On 8/1/07, Anthony <wikimail(a)inbox.org> wrote:
On 8/2/07, Matthew Brown <morven(a)gmail.com>
It's been tried over and again by people
trying to escape their
reputation and start afresh, and it fails often enough that I must
conclude that it's not a winning strategy.
I'd say your sample is necessarily biased because the ones who don't
get caught you wouldn't find out about. I've made significant edits
under a few different accounts other than the one I originally
created, and while I assume some people have probably noticed it I
haven't really received any public accusations recently.
In some cases I've known in confidence that someone is a returnee;
most of these have been exposed eventually. Perhaps there's a
correlation between my knowing and those people being more likely to
be exposed, however; certainly possible.
So what is the solution, then? I ask this not just
for Sarah, but for
all of us. I think we've gotta accept either the fact that our
pseudonyms are eventually going to be found out or else we've gotta
change pseudonyms frequently. Even moreso for most of us, who don't
have friends to oversight our edits for us.
I'm not sure what the answer is. Personally, I make no great effort
to be anonymous or pseudonymous. I use my real (albeit common) name
and people could probably find me with very little effort. IMO, I
think it being too easy makes it less tempting, and makes it appear
like there's no big exciting secret - since there's not.
However, I have no enemies I know of and have an employer and family
that are pretty damn cool. Not everyone is in that situation.
In the end, I'd recommend that anyone who has big reason to be
anonymous not edit Wikipedia. If they are willing to take the risk
to, it's much safer if you do not edit in areas where you are a known
figure, do not seek adminship or if you do, don't court controversy,
and in general avoid Wikipedia's battlegrounds.