Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Exclusive: Second Labour MP Caught Out Editing His Wikipedia Page?

The results of an investigation handed exclusively to this blog have sensationally revealed that Chuka Umunna may not have been the only Labour MP to have been caught out editing his own Wikipedia page.

Simon Danczuk the Labour MP for Rochdale, who clashed with Owen Jones over the welfare system, also appears to have potentially been spending his time editing his own Wikipedia page.  The findings of the investigation handed to this blog detail numerous examples of Parliamentary IP addresses being used to edit the content of Mr Danczuk’s page.

The most recent Parliamentary edits show the construction of a comprehensive record of the articles authored by Danczuk.  On five occasions between 31st March and the 7th April the page was edited from a computer in the parliamentary network. The edits show Mr Danczuk’s extensive collection of articles for media outlets being publicly displayed just before the launch of his publishing career.  #ThingsElliottSays finds it very odd another MP, or their Staff, would so meticulously and publicly catalogue his articles almost immediately after they went live. Doesn't Mr Danczuk have other things to do whilst being an MP.

Perhaps most damningly in 2010 the same parliamentary internet id was used to remove an allegation made about him covered by some media outlets in the run up to the 2010 General Election.  Danczuk, whose office describes the allegation as “frankly libellous”, refutes the allegation in the strongest terms.  After being threatened with legal action by a member of Mr Danczuk’s office and consulting legal advice this blog has decided not to publish the substance of this allegation removed from Wikipedia by parliamentary computers.

This already bizarre series of events only got more so when we reached out to Mr Danczuk’s office. One of Mr Danczuk’s staff suggested that our reporter was a “very strange person and that they received a lot of calls from very strange people who defend paedophiles”.  Upon discovering the political persuasion of this blog he changed his tone, we were then “protecting Tory Establishment paedophiles”. He argued that at “a time where Simon is uncovering an institutional paedophile” we could only have one motive.  Asking questions about Labour MPs breaking rules is not defending paedophilia. We didn’t appreciate the insinuation. #ThingsElliottSays would like an apology from Simon Danczuk.

The one thing above all Mr Danczuk’s staff were sure about, despite not knowing if Mr Danczuk had made the edits, was that even if he had edited the page “he’s not done a Chuka”. #ThingsElliottSays is not so sure about that.

Wikipedia’s own rules on this subject are very clear:

“Editors should not edit articles in which they have a political conflict of interest. Examples include: 1) government employees should not edit articles about their agencies, government, or political party, or articles about their political opponents, opposition groups, or about controversial political topics with the intent to slant or spin an article in a manner that is politically advantageous to their employer; 2) political candidates or their staff should not edit articles about their electoral opponents; 3) reliably-sourced, notable material written in a neutral point of view should not be deleted from articles with the intent of protecting the political interests of your party, agency or government.”

One rule for us another for them.

Also isn't this a waste of parliamentary time. Hasn't Simon Danczuk got more important things to do than big himself up on Wikipedia?

Of course Mr Danczuk could claim it is not him, or his staff, that has been editing his Wikipedia page in parliament. But who else in Westminster would want to do that, especially up to such a meticulous level? Who is it likely to be?

Simon Danczuka?

Mr Danczuk’s office said they’d get back to us as to whether he or his office had “done a Chuka”, they haven’t so we’re publishing anyway.  That’s what you get for being aggressive.

courtesy of @samwarmstrong

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