Let’s catch ourselves a rumour-monger

This entry was posted on
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
9:05 am and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement.

Iain and his Tory cheats chums can wait for a moment… I have a little project for any bloggers who wish to take part.

At what I estimate to be 7:40pm last night, a recent member of the sikhsangat.com forums (‘kizmat’, who joined on 10 July 07) posted to those forums a none-too-subtle just-wondering-out-loud rumour that an Independent candidate in Ealing Southall had committed suicide.

The OTT l33t-speak (voice of da yoof, innit) suggests a troll at work, but I’m waiting for my registration to go through before I poke into the origins any more.

For now, you need to know that someone is currently busying themselves going from blog to blog bouncing off the above and posting the following message anonymously:

Story emerging (www.sikhsangat.com) that someone called Mr Rai has committed suicide. If this is Dr Rai one of the candidates, do the rules allow the election to carry on in Ealing Southall.

So far, I’ve spotted this posted anonymously as a comment on several weblogs (1, 2, 3) and the same message has been submitted (I would guess fraudulently) under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ over at Ministry of Truth and Pickled Politics.

If one of these comments has been posted to your weblog and you have the capacity to single it out and produce the IP address used to post it, then please do get in touch.

It’s polling day, and we appear to have a trouble-maker on the loose.

UPDATE – Worth adding is this from Unity; “My view on this is that (Anil Sharma) is on the level but a bit gullible in swallowing that L33t post on SikhSangat”

Yes, this is entirely possible. It was the sheer effort that went into it that made me suspect deliberate propagation. I hope to have a clearer picture as the IP data rolls in.

UPDATE – The Yahoo address used by the person posting this and other information under the name ‘Anil Sharma’ bounces with the message that the account does not exist. The pattern of comments also suggests that our helpful contributor is targeting weblogs that have covered the Sikh politics angle during this campaign. I now have enough to go to the relevant ISP with an abuse report, and I’ll also be looking closer at the origins of the rumour.

UPDATE (11am) – The relevant post at sikhsangat.com has been removed.

UPDATE (1pm) – A report has been sent to the relevant ISP and the Electoral Commission. I’ll let you know how I get on. Still waiting for sikhsangat.com registration to go through…

UPDATE (20 July) – What happens from here is now a matter for the police. Thanks to everyone for their input.

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