate was a good person to work on his online encyclopaedia.
Ryan Jordan was caught lying to the media last week - claiming that he had three doctorates and was teaching at a university when it was not true.
At the time Wales said he didn't have a problem with that as it was just an online persona, EssJay, that Jordan was peddling. Now, Wales has apparently asked for EssJay's resignation.
Wales said that he originally thought Jordan was using the faked qualifications as part of a pseudonymous identity which he thought was OK. Now it turns out that Jordan was using his 'qualifications' as a trump card in content disputes.
Ironically for the head of an online knowledge outfit, Wales said that his past support of Jordan was based on a lack of knowledge about what had been going on.
Jordan has been contrite and apologetic. People who characterise him as being "proud" of it or "bragging" are badly mistaken, Wales said. He has also personally apologised.
Wales said that Wikipedia was built on the twin pillars of trust and tolerance. The integrity of the project depends on the core community being passionate about quality and integrity, so that people can trust each other. “The harmony of our work depends on human understanding and forgiveness of errors,” Wales said.