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Sarah Palin can never be wrong. After she made a mistake and stated that Paul Revere was actually warning the British and not warning Americans about the British, her supporters have helped to rewrite history to make her account correct. Meanwhile, Palin is not backing down and insists that Revere was warning the British that the colonists would not back down.
The Paul Revere Wikipedia page has become a focal point in the Palin story and has seen a large increase in traffic. Where it used to have 2,000 or so page views a day, nearly 54,000 people viewed the page just on Saturday. An edit war has also transpired on the page after Palin’s supporters attempted to change the historical account. Over the weekend, Wikipedia users added sentences to the Revere article that repeated Ms. Palin’s claims. One editor, Tomwsulcer, added the following sentence: “Accounts differ regarding the method of alerting the colonists; the generally accepted position is that the warnings were verbal in nature, although one disputed account suggested that Revere rang bells during his ride.”
When the discussion board for the Revere article was ringing with complaints that this was a lie, Tomwsulcer replied that it should be included as a theory because a prominent American politician, that is, Sarah Palin, had said it. “If you follow Wikipedia’s rules,” he wrote, “we must maintain a neutral position, representing the mainstream position as well as disputed versions.” He lost the argument, but others have been searching history books to find evidence to support Palin’s claims.
One Wikipedia editor included the fact that the colonists on the eve of revolution were themselves British trying to justify that Paul Revere did warn the British. That argument was included at the end of a passage stating that “Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (‘The British are coming!’), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols.”
Palin’s supporters have also edited a Paul Revere article found on Conservapedia, a right-leaning version of Wikipedia. The piece has been edited to read as follows: “He is famous for riding from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts with William Dawes on the night of April 18, 1775 ringing bells to warn the British that colonists would exercise their natural rights to both bear arms and use them in an effort secede from the United Kingdom in response to Big Government bullying and interfering with Colony’s Rights.”