Wikipedia co- founder Jimmy Wales has broken his own site’s rules in order to figure out if any of the editors on the website could be security whistleblower Edward Snowden. Wales has launched an investigation for the purpose.
There are several editors who use pseudonyms to edit what is possibly the world’s largest encyclopedia. Co-Founder Wales, on a mere suspicion has launched a man-hunt to figure out if Snowden had been working on Wikipedia articles.
Jimbo takes the hunt for Snowden to Wikipedia
Wales on Tuesday asked his followers on his “Talk” page on the Wikipedia if they had any information regarding Snowden ever having been on the site. In the post titled, “Snowden Editing?” Wales wrote, “I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere. In the media there have been reports of user accounts used on various tech discussion sites by Edward Snowden. He was apparently quite an active person online, particularly a few years back when he was younger. It seems highly likely to me that he would have edited Wikipedia - most people who fit his profile (tech savvy, internet activist types) will have done so. Do we have any evidence of that, or suspicions about that?”
According to a report by Examiner.com, even while several journalists and investigators have been trying to figure out if Snowden was prolific on Wikipedia in the past, there is an issue with Wales himself trying to launch an investigation into it. Jimbo is breaking a cardinal rule of his own site – no posting of personal information.
Wikipedia editors, including a Belgian administrator “Fram” brought Wales’ attempt of uncovering Snowden to light. Fram posted about “a high profile admin” trying to figure out information about if and when Snowden was a Wikipedia editor. “The information is not needed for any admin- or office-reasons, the attempted outing is done because ‘I'm just curious’…Speculation on which accounts may be used by named (notable) persons, for the sake of curiosity, have no place on Wikipedia,” he wrote.
Wales, instead of offering an explanation or apology, launched into a tirade against Fram and his "manufactured and implausible complaints" that he considered to be harassment, even while other editors sided with Fram.
Looks like Wales’ speculations have thrown Wikipedia into a crisis, even as reports have emerged that Snowden has left Hong Kong for an unnamed “democratic country”. The whistleblower has been slapped with espionage charges by the US government and is currently on the run.