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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wikipedia Has Listing for Fake War Up for Five Years

And yet another reason why I don't use wikipedia as a source very much...

From The Daily Caller (h/t Instapundit):

For the last five years, those who spend their time procrastinating on Wikipedia could read up on a 17th century war between colonial Portugal and India’s Maratham Empire known as the “Bicholim Conflict.”

The problem is that Bicholim Conflict never happened, and that the entire 4,500-word article on the war was nothing more than an elaborate joke.

The Daily Dot, which previously reported on the hoax, says that the writer of the article still hasn’t been identified. But whoever it is, he or she did an outstanding job of fooling the online encyclopedia into believing the “research” was genuine.

It was voted a “good article” by Wikipedia’s readers, and at one point was even nominated to be a “featured article” that would be prominently displayed on the site’s homepage.

“’Featured Article’ status is a bit of a badge of honor on Wikipedia, a recognition bestowed to only the highest quality pieces on the site,” the Daily Dot notes. “Out of more than 4 million English Wikipedia articles, only 3,772 are ‘featured.’”


Wikipedia owned up to the hoax after it was brought to their attention by ShelfSkewed on Dec. 29, and quickly deleted the piece.

This was not the first time that Wikipedia has been fooled by a hoax. Last July, an article on Gaius Flavius Antoninus — who purportedly conspired in the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar — had to be purged after someone noticed it was a work of fiction.
Hmm. I guess history is no longer written by the winners, but just by some screwballs who have the proper backing. Once writing that, it makes me think of academia-- and things like the Zinj Empire.

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