I can recall this thread from 2011:

Rohini Lakshané
  [image: Rohini Lakshané on about.me]

2015-03-25 14:16 GMT+05:30 Srikanth Ramakrishnan <rsrikant...@gmail.com>:

> 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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