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Ed Driscoll

Reminder: 1984 Was Never Intended as a How-To Guide

January 7th, 2013 - 8:34 am

“Hoax article detailing fake war stayed up on Wikipedia for five years;” Oceania has always been at war with the Maratham Empire:

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.’”

For whatever reason, Missouri-based Wikipedia user ShelfSkewed decided to investigate the article last December, and in the process found that it had been totally fabricated.

Just another day inside the Ministry of Truth the Faith-Based Encyclopedia.

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