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Sino-Indian war breaks out — on Wikipedia

Friday, 29 June 2007 - 8:56am IST
A Sino-Indian war is currently raging on Wikipedia, the user-generated, free-content encyclopaedia, that’s one of the world’s largest reference websites.

HONG KONG: A Sino-Indian war is currently raging on Wikipedia, the user-generated, free-content encyclopaedia, that’s one of the world’s largest reference websites.  


So acrimonious is the ‘edit war’ - over the contentious history of the 1962 military conflict between India and China – that Wiki editors have frozen the page dedicated to the ‘Sino-Indian War’ until the disputes can be resolved.  


A notice posted on the frozen page – which can be viewed on http://tinyurl.com/24daqj – reads: “This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved. Protection is not an endorsement of the current version.” That’s the editorial equivalent of a military ceasefire, but tensions are simmering, as reflected in the ongoing discussion on the page.  


The two principal ‘combatants’ in the edit war that has been raging since April are a US-based person of Chinese origin who posts under the name of ‘Yuje’, and a person (most likely an Indian) who uses the handle ‘Traing’. The two have been repeatedly editing and restoring each other’s content on the page to reflect their contradictory ideological positions on the 1962 war and, in doing so, have run foul of Wikipedia’s rules that prohibit “edit warring”. 


Both of them have been warned that they run the risk of being blocked from posting on the Wiki website if they persist in their ‘edit war’. DNA contacted both Yuje and Traing to get their points of view, but neither responded.  


The problems relating to the article on the Sino-Indian War came to light in April when two anonymous contributors – both of whom claimed to be neutral – alerted editors of the fact that the narration of the history of the 1962 war had an “Indian bias”. One of them said: “The article is extremely biased towards the Indian point of view… ” Soon enough, the dispute erupted into a full-fledged war, principally between Yuje and Traing.


Yuje accused Traing of making “unexplained deletions” of content to reflect an Indian bias. Traing counter-attacked, but was caught out on some technical glitches, prompting another contributor to comment that Traing is “a sly fox… By means of omission or misleading or distortions, s/he just wanted to give readers the impression the Indians were totally innocent boys.” The dispute raged for over two months until mid-June, when a contributor named ‘AuburnPilot’, who is also a Wikpedia administrator with rights to delete and protect pages, froze the page on the Sino-Indian War in order to settle the dispute.  


The ‘ceasefire’, however, hasn’t proved effective. Even until Thursday, Yuje and Traing have been sparring on the discussion page, reflecting the fact that when it comes to opinions on the military history of the 1962 war, points of view in China and India are vastly divergent.


 




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