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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Don’t Menshn Wikipedia

After Grant “Spiv” Shapps was named as prime suspect behind an account that had been performing creative edits on Wikipedia entries - either him, or someone under his control - there had to be pushback. First, as I observed yesterday, came Shapps himself, going on Newsnight and effectively implicating the serially tenacious Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads, who, sadly for the Tory chairman, had nothing to do with it.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

Still, if you don’t succeed at first, well, suck some more seed, eh? If it wasn’t a rotten lefty, it must have been someone the Tories and their press pals can crap all over from a great height, so the hunt was on to get smearing. And so it came to pass that the Wikipedia editor was a bloke called Richard Symonds. Who he? Well, Symonds has supported the Lib Dems in the past, and was once a party member, although he isn’t now.
But what the hell, that’s enough to paint this as an organised Lib Dem dirty trick. You think I jest? Check out how the slavishly Tory Telegraph span it: “Wikipedia admin who accused Grant Shapps of editing pages of Tory rivals is Lib Dem activist”. Symonds is not an activist, but that is how the Tel, and the Tories, can spin it as a smear campaign by another party, rather than someone doing his job. And there was more.
Enter the Tel’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whingeing Dan Hodges to spin away: “Imagine if Times or Telegraph had run Shapps-like piece about shad cab member, and it transpired it had been briefed by a Tory activist”. Shite fact checking, but he’s a real journalist, folks, don’t forget. Mark Wallace, now at ConHome, was more creative: “So Labour Press office are managing ‘spontaneous’ #milifandom and that Wikipedia editor is a Lib Dem activist”. See, it was Labour’s fault, after all!
And then there was the inevitable two-foot e-lunge from (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who immediately knew more than everyone else put together (again). “I thought Clegg joke was funny; now it's same old LD smear machine stuff” was her opening gambit, followed by “Investigative journalism >>> twitter troll mobs and LibDem sockpuppets”.
There was no sock-puppeting going on, and the Lib Dems were not involved, but hey ho. “LibDem sock puppet ‘chase me ladies I'm the cavalry’ ‘not at work’ at wikimedia today ‘off sick’ #LibDemLies” she trilled. He’s not working for the Lib Dems, he’s not a sock-puppet, and so what if he ain’t at work? But she was off on one: “Wikimedia LibDem troll bans account without evidence, bends rules, leaks to Guardian. Sockpuppet? He sure was”.
There was no trolling, no sock-puppeting, no lack of evidence, no leak, and no Lib Dems, but otherwise she was more or less right. Try again. “Surprise surprise. LibDem smear campaign on Shapps”. Sadly wrong again, unfortunately. Louise Mensch loves to portray herself as someone exposing those who are habitually economical with the actualité, but does not see that this reputation is not enhanced by her constant, er, whoppers.

And don’t forget, they allowed her to become an MP. How many more like her are there?


Shawlrat said...

La Mensch:
A) ex Tory MP
B) lives abroad
C) works for Murdoch
Her views matter - we should all take them very seriously!!

Rich Johnston said...

Maybe one day you'll revisit my cartoon about how Louise wasn't prepared for the realities of internet comments, before launching a product for internet comments, and realise what it was about... http://zelo-street.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/guido-fawked-cartoon-bang-out-of-order.html ... and no more sexist than the cartoon you use here.

rob said...

Louise Mensch - the thinking man's Katie Hopkins?

Dan Hodges just the unthinking man?

Anonymous said...

I think someone needs to tell these people how IP works for one.

Wikipedia pretty forward in announcing in the past when someone tries to edit their own information, I'd expect the same thing no matter the individuals involved.
No wonder they thought that stupid smut filter would work, some basic awareness of how this all works would help.

rob said...

There's was a strange woman in Manhattan
Who spied a "red" she thought she could dump on
Despite all the hullabaloo
The news turned out not to be true
Now everyone knows she's a wrong Con