Rich writes "ABC7Chicago reports that a former Wikipedia editor forged his credentials and faked having a doctorate. "The editor, known by the moniker Essjay, described himself on his user profile as "a tenured professor of theology at a private university in the eastern United States." "In fact, Ryan Jordan was a 24-year-old community college dropout from Kentucky who relied on sources like "Catholicism for Dummies" when correcting articles."
"The controversy recently came to light when the New Yorker magazine wrote an addendum to a piece it ran in July 2006 profiling Essay. When later pressed by the magazine, Jordan revealed he was "24 and holds no advanced degrees, and that he was never taught."
Don Wyatt, chairman of Middlebury's history department, said he was not surprised to learn of the scandal at Wikipedia.
"People like Jordan, he said, "can create whole personas that are distortions and misrepresentations of who they really are. Hopefully, this sort of incident will lead to greater professionalism in terms of screening individuals."