Submissions/Resignation by Wikipedia? The strange case of Oscar Giannino and his master's degree

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Resignation by Wikipedia? The strange case of Oscar Giannino and his master's degree
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Niccolò Caranti
Country of origin
Wikimedia Italy
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog
Wiki spiegata a mia nonna (Italian)

Oscar Giannino, prime minister nominee for the party “Act to Stop the Decline”, resigned a few days before Italian general elections in February 2013. A co-founder had denounced that he had falsely claimed a master's degree at the Chicago Booth. Doubts about his CV had been expressed on Wikipedia talk pages since 2011. A source was questioned on the base of a private email. This presentation will present the facts of the case in details and the different opinions on what to do that where expressed. It will also question if there was any role of Wikipedia in the resignation.

Detailed proposal

In 2012 Italian journalist Oscar Giannino founded the party “Act to Stop the Decline” together with economists including Michele Boldrin and Luigi Zingales. Giannino became the first president of the party and the nominee for the office of prime minister. In February 2013, less than a week before the general elections, Luigi Zingales, finance professor at the Booth School of Business of Chicago, left the party. Zingales denounced that Giannino had falsely claimed to have a master degree in corporate and public finance at the Booth. After two days Giannino resigned. Doubts about Giannino's curriculum vitae had been expressed in the talk page of his Wikipedia article since 2011, a long time before Stop the Declined was even founded. A user questioned sources cited to support Giannino's CV. She wrote an email to the Alumni Office of the Universiry, that was unable to find Giannino in its database. There was a discussion and the information was first removed, later re-added. It was finally removed after the statement of Zingales. The discussion on Wikipedia was probably not instrumental in what happened, as I will explain, but the fact that Wikipedia had publicly found out before the others was highlighted by journalists and bloggers. From the wikipedian point of view, however, the big problem is another one. Can a private email have some use in a Wikipedia discussion? Which use? I will point out the various answers given in the talk page and discuss them.

Analysis and Public Engagement
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Depending on scolarship. Yes.
Slides or further information (optional)
When fact-checking means a lot - Wikimedia Blog
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  1. Slashme (talk) 18:19, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
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