History can be rewritten!

Former Pilothouse Public Affairs Inc. lobbyist Erik Bornman has become, by any measure, a notable figure in British Columbia political history. After all, according to search warrants released last April, he is alleged to have "received information and documents" from David Basi "in exchange for payments" which were forwarded to the then ministerial assistant. But it seems some Wikipedia readers have a different view.

Those readers recently debated whether the online encyclopedia shouled delete an entry about Mr. Bornman published in the online encyclopedia - an entry that had become increasingly controversial due to the inclusion of allegedly libelous and biased material. Some believed those concerns about that material were reason enough for deletion. But others made the more curious argument Mr. Bornman wasn't "notable" with one reader writing there was "no value in this entry until this person and his testimony shows significant importance and usefulness in relation to the other convicting evidence" in the legislature raid case. In the end though, a Wikipedia administrator decided to keep the entry, pruning any unreferenced information.

16 Comments

It's very difficult to grasp the idea that people who aspire to high office and/or to professional status could imagine that this kind of stuff enhances their reputations.

I've been watching this Wiki dispute for quite some time and either it doesn't add up ... or ... it adds up to something I'd rather not know about. Either way, it makes for a challenge on voting day.

Interesting that the Wikipedia item on Erik Bornman doesn't cite any of my extensive reports for The Tyee at www.thetyee.ca or for 24 hours newspaper http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/ or previously for the Georgia Straight www.straight.com

No mention of his "Spiderman" antics, no mention of his withdrawal from articling at Liberal & Paul Martin leadership donor McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto, no mention of his "good character" hearing by the Law Society of Upper Canada - in short, Wikipedia comes up way short on the facts - not opinions - on Erik Bornmann.

despite your best efforts ...

Good points Bill. Its obvious Bornman is reshaping his image and doesn't want the "spiderman" stuff to hurt this "rebranding". You can't hide from your past! The fact that he has admitted to offering "bribes" is another curious point. Last time I checked this was a serious criminal offence.

The same type of issue is occuring at the Mark Marissen Wiki entry.

Will this issue rear it's ugly head during the Federal election? I am sure that these folks hope that it doesn't!

Bill, the whole point of Wikipedia is that it's *open*. If you see anything that needs expansion or correction, rather than just complaining, why not change it? It's very straightforward to do so.

So, ... 'g' and 'huh' are onside with Bornman, eh? Must be very reassuring for him!

You know, this business of trying to puff up your Wiki entry sounds to me like one of the oldest tricks in the politico's arsenal, the enhanced resume. You were a football player in college means you used to play touch on weekends with your friends. You were in the services means you were in the reserves on weekends. You play the piano means chopsticks.

This wiki site is doing it's best to make itself totally irrelevent . Folks have been quoting it like it's the bible for months now and suddenly the bible is getting rewritten. Time for folks to start ignoring it as it's obviously not too accurate. a lot less hits a day might let the folks running it start to realise that a lot of posters arn't stupid

Well, confused, (if that's who you really are) you might want to have a look at this before you decide to slam Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Erik_Bornmann

And when you've finished with that, you can also have a quick look at this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents#Need_some_help_with_watching_over_an_article
Search out this heading: Need some help with watching over an article

And then, have a look at this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Rascalpatrol

Which shows how dedicated the sockpuppets have been at bleaching Erik Bornmann's reputation.

So what percentage of the BC population actually looked up the wiki information on Mark or Erik during the past 12 months?

I bet that you can count the total number of people on two hands and they include Mark and Erik!

Some people have far too high an opinion of themselves thinking even for a second that the average person cares less about them.

Oh how may heart bleeds for poor Erik. Any day now the Globe&Mail will no doubt offer up another two page spread on how a poor BC boy just trying to do good has been lumped in with a bunch of thugs, cheats, liars and politicians.
Do ya think he's being railroaded? lol

bleedingheart, thanks for the laughter.

Yeah, yeah, that's it: railroaded.

Pathetic, ain't it?

Mark Marissen and Erik Bornmann are a disgrace to Canadian Government and the Liberal Party. How can you ever rebuild a broken institution with people who appear to be without ethics and any respect for the institution they are supposedly working on behalf of at the helm of this party. They will be recognised for what they truly are one day, no good liars and cheats.

"G" misses the point of this Wikipedia war - the open nature of the website has allowed propagandists for Erik Bornmann to expunge the negative elements of published media reports.

It's not so simple as to "add" info - it has been deleted at an alarming rate by unknown individuals.

Only through the intervention of diligent Wikipedia contributors and some wise Wiki administrators has this been contained and some mischievious interveners blocked from turning the Bornmann item into an Orwellian newspeak version of the truth.

Take a good look as has been suggested by another poster here and you will see that there are literally hundreds of deletions, insertions and outrageous actions by persons unwilling to identify themselves publicly but quite pleased to launder articles unflattering to Erik Bornmann.

Bill:
Couldn't agree more. The 'open' nature of 'Wiki' is problematic and the final accuracy of entries is a real problem. But, I've been following this little drama since it began and I have been impressed that, despite what's amounted to a Orwellian war on truth by 'friends' of Erik Bornmann, finally, the editors and admins at Wiki seem to have it in hand. I don't know what the final, safeguarded, result will be and I'll continue to check the record of the 'Bornmann' sockpuppets' attempts to rewrite history.

What I wish, Bill, is that someone in the mainstream press would take a little more notice of what has been going on behind the scenes. Not least some of the things that have been written about your own work and you personally by the way.

It says a lot about 'Liberal' politics and tactics and it's not just Eric Bornmann's record that's been altered by this sanitization effort.


Wikipedia was a great resource when it was relatively unknown and widely used by academics, writers and common bloggers. With fame however has come unwanted attention and it has been widely reported that there are legions of people who find sport in revisionist history.

Perhaps over time the novelty of going in and making a subtle nonsensical edit to a record will wear off, but until then Wikipedia has become no more reliable than anything else you read on the Internet.

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