Considering that the Daily Mail regularly publishes the robust views of its highly paid writers it seems strange that the newspaper and its readers seem so averse to any robust views directed at it. The recent attempt to make me delete an old blog post simply because it was 2nd in the Google rankings for ‘Paul Dacre’ has led to other mildly interesting discoveries.
Firstly, I had never realised that the Daily Mail and Paul Dacre Wikipedia entries were so closely guarded by an editor called ‘Christian1985‘ who is a self-confessed fan of the Mail and Mail on Sunday – writing here:
The Mail on Sunday is my favourite sunday paper, I couldn’t live without it. I don’t believe in the biased derogatory stereotypes about Mail readers. I may be a right wing Conservative supporter, but I feel the accusations made against Mail readers are unfounded and unfair. I am also a very young Mail reader. I am a 21 year old student and have read the MoS since I was about 16. It is a fantastic paper in my view.
So, just the sort of neutral person you want editing Wikipedia pages on the Daily Mail and Paul Dacre. For what it’s worth he has received a lot of criticism for constantly (and dubiously) editing the Daily Mail Wikipedia page – criticism he brushes off by claiming that he is merely defending the page from ‘bias’ and ‘smears’. Someone had added a new section to the Paul Dacre Wikipedia page concerning the ongoing legal threats being made against me. No surprises that this was removed almost immediately by Christian1985 who had this to say about my blog:
I think it is the biggest load of crap I have ever seen and I am entitled to that view. I think it is a junk site…
So, a section on censorship and libel law (something that Paul Dacre has strong views on) is itself censored by a Daily Mail fan – even though the edit linked to Roy Greenslade’s piece on his Guardian blog which is classed as a reputable source by Wikipedia (blogs are not – in the eyes of Wikipedia the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Sun and even Daily Sport are all concerned reputable sources merely because they publish a print edition – no actual quality assessment is made). I think it is also an interesting example of confirmation bias. Most of my media articles are fairly well sourced but they can be dismissed as junk out of hand just because they happen to be critical of something this editor happens to be a fan of.
In the words of Corporal Jones: ‘They don’t like it up ’em’.*
* Richard Littlejohn manages to cram Dad’s Army into his columns every other week, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Also, here is the updated ‘Paul Dacre’ search result: