David Coburn has been banned from Wikipedia indefinitely
UKIP MEP David Coburn has been banned from Wikipedia indefinitely after trying to edit an article about himself dozens of times in a week.
The account named ‘David Coburn MEP’, was blocked by an administrator at Wikipedia in March after attempting to make edits to the David Coburn entry on the website 69 times in a six-day period.
According to the Guardian, staff members for David Coburn, UKIP’s Scottish leader, had been instructed to clear “garbage” and “nonsense” from the page.
The account, named David Coburn MEP, had attempted to alter the page from April this year, to remove a passage relating to SNP candidate Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh, who Coburn allegedly confused several times during his campaign for the European Parliament last year.
He was accused by Sheikh of calling her “Pashmina”, “Jasmine”, and “Tamzin”, before referring to her simply as “love”, “dear” and “honey”.
Coburn told the Guardian that the allegations were “nonsense”.
After the removal of the passage, another user had reinserted it – with David Coburn MEP attempting to remove it again minutes later.
The 69 edits were made over a six-day period, including information about where he lived, the school he went to, and about comments he allegedly made about same-sex marriage and civil partnerships.
Other users of Wikipedia had complained that the David Coburn MEP account had breached the rules on conflict of interest, as well as breaking the rules about engaging in “edit wars”.
He accused other users of ignoring his personal account of his own life, writing at one point: “I am David Coburn MEP – I am aware of where I live – I live in Edinburgh – I am also aware of where I went to school & which University I attended – there are several people changing the facts and they need to stop.”
The David Coburn MEP account was blocked at first for 31 hours, but later, indefinitely.
He told the Guardian that he had initially started editing the site himself before getting bored.
“I hear it gets changed all the time. Personally I don’t give a damn what people write about me. People write the most colourful things about me and I’ve got the hide of a rhino and I don’t really give a damn,” he said.
“I’m sure its all wee cybernats who’ve got nothing better to do with their time and they should actually be out getting a job.”
He also wrote: “Apparently I dont [sic] know where I live nor which school I attended or the University I attended – is there anything else you would like to update me on?” and suggested he would complain to Wikipedia about people editing his article maliciously.
When contacted by the Guardian, Coburn said he had started editing the page after spotting mistakes on it, but that he had stopped after getting bored.
He said he didn’t remember details of what had been changed by his staff.
“It was done by one of my people. I don’t know how to press the buttons to make it work. I was telling them what to do. If there was garbage on there I told them to take it off,” he said.
He last week dismissed controversy after last month after comparing Muslim SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
Mr Coburn rarely holds back while discussing political rivals – previously branding Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson a “fat lesbian” and comparing then-SNP leader Alex Salmond to dictator Robert Mugabe.
Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, claiming that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis” – and that the Lib Dems and Labour want to ban him from having sex.