“Please Mr Staines, come and help us keep things tidy.”

August 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Paul Staines AKA Guido Fawkes has admitted to editing his own wikipedia entry.

Zelo Street has the story.

Whether editing your own Wikipedia entry is A Bad Thing or neither here nor there depends on who you are and what edits you are making.

What is A Bad Thing is bullshitting about why you’re editing your little claim to fame.

Paul Staines has been, so he says, long been invited to edit his own entry by the editors. So that’s ok then.

But really? Did Staines really get an email asking for help. I wonder how it went…

Dear Mr Fawkes,
Your entry in Wikipedia is in such a mess and so full of inaccuracies that it really needs a good tidy up.

Seeing as it is in such a mess, and it is about you and you’re soooooo important and brilliant in all walks of life, from journalism to high finance, would you do us the honour of gracing our webpage and having a clear out. We just know you’ll do a sterling job at keeping it impartial, too.

Please? Pretty please?

Your loyal subjects,

The Editors

I do wonder how many other people have edited their own entry though, at the invitation of ‘the editors’.

Wikipedia isn’t just a free-for-all. It has some guidelines, as you’d expect.

Take this one for instance…

Dealing with edits by the subject of the article

Subjects sometimes become involved in editing material about themselves, either directly or through a representative. The Arbitration Committee has ruled in favor of showing leniency to BLP subjects who try to fix what they see as errors or unfair material. Although Wikipedia discourages people from writing about themselves

Small edits by the subject of an article may be over-looked, but the key phrase “Wikipedia discourages people from writing about themselves” certainly doesn’t sound like they offer invitations like the one Staines claims he got, especially to people that in the scheme of things, aren’t very big, famous or significant in any way.

Battle of the headlines: Daily Mail 0 – 1 Taxpayers Alliance

August 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Taxpayers Alliance have outdone the Daily Mail with a misleading headline.

The Mail reports…

Council that made 1,400 redundant blew £220,000 broadcasting all of their meetings online – but only picked up 57 viewers

This is, by Daily Mail standards quite accurate. The story itself contains more details of the viewing figures for Hampshire County Councils web broadcasts of it’s meetings, starting with 800 viewers in February, when the council had it’s budget, a cabinet meeting in April picked up 167 viewers and 108 viewers in May. The 57 viewers watched the July broadcast.

This detail is contained in the middle of the story, rather than in paragraph 19.

In all, the Mail seems to have done not bad, by their usual standards.

By contrast though, the TPA picked up the story from the Mail and includes the same details but their headline, in an effort to spin it more to their favour, go with

Hampshire Council spent £223,000 filming meetings for just 57 viewers

Not content with running a council down for trying to make their meetings more accessable, and reporting on what does initially look like rather a high figure for this (but what do I know?), the TPA use a headline that make it look like the council have spent £223,000 to broadcast specifically to 57 people, and not to anyone that might want to see what goes on in a council meeting.

Hampshire county council has a population (.pdf) of approximately 1.76 million people with just under 25% of it 19 years or under. so that’s potentially about 1.3 million adults that could tune in. Obviously that’s not going to happen or get anywhere near that, but the potential for a much bigger audience than 57, or even the peak of 800, was there.

But no, the TPA headline makes it look like the council were aiming for just the 57 viewers.

Where am I?

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