The Thick of It


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Is Andrew Gilligan sockpuppeting?

I'm amused to see the blog "furore" over suggestions that Journalist of the Year Andrew Gilligan has been posting comments on blogs both anonymously and under other names. Whenever I've written any post mentioning his name, or to that matter most posts about Boris Johnson, I get at least one hit from Associated Newspapers.

After some posts about bendy buses and transport fares in London "anonymous" commented on my blog. The timing of the comments coincided with a hot on my blog from the Associated Newspapers IP address. "Anonymous" had used a Technorati blog feed with the key words "Andrew Gilligan" as the search terms. Coincidence? During the Mayoral election I frequently got hits from the same IP address and with the same referrer. The use of language by "anonymous" also bears great resemblance to Gilligan's writing, using terms such as the "Ken Livingstone fan club."

On a personal note I've never been an ardent fan of Ken, though I came to believe that on balance, London was a better place after eight years with him in charge than if someone else had won.

I used to ban anonymous comments for this very reason. I'd much prefer an open and honest debate where people can agree and disagree. I don't see what there is to hide. Not least from a high profile journalist when his views are well known. I'm also quite prepared for people to point out if I am wrong, though I'd rather never be wrong...

Read on:
Media Monkey
Dave Hill's blog
Tory Troll's current discussion. Previous accusations, including mention that Gilligan was up to it in 1995 as a student can also be found.

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