Just over a year ago, I published a post outlining a number of ways ORCID was being exploited — to help sell bitcoin, direct people to porn sites, sell drugs (marijuana, oxy), and so forth. Entries diverting traffic to sites peddling these and other illicit goods and services were easy to find, and abundant when detected.
As is the nature of those who have absorbed the ambient prestige in the scholarly environment, the responses were defensive and affronted. How dare I question this initiative’s quality? Did I have a grudge against Chris Shillum, ORCID’s new-ish at the time CEO? Was I a closet Luddite? Didn’t I understand open data? And on and on.
None of these was or is true. Shillum’s possession of the CEO role only increased my expectations, as I know him to be both competent and thoughtful. Even then, it took a few posts to illustrate the range of obvious problems — Google heavily filtering ORCID from search results because they had become unreliable, an attempt to wallpaper over flaws instead of addressing them, and an ineffective community approach — before I moved on.
Before I did, I concluded after one particularly ugly social media incident driven largely by the fact that people can hide their true identities online much as some interlopers were doing using ORCID:
ORCID was supposed to solve an identity problem, but it’s actually creating new ways to conceal actual identities through a service that makes fake identities appear more valid and real than they are.