Wikipedia disowns an editor

The online free encyclopedia Wikipedia has asked one of its most prolific editors to resign after the revelation that he wasn't who he said he was and that he didn't have the academic credentials many thought he had.

According to The New Yorker magazine, Ryan Jordan--who had been posing on Wikipedia as an editor named Essjay--had made up his identity as a professor of religious studies.

At first, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales stood by Jordan, saying he didn't have a problem with the pseudonymous identity. But later, Wikipedia asked Jordan to step down, and Jordan also resigned from his position at Wales' for-profit company, Wikia.

The Wikipedia community, meanwhile, has reacted fiercely, with much anger aimed at him for his deception.

According to the Web site, TechShout.com, Jordan penned one final Wikipedia post before heading off into the sunset: "I've enjoyed my time here, and done much good work; my time, however, is over, and leaving is the best thing for me and Wikipedia. I walk away happy to be free to go about other things. I hope others will refocus the energy they have spent the past few days in defending and denouncing me to make something here at Wikipedia better."

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About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.

 

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