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Arshdeep Singh: Cricketer’s Wikipedia page vandalized

Arshdeep Singh’s high-level panel is likely to question the administrators of the crowdsourced digital encyclopedia about security controls and may even seek clarification

Source: News18

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A high-level panel will likely question the administrators of the crowdsourced digital encyclopedia about security controls and may even ask for clarification
  • According to the edit history of the Arshdeep Wikipedia page, an unregistered user replaced several instances of the term “India” with the word “Khalistan”.

After the Indian cricket team lost to Pakistan in the Asian Cup match on Sunday night, Arshdeep Singh became the center of vicious harassment on the internet. People vandalized his Wikipedia page and claimed he was associated with the Khalistan separatist movement.

Arshdeep Singh

The words “India” and “Khalistan” were replaced in several places on Singh’s Wikipedia page at 00:28 India Standard Time (IST) by an unregistered user.

Also, this person changed his name to read “Major Arshdeep Singh Langra” for a brief period before changing it to “Major Arshdeep Singh Bajwa”. Singh’s game stats also suffered arbitrary changes because of this person.

In the links given to back up the statements on the page, the user also changed the word India to Khalistan, leading to a supposed era of Khalistan which does not exist.

About 15 minutes later, an anonymous Wikipedia editor reversed all those changes.

The editor

The collaborative database or service known as Wikipedia is a wiki, and anyone can contribute to it or edit its content. Anyone is welcome to suggest or make adjustments, however the service follows a strict logging mechanism.

The user who made these changes was unregistered and was using IP address 39.41.171.125, according to Singh’s version history page.

The IP address was found using a whois search service on the Internet and was found to be used in Pakistan. According to IP address assignment records, Pakistan Telecommuication Company Limited (PTCL), the national telecommunications provider of Pakistan (similar to BSNL in India), was assigned this specific address.

It is true that IP addresses can be spoofed using VPN services, and if a VPN service uses PTCL’s servers, someone outside Pakistan could also spoof the aforementioned address as their own. However, the likelihood of this happening is quite low, and Pakistan was most likely the country where Singh’s Wikipedia article was edited.

Wikipedia has stated that in some cases pages may need to be protected from editing by specific editors. When a specific destructive event has been recognized and cannot be stopped by other measures, such as a blocking, the pages are protected.

The executives summoned

Afterwards, Wikipedia representatives were called to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to explain how false information on cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s page linking him to the Khalistani separatist movement had been posted online.

The leaders of the crowdsourced digital encyclopedia will likely be questioned by a high-level commission regarding preemptive inspections, and they may even receive a show cause notice.

According to media sources, the Center believes that this misinformation would disrupt inter-communal peace and put the cricketer’s family at risk of lawlessness.

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