Cyber 'bully' disputes radio station's credentials

The owner of a not-for-profit radio station broadcasting from Papakowhai believes he is facing cyberbullying from a mystery man bent on deleting the station's Wikipedia profile.

Patrick Brennan, who runs indie station andHow.FM from his home, is contacting police in New Zealand and the United States after a week of attacks from a man called Vander Wallace.

Mr Wallace, location unknown, has attacked the accuracy of Mr Brennan's listenership statistics on Wikipedia, and has asked the website to delete the page.

Citing Shoutcast listener statistics, Mr Wallace claims andHow.FM has just one to three listeners at any one time. However, Mr Brennan says the station has no fewer than 12, and provided his own server data to support this.

He says much of his internet audience are listening with the assistance of a "port 80 proxy" script, that allows them to listen at work, getting past firewalls.

"This is where a majority of our listeners are listening. The problem is that when someone streams from the 'port 80 proxy' they show up on our statistics as 'unknown'.''

Mr Wallace has also contacted media outlets which have interviewed Mr Brennan, including Kapi-Mana News and Radio New Zealand, saying Mr Brennan's figures are fraudulent. Mr Brennan had used news articles featuring his station as references for his Wikipedia page.

Mr Wallace appeared to doubt the news outlets were even legitimate, calling them in his Wikipedia complaint "promotional unverified online news sources that will print anything anyone sends them".

"People like [Mr Brennan] give the industry, as a whole, a bad name and I do not appreciate their lies, or the way they take advantage of good people's ignorance of the subject of radio," Mr Wallace says.

Mr Brennan says he used news articles as sources on Wikipedia to meet the website's criteria.

"I was trying to get everything factual and I put all the interviews there to back up what I said."

andHow.FM is licensed, has been inspected by licensing authorities, and has a thriving listenership, Mr Brennan says.

"I've just quadrupled bandwidth to accommodate 200 listeners."

Mr Brennan says he has no idea who Vander Wallace is, or why he has it in for the station.

"I just think it's silly. It's just got to the point where it's really frustrating to keep this Wikipedia page," he said. "He just seems like a real w--ker, actually."

Kapi-Mana News