Ukip politician David Coburn has been indefinitely banned from Wikipedia after attempting to alter an article about himself 69 times in six days.
These were the first of dozens of changes over the following six days encompassing a number of factual disputes, including whether Coburn lived in Edinburgh or London, whether he attended the High School of Glasgow or a high school in Glasgow, and whether he had said ever stated he would “work closely with the so-called London elite” (Coburn says he did not). He also repeatedly tried to add a statement that there was “no material difference” between civil partnerships and gay marriage to his article.
Wikipedia also prohibits users from engaging in “edit wars”, in which different users repeatedly delete each other’s contributions. During one particularly intense dispute, Coburn was accused by another user of getting into an edit war with himself and repeatedly deleting his own changes.
Coburn left a number of notes on the website complaining that other users were disregarding his own account of his life.
“I am David Coburn MEP – I am aware of where I live – I live in Edinburgh – I am also aware of where I went to school & which University I attended – there are several people changing the facts and they need to stop, ” he wrote.
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He later added: “Apparently I dont know where I live nor which school I attended or the University I attended – is there anything else you would like to update me on?” and suggested he would complain to Wikipedia about people editing his article maliciously.
When contacted by the Guardian, Coburn said he had started editing the page after spotting mistakes on it, but that he had stopped after getting bored.
“I hear it gets changed all the time. Personally I don’t give a damn what people write about me. People write the most colourful things about me and I’ve got the hide of a rhino and I don’t really give a damn, ” he said.
“I’m sure its all wee cybernats who’ve got nothing better to do with their time and they should actually be out getting a job.”
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