On Wednesday 27 June 2007 18:28, Kurt Maxwell Weber wrote:
On Wednesday 27 June 2007 11:01, Phil Sandifer wrote:
*>> I'm not OK with us being the first thing on him his future
> see when they Google him. He was a kid when he
made his mistakes, and
> we shouldn't be the ones to tar and feather him for life over them.
*> Why should the fact that he's "one of our own" entitle him to special
He's not a "kid who made a mistake",
he's an adult who knew fully well
what he was doing and did it anyway.
It doesn't entitle him to special consideration, Kurt. Wikipedia is becoming
increasingly sensitive towards all human beings of borderline notability,
whose lives may be adversely affected by the existence of a Wikipedia
article about them. I don't think there's anyone who is arguing in favour of
deletion who would not argue in favour of deleting a similar article about a
non-Wikipedian of similar borderline notability. Certainly Phil Sandifer
didn't argue that Essjay deserves special consideration because he's "one of
our own"; you read it into his words.
What age was Essjay when he joined? Twenty? Twenty-one? Twenty-two? Many
people would consider that he *was* a kid.
Did he invent that persona with the intention of becoming an an
administrator, a bureaucrat, a checkuser, an oversighter? I doubt it very
much. I doubt if he even knew there were such things when he started.
It sounds to me like an immature kid, just out of his teens, finding it fun,
as an insignificant new user, to tell a few whoppers about being a Professor
of Theology, then, as a result of some genuinely good qualities, becoming
popular on Wikipedia, becoming an administrator, rising still higher, and
finding himself trapped in the lies that he had started as before he ever
suspected that he was going to rise to power. Obviously it was wrong, but it
wasn't a scheming, calculating, plan to gain positions of trust. As far as I
know, he gained those positions by being friendly and helpful, not by saying
that he had two doctorates.
Like Phil, I'm uncomfortable with having an article that puts Essjay's real
name at or near the top of Google. A mention of the event in the article on
[[Criticism of Wikipedia]] shows that we're not sweeping it under the
carpet. Essjay is only notable (and not even particularly so) because of a
single event, and the tendency at Wikipedia is to discourage articles about
non-notable people who became notable from being in the news over a single
I wonder how many people on this mailing list never told lies between the
ages of twenty-one and twenty-four. What Essjay did was wrong, but it seems
that his punishment is out of proportion.