Belfast Telegraph

Hoaxers alter Gregory Campbell's Wikipedia page to list him as a staunch republican

The DUP's Gregory Campbell
The DUP's Gregory Campbell

By David O'Dornan

The DUP's Gregory Campbell was yesterday the target of an online stunt in which his Wikipedia page was changed to say he was a member of Sinn Fein and had a republican background.

The East Londonderry MP, a fervent Rangers supporter, was also described as a fan of Celtic, The Wolfe Tones and footballer James McClean - a controversial figure to many because of his refusal to wear a remembrance poppy.

Wikipedia provides a free, open-source encyclopedia service and can be updated by members of the public.

While Mr Campbell said he could see the funny side of some of the changes, he was unhappy about others, such as a false claim that he was a member of the IRA.

"Some of it is in jest, which I'm happy to acknowledge, but there are a small number of things there that could be misconstrued by people who might have read it in the time it was up," the MP explained.

"In terms of what you actually do, I don't know if Wikipedia can take steps to ensure anybody who tries this type of vandalism are in the future prevented from doing so, or it's taken down as quickly as it is put up."

The page was altered at around 8.30am yesterday before being restored to its original version an hour and a half later.

The hoax page claimed Mr Campbell was the Sinn Fein MP for "East Derry" and that he "studied the Irish language in his free time".

It also claimed he accepted an invite to a Wolfe Tones concert, at which "he had a ball of a time".

The page further falsely claimed the DUP man had declared him self "a proud Catholic" who "will support equal rights for the LGBT community however I can".

Mr Campbell previously came under fire for mocking the Irish language. In November 2014 he was barred from speaking in the Assembly for two days after he began an address with "Curry my yogurt, a can coca coalyer".

He also yawned loudly twice as former Sinn Fein MLA Caitriona Ruane spoke in Irish the following March, after which he was again stripped of Assembly speaking rights for two days.

Belfast Telegraph


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