The Wikimedia Foundation, which manages Wikipedia, has been summoned by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), asking for an explanation as to how Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page was vandalised Sunday night after he missed a crucial catch during an Asia Cup match that India ultimately lost to Pakistan.
Singh’s Wikipedia page had important information concerning his nationality changed to include references to “Khalistan.” After he missed the catch in the match’s 18th over, the cricketer faced severe abuse on social media.
Senior government officials warned that the modifications might have an impact on law and order as well as the nation’s national security. They claimed that the modifications were produced via networks from neighbouring nations.
A senior government official stated, “We will ask them how such modifications could be allowed to remain on their site which might have major ramifications for India’s national security and peace and order in the country.”
Reviewing the changes made to the cricketer’s Wikipedia page reveals that the earliest references to “Khalistan” were added by someone using the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) network.
“No intermediary operating in India can accept this type of misinformation and purposeful efforts to instigate and user harm,” tweeted Rajeev Chandrashekhar in response to the incident. “It contradicts our government’s expectation of a secure & reliable Internet.”
Volunteers write and edit articles, and once someone initiates a change on a particular page, the task cannot be finished until the person registers in or does so anonymously. When a user logs in to modify a page, their username and the edit they made are displayed in the page’s edit history. The platform logs an anonymous user’s IP address when they make a change.
On a page, anyone can edit it, and the modifications are usually public knowledge. There are, nevertheless, some protections. Since Wikipedia provides page histories, users and editors can access both the most recent version and its predecessor in addition to the current one. The most recent changes are listed on a page where Wikipedia editors keep track of what is happening around the site. If the most recent modification is inaccurate or harmful, they will go back to the earlier version. Additionally, the website employs bots to sift out inaccurate or deceptive information.
A spokeswoman for the Wikimedia Foundation acknowledged that the Ministry had requested information regarding the vandalism and stated that the incorrect edits on Singh’s page had been “removed within minutes by Wikipedia’s volunteer community.” To prevent further vandalism, the English Wikipedia entry is currently semi-protected (which only permits edits by trustworthy people).
As with any open, online platform, vandalism does occasionally happen on Wikipedia. It is against Wikipedia’s guiding principles and betrays the good faith and trust of our editors and readers. As was done in this most recent instance, the bulk of vandalism on Wikipedia is undone by bots or editors in a matter of minutes, the spokesman continued.