The Philip Cross Affair 771

UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.

133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing is astonishing if it is one individual:

The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

There are three options here. “Philip Cross” is either a very strange person indeed, or is a false persona disguising a paid operation to control wikipedia content, or is a real front person for such an operation in his name.

Why does this – to take the official explanation – sad obsessive no friends nutter, matter?

Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative. particularly in foreign affairs. “Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the interests of Israel.

This matters because, an ordinary reader who comes across an article questioning (say) the official narrative on the Skripals, is very likely to turn to Wikipedia to get information on the author of the article. Simply put, the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is to make certain that if that reader looks up an anti-war person such as John Pilger, they will conclude they are thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy, whereas if they look up a right wing MSM journalist, they will conclude they are a paragon of virtue and entirely to be trusted.

The “Philip Cross” treatment is meted out not just to left wingers, but to all sceptical of neo-conservatism and who oppose “wars of intervention”. A list of Cross’s victims includes Alex Salmond, Peter Oborne, John Pilger, Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Hayward, Diane Abbott, Neil Clark, Lindsey German, Vanessa Beeley, and George Galloway. As you would expect “Philip Cross” is particularly active in making amendments to the Wikipedia articles of alternative media, and of MSM critique sites. “Philip Cross” has made 36 edits to the Wikipedia entry of The Canary and, staggeringly, over 800 edits on Media Lens. George Galloway remains the “Philip Cross” operation’s favourite target with a quite incredible 1,800 edits.

Just as revealing are the people who “Philip Cross” seeks to protect and promote. Sarah Smith, BBC Scotland’s uber-unionist, has had “Philip Cross” kindly delete references from her Wikipedia entry to family ties that (ahem) may have helped her career. Labour Friends of Israel’s Ruth Smeeth MP has had reference to the Wikileaks released US diplomatic cable that showed she was an informer to the US Embassy on the secrets of the Labour Party, deleted by “Philip Cross”. Right wing columnist Melanie Phillips had her embarrassing climate change denial excised by Cross.

“Philip Cross” not only carefully tends and protects the Wikipedia entry of Guardian editor Katherine Viner, who has taken the paper four square into the neo-con camp, Philip Cross actually wrote the original hagiographic entry. The Guardian’s MI6 contact, Luke Harding, is particularly looked after by Cross, as are their anti-Corbyn obsessives Nick Cohen and Jonathon Freedland. So are Murdoch hacks David Aaronovitch and Oliver Kamm.

There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross” made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter, in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while a British diplomat.

Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.

What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.

What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

The extreme defensiveness and surliness of Wales’ twitter responses on the “Philip Cross” operation is very revealing. Why do you think he reacts like this? Interestingly enough. Wikipedia’s UK begging arm, Wikimedia UK, joined in with equal hostile responses to anyone questioning Cross.

In response many people sent Jimmy Wales evidence, which he ignored, while his “charity” got very upset with those questioning the Philip Cross operation.

Wikimedia had arrived uninvited into a twitter thread discussing the “Philip Cross” operation and had immediately started attacking people questioning Cross’s legitimacy. Can anybody else see anything “insulting” in my tweet?

I repeat, the coincidence of Philip Cross’s political views with those of Jimmy Wales, allied to Wales’ and Wikimedia’s immediate hostility to anybody questioning the Cross operation – without needing to look at any evidence – raises a large number of questions.

“Philip Cross” does not attempt to hide his motive or his hatred of those whose Wikipedia entries he attacks. He openly taunts them on twitter. The obvious unbalance of his edits is plain for anybody to see.

I have in the past exchanged messages with “Philip Cross”. He says he is a person, and that he edits in conjunction with Oliver Kamm tweets because he follows Kamm and his tweets inspire him to edit. He says he has met Kamm and admits to being in electronic communication with him. That excjange I had with Cross was some years ago. More recent communication with Cross (who has now changed his twitter ID to “Julian”

has been less forthcoming and he has not replied:

George Galloway has offered a reward of £1,000 for the name and address of “Cross” so he may also take legal action.

My view is that Philip Cross probably is a real person, but that he fronts for a group acting under his name. It is undeniably true, in fact the government has boasted, that both the MOD and GCHQ have “cyber-war” ops aiming to defend the “official” narrative against alternative news media, and that is precisely the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation on Wikipedia. The extreme regularity of output argues against “Philip Cross” being either a one man or volunteer operation. I do not rule out however the possibility he genuinely is just a single extremely obsessed right wing fanatic.

Finally, it is worth noting that on Wikipedia, an operation to boost the mainstream media narrative and denigrate alternative sources has the massive advantage that only information from mainstream media sources is permitted in political articles.

In conclusion, some images from the edit pages of Wikipedia articles to give just a little flavour of what I am talking about:

I am slightly concerned lest I am myself getting obsessed. Do you find this as fascinating as I do?

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>

771 thoughts on “The Philip Cross Affair

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  • Jim Murphy

    The edits seem too precise to be an AI Bot, therefore I suspect this is a planned operation with multiple operators using/sharing a single user account. Ultimately, it is a clumsy and lazy attempt at censorship; atypical of the hubris evident from those who assume or share the aspiration to be exceptional.

    Well done, this is an excellent expose.

  • sebastian garman

    You and your followers must have seen this from the offGuardian site (15/May/18) : “Wkipedia contributor “Mojito Paraiso” recently tried the experiment of creating an entry for “Philip Cross” the apparently pseudonymous editor/contributor who has been a persistent defamer/disinfo source, making rapid-fire and negative editing of the Wikipedia entries for many alt-media and “pro-Russia” journalists and commentators.Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article was disappeared very rapidly. And in what looks a lot like overkill, Mojito_Paraiso was then banned from editing in perpetuity.

  • Sue

    Dear Craig I am so pleased that there are people like you around, able to disentangle the media manipulation that is going on in the world. I respect your knowledge, expertise and background and your undoubted courage in speaking out.
    I do sometimes think that paranoia stalks twitter but joining the dots as you do should make all of us question the narrative pushed out.

  • Brian Cady

    Craig, if this is the tip of the iceburg, I fear we’re snowed and wikipedia is hosed. Thanks for documenting this – sorry it’s impinging on your life so sharply.

  • Lord Koos

    This very interesting. Wikipedia does a similar thing with alternative health modalities, obsessively editing them with an obvious negative bias against whatever is not western medicine. I’ve had personal experience with this.

    • Per/Norway

      true, i dont understand that people still use that shitty site. ffs people do some real research, never trust a thing you read that you cant verify with at least 3 other sources.

  • Bob Klinck

    There most definitely is an immediate censoring by Wikipedia of any attempts to insert referenced medical opinion that Lenin exhibited symptoms of syphilis (including resort to the use of Salvarsan), which accounts for the manner of his death.

  • Per/Norway

    He is not a “rightwing” nutter,, he is a pro israhell neocon nutter.
    NO sane “rightwing nutter” would support zion, language matters mr Murray..
    btw im neither “left or right”, simply bc i dont care abt that narrative.

  • Per/Norway

    “Are there tools within Wikipedia itself that could alert “Cross” to this sort of reference being added anywhere on Wikipedia”

    YES there is.

  • Antoinette Dhooghe

    Yes what you explain is important. it is like a closed circle where mainstream news gets confirmed as objectieve facts. It even tends to be an application of 1984. And which persons are behind Philippe Cross should be known as well as Philippe Cross if he exists. The exact identity of persons who participate in het development of Wikipedia should be known.

    • Andrea Iravani

      I have noticed many Wikipedia pages to have been changed within the past 2 years to contain outright lies, particularly regarding the histories of events and countries in the Middle East, even at one point suggesting that Palestine was never a real country! I had not checked the authors name, but will from now on. Excellent article Craig Murray! Thank you!

  • Edith

    Oh well, just thought Wikipedia was unreliable source for referencing dissertations but otherwise benevolent.

    Gave them a fiver won’t be giving anymore.

    Shame your article won’t get the circulation required to significantly effect Wikifunding.

  • gold finger

    There is a German film by Markus Fiedler and Frank-Michael Speer(Die Dunlle Seite der Wikipedia -The Dark Side of Wikipedia),referring to systematic and organized manipulation of public opinion,mobbing,harrassment,stalking and blocking by administrators.That’s what WIKIPEDIA is about,it seems

  • Blissex

    In the USA and in the UK there are mailing lists and online groups of “keyboard activists” who distribute “talking point memos” to registered members, who are usually retired people with time on their hand and devotion to the “cause” (usually loyalty to their country of preference), in a practice called in the USA “astroturfing”.

    On the comment threads of “The Guardian” they are easy to spot, their posts are clearly formulaic, usually the pattern is like “I have voted Labour all my life but I cannot vote for a party led by an antisemitic far leftist like Jeremy Corbyn”. I guess that the leading “I have voted Labour all my life” has been tested to be more effective.
    The pattern and consistency of posting by “Philip Cross” suggests to me that there is one main writer, let’s say “team, captain”, and several volunteer helpers, all based in the UK.

  • Marc

    I had no idea…. Sounds like a mechanised process. And I’ll be much less trusting of Wikipedia henceforth. Thank you for showing this. and I won’t be giving them anymore money – with immediate effect.

    • Dave Hayman

      Nor will I. But if true that neolib gov’ts have taken over Wiki, there is no danger of them running out of money as long as they are useful to our owners.

  • John Glendenning

    The Cross edits are obviously a part of a campaign run, as you suggest, with the purpose of discrediting those who prominently speak out against the MSM narrative. I too insignificant to merit their attention – but might almost enjoy an opportunity to tell him / them to p*** off 🙂

  • Dan

    Wow, unbelievable. I found a link to this after reading a mention of Philip Cross on a btl post on the Guardian. I too have had, I want to say many, but the fact is – “all” of my posts btl on Guardian articles moderated out whenever I raise the possibility that there’s another explanation for the Skriple happening. For example this evening I commented on this article:
    Only for my comment to disappear after ten minutes or so. This is what I wrote as best I can remember.
    “Russia’s reaction to Yulia Skripal’s bombshell Reuters interview has been boringly predictable.” (This is the first line of the artice, I copied and pasted it in italics) What follows is my post that was moderated out.
    “What’s boringly predictable for me is how Russia is being constantly vilified for the Skriple attack but as yet there is still no hard EVIDENCE, and May claiming Russia is responsible because they are the only ones with a motive is farcical in the extreme. Is it all coincidental that the Skriple happening preceded the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria, again where chemical weapon use was the pretext for the UK, the US and France to launch an attack against that country, just after the Saudi King visited said three countries and signed massive weapon buying contracts? As with the Skriple affair, where we have seen no hard EVIDENCE implicating Russia; we have seen no hard EVIDENCE proving a chemical weapon attack was even carried out in Douma, let alone who might have carried it out if it did happen. In fact Robert Fisk visited Douma in the days following the attack and claimed there was no evidence of an attack? As an aside he also mentioned witnesses stated the White Helmets all left with the Jihadis. Perhaps the West/GCC are so angry at Russia and Iran for derailing their regime change agenda against Syria they are employing dirty tricks in order to justify attacks on Russia and/or Iran in the future?
    So I wonder how long this post will last bearing in mind Comment is Free but Facts are Sacred?””

    As I said it lasted for all of about ten minutes. So no, you aren’t going mad. The Guardian editorial policy has changed over the past few years, especially wrt the middle east and in particular what happened in Syria. It’s no secret where Ian Black’s affiliations lie but it wouldn’t surprise me if the propaganda has been stepped up quite a few notches because we are at war, so why wouldn’t the Guardian dutifully follow the neo-con narrative?

    Anyway keep digging, Philip Cross is news worthy and people have a right to know the extent to which certain actors/groups are going in order to manipulate opinion.

  • Jahangir


    I work in the law, but this is not my field. What you want, I think, is a Norwich Pharmacal Order. It’s where you compel an innocent third party for information that will help you bring legal action against the real wrong doer.

    You’ll have a prima facie good cause of action for Harassmemt or Defamation if the edits are untrue or misleading, I think.

    You would target Wiki with the Order to compel them to give you the detail of the location of the edits and details of the editors.

    Best of luck.

  • Chris osh

    Philip Cross has all the hallmarks of a small office working to the dictates of the ‘Ministry of Truth’.
    Considering the amount of work actually done on Wiki’ itself, you must take into account all the time spent researching the latest alterations and then formulating the entries. Even for an obsessive the amount done seems too much for one man.
    Plus anything to do with Blair will be less than wholesome.

    • Nicolas

      Not really. “a small office working to the dictates of the ‘Ministry of Truth’” would show a pattern of Monday-Friday activity, with very little activity after 6 pm. That’s absolutely not what is observed. Maybe to find some pattern Craig Murray could make a similar graph but weighed for the amount of information added (not taking into account edits where information is removed, because it’s not indicative of the time he actually spent doing the edit). For example we could see that on the weekends or evenings “he” just does reverts or deletions of information, which is much easier and faster than to write additional text. Or maybe there’s no pattern at all (other than him being less active on Sunday mornings).
      Depending how the information was extracted, it could be easy to make such an improved graph, just throwing in the value of the data input (DI) indicated in bytes. One way of excluding edits with negative data input is to count (DI+ABS(DI))/2. (ABS being the absolute value function, at least in LibreOffice – It doesn’t seem there’s a “positive part” function to make it shorter).

      • Raif

        Whose to say that the timezone is to be trusted? Simply shift it and it can be an office operation. VPNs can explain away any geographical IP problems.

  • Gillian Kennard

    I am shocked and disappointed that a source of information I was prepared to use has been lying to me for years. I now do not feel I can trust any of the entries and will no longer think Wiki will have the answer so that’s one source of information I am no longer ready to use.

  • Andrea Iravani

    I just searched Wikipedia for Philip Cross which had a page on a muderer from 1888 in England.

    I would really aporeciate it if you would publish this article on Wikipedia so that people are aware of what is taking place.

    From what it sounds like, maybe it is the Gatesone Instutute, or one of the many dozens of pro war, pro Israeli, antiMislim hate-Tanks.

  • Ian Frsser

    Not surprised, bit more sad, bit more frightened, lot more determined to fight.

  • Rodolfo Piskorski

    Wouldn’t it just be easier for this group of Wikipedia saboteurs to simply do all that under several different Wikipedia accounts?

  • Robert HiistoryNet

    I’ve cross-posted this at the Skripals (alert to how Wikipedia cites them).

    Philip Cross culture emerges from years of ‘Inner Party’ non-history at Wikipedia. Take August 2013:

    On 16 August 2013 Oklahoma driveby gangsters murdered a jogger: Australian student athlete Christopher Lane. They did not know Lane and shot Lane in the back for amusement.

    Wikipedia users created a “Death of Christopher Lane” page to expore this henious international incident. The page quoted Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, saying:

    “People thinking of going to the U.S.A. for business or tourist trips should think carefully about it, given the statistical fact you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the U.S.A. than in Australia, per capita.”

    Immediately, a Wikipedia editor/censor “Northamerica1000” tagged the “Death of Christopher Lane” article for DELETION.

    A few days of “talk” discussion followed among editors. Pro-gun censors said the “Death of Christopher Lane” was trivial and did not meet criteria. Other editors decried the censors. Lane’s death was making weeks of news headlines in cultures which protected their citizens from gun violence. It was an ongoing discourse around the world, including in the US.

    But Northamerica1000 quickly DELETED the historical discourse. After deletion, searches for “Death of Christopher Lane” returned a Wikipedia statement: ‘The page does not exist.’

    This historic record was banned from Wikipedia while another US Christopher Lane site flourish with demands for increased censorship and increased gun culture:

    “This… is not the time or place for the politicos to use it as a battle cry to limit Americans’ [gun] rights under the second amendment to our great Constitution. Let’s just keep focus on what a wonderful man Mr. Lane was…”

    Besides deleting the 2013 Lane history, Wikipedia falsefiers also hacked Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer’s page. Now “Christopher Lane” on Fischer’s page sent researchers to Wikipedia’s decoy article (about a Colorado Lane). Wikipedia replaced the historic record with decoy trivia – a spy’s cutout.

    Soon after the falsification, Mr Jimmy Wales asked me for my regular donation. My reply stopped my donations. I explained that I did not fund his violent deceivers.

    In 2018, Australia’s gun control hero Tim Fischer’s page does not link to Christopher Lane, nor to Wikipedia’s decoy page. Wikipedia now hyperlinks Fischer to their NRA!

  • Ken Brunton

    Craig, well done! Thank you for uncovering the disgusting activity of whales and his ‘mates’. All credit to you.
    Boy, I will never look at wiki whatsits ever again. My son and I have, in the past, made contributions to whales; wow, never again. What a Turd.
    Talking to my son last night about this and I made a wild card suggestion that, as much as I think trump is a maniac, he just might have a point about ‘Fake News’.
    The only people I read and believe are the two Daves (Media Lens of course). My son and I have also made contributions to them and worth every penny.

  • Luce

    Good conspiracy theory, but this turns out to be nonsense, I’m afraid. There are pages and pages of discussion about and with this user, in particular about his edits of George Galloway, on the admin pages of Wikipedia, freely available to anyone who looks for them. Nothing at all to do with Jimmy Wales. I don’t claim to know “the truth” and cbf to spend hours of my life reading all about the disputes, but he’s subject to arbitration by all admins, and anyone who is an editor on Wikipedia can report him, undo his edits, or enter discussions on the topic, until consensus is reached. Wikipedia is nothing if not open and transparent, and if you are honestly interested in finding out more about it, Twitter is not the right place to be looking. Sign up and learn how Wikipedia works.
    As an occasional editor of Wikipedia, a normal private citizen, albeit with probably above average skills in finding good information, I can make these assertions with a fair degree of confidence.

  • Erol Ziya

    You ‘chart’ Philip Cross’ editing activity over 14 year and compress that 14 years of activity in to a week. You then use this chart to imply behaviour on a given specific day, making assertions that it indicates the editor does not have time to do ‘normal things’. This to me is pernicious and seemingly done with intent. If your own editing / posting behaviour of this blog were available as transparently as the edits made on wikipedia are, then over many many years your plot of activity would also show, I have little doubt, a result very similar. Of course you do not operate here in such a transparent way, though there is nothing stopping you from doing so.

    Your ‘thesis’ seems to be that a few editors in wikipedia can and do control the narratives shown there and shape them to their own agendas. You cite examples like “if that reader looks up an anti-war person such as John Pilger, they will conclude they are thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy,” Yet this claim is just not supported if you read John Pilger’s current wikipedia entry. So to the claim that Sarah Smith’s familiy connections were removed by Philip Cross, yet fail to mention that they were then put back again by other editors. So too with the claim about Melanie Phillips’ ’embarrassing climate change denial’. No mention that this is still there in the current wiki entry despite the actions of Philip Cross.

    I find your article bias and distorted. For me it reveals less about the failings and problems of wikipedia than it does about you and your agenda and biases and the degree to which you are willing to distort and manipulate the presentation of facts to serve your own agenda.

    • Erol Ziya

      Oh and I only had to go back to the 15th May to discover that the claim that ““He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days.” is simply not true.

      • Erol Ziya

        And yes craig murray’s date range stops at the 14th may 2018. Which just highlights imo yet another classic manipulation of data in this piece. It stops at the 14th May because the 15th May does not fit Mr Murray’s narrative. It also starts 29th August 2013, for the same reason – this is the range that fits the narrative.

        • glenn_nl

          A single person persistently edits the wikipedia entries of human rights activists to negative effect – a group of people he calls “goons”, while puffing up the entries for a bunch of establishment stooges. All this editing at a truly remarkable rate – to the tune of near 134K ‘contributions’ ! – with the sole aim of shifting public perception of these individuals in a direction more to the Establishment’s liking.

          Yes indeed…. nothing to see here, people, just keep moving right along.

          • Erol Ziya

            Yet these edits do not stand. For me if there is any story here it is how resilient wikipedia is to such things not vulnerable. That is what the evidence shows from where I am sitting.

      • Jack

        Erol Ziya

        ” 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018.” is the sampled time Craig have been checking, what do you imply happend after 14th of may that Craig didnt “cover”?

        “Of course you do not operate here in such a transparent way, though there is nothing stopping you from doing so.”
        This is his personal blog, the issue is with Wikipedia that should strive to be as objecive as possible, but the highlighted abuse of Philip Cross present clear problem with how Wikipedia is managed.

        The issue at large as glenn_nl have already pointed out is that a person/group have set out on a smear campaign against certain people on Wikipedia. Dont you understand that that is an issue that should be solved?

        • Erol Ziya

          Wikipedia does strive to be as objective as possible. What is more it does so in an entirely transparent manner. You call Phillip Cross’ editing ‘abuse’. I call it editing from a particular viewpoint. The point is, is this personal viewpoint of a single atypical editor controlling and dominating the entries on wikipedia ? The only sensible answer would be no it does not. Nor do I see any constructive suggestions as to how the editing process on wikipedia could be improved. All I see is someone who clearly does have an agenda being frustrated that they can not force wikipedia to push the agenda they want pushed so in turn just attack wikipedia.

          Wikipedia is not perfect. It is however more objective than anything else. It is certainly more objective than Mr Murray’s blog.What is more is it is not just objective but it is also transparent. What more would you have of wikipedia ?

          • Jack

            Erol Ziya

            First you say,
            “Wikipedia does strive to be as objective as possible”

            “I call it editing from a particular viewpoint”

            You see this is the problem, Wikipedia should be as objective as possible, there shouldnt be any room for individuals nor groups to push a certain smear-type agenda when they make edits.

            You say:
            “Nor do I see any constructive suggestions as to how the editing process on wikipedia could be improved.”

            Actually thats what this debate is all about, to stop this apparent abuse.

            You say: ” It is certainly more objective than Mr Murray’s blog”
            Again, this is Craig’s personal blog, he could write anything he want, thats the difference between a personal blog and on the other hand Wikipedia that should be free of all such subjective political/traits in the information being presented.

          • Erol Ziya

            That is the whole point. One single editor, even one as atypical and active as Mr Cross, does not a wikpedia make. Thus to focus on one editor, outside of the context of how much actual impact he has on the entries as they exist on their respective live pages is to me egregious.More so when blatant ‘tricks’ are used, like the compressing of years worth of activity in to a single week and then extrapolating back from that to a ‘typical single day’.

            Something I wrote elsewhere on this subject

            Wikipedia is not perfect. It is however, as far as I am concerned, a remarkable resource, the like of which has simply never existed before. My view is that on the whole it is remarkably objective. What is more I would claim there has never been in history such a repository of ‘knowledge’ (main stream widely accepted knowledge) that has had such a wide and diverse range of editors that compile the entries to it and there certainly has never been such where such editing is entirely and totally transparent. That is has been created on a non profit basis and is freely available to anyone with internet access not just to use but also to contribute to as well in regards of editing just adds to it’s uniqueness.

            It is an ‘encyclopedia’. By definition it reflects and should reflect ‘main stream’ perspectives. If it had of existed pre Copernicus, it would have listed the planets as orbiting the earth. If Copernicus had of edited the relevant entries to say the planets including the earth orbited the sun, then his entries would have been removed on the basis that there were not sufficient sources to back that claim up. That is how it works and how it is supposed to work. It is not a ‘medium’ by which orthodoxy can be challenged. It’s whole purpose it to list and categories and make available ‘orthodoxy’. Which is why I find the attacks on it, by people who seek to challenge orthodoxy, on he basis that it does not help and facilitate their challenges to orthodoxy, bizarre and essentially based on a total misunderstanding of what wikipeida is and tries to be.

          • Jack


            It doesnt matter if there are 1 or 50, there shouldnt be any malicious editors on Wikipedia. Full stop. Thats what the debate is about.

          • Erol Ziya

            Saying ‘ there shouldnt be any malicious editors on Wikipedia. Full stop.’ is all very well and fine but to me not much different from saying there should not be any hunger or poverty or abuse in the world. Easy to say but outside of any discussion as to what can be done to achieve such noble ideas in practice, of little actual value.

            By what mechanism do you think the ‘malice’ (intent to harm) of a given editor should be determined ? Who should make such determinations ? The reality is that wikipedia has mechanisms for such things. These are not perfect but they can never be perfect. They have evolved over time and continue to do so. The reality is that mr Cross can not just continue to make the same edits over and over again in the face of other editors disagreeing with such edits and reverting them, though from reading this article you might be forgiven for thinking he can. Such edit wars are a part and parcel of wikipedia and what it is and how it operates and always have been. There are mechanisms for such things . Are these perfect ? No they are not but that does not mean we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Debate about how such things could be managed differently is entirely valid but the best place for such discussion is wikipedia, not here. In any case I see little in the article above that I can consider a genuine unbiased attempt to start and have such a debate with an intent of improving wikipedia. I see much in the article that is easier to consider ‘malice’ (intent to harm) if I am honest.

          • Jack

            Apparently Wikipedia wont enforce these regulations, Thats the issue.
            Just take this issue, why is this man or group “Philip Cross” still able to
            edit while the tremendous evidence produced show that he is in clear violation of the rules of Wikipedia?
            Why have rules if they arent even followed by the admin/moderators?

            Anyone who knows Wikipedia knows full well the corruption when it comes to powerful people that “rules”
            that site, if Wikipedia is so well-run as you have in multiple posts now claimed, why is “Philip Cross”
            still out there? I can guarantee if I set out to edit negatively, a bunch of people that I do not like
            on Wikipedia I would be banned instantly.

            And why is is that this apparent unknown anonymous person/group “Philip Cross” is followed by alot of well-known people?
            Why is is that this unkwnown person/group is “protected” by Jimmy Wales – Wales, that in turn by coincidence share the same view on alot of political issues with that of “Philip Cross” edits?

  • peter

    Hi Craig,
    Welcome to real world Where have you been in these years? All computer people (what you may call them nerds) know from many years ago that Wikipedia is a the “oligarchy of sick trolls”. In the world of sock puppets, One person from one desk can control 60 dummy sock puppets with different names and IP’s that seems to come from all around the world. Wikipedia started from a “supportive” right wing editors to its recent unashamed fascistic position.
    Thank you for this well investigated, well-reasoned article from a well-informed writer.

    • Erol Ziya

      Peter wrote “Thank you for this well investigated, well-reasoned article from a well-informed writer.”

      If the question being researched is ‘can a single editor on wikipedia control and dominate entries in wikipedia’, then a well researched investigation in to a given example editor would ask several fundamental questions. It would ask of the total edits of this person, how many could be said to be pushing a personal agenda and how many do not ? Not something Mr Murray appears to have much interest in. It would ask of those edits that could be considered to push an agenda, how many remain the current version on a given entry vs how many were subsequently reversed by other editors ? Not something that appears to be of interest to Mr Murray either.

      What I see is not an ‘investigation’. What I see is someone with a starting thesis,itself formed and driven by their own personal agenda, that then seeks to try and ‘prove’ this thesis by distortion, manipulation and omission.

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