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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

George Boyne Wikipedia page edited to remove references to "pain" comments

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

The changes were made by user Aberdeen1495, who had previously edited the page in December 2021

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Wikipedia data showing the removal of information relating to Professor Boyne's comments.

Three paragraphs referring to University Principal George Boyne's "pain along the way" comments were deleted from his Wikipedia page last month.

The paragraphs, which were added to the page by Gaudie staff on 6 July, summarised the recent controversy and its coverage in the national press.

Nearly two months later, on 25 August, a user named Aberdeen1495 edited the page to remove any reference to the comments.

Professor Boyne came under fire from staff and students after the comments were made public.

A University spokesperson would tell The Gaudie that Principal Boyne "acknowledges that the language used in this short and private WhatsApp message was unfortunate."

The original Wikipedia entry read:

"Boyne faced criticism in July 2023, when an investigation by student newspaper The Gaudie uncovered WhatsApp messages in which Boyne told colleagues he wanted staff participating in the marking and assessment boycott to feel 'pain along the way.'[6]

"Boyne's comments sparked a firestorm among members of the University and College Union on social media, and were reported on in The Scotsman, The National, BBC Scotland, and The Press and Journal.

"A poll conducted by The Gaudie several days later found that nearly 70% of students and staff believed Boyne should step down.[7]"

This information was completely removed on the 25th of August.

Who is Aberdeen1495?

Wikipedia anonymises its users, so the identity of Aberdeen1495 is unclear. However, the username may suggest someone with a close connection to the University.

Professor Boyne's page had been edited by Aberdeen1495 before, in December 2021.

At that time, the user made a total of eleven edits over three different days. These included adding the title 'Professor' before Boyne's name, making minor grammatical changes, and adding two paragraphs about Professor Boyne's role in formulating the Aberdeen 2040 strategy.

We have contacted the University and asked if they are aware of the identity of the editor.

UPDATE: Another Wikipedia user has restored the previous information.


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