Jimmy Wales: Google Should Not Be 'The Arbiter of History'
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales was contacted by the user who banned an account allegedly run by ShappsIBTimes UK

The Wikipedia administrator who deleted an account claimed to be used illegitimately by Conservative co-chairman Grant Shapps is being investigated by the website's Arbitration Committee.

Called 'Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry' ('Chase' for short), the user provided a lengthy statement after their blocking of an account called Contribsx was picked up by the British media. A day after the account was blocked on 21 April, the incident was referred to Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee, which acts as a "court of last resort" for disputes among editors.

"This is a sensible precaution and I understand why it has to be done. It should be done in private. In short, I - and several other editors - were contacted by the Guardian in early April about the suspicion they had that Contribsx was deceiving editors on Wikipedia," Chase said, referencing what would become a story for the newspaper claiming Shapps had edited his own page, something forbidden by Wikipedia rules, as well as those of Tory rivals and political opponents.

Sockpuppeting

Chase blocked the account because they believed Contribsx and an older account called Hackneymarsh were being used by Shapps, or by people under his control, in a banned act known as sockpuppeting, where multiple accounts are controlled by an individual.

Issues with the timing of the account block and a Guardian story about it have been raised by a Wikipedia administrator called Risker, who says in a statement: "The Guardian news story was published at 15.55 and includes nearly direct quotes from ChaseMe's unmodified SPI [sockpuppet investigation] statement, and also states that the Contribsx account was blocked by Wikipedia 'administrators' - despite the fact that the account was not blocked until 18 minutes after the Guardian article was published."

For this discrepancy, Chase blames "struggling with the SPI template for over half an hour, which was not displaying properly...this explains the delay". Chase then emailed a further group of administrators to explain the "potentially contentious block" they had made, "and I sent a separate message to Jimmy Wales explaining what I'd done."

Although wishing to make the incident public in the interests of transparency, Chase admits "ideally I should have run this past more people for checking".