Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Newspaper 'outs' councillor who praised himself

The Bournemouth Echo today reveals the man who posted praise on the paper's website for a councillor - as the councillor himself, Ben Grower.
The paper reveals Grower used the Echo’s website to praise himself and other Labour members under the name ‘Omegaman’.
Under one story he wrote: “At least two councillors seem to be concerned about this mess. Well done Cllrs Ratcliffe and Grower.” On another : “I have friends who live in the area. They say councillors Ted Taylor and Ben Grower fought hard against the proposals,” and on another: “Well done Ted Taylor, Ben Grower and Beryl Baxter.”
Councillor Grower claims responsibility lies with the Daily Echo because people can post under assumed names, and that the comments were only fun that no-one took seriously and said members of other parties did the same.
The Echo said it does respect its readers’ right to anonymity but felt that when a councillor pretended to be somebody else to improve his reputation that it is of sufficient public interest to tell people about it.
What gave Grower away? As the Echo noted: "The internet postings were the rarest of things – praise for a councillor." Newspaper websites around the country you now know what to look out for.
Story tip via Sam Shepherd on twitter.`

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