Monday, 3 November 2008

Is Andrew Gilligan a repeat sockpuppet offender?

After I published this story, David Boothroyd came forward to claim that Andrew Gilligan had been caught playing the same tricks in his student days.

However, since then another more recent incident has come to my attention, and it comes from journalism professor Adrian Monck:

"Who Is The Anonymous Andrew Gilligan Commenter?

OCTOBER 1, 2007

My Andrew Gilligan post attracted a couple of anonymous comments, apparently by the same author.

Who could the anonymous author be? Well online, nothing is really anonymous - now is it? Take a look at this screenshot for a moment while we play Internet detective…"

Wanting to know who 'anonymous' is Monck checks his web tracker:

"So it’s someone who is:

using an Associated Newspapers IP (publishers of the Evening Standard, Daily Mail etc.)

;online in the middle of the night - possibly entirely nocturnal;

linking from a technorati search set up to track all blog postings on the name Andrew Gilligan. Can anyone solve this conundrum?"

It's becoming less of a conundrum every day Adrian.

-Update- The Guardian's Dave Hill on Andrew Gilligan, the Evening Standard, 'Kennite' and sock-puppeting.
-Update- Andrew Gilligan says "Kennite is my partner"!
-Update- The Guardian's Media Monkey on Kennite


Timmymc said...

What a coincidence. I have received exactly the same anaonymous commenting. From an Associated Newspapers I address. Usually at about 2 in the morning. From a Technorati search set up to track mentions of Andrew Gilligan.

The Troll said...

Well who would have thunk it! Have you got a link to any?

Anonymous said...

Gilligan was in fact before the FAC at the same time as Kelly took his last walk.

Remember that the FAC had already concluded that Kelly could not have been the source of Gilligan's earlier reports, and had hauled Gilligan in to question him again.

Kelly, one expects, was not hugely confident that Gilligan would stay schtum about his source: if he were outed by Gilligan, it was highly likely he would have been hauled back before the FAC for a further browbeating.

The Troll said...

In the interests of even handedness I should point out that this last comment came from a '' address.

This isn't really the place to go over the whole David Kelly incident once again, and certainly not anonymously.

The issue at hand is Andrew Gilligan's repeated dishonesty and bad behaviour online. I would appreciate it if commenters stick to that.

Will said...

The David Kelly case is all part of it though. Are you really saying that we can't mention it?!?!

The Troll said...

You can mention whatever you like, as long as it is relevant. But if anyone wants to go over the details of something as sensitive as the Kelly case then it is only really fair that they should do it out in the open.

Tom said...

The relevance comes in with:
a) Gilligan being kicked out by the BBC and picked up by Boris at the Spectator, which would have brought him into contact with the rightwing fruitcakes who live over that way,
b) Livingstone's version of the origin of their antagonism, which was that Gilligan doorstepped him and was told (presumably forcefully) that in his opinion, Gilligan's actions had lead to Kelly's death.

That's the background. The story is how this lead to Gilligan trying to game the system to push his flimsy stories, and how do we teach him a lesson that you can't get away with that in this man's blogosphere? The first step is to gather the evidence.

Timmymc said...

I have saved a screenshot of the IP address from my tracker. Not that I am paranoid. I thought it was quite amusing, if also poor form.

The Troll said...

Thanks for forwarding that one on to me Tim. I will add it to the collection.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I think it may be time to ban anon comments, Tim at Bloggerheads has often posted this idea and I'm thinking of removing them over at mine.

Comment whoring is as vulgar as it is pointless.

Anonymous said...

Dave Hill's post on this has vanished from the Guardian now.

The Troll said...

It's back up now.

Carl said...

Problems is Daniel, I have to choose to be anonymous on most sites (but put my full name in at the bottom) because my work computer won't let me register with any blog. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Carl Eve

Tim said...

I should clarify my position for Daniel (*waves*) and others, not least because there are people - mostly users/abusers of sock-puppets - who are determined to misrepresent it:

I think it's well past the time to stop the use anonymous comments on sites where they are totally out of control to the point of becoming a destructive force. I realise this is a choice of the author up to a point that usually involves the law, but that doesn't stop me from campaigning for it in certain cases, especially when the resulting crap starts to spill out into the wider blogosphere.

I think that on many sites, an open door policy is workable with a little vigilance.

But Daniel and I both know people who run sites that are (allegedly) so popular that the authors really shouldn't be quite so insecure about the number of comments they receive, for whom vigilance is only an issue so far as their own well-being, and where we know the open door policy doesn't work.

(And we know it doesn't work because the authors are forced to slam the door shut with comment moderation from the very moment their own arses are on the line.)

Getting back to the point, Andrew Gilligan appears to be deliberately avoiding it over at The Guardian.

Anonymous said...

Related point - Pippa Crerar at the Standard (her of the inconvenient-for-Gilligan bendy bus facts) seems to have had her blog removed from the Standard website. (she's there) (but the link is dead)

I wouldn't mess with him.

The Troll said...

Ha Ha, there's nothing sinister there. For some reason there are a couple of dodgy links on the Standard website including the Evening Standard Diary which regularly go offline periodically without explanation. Pippa's blog is back up now.