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?


771 thoughts on “The Philip Cross Affair

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  • J

    I’m intrigued, as bizarre as your comment is, you have a rationale. What is it?

  • Crispa

    I have found the article and the comments very interesting.as I do most articles here. I use Wikipedia mainly to get an overview of a topic so that I an follow it up in more depth elsewhere. I have never explored underneath the site until reading this informative piece, I see that I can play a new game of “Hunt the Cross” as an alternative to internet Scrabble! It occurs to me that building in of critical thinking and methods of fact checking seems an obvious educational imperative in this internet age, but I wonder how much is actually taught in our schools, or even universities?

  • Andrew H

    Unfortunately this article sinks to new lows of personal attack. Wikipedia is a source of information, and so cannot peddle alternative theories of any kind. Yes, there are people who tirelessly work to try to maintain the apolitical nature / main stream media nature of Wikipedia (it is supposed to be main stream media) and no doubt there is some political bias that comes into this process. If you look at the article on the Skripal’s – it is not unreasonable – almost all statements are supported by references to main stream media articles or statements from official organisations such as the Russian government, OPCW or UK authorities. This is what it has to be. (you wouldn’t seriously be suggesting that Wikipedia should have links to craigmurrary or info from RT?). It would be totally awful if Wikipedia were to become dominated by conspiracy theories and sources of alternative information – and efforts to prevent this happening by some seem more heroic than anything else. Intellectuals who work on the internet are often obsessive and lack time to go to the pub or watch football, that aspect doesn’t surprise me – the fact you are not a part of the .1% doesn’t mean they don’t exist

      • Charles Bostock

        Dan

        Are you the boss man of “The Lifeboat News”? If so, you’re the last one to give lectures on partiality, non-neutrality, censorship and manipulation.

        • Garth Carthy

          Never mind attacking Dan for the sake of it.
          Dan is correct – Andrew H is missing the point. I’m sure he’s sincere but he’s missing the point.

        • glenn_nl

          A classic example of the “tu quoque” logical fallacy there, Charles.

          • Charles Bostock

            Maybe, Glenn, but I see that Dan hasn’t answered ( a simple yes or no would suffice). Surely it’s of interest – and it might be a matter of some pride for Mr Murray – that the Boss Man of such an eminent website as “The Lifeboat News” should occasionally comment on CM?

        • Sharp Ears

          ‘Bostock’ appeared on The Lifeboat News’ (under another assumed name) trolling me if I remember correctly. His comment was removed and he was banned, as he is banned from commenting on here.

          Psychotic.

    • Loftwork

      “it is supposed to be main stream media”. Really? Why? I understood its model was that of an encyclopaedia. Encyclopaedic articles report facts and opinions representing major strands of thought whether these present a unified theory or not. The support of MSM is generally irrelevant. Editing Wiki entries should not be a competitive sport, it should be comprehensive and thoughtful. High frequency editing should be left to hedge fund managers, not the editors of a responsible scholarly work.

    • WJ

      “Wikipedia is a source of information, and so cannot peddle alternative theories of any kind.”

      This is very naive.

    • TS

      “Wikipedia cannot peddle alternative theories of any kind.” You’re joking, right? Wikipedia gives credence to the ridiculous theory that Edward de Vere wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, even though he died in 1604, and Shakespeare continued producing work for another eight years. So, what kind of conspiracy theories are permitted, and which are forbidden, on Wikipedia?

      • Pyotr Grozny

        The last time I looked the Edward de Vere theory was completely off-limits, labelled as ‘fringe’ and anyone who evn tried to mention that a few academics give it credence got very rough treatement. That was thre or four years ago, I doubt anything has changed since then.

    • Ian

      If you want Wikipedia to be a reliable source of information, then you will agree with Craig Murray. Anonymous individuals who alter entries for political and malicious reasons should not be allowed to do so. You are indeed missing the point. Possibly deliberately.

      • Charles Bostock

        A couple of concrete examples, please, Ian – you seem to have the time to spare.

        • marvellousMRchops

          Mr Bostick,
          Time is a precious commodity so I find it useful on seeing your name to place my thumb on my screen and gently scroll down.

        • Muscleguy

          You have time to post extensively on here so you have time to go looking for the information you demand others provide yourself. This is after all the Information Age. Get with the program and go digging.

      • Macky

        Habba-Clown Lives ! I wouldn’t be surprised if you turn-out to be “Philip Cross”, as you are definitely obsessive enough.

    • ZiggyM

      ‘ Julian’ does have at least one thing going for him. Good taste in bass players?

  • Hagar

    I’ve worked as an IT engineer since before the ‘fake’ millennium bug…..and as we engineers say in regards to Wiki…..it’s all fake and not to be trusted…..period…..anyone could update anything many moons ago….why on earth would you want to be listed on the big dis’info wiki site??

    • IT Bod

      @Hagar: “I’ve worked as an IT engineer since before the ‘fake’ millennium bug”
      Fake? I was there, it wasn’t fake.

      • Hagar

        IT BOD – you were there were you??….then you know what i’m talking about, the fixes were easy, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be….but some folk made a killing out of the Millennium Bug….they’re the ones that tell you it was ‘real, they were there’….we must have done a fantastic job then, coz no planes fell out of the sky, no nuclear meltdowns, no failing rail signals, fridges kept running, hospitals never blacked out….my, what a world wide cooperative event we took part in, not one failure at the turn of the century…..I wonder why??.

        • Muscleguy

          It didn’t all fall over BECAUSE lots of coders made hay while the sun shone and worked to ensure it wouldn’t happen. I bet you’re the sort who thinks Swine Flu or SARS were false alarms. I’m a Biomedical scientist and I can tell you that massive efforts ensured that did not happen. We have a family friend, a Bioinformatician who works in Toronton in the same complex that dealt with SARS. For the duration they were only permitted to enter their building through one entrance and it was sealed off from the hospital complex. They were also extensively monitored.

          I had Swine Flu, it knocked me flat, literally, I didn’t have the energy to sit in a chair. I’m a very fit distance runner nothing like it before or since has affected me, not even when I lived in London and the Flu would fill my lungs with fluid, get infected and require antibiotics to fend off pneumonia or pleurisy.

          BTW a little over a decade ago I had a nasty allergic reaction to a Flu Vax, it closed my throat but fortunately only on one side. I thus no longer get vaccinated for flu, but living here in Dundee means my asthma is very, very much milder than in London. I appear to be actively allergic to the air in London. You couldn’t pay me enough to live and work there again.

  • Brian c

    Thanks for exposing this, Craig. It’s just the kind of story the Guardian itself would be all over if anti-war activists, Momentum or Trumpers were distorting the Wiki profiles of prominent figures. Didn’t know Jimmy Wales was on the Guardian’s board. It’s all becoming very clear.

  • Hmmm

    Is it Martinned? The way he pounces on any mention of Assange is mighty similar. ..

  • JB

    Thank you for this important information. It is, indeed, very fascinating. You’re not obsessed.
    This is truly relevant. The MSM is not, and never was, the sole source of information so Wikipedia should be using all reliable sources. In the present day, the MSM is pure propaganda, as documented over and over and over. Hence, ‘alternative’ sources are where we go for information and understanding of what is really going on in our world, big and small. Thanks to Craig we now know that Wikipedia is – propaganda.

  • Stephen

    If you can’t get hold of Cross, is there some way you could sue Jimmy Wales? He’s providing the platform for Cross, aware of what’s going on, and clearly failing to take action to reign him in.

    • Clark

      Still, I suppose the good side is it proves that the mainstream are getting severely scared. They obviously feel that general public can no longer to be trusted.

      Hey doods, you can’t win this one; the Internet protocols are too robust. US Gov asked the hackers at MIT “build us a communications system that can’t be censored”, and they did. You’re not the only ones that can run servers you know, and soon your domain names’ reputations will be irrevocably tarnished.

      • Clark

        And bear in mind we’re only considering English Wikipedia here. When English Wikipedia finds itself at odds with the majority of other language Wikipedias, as the US, Israel etc. repeatedly find themselves at odds with the General Assembly of the UN, it’s just going to look sillier and sillier.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          I edited an article on French Wikipedia many years ago when I discovered that one of my relatives won a world boxing championship in New York in the 1930’s. He never mentioned this to the family!

          Dead for many a year, “Uncle Hughie” wonderful character still required that I correct the (accidental) misinformation about him online. I was rather surprised that only France mentioned him anyway, when he was British & won his pugilism in the USA.

          Professionally I encountered the Wikipedia edit memory hole when a renowned [email protected] scientist referred to the Siberian gas-pipeline attack in June 1982, the relevant Wikipedia that I was monitoring was alternately pro, then a few days later contra the involvement of the C.I.A.

          Three further viewpoints that reflect alternate legends :-
          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1455559/CIA-plot-led-to-huge-blast-in-Siberian-gas-pipeline.html
          https://pgjonline.com/magazine/2009/november-2009-vol-236-no-11/features/hacking-the-industrial-scada-network
          https://sofrep.com/7999/the-myth-of-the-cia-and-the-trans-siberian-pipeline-explosion/

          I worked on the Westinghouse Brake and Signals company supervisory communications data and advisory system for a few years (SCADA) and the coffee-machine talk and infrastructural protection view of “the worlds largest ever non-nuclear explosion” was that the KGB had infiltrated a Canadian software company and stolen their gas pipeline control system, but that the C.I.A. had already predicted this and adjusted the software to set all transport turbines to maximum, under certain conditions, which happened in 1982. Amazingly, no-one was killed.

          I can’t be bothered to check if Phill Cross was deleting “the truth” from this particular SCADA Wikipedia article, I just assumed at the time that it was a well funded anonymous group in UKUSA.

          A lot of the publicly available highly ‘sensitive’ info on the WWW is ‘adjusted’, in most cases this is a sensible thing to stop teenagers being able to “script-kid” their way to WW3. Often just a few lines are changed.

          For mad/bad editing of Wikipedia – well, nothing happens without the knowledge of, and hence approval of our state, all in the best possible taste. Yes, we pay for it. A personal Wiki is great, at home, or at work for saving project related info. When you have public aggressive ‘black’ bad nodes, or worse ‘grey’ nodes that pretend to write accurate data, but twist, then we are deep in an information war, and nothing is sacred?

    • Charles Bostock

      “Oh dear, Jimbo Wales. You just turned your inspiring public initiative into a pointless vanity project.”

      Call me cynical, Clark, but I suspect you’re only talking for yourself and some of the indignados on here and similar blogs. I also suspect that 99.999999% of British Wikipedia users will continue to use it serenely and confidently. Finally, I predict that Wikipedia will continue to appear as a source accompanying comments on here and be used even by some of those who’ve been most vociferous in denouncing it.

  • Philangry

    Has anyone updated Craig Murrays wiki page to include his latest blog post? Could be a larf.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      It would be removed in double quick time. Blog posts are not permitted as Wikipedia sources, unless you are Philip Cross, in which case you put the nastiest entry possible in from all the years that Craig Murray has been writing and hope nobody notices.

      • Charles Bostock

        Spencer-Davies

        This is the second time you’re going on about some incredibly nasty quote from this blog forming part of Mr Murray’s Wikipedia entry. Just to tell you that I can find nothing offensive in said entry (NB – I’m not asking you to tell readers what is it).

  • SA

    Think about it, why can anyone trust Wikipedia in controversial subjects? It is a prime place to spread misinformation by minor or sometimes major tweaks. Only someone dedicated to command the agenda would obsessively edit and re-edit a page. And it is interesting that some of the entries of PC go against the Wikipedia principle of unbiased contributors.
    In my teaching days I started to notice that students started to quote Wikipedia in thier essays and projects as authoritative sources of information, I pointed out that only original research, not even reviews, were the best sources of information, let alone Wikipedia. It flies against all of what scientific referencing is about, namely open, peer reviewed work published in reputable journals often with rankings according to impact factor. Even then with all the rigours there have been scientific publications that proved to be fake. So if you take an open source publication which anyone could edit anonymously, the top editors will be those with vested interest and time on thier hands. The reliable sources policy is also heavily skewed towards MSM and government officials which nowadays means heavily skewed towards propaganda.
    I find Wikipedia very useful in non-controversial issues, if for example you wish to look at species of Iris or Primula but not in anything political or purely scientific.

    • Morton Subotnick

      “I find Wikipedia very useful in non-controversial issues, if for example you wish to look at species of Iris or Primula but not in anything political or purely scientific.”

      Correct, but this is a long-term problem and applied equally to Encyclopedia Britannica and its ilk in the pre-Internet age – either intentionally ignoring or, when covered, useless and dissembling on anything to do with Marx or Marxism/Communism, for example. At least Wikipedia is ‘open’.

      • SA

        Yes of course it is a problem with any encyclopedia. However the much more universal availability of Wikipedia both for getting and imparting information makes it easier for inaccuracies and bias to occur.

    • laguerre

      Quite right. Wiki is very useful, but likely to to be written in political interests. What is the problem with the “purely scientific”?

      • SA

        Because scientific referencing needs to be traced to an attributable authoritative source validated by peer review.

        • Clark

          Peer review doesn’t really validate, it just checks for more obvious blunders. Publication in full is more important, because that permits replication of the work.

          And there science has a problem, because:

          (1) more and more research is being done by the private sector, under non-disclosure contracts, permitting the private company to cherry-pick which results it actually releases, and –

          (2) more and more papers are being hidden behind paywalls which the general public can’t afford to buy their way past – look up the tragic story of young Aaron Swartz, who was placed under NSA surveillance for breaking a company’s Terms and Conditions.

          • Morton Subotnick

            With reference to your point (2), the price gouging (on a Sergei Skripal level) of media corporations such as Elsevier in relation to access to/republication of scientific data that were originally publicly funded is outrageous – Swartz should have posted the JSTOR material online as he got it.

            Taylor & Francis operate a similar racket with respect to publications such as Economy and Society (article purchase £30/issue purchase £137). Fuck you, you chiselling bastards.

          • SA

            I do take these points. However in scientific publications at least those who do the work are involved with it first hand, are identifiable and accountable. I am also well aware that a lot of say drug research is now farmed out to big pharma (pun intended) and this often skews the result because of big profit motives. This trend has also been encouraged in the last 10-20 years by a positive drive to carry out what is known as ‘translational research’ with detriment to basic research.
            The other problem with accessibility is at least partially solved for those working in science by institutional subscriptions with accessibility to many journals.

  • jon

    The even spacing of the edits in the frequency diagram suggests that the owner of that account has some offline editing software that accepts changes to make, and then posts them automatically on a schedule. Perhaps this is to space them out, so that the Wikipedia software does not block a single IP address for editing too frequently.

    However, I have one objection to my theory – the problem with them being so perfectly spaced out is that it is entirely clear the account holder is highly organised, and not at all like an ordinary editor. That would be fairly easy to work around – if they wanted to hide their tracks they would add some randomness to the posting times, and they’d use multiple handles.

    It is thus possible it is a very right-wing person just wanting to paint the world as they want folks to see it. It seems too obviously to be a security services operation to be actually done by the security services. Most odd!

    • Pyotr Grozny

      Indeed it is my first thought, why isn’t this source using multiple identities? But I don’t disgree that this source has an axe tomgrind.

    • Neil

      Not quite, jon.

      The “time card” screen shot comes from here:

      https://xtools.wmflabs.org/ec/en.wikipedia.org/Philip_Cross

      (As Cross has so many edits, the query takes a little while to run.)

      The distribution +++appears+++ even, because it is an aggregate of many different weeks (more than 13 years’ worth) of editing. It hides individual variations from one day to the next..

      Just above the time card there is an analysis of edits by month. It shows that Cross was on holiday in November 2007 (2 edits), December 2007 (0 edits), January 2008 (1 edit), August 2012 (0 edits). So his work isn’t quite non-stop.

      While Cross’s edit count is high, it’s by no means the highest. See

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:List_of_Wikipedians_by_number_of_edits

      Cross had 134,335 edits when I ran that query. There are just over 300 editors with a higher count. Some have over a million, and one has nearly 2.5 million. Note also that many of Cross’s edits are trivial or pointless, i.e., taking little or no effort. So yes, it is definitely a high count, but I think Craig is exaggerating (not intentionally) the time and effort Cross is putting in.

      • Neil

        And FWIW, here are the data from the top of that query:

        Edits in the past 24 hours 19
        Edits in the past 7 days 191
        Edits in the past 30 days 1,729
        Edits in the past 365 days 16,890
        Average edits per day 27.1 (4,951 days)
        Average edit size* 53.4 bytes

      • Jon

        Thank you for the information, Neil – I stand corrected. Nevertheless, I have no problem believing that this editor has a hidden agenda, and that Craig is right to raise it.

      • Neil

        Another reason why that graphic at the top gives an exaggerated picture is that Cross also edits non-contentious topics. I don’t have a split (and it would be impossible to get such a split without putting in an inordinate amount of work), but it’s a significant part of his work.

        And I really can’t emphasise enough that the graphic above is (effectively) an average, and averages can be misleading. This will be obvious to anyone who has worked with statistics for a living. It may well be the case that Cross edits obsessively, mostly from 8am to 10pm (UTC) but it certainly does NOT prove that he does so without any break.

      • craig Post author

        Neil – I think the post makes that reasonably clear. The argument is that human beings have patterns of behaviour, and Cross doesn’t. If you made a similar diagram for my work on this blog over a long period, it would reflect the fact I relax and do other stuff in the evenings, watch fottball on Satudays rather than blogs, tend to go out with the family on Sundays. Normal people have rhythms.

        • Neil

          Well yes, humans have patterns, but patterns can vary. I’ve been retired for many years now (I’m quite a few years older than you). I can go out, whatever, whenever I please, more or less at random (it might depend on the weather). Out of curiosity, I ran a similar query on myself, and the only pattern it shows is that I make few edits between 10am-12am on a Sunday morning (because that’s when I go to my local Quaker meeting). I have no interest in football (I hated team sports at school). I go to the gym regularly, but that can be at any time of the day. Because I have BPH, I get up a lot earlier than I used to.

          My best guess is that Cross is retired, probably on quite a good pension. He is probably not religious, but if he is, he doesn’t go to church/mosque/synagogue/whatever. I suspect Cross is even older than I am.

        • Neil

          Craig – I’ve just noticed that you’ve updated your post, which caused me to take another look at this: “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”.

          In fact, 133.612 / 14 / 365 is 26.1 edits/day, not “over 30”. The true figure according to the query above is actually 27.1 edits/day (higher because Cross has been editing for less than 14 years).

  • SIS

    Hi Craig

    Typos here:
    “There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many” the the para 10 Line 1

    And:
    “and admits to being in electronic communication with him. That excjange I had with Cross was some years ago. ” Para 19 Line 3

    Thanks

  • Scottish Intelligence Service

    This writer was aware that Wikipedia was being used as part of intelligence service perception management, when there was a large article written very quickly about the fabricated terror event in Nice.

    Of course, most intelligence services have paid people working Wikipedia etc. Same as the press.

  • N_

    Jimmy Wales is a known worshipper of Ayn Rand. Wikipedia a “platform for reasoned debate”? Hahahahaha!

    Keep tugging on this, if you’ve got the inclination and energy, because the fact that the disgusting Wales has responded personally suggests there might be a weak point. The psychological warfare that is going on is obvious, but I mean there might be something here that is less of a headbanger-magnet than most points of interest that find themselves honourably assaulted by victims of online scumbag operations. That’s especially so, now that “Cambridge Analytica” has become a household name.

    Wikipedia is a known psy op and has been since it was set up, rather like Facebook and Twitter.

    Older readers may remember that the International Socialists, aka the Socialist Workers’ Party, once had the slogan “Neither Washington, Nor Moscow”.

    Well now the slogan must be “SMASH FACEBOOK, SMASH WIKIPEDIA“. Frankly I haven’t got much time for the intellect of anybody who isn’t with the programme on this one.

  • N_

    In other news, an Italian government appears to be about to be formed that will seek to deport half a million immigrants.

    • Steve R

      Hopefully they will deport them to the countries whose governments are responsible for their plight – in the case of the regime-changers that would be France UK US Australia.

    • laguerre

      Perhaps what’s in the manifesto won’t actually be done. I would have thought you would have learnt from the british experience.

  • Kenny

    What an excellent work of research, Mr Murray.

    I am involved in promoting and defending the legacy of George Orwell and I genuinely believe that Wikipedia should be banned.

    The internet is big enough to provide a mosaic of different views, themes, subjects, takes, opinions, angles on any subject.

    It would be far more useful for kids doing homework or serious researchers alike to plough through the myriad of information out there and then draw it all together for their own version.

    One single Wikipedia is, to my mind, a little bit like a monotheistic religion…. which is also, in my opinion, bad for humanity as a whole.

    That is my objective opinion. My subjective opinion is that, when reading Wikipedia articles on subjects I know, there seems to be something you cannot quite put your finger on. Entries seem to have an ulterior aim, pushing a certain agenda. It is like watching a TV ad that you know has an additional cadre in it to subconsciously influence you.

    Fine work of research. I hope there will be a movement to if not ban Wikipedia, but to get people to move away from it.

    Another thing about Wikipedia. Because it has so much content, it comes up first on any search. So if you are looking for a singer called “Mary Steward” for example and there is a site devoted to her… Wikipedia will still come top of the list with its entry for “Mary Stewart” or “Mary Stuart”… above the website with the CORRECT spelling and the person you really wanted.

    So, an insidious site that is not, in a way, unlike the telescreen in everyone’s homes… just more subtle… and behind a veneer of “information”.

    Fine research, Mr Murray. Let’s stop using Wikipedia. Could “LSUW” become the new black? Who wants to sign up?

    • Morton Subotnick

      “I am involved in promoting and defending the legacy of George Orwell and I genuinely believe that Wikipedia should be banned.”

      A succinct statement of the current “Leftist” attitude towards free speech and opinions with which they disagree, viz. the riots at Berkeley this time last year, ironically the home of the Free Speech movement in the 1960s.

      Under a supposed Left (in fact, liberal) v Right ‘flip-flop’ of political positions (liberals now against free speech, supporting the security/intelligence services as paragons of truth/guardians of civic freedom against “fascists” like Trump, enthusiastic fellow-travellers of the MSM; libertarian conservatives now defending free speech, highly suspicious of the security/intelligence services, now as aware of the thoroughgoing corruption of the MSM as anarchists/Communists have been for decades), what has in fact happened is that liberals have just shown their reactionary, hypocritical colours. Don’t like an election (Trump) or referendum (Brexit) result? Play the fascist/racist/sexist cards relentlessly against your opponents and all the rest of it.

      The final disillusion? Previously respected sources such as Democracy Now!, CounterPunch and their ilk have been sucked into this “anti-fascist” snowflake frenzy to an embarrassing extent. Sad.

  • Sam Douglas [My pen-name not my real name - sorry]

    I only became aware of this article because of George Galloway’s May 18th, 2018 show on Talk Radio. Facinating to hear his Wikipedia entry, which George says he has nothing to do with and doesn’t refer to, has been edited 1800 times!
    I’m very concerned to have heard and then to read that Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia permits Philip Cross to make so heavily biased changes against those – left wing or right wing – who are critical of or don’t comply with the political views of a Blairite nature and also permits plaudits and promotions of supporters of those political views.
    I have made some small donations to Wikipedia in the past but I will not do so again. I’ll let the ‘organisation’ you suspect to be involved, with Jimmy Wales and Philip Cross et al to continue to fund Wikipedia.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    George Galloway just remarked to Neil Clark on talkRADIO, approximately: “You can hardly call me a “punk” on Twitter and then check in as an impartial editor to my page on Wikipedia!”

    No matter how much you like or dislike George Galloway, there seems very little room for argument about that statement. But that’s precisely what Philip Cross has done, today.

  • Jack

    Good job Craig

    Wales seems extremely suspicious, this looks a grand cover up, even Wikimedia shows up in defense.
    Since Jimmy is American and alot of edits apparently was related to the UK, it rather seems like a brittish intelligence set up.
    Regardless who is behind, Wales suspicious behavior tells us that something is not legitimate about this

    I read this just today too,

    “To ‘protect democracy,’ scandal-fearing Facebook teams up with ‘unbiased’ Atlantic Council” https://on.rt.com/95ie
    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/997229019266461697

    1984 anyone?

    • bj

      At least I find his rudeness repulsive too. Is that the guy always asking for money — with his obnoxious donation overlays.

      Totally wild with his remark about an imagined insult.

      That rudeness is a –to me surprising– fact that can be added to his wikipedia-page, with reference and all.

      • Jack

        bj

        Yes indeed incredibly unprofessional by him, no money will be given to him.
        Why does he defend a group/user that obviously edit in slanderous ways?
        But this show the bias of these sites…and the people behind them.

  • Alexander Zucrow

    Can’t some enterprising person with knowledge of “how Wikipedia works” simply create an Wiki entry for Philip Cross listing his obsessive editing habits (and his political preferences)? It would be easy to provide reams of examples of his mania.

    On the theme of the ‘official narrative’, did anyone else read that bizarre press release in the Guardian (it would be false to call it an article) claiming that almost 100 police officers have required psychological support in the wake of the Salisbury farce? The Guardian has almost become a kind of inverse Soviet propaganda organ, which explains why the author, Steven Morris, boldly writes about Wiltshire’s chief constable, Kier Pritchard “… the implications for him and his family of being a high-profile figure in the response to a state-sponsored attack. ”

    Oddly, none of the other major UK papers carried the story, which makes me wonder how the Guardian got hold of it.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      It’s been done. The person who did it had the page removed and was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      If I were told I might have been near a deadly nerve agent but just clean my clothes with baby wipes, I might look for some psychological support, too.

      • bj

        That would mean he has a lot of clout.
        Is there any transparency into Wikipedia how an expulsion comes about?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Chalk the latest school shooting up to the Nattional Riflae Association and its new director Oliver North, the spook who set up Olof Palme for murder to solve some of Iran-Contra’s problems, who consider people who favor gun control, defenseless individuals, as civic terrorists.

    So a group of depressed students, especially the shooter, who dresses up on social media that he is “Born To Kill”, sports Nazi paraphernalia, and plans to join North’s Marines to kill defenseless foreigners, decides to speed up the process by killing as many as they can at the local high school.

    North should be prosecuted for encouraging and aiding murder for bringing his War Stories home.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The far bigger issue here is whether Wikipedia is regarded as authoritative and, if it is, whether it is one authoratitive source or regarded as the pre-eminent source online.

    The issues concerning editing become more and more important, the more authoritative the source is meant to be. Leaving it to ‘the market’ to me seems highly dubious, as that lays things open to proaganda editing, placing ignorance on the same level as expertise etc etc. There is nothing wrong with early drafts being managed through open source, but verification should be completed by experts. There needs to be expert verification if a source is to be globally renowned.

    I personally see Wikipedia merely as a source, not THE source.

    • Tatyana

      Rhys Jaggar
      Goog puts more importance into (and puts higher in the result page) the ‘most relevant source’. It is the way they range the result page for your on your search request. And they are prety aware you wouldn’t click through further than first 10-15 links.

  • Sashi

    [ MOD: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]

    I’m glad to see that people are beginning to look into the problem at Wikipedia. For further information about the WMF and their strategy of getting out ahead of bad press (as Wikimedia UK did on Twitter), please see Minassian Media’s September 2016 WMF Communication Audit. Craig Minassian (the owner of this company) is the Chief Communication officer of the Clinton Foundation. As it happens, a Clinton was running for president while her family foundation was training press relations people at the WMF.

    For a fun example of some extreme astroturfing, I suggest reading the work of a Wikipedian named Cirt (aka Sagecandor). Some of his articles: PropOrNot, Fake News website, and you are lynching Negroes, Bibliography of Donald Trump…

    For further information, check here.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Oh, do tell me what Wikipedia has to say about unprecedented plotter Oliver North. I don’t often consider it about anything.

  • Jones

    Oliver Kamm shares the same birth year as Philip Cross, 1963. Also Philip Cross states jazz as one of his interests and Oliver Kamm states one of his regular correspondents is the jazz writer David R. Adler.

  • M.J.

    1. Why not launch a counter operation on wiki, or would Jimmy Wales censor it?
    2. Why not start a rival to wikipedia where editors have to be selected, though I wonder how one would set up criteria that would admit Craig Murray but exclude Philp Cross. Here’s one suggestion: person must have a PhD or have been a senior diplomat.

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