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April 26, 2007

Petronella gets on someone’s wiki – vainly

By Axegrinder axeblog

It seems that a Daily Mail columnist is having to learn about the unreliability of user-generated content the hard way.

Former Telegraph hack Petronella Wyatt succumbed to the egotistical practice of writing her own entry on Wikipedia, the do-it-yourself internet encyclopaedia.

“Taking every precaution”, she says in the Mail, “I kept the facts on my entry to a
minimum, confining myself to my academic career and the post I held on various newspapers and magazines.”

So far, so good.

But imagine her horror upon returning to the page two weeks later to find that cyber-bullies had vandalised her good name by saying that she often rode to hounds “bare-breasted”.

The entry said she often did this while living in Virginia, USA, causing huntsmen to “blow their horns in panic” and children to “utter petrified cries”.

The evil hackers wrote that when she finally left Virginia, the roads were lined with “thousands of happy people cheering” her departure.

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And as if that wasn’t enough, Wyatt is also descended from a long line of “schizophrenic bats” ‒ according to her page, at least.

Petronella’s actual father, Labour MP and diarist Woodrow Wyatt, just for good measure, is described as a “famous lunatic” who bribed Oxford University to admit his “mentally-backward” daughter.

Sinisterly, Wyatt claims to know who the culprit is but refuses to name her because, not being a world-famous Daily Mail columnist, she doesn’t have an entry and “doesn’t merit one”.

Would it just be mean to suggest that what is really to blame here is vanity?

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