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Wikipedia removes 'Bicholim war' hoax


Posted on Monday, 7 January, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: Wiki / Abhi Suryawanshi

 
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."

  View: Full article |  Source: Times of India

  Discuss: View comments (23)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker on 8 January, 2013, 0:37
I would much rather go to Wikipedia, which has basically neutrally oriented Fact Checkers, rather then simply trust in any of the millions of politically... religiously... socially... racially... oriented/slanted independent sites that don't site their information at all.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mag357 on 8 January, 2013, 3:52
Agree. Politicians and the media like to fabricate and mislead. That's why it's so hard for me to vote or watch much news.
Comment icon #16 Posted by unknownsoldier on 8 January, 2013, 9:45
there's a game i played called medieval total war and in the Campaign Portal go to war with the Maratha Empire its incredible how many people have been fooled.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Idano on 12 January, 2013, 22:00
Are you lying?
Comment icon #18 Posted by Orcseeker on 14 January, 2013, 23:48
I think you got the games mixed up Empire total war and you're quite right. Time to roll out an update.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Order66 on 15 January, 2013, 13:50
What do you want to do, completely eliminate all user input? Let a couple of whitewashed jerks decide for everyone else what articles should be included and who gets to edit them? Wow, that will make for an exciting site. It will be like the set of print encyclopedias collecting dust on the shelf, no interactivity, look but don't touch.
Comment icon #20 Posted by DieChecker on 16 January, 2013, 0:48
Yeah, I agree. Why ruin millions of useful inputs for the reason of a handful of rotten ones.
Comment icon #21 Posted by ali smack on 21 January, 2013, 13:16
people shouldn't take wikipedia for granted because it's quite rubbish
Comment icon #22 Posted by MichaelW on 24 January, 2013, 6:44
Fully agree with this. The vast majority of "independent" sites on the web are there to promote agendas of individual people and groups........more often than not using sources that are as equally biased as any of the content on sites. Infowars is a good example of this. Also, the proper spelling is "cite".
Comment icon #23 Posted by Queen in the North on 26 January, 2013, 23:19
Love this! Can't believe it even got a badge of honour. It reminds me of something my friend's father, who is a secondary school English teacher and his colleague did, set their class a research task overnight (after lessons about research and using good sources) about a fairly obscure historical figure. On that evening, they changed the date of birth on the Wikipedia page for this figure, just for the day. Lo and behold, 90%+ of the class came into school the next day with the incorrect date of birth. Sigh. I do think Wikipedia is a useful tool however. While I know it is not su... [More]


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