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Loons speak brains on gov Treasury crowdsource site

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In the least shocking news of the day, it appears that the government's latest internet loon-magnet is attracting an awful lot of lunatics.

The Treasury's Spending Challenge site was supposed to be a way for the great British public to create a wonder-Wiki of savings ideas for the coalition government. There's no denying it is popular - it is still struggling under the load and visitors might see a Service Unavailable (503) message.

The unmoderated site is quickly filling up with ever more unpleasant suggestions like "Get rid of all the Muslims" - thanks to user "grahamtriming" for that one.

But full marks to the subversive surfer who added a series of tags to his suggestion so that they read: "The person who wrote this is an idiot and should be deported."

We leave it to poster "westminstergonemad" to make the best money saving suggestion we've seen on the site. They suggest simply: "Close This Ridiculous Website Now!"

"It is a stupid and cheap way to give a false sense of democracy whilst quietly wrecking publc services," they continued. "Don't think no one has noticed.

"The lack of moderation on the site is an utter disgrace; the publication on a government website of disgusting hate speech towards immigrants, the unemployed, disabled people  is absolutly repugnant and unacceptable, if not in some cases illigal." We'll even excuse their spelling.

Poster PrimlyStable takes a much more hardline view of such errors. "Anyone whose call for immigrants to be deported contains numerous errors of spelling and grammar should be rounded up and sent overseas, thus saving the nation billions in future benefit claims and adult education costs."

We've asked the Internet Watch Foundation if it has received any complaints yet - the IWF deals with content likely to incite racial hatred as well as child sex abuse images. We'll update the story when we hear back. (And no, we didn't ask if the grammatically-challenged may be considered a race.)

The government's other honeytrap for the easily confused - Your Freedom, which aims to collect suggested laws for repeal - is suffering similar capacity problems to its sister site Spending Challenge.

The Treasury told us it had received over 15,000 ideas and 25,000 comments and "the vast majority are constructive and helpful".

A spokeswoman for the Treasury said: "A dedicated team keep a close eye on the content posted and will continue to remove the minority of ideas and comments that are not appropriate as soon as possible." She said she was not aware of any move to change how the site works

The Treasury site is here, and Clegg's Your Freedom gubbins is here. ®

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