The Philip Cross Affair 772


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?


772 thoughts on “The Philip Cross Affair

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  • Jake Maverick

    Thank you for writing on this. I know better than most what a sham Wikipedia is…..you’ve explained it far better than I ever could.

    Just to add one example though….few years back I did write an edit on an article on Wikipedia regarding the Russian practice of labeling political dissidents with ‘sluggish schizophrenia’ and holding them without trial and basically torturing/ chemically labotomising them in so called mental prisons. My edit was simple to show that this practice is now been happening (and has been for well over a decade now) in the UK, the USA, Australia, Austria and New Zealand at the very least. All backed up with evidence and personal testimonies. Result being my edits immediately deleted and I was banned for ‘life’.

    Obviously, there is still a media blackout on this practice to date. I’m still desperately trying to find a solution to the problem that does not involve violence….if anybody can help or just interested please do get in touch…?

    • Muscleguy

      I’m afraid you are conflating two different things. They might seem similar to a layperson, I’m a Biomedical Scientist instead and I can see how and why you were shot down. You are an example of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing.

      Hint: people who are genuinely mentally ill might get chemically coshed on occasion. That does not make them oppressed dissidents. That is different from giving people who are not mentally ill chemical coshes.

  • Robyn Stewart

    And this is exactly why we are told in our Masters degree programme, do not use Wikipedia as a quoted source, only as a sometime source for actual research to be found credited at the bottom of entries. Good thing I listened when I wrote my papers!

  • laguerre

    Historical philosophy has a part to play here, not that I’m an expert. No representation of the past is “the truth”. it is all an interpretation, which may be revised in future years. Even an encyclopedia article, such as Wiki, is not the truth, not others but even less Wiki. Injecting one’s views is easy to do. You have to take Wiki as some reality and some fake. Distinguish between actual physical facts, such as date of birth, and interpretations is no different in encyclopedia articles than any other historical work. It’s what the want you to believe.

  • lysias

    Meanwhile, another deep state matter, ZeroHedge has revealed that the FBI source who spied on the Trump campaign in 2016 is Stefan Halper, a U.S. citizen who is a professor at the University of Cambridge and who has been employed by Hakluyt & Co., an opposition research and intelligence firm founded by three former British intelligence operatives. Remind anybody of Orbis?

    • lysias

      That Intercept article details the nature of the connection between Halper and MI6:

      Ross’ article [in the Daily Caller], using public information, recounted at length Halper’s long-standing ties to the CIA, including the fact that his father-in-law, Ray Cline, was a top CIA official during the Cold War, and that Halper himself had long worked with both the CIA and its British counterpart, the MI6. As Ross wrote: “at Cambridge, Halper has worked closely with Dearlove, the former chief of MI6. In recent years they have directed the Cambridge Security Initiative, a non-profit intelligence consulting group that lists ‘UK and US government agencies’ among its clients.”

    • lysias

      Something I just learned from reading the comments to that Intercept article: the CIA’s chief of station in London in 2016, when the spying on Trump’s campaign was going on, was Gina Haspel.

    • Radar O’Reilly

      I would imagine some D-notices or DASM’s flying around as the “Cambridge Professor is a spy” story doesn’t seem to interest UK media.

      A great analysis here, that puts things into context

      http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/388436-after-year-of-investigation-trump-can-rightly-claim-some-vindication

      It’s worth re-reading a lot of this week’s articles

      https://www.westernjournal.com/dick-morris-could-the-fbi-and-mi6-have-planted-a-british-mole-in-trump-campaign/

      The “British Mole,” acting for Obama, has a Wackypedia page, but I couldn’t (yet) link Philip Cross as an editor.

      Stephen Halper, indeed, I wonder how “the deletion centre” will handle that , useful to know as we will soon get a British social-media ‘protectorate’ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/technology/facebook-deletion-center-germany.html

    • John LEON

      I presume by H.R.C. you are NOT refering to the Honda Racing Corporation. This long established arm of the Honda group has an enviable reputation of technological excellence and innovation. Hillary Rodham Clinton on the other hand, has the complete opposite.

  • Dumb Unicorn

    Slightly off topic, but their modus operandi stikes me as very similar.
    Interestingly, their wikipedia page is protected, meaning only ‘authorised’ people can edit it. It seems not everyone is worthy of such protection.

    http://hasbarafellowships.org/

  • William MacDougall

    There is a serious problem with Wikipedia, but it’s not so much a problem of consistent bias, as that articles are easily captured by a determined clic. This leads to bias, but it might be left wing or right wing depending on the particular clic. And it’s very difficult to counteract.

  • reality check

    Yes, absolutely fascinating, supremely disturbing and hardly surprising. Keep up the good work.

  • Ian Saville

    Mr Cross has also repeatedly edited the page on the organisation I belong to, Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation for Jewish members of the Labour Party who generally support the leadership, and which is open to non-Zionist, as well as Zionist Jews. Some of Mr Cross’s edits are very strange, as he very often corrects himself as though he is unhappy with his own previous style, rather than the substance of his previous correction.

  • Fleur

    Yes. Keep going. More than half the world use Wikipedia as their “go to” place for quick checks on things. Most delve no further. If it is as corrupt as this looks it deserves to be outed. Thanks for doing the hard work

    I’m also concerned about the smearing of anyone in what might be termed “alternative” science and health – for which they are usually labelled rudely and dismissively. Maybe the same thing is going on there. I will take another look.

  • Keyser Söze

    I find it both deeply disturbing and disturbingly pathetic at the same time.

    I’m definitely intrigued.

  • Bruce

    I don’t think that you understand how to interpret the heatmap graph that you posted.

  • giyane

    RoS

    Skype families.

    It never occurred to me while I was at boarding school that there would be any form of conversation with my parents except by letter. My own children, removed from contact with their father to deepest South Wales, never had any means of contact with me. A topic which is totally incomprehensible to my Muslim friends, who were raised in families, except those who were raised in Islamic boarding institutions. I can’t say which upbringing is preferable because I only know one, and I could never imagine being brought up any other way.
    Where’s the research done by institutionally bred people to say that institutions are preferable to families?
    Seems a bit weird to me someone stating that families are better for children when they’ve possibly never experienced the delights of being brought up in an institution.

  • Richard

    This is indeed worthy of concern if it is a State funded activity. Freedom of expression is one thing; however, a concerted, and on face-value organised, mission to disrupt an alternative to ‘official’ narrative flies in the face of democratic processes and society.

  • Colin Wright

    It’s long been obvious to me that when it comes to certain topics, Wikipedia plays with a stacked deck. Go to it for information on Mayan burial practices; don’t bother when it comes to Israel, for example.

    • Morton Subotnick

      The corruption of the MSM was nicely captured on DT’s inauguration day: plenty of shots allegedly comparing the Obama 2009 and Trump 2016 crowd sizes (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=comparison+of+Obama+and+Trump+inauguration+crowd+sizes&t=ffab&iax=images&ia=images).

      Apart from the facts that, firstly, they compared the crowd during Obama’s speech but BEFORE Trump’s one, secondly, that virtually no one from Washington DC itself was a Trump supporter, meaning that his crowd had to travel across a continental-sized country to get there and, thirdly, that protestors prevented easy ingress to several of the ‘pens’, what the clowns composing these images did not realise (including those from CNN) is that CNN itself had contracted a megapixel shot to be taken during Trump’s speech (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cnn+megapixel+shot+of+trump+inauguration&t=ffab&ia=web). This clearly shows that the real size of his inauguration crowd (despite his supporters’ handicaps cited above) was only marginally smaller than Obama’s.

      Needless to say, no publications apologised for or corrected the false comparisons, which continue to be cited today.

    • Dan

      “Cheap shot? BBC takes aim at Trump with royal wedding crowd-size tweet”

      Oh, come on – that was just fairly amusing, non-political trolling.

  • Charles Bostock

    Re the Philip Cross “affair”

    – could we have an update on Mr Murray’s intention to take legal action? Against whom and for what would be a good start

    – any updates on Mr George Galloway’s offer of a £1000 “reward” to whoever identifies Philip Cross’s name and address in order to also take legal action? Does he now have the information and has he paid out the “reward” ?

  • Den Lille Abe

    Thank you for this article Mr. Murray. Readng the news these day is a depressing affair. It is depressing that our liberties and freedoms have been eroded, facts are turned into fiction and fiction becomes facts. I have only regarded Wikipedia as a source for trivia, having noticed a few times that Wikipedia “omitted” certain facts, I find it greatly disturbing that the “smearing” is systematic and apparently in facour of the Establishment. 1984 obviously happened a long time ago.
    China’s and Russia’s suspicion and perceived threat from the Internet, starts to make sense, if what you read is mostly false or pure propaganda, there is no need for the Internet as such.
    Sigh…

  • Andyoldlabour

    It seems as though “Philip Cross” whoever he/they are has been around for a while. I have done a simple search on Google – “philip cross wikipedia”, and this came up from 2008. I would suspect that Philip Cross is a Neocon collective/group, who simply try to eradicate or change what they consider to be subversive material by amongst others, anti war commentators. Unfortunately Wikipedia in particular is open to abuse by individuals/groups who have an agenda to push fake news.

    http://neilclark66.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/wally-of-week-philip-cross.html

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Neil Clark and Philip Cross have been at loggerheads for years. My understanding is that Cross, along with “slimvirgin”, a Wikipedia account that has been widely alleged to have links with intelligence services (Google “slimvirgin” and make your own mind up: the issue is hardly clear cut) was instrumental in having Clark’s own page removed from Wikipedia. Another mortal enemy of Neil Clark is, of course, Oliver Kamm.

  • Sharp Ears

    Have you got a list of the commenters and their ages Habbabkuk. btw How old are you?

    • Charles Bostock

      I suppose your questions were addressed to me, Sharp Ears? On that assumption, the answer is no, my thought relied on the information which various commenters have themselves given on here concerning their age. Volontarily given, I should add. My own age is the age of liberation from out-of-date nostrums, somewhere between the age when one still believes the nonsense spouted by cunning left-wing shysters and the age when many people, without much purpose after retirement and perhaps disappointed with their life and so many missed opportunities, become bitter and negative about virtually everything.

    • D_Majestic

      S.E.-it is very likely the same person, as Lysias, others and myself have noticed. And now the Royalty Admiration Society and the hallmark ‘Ageism’ pretty well nails it.

  • alexey

    Had a quick look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Who_writes_Wikipedia%3F which seems to expect basically a lot of well informed nerds: mid 20s males, retired males, dabblers, students, enthusiasts but more importantly volunteers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_a_volunteer_service It would seem clear to me that the amount of work put in by Philip Cross amounts to a full time job for probably more than one person. Which would mean someone is paying for it. The well informed nerds are drowned out by professional paid propagandists.

  • giyane

    Mrs May climbs into Trump’s sloughed-off carcase to say: People ” on all sides ” should show restraint in Gaza.
    Mrs May must go. Desperate for any idea of how to defy Zionism, she climbs into Trump’s cast-off skin about white-supremacy ” on all sides ” . Is this appalling phrase ” on all sides ” any more acceptable on May’s lips about Jewish Supremacy than Trump’s about white-supremacy? Why is she rubbing salt into the wound of Trump’s visit to the UK by repeating the exact, unacceptable phrase he used to support white supremacy in the US?

    Mrs May must go, together with her tiny clique of rich businessmen who want to sacrifice UK workers for their highly lucrative deals with the Far East after the UK leaves the EU. Boris Johnson has already informed us that the Muslims of the Middle East are expendable by supporting terrorists in Syria. Now he and his Tory colleagues are telling us we are expendable, because we are standing in the way of his cronies gaming the world trade market after Brexit.

    Appalling , brainless, racist Tory May.

  • John

    Thank you for highlighting this and exposing the inner workings of the establishment and wikipedia.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Possible reasons for using a single account rather than multiple accounts if you are using Wikipedia without good faith include: the more edits a single account makes, the more privileges it receives, automatically. Also, the strong community basis of Wikipedia users and administrators probably means that a long-established user with a large number of edits will get the benefit of the doubt a good deal more easily than some fly-by-night who comes in complaining about a single issue. J

  • giyane

    Charles Habbabkuk :
    ” Duke and Duchess of Surrey and not Sussex ”

    Well-spotted Sharp Ears. You must admit he loves you. Sun-bathing with Tel Aviv beach babes got nothing on having a pop at his very own internet voyeur target on CM blog. Besides there was air-raid siren warning all Israelis to stay inside because crazed Palestinians were trying to cross the border and murder Israeli citizens in their beds. Much safer to take a pot-shot at you under the camouflage of Charles Bostock.

    • Charles Bostock

      Calm down, Giyane.

      As far as I can see, there have been loads of Earls of Surrey BUT the title Duke of Surrey appears to have last existed between 1374 and 1400 (forfeited in 1399) and was held by Thomas Holland.

      It just struck me that this would have been a good time to resuscitate, so to speak, this ancient and noble title so long absent from the history of England.

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