On Wednesday 27 June 2007 18:28, Kurt Maxwell Weber wrote:
On Wednesday 27 June 2007 11:01, Phil Sandifer
*>> 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
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
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
deletion who would not argue in favour of deleting a similar article about
non-Wikipedian of similar borderline notability. Certainly Phil Sandifer
didn't argue that Essjay deserves special consideration because he's "one
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
as an insignificant new user, to tell a few whoppers about being a
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
wasn't a scheming, calculating, plan to gain positions of trust. As far as
know, he gained those positions by being friendly and helpful, not by
that he had two doctorates.
Like Phil, I'm uncomfortable with having an article that puts Essjay's
name at or near the top of Google. A mention of the event in the article
[[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
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
that his punishment is out of proportion.
Er, is everyone aware that we do *NOT* have any biographical article about
Essjay? We only have an article about the [[Essjay controversy]], which is
perfectly justified. We *could* merge it into [[Criticism of Wikipedia]],
but it'd be a huge part of the article; what is wrong, pray tell, with
breaking it out into its own article, which does not even contain his real
name in its title? [[Ryan Jordan]] is a disambiguation page which points
readers to [[Essjay controversy]].
Please, please don't make assumptions about facts which can easily be
checked. We are not discussing a lopsided article on [[Ryan Jordan (former
Wikipedia administrator)]], but an article on the controversy which was
heavily documented in the news, and will probably feature to some extent in
future histories of Wikipedia.
In other words, Wikipedia does not have any article on the non-notable
person that is [[Ryan Jordan (former Wikipedia administrator)]]. It does
have an article on the notable [[Essjay controversy]].
Some people like Phil make an argument (not one I agree with, but one that
gets the basic facts right) that we should not cover the controversy either.
That's fine. But why are we debating whether we should have an article on
[[Ryan Jordan (former Wikipedia administrator)]] if we don't have one in the
P.S. Since the definition of a "kid" obviously differs from individual to
individual, a reasonable place to draw the line, assuming we want to insert
our own moral judgment into writing about "kids" in an encyclopaedia, is the
legal age of majority, which is either 18 or 21 in most places.