> No-one up to Harker, claimed that he and his colleges faked anything
Not quite correct, Jim, though it is certainly true that "fake" is often used invidiously.
The poet James Reeves didn't use it when he published "Idiom of the People "in 1958, which presented the unbowdlerized texts of songs collected by Sharp in England which the publishing constraints of the time forced him to alter, soften, or partially rewrite.
In "The Everlasting Circle" (1960) Reeves did the same for texts collected by Baring-Gould, Hammon, and Gardiner. Though Baring-Gould seems to have been more of a prude than Sharp, he too had to rewrite songs (sometimes extensively) to get them published at all.
Allegedly Child too very occasionally suppressed (rather than alter) a line or a stanza.
And we all know about Stan Hugill's chanteys
All American collectors suppressed or bowdlerized even mildly erotic texts. Few even noted them down, Robert Gordon and Vance Randolph being the outstanding exceptions.
G. Legman, later the editor of Randolph's large collection of bawdy songs - all from the Ozarks - complained in the early '60s of what he *did* call "fakery" in connection with the early collectors. He was talking solely about the bowdlerization and suppression of texts.
Legman wondered strenuously why Child had not included the Percy manuscript's text of "The Lobster" in his collection of ballads. He called Percy the "first" and B-G the "worst" of the "fakers."
One wonders if Harker was influenced by Legman's largely accurate, if hyperbolic and intemperate attacks, then decided to "show" in the face of the evidence that "fakery" was rampant, cynical, and pervasive.