Collins rewrites history

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Judith Collins. Image sourced from WikiCommons.
Judith Collins. Image sourced from WikiCommons.
Judith Collins. Image sourced from WikiCommons.

After Roger Brookings broke the story last Saturday, the NZ Herald has confirmed that Judith Collins’ press secretary, Rachael Bowie, had removed several paragraphs relating to the Minister’s handling of David Bain’s compensation case from her Wikipedia page, which her office felt were defamatory.

It seems there is no accounting for the IQ of those working within the halls of power, with Bowie choosing the name “Jc press sec” to make the edits and then trying to hide the fact by later changing her user name to “Polkad0t”.

Twenty-two edits were made under the new user name in an attempt to whitewash her Wikipedia history. In one deleted entry Bowie even seems to lament that she didn’t use a different user name in the first place, so as to surreptitiously edit Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page without people realising she was associated with the Minister.

“I reiterate that I am not editing on behalf of anyone else.” Judith Collins’ press secretary had claimed on the Wikipedia discussion page, which is a complete lie. Collins has now confirmed that her office created the account and therefore the edits were clearly being made in an official capacity.

It seems highly inappropriate for an employee of a Minister of the Crown to edit material on Wikipedia concerning that Minister and then for that employee to try and hide the fact. There’s a huge conflict of interest here, which is strictly prohibited against under Wikipedia’s terms and conditions:

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Paid advocacy is receiving financial compensation from a person or organization to use Wikipedia to promote the interests of that person or organization. Advocacy of any sort within articles is prohibited by our policies on neutral point of view and what Wikipedia is not, and paid advocacy is considered to be an especially egregious form of advocacy. Paid advocates are very strongly discouraged from direct article editing, and should instead propose changes on the talk page of the article in question.

Ignoring the rules and doing what they like seems to be par for the course for most National Ministers and in this case Judith Collins has completely ignored Wikipedia’s terms and conditions, which exist for good reason. The attempts of her press secretary to sanitize the online encyclopedia is ample evidence that the so-called Minister of Justice cannot handle criticism and won’t allow freedom of speech, even when it takes the form of appropriately referenced factual information on Wikipedia.

In many respects this instance of Judith Collins trying to rewrite history is similar to her refusal to accept the findings within Justice Binnie’s report (PDF), which recommended that David Bain receive compensation. It also found that state authorities and in particular the Dunedin CIB, were seriously complicit in the miscarriage of justice, which is an injustice that’s unlikely to be atoned for under Judith Collins’ administration.

29 COMMENTS

  1. “then trying to hide the fact by later changing her user name to “Polkad0t” No she didn’t – that isn’t how Wikipedia works. The press sec declared her COI and openly asked for a name change. All her edits are moved to the new name. Nothing was “hidden” and the editing remains.

    Not too mention Brookings is dishonest about his own Wikipedia history where he broke several rules, lied about it and was banned.

    He also claims that he doesn’t know how they knew it was him and asks if the GCSB is spying on him, omitting the fact he wrote an article about himself on Wikipedia – a bit of a give away.

    “Twenty-two edits were made under the new user name [Polkad0t] in an attempt to whitewash her Wikipedia history.”

    This is also untrue. Here are the edits:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Polkad0t

    “Judith Collins has completely ignored Wikipedia’s terms and conditions, which exist for good reason”
    Not true either. When the T&C’s were pointed out the behaviour stopped and a COI declared. Brooking is the person who flagrantly broke the rules which is why he is banned.

    • The Conformist

      No she didn’t – that isn’t how Wikipedia works. The press sec declared her COI and openly asked for a name change. All her edits are moved to the new name. Nothing was “hidden” and the editing remains.

      It appears that all Rachael Bowie’s edits did not move to the new user name The Conformist and some of her contributions no longer exist on talk pages related to the topic at hand. Here’s one they’ve tried to hide:

      I reiterate that I am not editing on behalf of anyone else – I am not editing full stop. It should also be noted that politicians and their press secretaries are subject to a great amount of scrutiny by the public and the media for their actions – including on forums such as Wikipedia. This is much more scrutiny than most (if not all) other editors on this site, some of whom clearly have COI and hide behind an anonymous username. So I am not sure about the usefulness of this policy, but as it is policy I am happy to change my username. – Jc press sec.

      Rachael Bowie claims to not be editing Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page, after editing that very same page. She also seems to be under the delusion that a simple name change will rectify the conflict of interest. You don’t seriously believe that she was going to the trouble of changing her handle just to retire it from Wikipedia? She was obviously trying to cover her tracks.

      How do you expect to be taken seriously The Conformist when you make such obviously false claims that rely on people not checking the facts? First you write; “The press sec declared her COI and openly asked for a name change,’ and then you write; ‘When the T&C’s were pointed out the behaviour stopped and a COI declared.’

      Firstly there is no evidence of the questionable bahaviour from within Judith Collins’ office stopping, with other editors such as Clark43 appearing to have a hidden agenda as well. Secondly you have contradicted yourself The Conformist…either Judith Collins’ press secretary declared a COI from the get go or she had to have the terms and conditions pointed out to her before her behaviour stopped.

      The COI tag was clearly placed by another editor after it became apparent that Jc press sec was associated with the Minister of Justice. The edits were made in an official capacity, and therefore Judith Collins has breached Wikipedias terms and conditions.

      Better luck next time National government apologist.

  2. “It appears that all Rachael Bowie’s edits did not move to the new user name The Conformist and some of her contributions no longer exist on talk pages related to the topic at hand. Here’s one they’ve tried to hide”

    No, that edit appears under the new user name. Here’s the link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/User_names&diff=prev&oldid=542105121

    It isn’t hidden, is listed in the editing history at 21:32, 4 March:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Polkad0t

    Every edit she made is still there. If you think one hasn’t please provide a link to it.

    “Rachael Bowie claims to not be editing Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page, after editing that very same page.”

    No, after she edited it and was told off she said was no longer going to edit it and didn’t.

    “She also seems to be under the delusion that a simple name change will rectify the conflict of interest.”

    No, that isn’t true either. She changed her name, openly, then stopped editing that page.

    “You don’t seriously believe that she was going to the trouble of changing her handle just to retire it from Wikipedia? She was obviously trying to cover her tracks.”

    She can’t hide her tracks – the logs are still there and she openly declared her COI.

    “How do you expect to be taken seriously The Conformist when you make such obviously false claims that rely on people not checking the facts?”

    Because I provided links that show I haven’t made any false claims. Which claims are false (apart from Brookings which are provably false)? Please show where I have made a false claim.

    “Secondly you have contradicted yourself The Conformist…either Judith Collins’ press secretary declared a COI from the get go or she had to have the terms and conditions pointed out to her before her behaviour stopped”

    Look at the logs, there is no contradiction.

    • “The edits were made in an official capacity, and therefore Judith Collins has breached Wikipedias terms and conditions.”

      Which has been rectified and ceased. What do you have to say for Brookings breaches? Is that OK? Are you OK with his breaching of the T&C’s in a far more flagrant and dishonest manner?

    • The Conformist

      Every edit she made is still there. If you think one hasn’t please provide a link to it.

      You want me to provide a link to an edit that no longer exists? Start making sense TC.

      No, that isn’t true either. She changed her name, openly, then stopped editing that page.

      Which is beside the point… Judith Collin’s press secretary, Rachael Bowie, shouldn’t have been editing that page in the first place.

      She can’t hide her tracks…

      People can’t hide their tracks on Wikipedia The Conformist? Now you’re just being silly, especially considering your accusations against Roger Brookings.

      …the logs are still there and she openly declared her COI.

      Some of the information is still there for people who want to go looking through thousands of logs that are unrelated to the Judith Collins talk page.

      It’s about now that I ask if you have some sort of vested interest here The Conformist?

      • “You want me to provide a link to an edit that no longer exists?”

        So if it no longer exists please explain to me what the edit was. You must know as you are claiming an edit was deleted from the logs, “oversighted” is the wiki parlance for edits which are deleted, so what did the edit say?

        “Rachael Bowie, shouldn’t have been editing that page in the first place.”

        No she shouldn’t and when explained that she shouldn’t she stopped. But you have said he made a further 20+ edits – which isn’t true. You should retract this false claim.

        “People can’t hide their tracks on Wikipedia The Conformist? Now you’re just being silly, especially considering your accusations against Roger Brookings.”

        No they can’t – unless the edits are oversighted. The only people who can oversight are the Wikipedia admin people (not Collins) and they do so very rarely. My “accusations” against Brookings aren’t just accusations, they are facts. Brookings used multiple accounts and lied about it which is why he is banned. I’ll be more than happy to provide the links if you so wish. Just ask.

        “It’s about now that I ask if you have some sort of vested interest here The Conformist?”

        I have no “vested interest”. I have facts and they don’t lie.

        No edits were hidden, Brookings lied and Wikipedias logs show this.

        • The Conformist

          You must know as you are claiming an edit was deleted from the logs.

          Yes! Two edits were deleted that were not transferred over from the Jc press sec user name. They were there yesterday, but today they don’t exist. Unfortunately I didn’t take a screen capture of the edits. Now explain again why Rachael Bowie changed her user name?

          No she shouldn’t and when explained that she shouldn’t she stopped. But you have said he made a further 20+ edits – which isn’t true. You should retract this false claim.

          That comment didn’t relate to the Judith Collins page The Conformist, as you well know. You are now resorting to a straw man argument.

          My “accusations” against Brookings aren’t just accusations, they are facts.

          So, your accusations against Brookings are facts, while the post above that is based on an NZ Herald article by Isaac Davison isn’t factual? C’mon The Conformist…even Judith Collins has now admitted that it was her office that made edits to the Wikipedia page, something you previous claimed wasn’t true:

          Not one piece of evidence has been presented to suggest Collins team is engaged in white washing her article.

          Even when Judith Collins admits that it was her office that was editing the article, you don’t have the guts to admit you were wrong!

          Unlike you, I don’t have a vested interest in this case. I simply don’t like corruption, especially from within the halls of power.

          • “Two edits were deleted that were not transferred over from the Jc press sec user name. They were there yesterday, but today they don’t exist. Unfortunately I didn’t take a screen capture of the edits.”

            How do you know this? I am a Wikipedia user and know some editors there who have the ability to see what, if anything, was deleted. I am going to check your claim…let’s see, eh?

            But the rest of your post doesn’t address anything I have posted.

            Brookings lied and I can prove it, “Jc press sec” never made 20+ edits like you claim. No one is disputing that Collins Press Sec edited the page but those edits were limited, open and were ceased as there was an transparent and admitted COI. I am making no strawman arguments and have provided links (or offered links if you so wish) to support my arguments. You have failed to support your own arguments, made claims that have proven to be false and continue to do so while accusing me of making errors when my position is supported, provable and consistent with what appears in the Wikipedia logs.

            • The Conformist

              How do you know this?

              Because I checked the Jc press sec account (which had two edits) and the Polkad0t account which had 20+. I can no longer locate the two edits on the Jc press sec account, so presume they have somehow been deleted. This matter seems rather trivial in comparison to Judith Collins’ office sanitising her Wikipedia page in an official capacity, something you had previously claimed wasn’t true.

              “Jc press sec” never made 20+ edits like you claim.

              You might want to re-read the article again The Conformist. I didn’t claim Jc press sec made 20+ edits, I claimed that Rachael Bowie made those edits under the new user name Polkad0t, a name change that appears to have been made to try and hide her tracks. I could be wrong about this, as it’s just as likely Judith Collins made those edits.

              You have failed to support your own arguments, made claims that have proven to be false and continue to do so while accusing me of making errors when my position is supported, provable and consistent with what appears in the Wikipedia logs.

              All you have proven is that you’re ignoring the evidence provided in favour of nitpicking. Take the quoted paragraph from above, in which Polkad0t claims to not be editing Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page, after editing that very same page. Take your multiple claims on The Standard’s Collins sanitising wikipedia article, in which you say there’s no evidence linking Judith Collins’ office to the whitewashing of her Wikipedia page, when the evidence is right there in black and white.

              You seem to have a very similar argument to Rachael Bowie’s, which is why I ask again…are you associated with the National party in any way whatsoever? I believe you’re obliged under law to answer this question if you are in fact a government employee The Conformist?

              What do you have to say for Brookings breaches? Is that OK? Are you OK with his breaching of the T&C’s in a far more flagrant and dishonest manner?

              Now it appears that you’re simply trolling The Conformist. I have already answered this question here. Surely your memory of recent events isn’t as bad as John Keys?

              • “Because I checked the Jc press sec account (which had two edits) and the Polkad0t account which had 20+. I can no longer locate the two edits on the Jc press sec account, so presume they have somehow been deleted”

                You don’t understand how Wikipedia works – all the edits made under “Jc press sec” are now under the new user name of Polkad0t. If you think two edits under the previous username have been deleted then you must have been following “Jc press sec” before the name was changed to Polkad0t to know if edits were missing. Were you?

                “This matter seems rather trivial in comparison to Judith Collins’ office sanitising her Wikipedia page in an official capacity, something you had previously claimed wasn’t true”

                Check the contribs for Polkad0t. There was no “sanitising” – the edit history is clear for all to see. Tell me which of these edits attempts to sanitise the page:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Polkad0t

                “a name change that appears to have been made to try and hide her tracks”

                So openly declaring who she was, openly asking for name change and having her editing history publicly viewable is an attempt to hide ones tracks? Don’t be daft.

                “All you have proven is that you’re ignoring the evidence provided in favour of nitpicking. Take the quoted paragraph from above, in which Polkad0t claims to not be editing Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page, after editing that very same page. Take your multiple claims on The Standard’s Collins sanitising wikipedia article, in which you say there’s no evidence linking Judith Collins’ office to the whitewashing of her Wikipedia page, when the evidence is right there in black and white.”

                The only evidence is of a press sec changing the photo – there is no “white-washing”

                You dishonestly claimed that the press sec made a further 20+ edits to the Collins article which is provably incorrect, have stated edits were deleted without providing any evidence of this while I have checked with a wikipedia admin who states that didn’t happen, have consistently ignored that fact Brookings is far more guilty of the actions you attribute to Collins all the while claiming the press sec tried to hide her tracks despite being open about who she was, openly requesting a name change and explaining her actions in a public space.

                Then you say I am making claims on the hope people won’t check? I provided links so people could check. You have provided nothing by assertion.

                And no, I have absolutely nothing to do with National or any other political party.

                • If the the press sec hasn’t made a further 20+ edits to the Judith Collins’ Wikipedia article under a different user name, prove it The Conformist?

                  • If the the press sec hasn’t made a further 20+ edits to the Judith Collins’ Wikipedia article under a different user name, prove it The Conformist?”

                    Again, Jackal. Once again. You fail to understand how the burden of proof works. You made the claim that Collin’s press sec made 20+ edits. You lied, I called you on it (With supporting evidence) and you side-step.

          • OK I have checked with a Wikipedia admin person and he says nothing in the article histories (articles which have been edited by the press sec) shows any deletions nor has anything been hidden from public view. You are free to check with him yourself (I have linked to his user page below – and have permission to do so).

            So, tell me again what has been deleted?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:David_Gerard

            • …he says nothing in the article histories (articles which have been edited by the press sec) shows any deletions nor has anything been hidden from public view.

              If they haven’t been hidden from view, where are the edits made by Jc press sec? Rachael Bowie (or whoever was doing the editing) has removed paragraphs from Judith Collins’ Wikipedia article they believed were defamatory, yet there is no log of this on the Judith Collins: Revision history page under the user name Polkad0t or Jc press sec. Unless somebody looks through Polkad0t’s contrib page, instead of the Judith Collins history page, they would be none the wiser. Therefore there are missing edits, which is what I have asserted all along.

              • “If they haven’t been hidden from view, where are the edits made by Jc press sec? Rachael Bowie (or whoever was doing the editing) has removed paragraphs from Judith Collins’ Wikipedia article they believed were defamatory, yet there is no log of this on the Judith Collins: Revision history page under the user name Polkad0t or Jc press sec. Unless somebody looks through Polkad0t’s contrib page”

                What are you talking about? The edits made by jc press sec have been moved to the new account.
                Right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Judith_Collins&offset=20130303084252&action=history

                These edits correlate to the user contributions.

                Secondly you say “Rachael Bowie (or whoever was doing the editing) has removed paragraphs from Judith Collins’ Wikipedia article” but link to the David Bain page.

                All the edits are correlated, make sense, aren’t hidden and show nothing of what you claim they show.

                • Either the Jc press sec/Polkad0t edits have been deleted somehow, or another account was used The Contrarian. Judith Collins’ spokeswoman has admitted that her office removed “several paragraphs relating to the minister’s handling of David Bain’s compensation case, which her office felt were defamatory.” However only one controversial paragraph was removed by Jc press sec/Polkad0t, from David Bain’s Wikipedia page.

                  It’s pretty obvious therefore that the other paragraphs Judith Collins’ spokeswoman was referring to were removed by another account being utilized by Judith Collins’ employees, or the Minister herself. Being that the only other “controversial” paragraph I have had time to locate that relates to David Bain that has been removed was edited by another account:

                  Following her decision to peer review Judge Binnie’s compensation report on David Bain, businessman Sir Bob Jones commented that Collins’ behaviour displayed “breath-taking arrogance without precedence” and suggested she was unfit to be Minister of Justice.[50]

                  …It appears that Judith Collins’ office has in fact created the account Clarke43 to also edit Wikipedia pages, which they have been doing profusely since December 2012 under that user name.

                  Although your argument has some technical grounds, I will not be editing the article above. It’s the name change that I am referring to when saying that Rachael Bowie was trying to hide her tracks. There is likely to be far more than 22 edits made by Judith Collins’ other account, Clarke43, to whitewash Wikipedia pages.

                  • So you got nothing. I have provided links, checked with a wikipedia admin and shown my hand.

                    You, on the other hand, have asserted things as fact which are incorrect, displayed an ignorance to how Wikipedia works, made aspersions on my character, refuse to engage on the facts of the matter while steadfastly maintaining a position which is shown to be false. Not to mention supporting Brookings who is a liar himself.

                    “It appears that Judith Collins’ office has in fact created the account Clarke43 to also edit Wikipedia pages, which they have been doing profusely since December 2012 under that user name.”

                    Even if true you have no evidence. So all you have is smoke and mirrors.

                    I can supply links, contact details for my sources which you can check out yourself as well having maintained a consistent argument. You have side-stepped every question I have made to you, failed to address the holes in your argument and insist that I am in the wrong without providing any support fro your position.

                    Jackal, your post is dishonest. I am not going to call you a liar because you have sincerity, however in this instance you have it all wrong. No edits have been hidden, there has been no white-wash by Collins staff (that we can prove) and your arguments fail the fact checking test.

                    • Not to mention supporting Brookings who is a liar himself.

                      Where exactly have I supported Brookings?

                      Even if true you have no evidence. So all you have is smoke and mirrors.

                      Judith Collins’ spokeswoman clearly said the account they created removed several paragraphs they believed were defamatory. However only one edit was made under the Jc press sec/Polkad0t account that fits this description. It is logical to assume the other edits the spokeswoman was referring to were made by another account run out of Judith Collins’ office.

                      No edits have been hidden, there has been no white-wash by Collins staff (that we can prove) and your arguments fail the fact checking test.

                      My argument is based on what Judith Collins’ spokeswoman has stated. Are you saying that she is wrong or that the NZ Herald article hasn’t correctly reported what she said? It’s not dishonest to assume she’s correct that several paragraphs were removed by the Ministers staff. It’s not dishonest to show that Clarke43 is likely to be the other account they use. If not missing edits, how else do you explain this contradiction apart from them using another account? An account they have failed to declare a COI on, which has been used to sanitize Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page.

                    • “However only one edit was made under the Jc press sec/Polkad0t account that fits this description. It is logical to assume the other edits the spokeswoman was referring to were made by another account run out of Judith Collins’ office”

                      No, it isn’t logical at all. It is assumption, speculation. You side step again. You made claims of fact but when shown to be as such you resort to making an assumption. That, sir, is dishonest.

                      I have shown, with supporting links, as well as checking with an admin at Wikipedia, that everything you claim as fact is in fact your own, personal, speculation. All you have now is your say so. Which, in the light of the citations I have provided, is worth quite little.

      • “How do you link to something that doesn’t exist?!”

        Exactly, it doesn’t exist. Nothing has been hidden. Even an edit that has been deleted still has a history. The only way to hide an edit is if a admin oversights it so I had a wikipedia administrator check and nothing has been oversighted. I provided contact details for the admin in question so you can check for yourself.

        Nothing has been hidden.

  3. Crusher collins who was a derelict and dishonest police minister is now our ‘injustice minister’ who seems to favor a distinct boot camp way of doing things.

    She’s got all the morals and scruples of a tax lawyer ……..

    Which is why its no surprise this battle-axe of a woman and her sycophantic staff are spending New Zealand dollars to re-write her contemptible history and image.

    The real question is how many other National party mp’s are puling the same stunt ….

    as a NZ government the present Nats must rank as one of the worst we’ve ever had.

    But when it comes to spin, bullshitting and manipulating the media they are amongst the best.

    Masters of misinformation.

    Collins should resign …..

  4. What do you have to say for Brookings breaches?

    I’d say nothing. That’s a separate issue.

    When the T&C’s were pointed out the behaviour stopped and a COI declared.

    I wonder if “Jc press sec” would’ve disclosed her conflict of interest had she not been found out?

    She can’t hide her tracks – the logs are still there and she openly declared her COI.

    Actually, hiding her tracks would be as easy as leaving her Pareliamentary office; walking down the street; and walking into a cyber-cafe. The IP number would be different. Basic 101 in covering cyber-tracks.

    • “I wonder if “Jc press sec” would’ve disclosed her conflict of interest had she not been found out?”

      Well, the fact she chose “Jc press sec” as a username is a bit of a give away don’t you think? Not really something one would choose if you were trying to hide.

      “hiding her tracks would be as easy as leaving her Pareliamentary office; walking down the street; and walking into a cyber-cafe.”

      Sure, but then you can say Hone did the same. Russell Norman could have walked into a cyber cafe and written the Greens page. Who knows! Fact is Brookings lied, this whole post is pure speculation passed of as fact with no supporting evidence.
      In short – baseless assumption.

  5. The national party battle-axe judith Collins was having her wikipedia page sanitized by her staff thus presenting a dishonest and false biography.

    Proven.

    how many other national mp’s are pulling the same stunt?.

    If judith crusher collins seeks the reputation of being a hard redneck national minister then its a bit rich of her to deny the actions which made and define her image.

    The woman is a disgrace and would be better suited to leading a lynch mob.

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