Leahy not alone in online slander

Sen. Patrick Leahy – whose image was replaced with a picture of a rat on his Wikipedia entry Tuesday – is not the only Vermont politician slandered on the popular open source encyclopedia recently.

A sharp-eyed reader pointed out to me today that House Speaker Gaye Symington, D-Jericho, had her Wikipedia page vandalized on March 30. The offensive user, posting only as the IP address "" made four changes to her entry, including calling her a "communist liberal."

"Her ambition to bankrupt native born vermonters and ellavate other down country new comers to prestigious positions of power and authority," is one of the unedited fragments this person tossed on her entry, among other changes that are too vile to reprint here.

The changes were on line for several hours before they were caught.

It’s a safe bet that Leahy and Symington are not alone in this abuse and that this will not be isolated cases.

-Dan Barlow

One Response to Leahy not alone in online slander

  1. Hate to sound like Safire, but “slander” is spoken defamation, while “libel” is defamation that appears in writing or is broadcast.