A Wikipedia entry about a conflict between Portugal and India's Maratha Empire turned out to be a hoax.
The on-line encyclopedia has now removed the article after it was discovered that the 17th century "Bicholim Conflict" didn't actually happen at all. The entry was written by an anonymous user five years ago and was even flagged as a "good article" two months after it was first published. It tells of "how colonial Portugal clashed with India's massive Maratha Empire", an event that turned out to be completely fictional. Even the book sources cited at the bottom of the piece were a hoax.
"Unfortunately, hoaxes on Wikipedia are nothing new, and the craftier they are, the more difficult it is to catch them," said consultant William Beutler. "Anyone who's clever enough to make up convincing sources and motivated enough to spend the time and skilled enough to write a plausible article can deceive the whole Internet - at least for a while."
"A red-faced Wikipedia has removed an article from its site detailing the 17th century 'Bicholim Conflict'-a clash between Portugal and India's Maratha Empire-after it emerged that such a war never occurred, and the piece and references included were entirely fictional."
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Source: Times of India
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