A Twitter account attributed to the mysterious and prolific Wikipedia editor Philip Cross has just 200 followers, but why are so many mainstream media journalists rushing to give him (or her) a follow?
Two weeks ago RT reported on the mysterious account of Philip Cross. The Wikipedia enthusiast has, for more than 14 years, been mass editing articles, 133,612 in total, adding up to 30 edits a day.
Pundit George Galloway, academic Tim Hayward and ex-UK ambassador to Uzbekistan-turned blogger Craig Murray among others have accused Cross of focusing on their entries. Cross has edited Galloway’s page more than 1,700 times.
Cross’s efforts on Twitter are not as substantial as that on Wikipedia. His Twitter feed, according to Murray, who has been targeted by the elusive editor, is “extremely banal,” having never “broken a news story and the few tweets which are not retweets contain no gems of expression or shrewd observation.”
So why, asks Murray in his blog, does Cross have only 200 followers but more MSM journalists than those among Murray’s 42,300 Twitter followers?
Among the list of “corporate and state journalists” following Cross and listed by Murray are:
- writer for the Times Oliver Kamm,
- Guardian/Observer columnist Nick Cohen,
- columnist for the Independent Joan Smith,
- film columnist for the Guardian Leslie Felperin,
- foreign correspondent for the Guardian/Observer Kate Connolly,
- political correspondent for the BBC Iain Watson,
- Deputy Political Editor for the Sunday Times Caroline Wheeler,
- CBC journalist and formerly of the BBC Jennifer Chevalier,
- Scotland on Sunday journalist Dani Garavelli.
Of those followers, Cross is an avid retweeter of Kamm and Cohen’s tweets. The editor, following numerous accusations, has repeatedly insisted that he is not masquerading as Kamm himself.
Also following Cross is James LeMesurier, founder of the ‘White Helmets,’ former Shadow Secretary for Education, Tristram Hunt, and Sarah Brown, the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon.
Updated: The Philip Cross Affair – UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 https://t.co/z5NRExlLon
— Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) May 19, 2018
According to Murray: “There is absolutely no reason on the face of his Twitter stream why Philip Cross would attract this particular type of following. His retweets are mostly of Nick Cohen and Oliver Kamm, and his followership is concentrated in the Guardian and Times, which nowadays have very similar neo-con agendas.”
He added that the account “makes no effort at all to hide the fact that he has the strongest of neo-conservative biases, hates the Left and anti-war movement, and strongly supports Israel.”
Cross, says Murray, “is part of an active social media network trolling these views,” adding that “the purpose of ‘his’ continual Wikipedia editing could not be clearer.”
He hypothesized that ‘Phillip Cross’ could be a collective effort that has been formed to “denigrate and demean alternative media and anti-war figures through their Wikipedia entries, and at the same time to burnish the Wikipedia entries of mainstream media figures, is proven without doubt, as is the continued complicity of Wikipedia in enabling and defending the long-term operation.”
Meanwhile, Galloway has offered a £1,000 reward to the person who unmasks Cross. No further leads have been given since the offer was made.
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