Who is Mark Iscaro?

While doing a revision on my long-in-development video on the origin of Carmen Sandiego, I noticed something on the Wikipedia page for “Carmen Sandiego (character)” that I hadn’t noticed before. The info box for “created by” listed three names that were quite familiar to me, and one I’d never seen before in my life: “Mark Iscaro.”

A screenshot of the Wikipedia page for "Carmen Sandiego (character)" as of today's date.
A screenshot of “Carmen Sandiego (character)” as of today’s date.

“Who the hell is Mark Iscaro??” I shouted at my screen, except I might’ve used an f-bomb.

A quick Google search told me nothing. Although cited as a co-creator on numerous sites, no other information about this individual existed beyond a name. But I had a suspicion I knew exactly what was going on.

I hit the “View history” link on the article and began combing through to find the date the name first added. It went back way further than I imagined: May 18, 2006. Nearly two decades ago!

The moment Mark Iscaro happened.

Next, I started combing through other edits by that same anonymous user to see if there was a pattern. While some edits were completely innocuous, there was also a years-long history of vandalism — the Wikipedia term for someone intentionally adding misinformation.

The famous journalist Mark Iscaro.

While the types of vandalism this user committed varied a bit, every once in awhile he’d try adding the name “Mark Iscaro.” Most of the time this was eventually caught and reverted. But in the Carmen Sandiego entry, it stuck.

Famous Jenner sibling Mark Iscaro.

Hilariously, at one point he actually removed someone else’s vandalism from the Carmen Sandiego entry, perhaps worried someone else doing the same thing he was doing would get them both found out.

Was “Mark Iscaro” his real name?

“Ed Guarnieri” deleted so that Mark Iscaro can remain.

Frankly, I don’t care. I would normally hesitate to write an article like this, out of fear that if it is his real name, I would only be helping to mythologize him. But at this point it’s spread so far beyond Wikipedia that merely deleting his name wouldn’t be enough. I need to raise awareness of this misinformation.

Because all it takes is one Wikipedia editor citing a book that took all its facts from Wikipedia, and suddenly you have citeception. Or “citogenesis” as XKCD calls it.

Citogenesis in XKCD.

I don’t want this misinformation to spread any further than it already has. If anyone does a search for “Mark Iscaro” because they saw him listed as Carmen’s co-creator on Toonopedia or Fandom or in one of those poorly-researched books, I want this to be the first result. So that people know.

But first, could somebody please remove his name from Wikipedia?

Update: Within an hour of publishing this, the name was removed from all Carmen-related entries!

Additional thoughts? Let me know in the comments on Patreon.