HOPE not hate Wikipedia page smear: Rebel Media links?

Simon Murdoch - 01 06 17

On Tuesday evening a user called “” made two edits to HOPE not hate’s Wikipedia page in a clear attempt to misrepresent the organisation.

The first of these stated that HOPE not hate is “a far left extremist group, similar to Antifa”. The later revision stated that we were a “left-wing political extremist organisation” that “targets those who offer “viewpoints which contradict our multicultural leftist agenda”.

The same editor also added that we aimed to “combine misrepresentation of research with community organising […] to organise hate groups at elections and to build community resilience against moderate opposing political views”.

“Rebels” without a cause?

When looking into who had edited these libellous and false claims it became clear that, aside from vandalising the page, “” had only previously edited one other Wikipedia page, that of Rebel Media. In that edit, Rebel Media contributor, Caolan Robertson, was added to the list of the platform’s contributors.

Robertson is sidekick to Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and has been part of Lennon’s recent #TrollWatch video series, in which Lennon and Robertson controversially storm offices and turn up uninvited to film at the homes of political opponents. As part of this series they have repeatedly threatened HOPE not hate.

The fact that this person has only ever used Wikipedia to slander HOPE not hate, and to add Caolan Robertson’s details (who is notorious for his self-promotion), begs the question of whether the libellous edits came from someone in Robertson’s inner circle.

Also suspicious is how Caolan’s cameraman, George Llewelyn-John, displayed a screenshot of the changes. Unless Llewelyn-John checks our Wikipedia every day it seems extremely coincidental that he knew the entry had been changed. Lucy Brown, another of Robertson’s colleague, also retweeted Llewelyn-John’s screenshot.

Lastly, Wikipedia editors who are engaging in deliberate vandalism of a page will often not have a registered account, meaning their username is simply an IP address – just as it is in this case.

“Rebels” without a press card

This childish act had zero effect on HOPE not hate (the edits were quickly reversed). While it is impossible for us to say for certain who was to blame, we do know that while we strive to fight the politics of hatred, the likes of Llewelyn-John, Lennon and Robertson promote fake and inaccurate far-right news.

After their extremist behaviour in recent weeks their claims to being real journalists are utterly laughable and no matter how many threats they make HOPE not hate will continue to show up these fake “journalists” for what they really are.


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