Skip to main content

Were MP's editing their Wikipedia entries during General Election campaign?

Pre-election edits to UK MP pages on Wikipedia (opens in new tab) that emit details such as expense claims, arrests and electoral fraud allegations have been found to come from inside Parliament.

This is according to UK newspaper The Telegraph (opens in new tab), which claims suspicions have been raised that MPs or political parties were deliberately altering the pages to hide certain information from the public to make candidates more appealing before General Election earlier this month.

Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, but all changes are tracked and linked to an IP address which is how researchers were able to identify over a dozen changes to MP biographies on the site were edited from IP addresses owned by the Houses of Parliament.

However, it is impossible to prove that any of the changes were made by the MP in question or their staff.

Among the MPs whose pages were edited are Labour MP Geraint Davies, Tory MPs Craig Whittaker and Gavin Barwell, and former Liberal Democrat MP Gordon Birtwistle.

Besides the deletion of content that referenced scandals, minor changes were also made to various biographies such as adding “Rht Hn” in front of names and adding references to positive newspaper articles.

On one MPs page, a new section entirely had been added to detail his achievements during his time in Parliament.

According to The Independent (opens in new tab), Wikipedia edits inside the Houses of Parliament are not a new phenomenon.

It claims an investigation carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed MPs and staff working in the House of Commons were responsible for making nearly 10,000 Wikipedia changes in 2012.