Cillit Bang! Wikipedia edits

It seems there are still Commons staff (or indeed MPs) who don’t realise that anonymous edits to Wikipedia from within the parliamentary estate can be tracked.  There is even a Twitter account dedicated to doing precisely that.

In the latest cack-handed attempt at airbrushing, one parliamentary pass holder took exception to the mention of Robert Walter MP’s support for the authoritarian regime in Azerbaijan.

The Dorset MP had praised “positive developments” in relation to the country’s presidential elections in 2013 — a year which saw its civil liberties rating downgraded by a human rights watchdog who noted the administration had “cracked down on the opposition and civil society in advance of presidential elections”. The regime even released election results before voting had actually started.

This fully referenced passage was still bundled down the memory hole earlier this afternoon:

“Bob Walter takes a strong interest in Azerbaijan, has publically [sic] defended the country’s democratic progress,[3] and has resisted attempts to criticize the Azerbaijani government for its human rights record.[4]

A reference to the arrest of Craig Whittaker MP for allegedly assaulting his son outside a petrol station was also deleted recently, along with his admission to not knowing about the future of an A&E department in his constituency — despite telling local residents that it was safe.

The parliamentary estate: where vanity trumps common sense.

  1. Parliamentary process? I’ve been to Azerbaijan, and it’s a dictatorship, though not as bad as, say, Saudi Arabia.

  2. It isn’t so easy to edit or remove content on Wikipedia, unless you are an editor/moderator. However, everything is kept in a log, including editor IPs.

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