Civil servant sacked for offensive Hillsborough edits on Wiki

In one instance 'Blame Liverpool fans' was anonymously added to the Hillsborough section of the online encyclopedia

In one instance 'Blame Liverpool fans' was anonymously added to the Hillsborough section of the online encyclopedia

First published in News

A civil servant has been sacked for making offensive Wikipedia edits about the Hillsborough disaster, but efforts to find other culprits are being abandoned, Francis Maude said today.

A junior administrator has been identified as being behind posts in 2012 and fired for gross misconduct , the Cabinet Office minister said .

The 24-year-old, born in London but based in Liverpool, changed the phrase "You'll never walk alone", the anthem of Liverpool FC, to read: "You'll never walk again."

He was tracked down after the Daily Telegraph and internet group Wikipediocracy cross-referenced his social media history and work records.

Mr Maude said in a statement to MPs: "Extensive further inquiries were taken forward as a Civil Service disciplinary matter, involving potential breaches of the Civil Service Code and of individual departments' policies on acceptable behaviour.

"An individual was then subject to a formal disciplinary investigation and dismissed for gross misconduct, on the grounds of responsibility for the 2012 edits."

Describing the individual as a " young, junior administrative officer", Mr Maude said it was " long-standing established practice that in such cases an individual's name will not be made public".

But he said the investigation had been unable to identify the source of other abusive edits - which began on the 20th anniversary of the 1989 tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

In one instance "Blame Liverpool fans" was anonymously added to the Hillsborough section of the online encyclopedia.

Mr Maude said: "There are substantial technical obstacles to investigating the other edits.

"The deletion of internet data logs in the ordinary course of business means that tracing historic edits to a particular department, building or individual has proved extremely difficult.

"In the absence of other specific leads, and despite a great deal of forensic and other work, it has not been possible to identify the originators of the 2009 edit or any of the others in question.

"Subject to further information or leads coming to light, the investigation into the edits is therefore concluded."

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