Wikipedia is not a trusted source for information as its pages are editable. Anyone can edit any line(s) or add new ones and thus easily alter the truth. People often change information to prove their point in an argument or change how others receive information.
It is no news that people are becoming essentially extremist, and our society is becoming increasingly polarised. People find themselves divided over sensitive issues like religion, human rights movements (BLM, LGBTQ+, etc.)
As society moves online with increasing digitization, there’s been a surge in online hate crime and the spread of fake news and info. Wikipedia vandalism, which is when people edit Wikipedia articles to alter the truth and present their POV, is on the rise too.
They add new lines that favour their point of view or delete entire sections of information that do not agree with their version of events. This article deals with a detailed analysis of Wikipedia vandalism from 2021.
Wikipedia Vandalism: In God’s Name
Religious articles were heavily edited and the article about Bhagvad Gita was the most vandalized Wikipedia article in 2021. An internet user wrote that Hindu Lord Vishnu’s various forms are nothing but different avatars of Lord Krishna. This is completely opposite to what we’ve always heard – Lord Krishna is the avatar of Vishnu.
The article about Kumbh Mela, which took place in 2021, was also vandalized. The word ‘Hinduism’ was replaced with ‘Bhartiya Sanatana Dharma‘.
There was an article dedicated to ‘Religion in India’, in which aggressive comments were added in sections that revolved around Islam. In one of the sections, it was cited that the Muslim population growth is slowing down. This section was completely deleted.
Changing The Past
There used to be a time when the narrative of history was changed by whoever reigned in the kingdoms. However, now 23-year-old Rajesh from Pune can also alter history just with a few clicks and edits on Wikipedia.
In the article ‘Partition of India’, an internet user tried to add specific accounts of how Hindus and Sikhs were brutally murdered in Pakistan by Muslims. Another user tried to add how Muslims suffered at the hands of Hindus and that they died more in number compared to Hindus and Sikhs.
In the article about “Indian Rebellion of 1857”, some users removed the section which mentioned that it was high-class Hindus and Muslims who caused the mutiny in the rebellion as they were worried about ritual pollution.
In the article about Jawaharlal Nehru, people attempted to add that he and Edwina Mountbatten had a scandalous relationship. In the article about Gandhi, a user deleted the section where it was mentioned that Gandhi criticized the Indians for Jallianwalan Bagh Massacre, rather than the British.
Food pages are also not spared, as users try to alter the information about the origin of food items like Biryani, dosa, and mango. Attempts had been made to dismiss the notion that Biryani has Muslim origin. People have tried to mention that its origin can be found in the Sanskrit language.
People debated about the origin and spelling of dosa, whether it comes from Tamil Nadu or Karnataka.
Consuming information from unreliable sources is not advisable as the info is unbacked and often presents a person’s version of events. Hence, it is crucial to take info from highly reliable sources.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
Image sources: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
Find The Blogger: @TinaGarg18
This post is tagged under: Wikipedia vandalism, editing, editing Wikipedia pages, polarization, hate crime, altering the truth, fake news, information, trusted source, origin of biryani, origin of alphonso mango, origin of dosa, dosai, Nehru, Gandhi, indian rebellion of 1857, hinduism, Islam, sikh
We do not hold any right/copyright over any of the images used. These have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.