On November 29, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray’s Wikipedia page was edited 34 separate times. Most of the traffic involved minor adds or corrections, but some of it was aimed at turning the page into campaign propaganda — and counter-efforts to restore content removed or altered by the propagandists.
The lead actor in this one-day drama was “Alaenahunt.” The AH account on Wikipedia was created at 3:41 p.m. on November 29. AH made eight edits to Gray’s Wikipage between 4:12 and 7:35 p.m., and has done nothing since then. “Alaenahunt” is presumably a pseudonym; editors can post biographical information but they don’t have to, and AH didn’t. But it’s obvious that AH is either a very staunch Gray supporter or a member of her campaign team. AH’s deletions involved potentially controversial material; additions read as though they were lifted straight from Gray campaign material.
This sort of thing has happened before. In 2016, when former state Senator Peter Galbraith made a doomed run for governor, an editor named “Devotedamerican” repeatedly added positive material and deleted negative stuff from Galbraith’s Wikipage. That editor was repeatedly upbraided by other Wikifolk for obvious shilling.
On three days in May 2012, when then-attorney general Bill Sorrell faced a challenge from then-Chittenden County state’s attorney (and current AG) TJ Donovan, there was a torrent of activity on Sorrell’s Wikipage. Until then it had been a stub with very little information. Suddenly, an anonymous user started adding whole chunks of favorable material and deleting the unfavorable. It basically turned the page into a campaign ad for Sorrell.
Wikipedia has rules about such things; you’re not supposed to engage in advocacy, opinion, scandal mongering, self-promotion or advertising/PR. But it happens.
Now, let’s follow the Molly Gray Wikitrail.Continue reading