Grant Shapps takes swipe at media after Wikipedia administrator sanctioned

PUBLISHED: 12:18 09 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:18 09 June 2015

MP Grant Shapps

MP Grant Shapps

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield’s MP has hit out over “false and damaging” claims that he tampered with his own and rival politicians’ Wikipedia pages.

The allegations emerged before last month’s General Election after an administrator banned an account he claimed was linked with Grant Shapps.

But administrator Richard Symonds has now been reprimanded and disciplined by the online encyclopedia – which says there is no evidence the account at the centre of the storm was linked to Mr Shapps.

The furore was widely reported before the election, and the then-Conservative Party chairman was mocked by users on Twitter.

But after it emerged that Mr Symonds had been disciplined, and has had some of his editing privileges removed by Wikipedia, Mr Shapps said: “Wikipedia’s investigation has resulted in the strong disciplinary action now being taken.

“However, the failure of various media outlets to check even basic facts meant that this false and damaging story ran for an entire day during the General Election campaign.

“My hope is that this case serves as a reminder that both the source, as well as the content of a story, should be carefully checked before it is broadcast in future.”

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