More Digital Dark Arts: Brexit Party Supporters Hijack the Mayor of London’s Personal Website
Brexit Party supporters appear to have taken over more than one Labour party website, redirecting all searches and previous links to Nigel Farage’s party webpage.
This was what Sadiq Khan’s website looked like until about halfway through 2018, when it appears the domain expired allowing anyone to register it and take control:
Now, the domain – http://sadiqkhan.org.uk – directs back to TheBrexitParty.org.
The WHOIS ownership records show that the domain expires annually around June/July.
According to the internet archive, the WayBack Machine, Khan’s content disappeared in the summer of 2018. The Brexit Party Limited was only incorporated with Companies House on 23 November 2018.
The Brexit Party told Byline Times that it was “unaware of the takeover and re-direct of these websites”, that this was not “authorised by the Brexit Party in any way” and that it “absolutely condemned these actions”.
Dirty Tricks and Domain HiJacking
As any digital marketer or business person will know, high profile links from trusted websites result in more traffic from Google and other search engines.
However this hijack was done it will almost certainly benefit the Brexit Party from all the high profile, valuable, search engine optimising links.
All the previous articles linking to SadiqKhan.org.uk now redirect TheBrexitParty.org – including multiple entries in the Guardian, BBC, openDemocracy, Wikipedia, Forbes Magazine, Business Insider and thousands of other sites.
The Brexit Party has already been caught out buying up Google Search links to the Labour Party. More websites appear to be coming under this kind of underhand online campaigning attack, including the website of Michael Cashman, a Labour MEP. His expired domain – http://michaelcashmanmep.org.uk – also now links back to the Brexit Party.
How many other sites have been hijacked by digital dark arts?