In March 2007 the jig was up for 24-year-old Kentucky man Ryan Jordan. For more than a year he had worked as an editor for Wikipedia, making changes and corrections on thousands of articles and serving as an arbitrator on disputes between authors. His Wikipedia profile described him as a professor of religion at a private university. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary about his work; no red flags ever came up. But after one Wikipedia user read a 2006 New Yorker profile of Jordan who only went by the pseudonym Essjay, which the magazine also used the truth about Jordan's identity began to unravel. Not only was he not a professor with expertise in theology and canon law, but he also never received a PhD, as he had claimed, and often used a book called Catholicism for Dummies as his editing resource.
When editors at the New Yorker were alerted to this, they added a note to the story saying, "At the time of publication, neither we nor Wikipedia knew Essjay's real name." Jordan claimed that he had to create the fake persona to protect his identity from those who might be envious of his position as an editor. At first, co-founder Jimmy Wales defended Jordan's right to protect himself, but as criticism against Jordan grew, Wales reevaluated his stance and asked Jordan to resign, saying "my past support of Essjay in this matter was fully based on a lack of knowledge about what has been going on." Jordan apologized for the deception and resigned.