Somebody called ‘Bob’ left a comment on my post last night about the vandalism on Defra’s wiki, and it’s a brilliant point which deserves more prominence. Over to Bob:
Guido’s gang seem to forget that being a wiki, the content they helpfully amended had probably been written by non-Defra people who wanted to contribute to a debate.
By trying to attack Miliband and/or Defra, all they’ve achieved is an attack on the people who want to influence Government policy on the environment.
Effectively, they’ve tried to censor a forum for the discussion of a subject that affects us all. I don’t think they’ll have an impact on Defra’s approach to the wiki, but you can be sure that there will be some people who’ll’ve seen the wiki and been deterred by Guido’s fan’s comments. Not exactly a success for democracy, is it?
Couldn’t have put it better myself. Otherwise I would have.
Inevitably of course, this found its way into the proper media: this morning’s Times tries to turn it into a ‘humiliation for Cabinet minister’ story. I hardly think Miliband was ‘forced to creep back into his cyberhole’… it was a wiki, it has rollback functionality, this is the whole point.
Oh, and incidentally, a quick note to Jonathan Richards: this didn’t happen ‘a few hours after the site went live’… unless by ‘a few’ you mean ‘almost four hundred’. The wiki was launched three weeks ago.
There were also pieces on AP and AFP, making it a global story. Brilliant.