Lord Leveson copies out Wikipedia

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Lord Leveson (or so says Wikipedia). Pic: AP

The Leveson report into the British media has been criticised (including by yours truly) for devoting just one full page – of nearly 2,000 – to the impact of the internet. Lord Lulz, as we might call him just for the hell of it, characterised the internet as largely an ethical vacuum – a view he expanded on in a lecture in Sydney at the end of last week.

Still, clearly Lord Lulz, or one of his minions tasked with doing facts, regards at least one corner of the internet as reliable, as evidenced by the mammoth report’s description of the Independent newspaper as being founded by Andreas Whittam Smith, Stephen Glover and Brett Straub.

“The first two names are correct, but who is Brett Straub?” asked Andy McSmith in the Independent.

“His name first appeared in the Wikipedia entry on the Independent on 27 October 2011, when someone … removed the name of Matthew Symonds, genuinely one of this newspaper’s three founding journalists, and inserted ‘Brett Straub’.”

The change had been entered by someone in California, where resides also, McSmith notes, one Brett Straub, who describes himself on Facebook as “a lazy bum”.

McSmith writes: “The error stayed on Wikipedia until it was spotted and corrected on 10 November this year – too late, unfortunately, to spare Lord Justice Leveson from being caught out making the basic error of cutting and pasting from Wikipedia without checking.”


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