Seems like the longest Indian controversy on Wikipedia has finally come to
an end.
On 25-Mar-2015 2:03 pm, "CherianTinu Abraham" <tinucher...@gmail.com> wrote:

> *Scroll.in : Wikipedia bans editor for consistent bias in favour of
> Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM*
>
> http://scroll.in/article/714291/Wikipedia-bans-editor-for-consistent-bias-in-favour-of-Arindam-Chaudhuri's-IIPM
>
> *Wikipedia has **banned *
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Wifione>*a
> user from editing entries on the English version of its site for
> consistently making changes in favour of the controversial New
> Delhi-headquartered Indian Institute of Planning and Management.*
>
> *A user called Wifione repeatedly added positive statements to and removed
> critical ones from the Wikipedia pages of the institute and its dean,
> Arindam Chaudhuri, an arbitration committee of the free collaborative
> online encyclopaedia found on February 13. At the same time, Wifione added
> negative material to and removed positive content from the pages of Amity
> University, its dean Ashok Chauhan, and the Indian School of Business in
> Hyderbad, the committee found.  Wifione might also have been managed by an
> older user who was banned in 2009, it added.*
>
> *“Wifione edited…in a manner consistent with attempts to optimise search
> engine results [for the institute],” said the report of the committee,
> whose members are elected by the community of Wikipedia editors, which
> includes all those who have made at least 600 content changes and have been
> active in the six months before the election.*
>
> *Wifione is the user id of an anonymous person who had been editing
> articles about the institute since 2009. Wifione was also an administrator,
> a user whom the Wikipedia community believes can be trusted with
> adjudicating contentious changes and mediating discussions. These are
> voluntary positions. Wifione gave up administrator privileges just three
> days before the committee decided to take them away.*
>
> *The Indian Institute of Planning and Management has been at the centre of
> several controversies. The University Grants Commission does not recognise
> its degrees, but it has nevertheless sued news organisations for pointing
> this out. In September, the Delhi High Court rapped the institute for
> misleading students and restrained it from applying the terms MBA, BBA,
> management course, management school, business school and B-school to its
> course offerings.*
>
> *Arindam Chaudhuri, the institute’s dean and owner, did not reply to an
> email that Scroll.in sent him. There is no evidence that Chauhuri or IIPM
> were associated with Wifione.*
>
> *Years of complaints*
>
> *Anyone can insert Wikipedia entries or make changes to existing ones as
> long as the person maintains neutrality, the online encyclopedia's main
> founding principle. But bias is not always easy to determine.*
>
> *If bias is hard to prove, the reasons for it, such as conflicts of
> interest or commissions, are even harder to establish. Indeed, Wikipedia
> focuses on ensuring its entries are neutral and does not usually delve into
> the causes of bias.*
>
> *“The basis for an investigation is only the evidence online on
> Wikipedia,” said Tinu Cherian Abraham, a Wikipedia administrator in
> Bangalore. “So whitewashing may be visible but personal motivations are
> hard to prove.”*
>
> *For years, many users have been questioning Wifione’s editing of the
> institute’s entry. Several people had even confronted Wifione on talk
> pages, which are pages associated with entries on which the public can
> discuss editorial changes. Many users attempted to restore what they
> thought was balance, but several administrators, including Wifione, did not
> allow them to do so.*
>
> *In 2011, for example, Utkarshraj Atmaram, another administrator, pointed
> out biases in Wifione’s editing, and lobbied for changes. But other editors
> accused Atmaram, who was then a student at the competing SP Jain Institute
> of Management and Research in Mumbai, of also being biased. Atmaram, who
> uses his real name on the website, then withdrew from the editorial
> discussions.*
>
> *Another user called makrandjoshi persistently attempted to insert on the
> institute's page references to unflattering articles about published in the
> New Delhi-based monthly magazine, The Caravan, and other publications. But
> administrators suspended this user for his aggressive focus on the
> institute’s page and a possible bias against it. Administrators have the
> power to suspend users for temporary periods to deter slanted editing.*
>
> *Finally, in December 2013, the case caught the eye of Wikipediocracy, a
> website that acts as a watchdog for Wikipedia. It wrote an explosive *
> *post* <http://wikipediocracy.com/2013/12/02/indian-fakers-teach-wiki-pr/>*
> analysing all of Wifione’s changes. Several news organisations then wrote
> about Wikipedia’s reluctance to address the issue. Still nothing happened,
> probably because decision-making in Wikipedia is so dispersed and no one
> has a big stake in pursuing such cases.*
>
> *Finally, in January 2014, Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, took a stand
> after users on his talk page informed him of the Wikpediocracy article. “It
> would be best if he just doesn't come back,” **he said*
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_153#Wiki-paid-y_a.3F_.28The_Times_of_India.29>*,
> referring to Wifione. But it took another year for an arbitration committee
> to convene to investigate the case.*
>
> *Proxy editing*
>
> *After its month-long investigation, the committee also found that Wifione
> was linked to two other user accounts that administrators had earlier
> flagged for bias.*
>
> *One of these was Mrinal Pandey. In 2008, administrators had suspended
> this user for a year for **running 41 accounts*
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Mrinal_Pandey>*,
> known in Wikipedia jargon as “sock puppets”. At least nine of those
> accounts were actively involved in making edits on the Indian Institute of
> Planning and Management page, the committee said, adding that it suspected
> that Wifione was one of them. Wikipedia does not allow users to create
> multiple identities for improper purposes.*
>
> *Then in June 2009, an arbitration committee emailed an administrator
> named nichalp saying that this user was behind another account that had
> accepted money to slant several entries, but the committee did not name any
> person or organisation.*
>
> *Nichalp has revealed that he was a 26-year-old from Mumbai. He has been
> editing on Wikipedia soon after its launch. But five months ago, nichalp
> had marked his account as inactive and did not reply to the committee’s
> email message. It **suspended*
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-06-15/News_and_notes>*
> nichalp’s administrator privileges and banned the proxy account.*
>
> *Death threats*
>
> *Discussions about content, carried out on talk pages, can turn nasty. For
> instance, an anonymous user **posted*
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Makrandjoshi&oldid=104617335>*
> a warning on user makrandjoshi’s page, saying that he might get death
> threats for consistently speaking out against Chaudhuri’s institute.*
>
> *In a unique case on the Marathi site, users who disagreed with an
> administrator’s decisions tracked down his internet protocol address and
> said they knew where he worked. The administrator resigned.*
>
> *“I don’t blame the person for backing off,” said Abhay Natu, an
> administrator on Marathi Wikipedia. “We do this work out of passion, but we
> want no physical risk to ourselves or our families. Forget Wikipedia norms,
> these threats go against social norms.”*
>
> *He pointed out that bias arose not just from paid users. It could stem
> from a desire to advance a certain socio-economic agenda or out of personal
> enmity.*
>
> *Another administrator of the Marathi site, who was not a native speaker,
> incurred the wrath of the community for banning people who he felt were
> causing trouble on edits. The rest of the community ganged up on him, and
> made things so uncomfortable for him that he moved to English and other
> foreign language Wikipedia sites.*
>
> *“The community needs to be honest with itself,” said Natu. “It is
> important to air our dirty laundry. Wifione’s case has come to light. But
> there may be others that we don’t know about. People should not say that we
> should keep it within the community because these are our people. That will
> hinder Wikipedia’s progress.”*
>
>
> *Important Note :* Non-commercial reproduction for informative purposes
> only. The publisher (Scroll.in) of the above news article owns the
> copyrights of the article / content. All copyrights are duly acknowledged.
>
>
>
>
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