Jimmy Wales Thinks Snowden Is 'An Innocent Party' And 'A Hero'; Wants To Know If He Ever Edited Wikipedia
from the another-mystery dept
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?
As Wales says, it certainly seems possible that Snowden might have fiddled with a bit or two on Wikipedia, as one does, so it’s a reasonable question to pose. But there’s a complication, also pointed out in the Examiner.com story:
However, a key problem for Mr. Wales is that Wikipedians aren’t allowed to snoop into the identity of other other Wikipedia editors who have not disclosed their real name on Wikipedia.
This tension between wanting to know if Snowden was a Wikipedia editor, and rules that say the identity of editors should not be revealed unilaterally, is explored in a fascinating — and lively — discussion underneath Wales’s original post that’s well-worth reading. His position on the matter is the following:
It is not ‘outing’ when the user ids in question are already published widely in the media in reliable sources. I looked for a couple of variant spellings and found nothing, so I asked to see if others could find anything. I think it is not only acceptable but highly desirable for people to openly discuss such matters. If someone discovers or knows something that they feel would be inappropriate to post publicly, then they should send it to me privately.
Snowden’s relationship with Wikipedia remains a mystery; Wales’s views on Snowden, by contrast, are pretty clear:
I personally think in general Snowden is an “innocent party” — a hero, in fact.