Crowdsourcing My Libel Defence – Web Detectives Needed 94

On 29 and 30 April 2016 Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail Online, wrote a series of tweets about me which have since been deleted. These feature in my libel defence and it would be extremely useful to be able to recover them. His twitter stream on those days also included several of his followers falsely calling me an anti-Semite and other awful stuff, and it would be most useful to recover those too.

More generally there was much evidence in Mr Wallis Simons’ twitter stream in the months and years prior to 29 April 2016 of he or his followers making allegations of anti-Semitism widely. Any of that which could be recovered would also be extremely helpful.

The date when material was deleted is extremely important – perhaps even more important to me than the recovery of the material itself. Mr Wallis Simons now has an app which deletes all his tweets at a 2 month cut-off date. I need to discover when that app came into operation on his account and material started to vanish.

For the record, I have directly asked his lawyer these questions, twice, in writing, and have received the reply that these questions are irrelevant to the case against me.

Nothing in the above or the rest of this article imputes any wrongdoing, ill motive or illegal activity to Dr Wallis Simons or to his lawyer, Mr Mark Lewis. His lawyer, Mr Lewis, has bad luck because in another recent high profile libel case, Monroe vs Hopkins, he also found that his client, Ms Monroe, gained an unwanted advantage from installing a twitter deleting app that was at least similar in operation. Interestingly she installed this after Mr Lewis had started advising her. This led to para 84 of the judgement:

84. The second point is that there have been difficulties over disclosure especially on the claimant’s side, of which others should take note. The deletion of the First Tweet, at Ms Monroe’s request, meant the Twitter Analytics were unavailable. And Ms Monroe’s Twitter records were extensively deleted. I am not able to attribute responsibility for that on the basis of the evidence, and I do not. What I can say is that this highlights in the Twitter context the responsibility of a litigant to retain and preserve material that may become disclosable, and the responsibility of a solicitor to take reasonable steps to ensure that the client appreciates this responsibility and performs it.

I can never think of libel without thinking of poor martyred Oscar Wilde. As Oscar might have said:

To lose one client’s tweets may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

Any evidence you can find me of the content of the deleted tweets and when they vanished, as outlined above, would be very helpful. I am often struck by the astonishing variety of skills possessed by readers of this blog, and I am sure we will find that internet forensics are among them. It is also interesting how often people happen to screenshot things which interest them.

More than 4,000 people have to date contributed to my defence fund and I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I am by gratitude.

Feel free to post your discoveries in comments below but please avoid possibly libellous assertions. It would be helpful if you could in addition send me potentially useful material through the contact box top right of the blog.


I continue urgently to need contributions to my defence in the libel action against me by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail online. You can see the court documents outlining the case here. I am threatened with bankruptcy and the end of this blog (not to mention a terrible effect on my young family). Support is greatly appreciated. An astonishing 4,000 people have now contributed a total of over £75,000. But that is still only halfway towards the £140,000 target. I realise it is astonishing that so much money can be needed, but that is the pernicious effect of England’s draconian libel laws, as explained here.

On a practical point, a number of people have said they are not members of Paypal so could not donate. After clicking on “Donate”, just below and left of the “Log In” button is a small “continue” link which enables you to donate by card without logging in.

For those who prefer not to pay online, you can send a cheque made out to me to Craig Murray, 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. As regular readers know, it is a matter of pride to me that I never hide my address.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

94 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing My Libel Defence – Web Detectives Needed

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  • Jeremy Punt

    I think there’s a chap down Knightsbridge way who knows a bit about interwebby infrastructure.

  • Cancelbot

    It looks like Twitter has gotten itself a cancelbot, doesn’t it? A word to the wise; cancelbots work both ways, as in “What libelous statements?”

  • mbiyd

    Put in a specification request for the information and call for them in your pleadings with a note that failure to do so will be found upon. A forensic expert should be able to retrieve the info in any event.

  • Paul Barbara

    There is something on the net called ‘the wayback machine’, but I don’t know how to work it; surely one of your readers knows.

  • nevermind

    Maybe you should give Julian a ring and see whether he has any ideas on how to retrieve tweets that have been disappeared, way back machine does not do tweets afaik.

  • yesindyref2

    Well, I don’t do twitter at all, just access it via google, but having been in the past a bit of a web sleuth did my best and can’t find anything (so far). What I did find though on politico from 2015, and you won’t like me for this, is the best and most accurate article about the UK Trident prgram I’ve come across. I agree with Chalmers in it, but at the same time you can see from what he says that the rest of the article is also true. I kind of know Chalmers from his writings about Indy, and how they progressed over a couple of years as he gained more knowledge and understanding.

    Shame you two can’t kiss and make up, everyone has different views, wildly different at times, on some issues, and they can go too far in discussions, but can have so much in common at times.

    Thinks: Yeah, I will actually post this, and the URL if requested – I bookmarked it.

  • Taalib

    Hi Craig – hope you and your family are bearing up.

    A couple of thoughts though they may be long shots:

    1) Try contacting the people who support or run They may have some information somewhere or pass the word around for people who might.

    2) What about canvassing his twitter followers not all may be his supporters?

  • Taalib

    Another thought: I wonder if there are any media academics/students who are studying or researching the social media of newspaper editors and/or the Daily Mail. They might have amassed data.

  • Counter claimant

    Its very clear this was a premeditated ambush with Sky (and/or its principals) on board. CMs defense MUST include ferreting this out under oath including cross examination of the Sky executives. And even after the devils beat a hasty retreat CM should have enough ammunition to consider a mega bucks counter claim on Sky to include punitive damages for the set up (notwithstanding his free speech stand as Sky could then be at fault for stifling free speech). All crowd funders be invited to share in the profits of the subsequent suit which may require over a million pounds. I for one have already shifted both my TV and broadband subscriptions to BT.

  • Sharp Ears

    JWS is in St Maarten doing a Dr Doolittle act.

    He cannot spell. Carribean s/be Caribbean.

    Associate Global Editor, @MailOnline. Reviews papers on @SkyNews, can be heard on @BBCRadio4 + seen in @spectator. Ex-Telegraph features. Writing fifth novel
    St Maarten, Carribean.

    This ??

    Jake Wallis Simons @JakeWSimons
    I just discovered that @TheMossadIL is on Twitter and it’s doing my head in. Is it real?

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