Roger Ebert, The Collected Wikipedia Edits | Quenton Miller

Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, was a likely – but never confirmed – Wikipedia editor, under the name Rebert. These edits are now collected in a hardcover, not for sale edition.

Rebert’s edits are often short, entertaining reviews, on Gotham City or John Prine, over time they were edited into Wikipedia’s dry style or reverted completely. Most cite Ebert texts as sources, and though the practice of citing yourself was overlooked in 2004 when Rebert started out, by 2009 his last edit was given a tag, ‘possible conflict of interest’. Rebert’s user page now carries a note, ‘this is the user talk page of an editor who has died. This page is preserved as a memorial,’ and then, finally, the catchphrase from Ebert’s TV show, ‘See you at the movies!’

Roger Ebert was a fan of Wikipedia. Searching through his film reviews you can find ‘Thanks to Wikipedia,’ ‘Wikipedia splendidly explains,’ ‘My pals at Wikipedia filled in some of the blanks for me’. In 2008, Rebert’s most active year of editing, Ebert posted an interview with Bill Clinton, and listed himself under ‘distribution,’ along with his distributors and their contacts, as ‘Roger Ebert REBERT.’ There are many signs that these are Ebert’s edits, though it was never fully confirmed by Ebert, who died in 2013. Now he’s gone it may remain a mystery.

Roger Ebert, The Collected Wikipedia Edits is published by Quenton Miller, an artist and writer. The book is not for sale, though technically all text on Wikipedia is publishable for profit.