The ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) is likely to write to Wikimedia Foundation executives in India to seek an explanation on how the Wikipedia page entry of Indian cricket team’s fast bowler Arshdeep Singh was changed to reflect the player’s association with Khalistan.
Sources said that MeitY is also likely to issue summons to Wikimedia India executives if it is not satisfied with the reply from the foundation regarding the processes put in place to contain unauthorised editing by volunteers.
Minister of state for electronics and information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said on Monday that no intermediary operating in India can permit misinformation and deliberate efforts to incitement and user harm, which violates the government’s expectation of safe and trusted Internet.
“No intermediary operating in India can permit this type of misinformation and deliberate efforts to incitement and user harm – violates our govts expectation of safe & trusted internet,” Chandrasekhar said in a tweet on Monday.
The government had a face-off with Wikipedia in 2020 as well, when MeitY had asked the platform to take down a map that showed the Aksai Chin area of the Union Territory of Ladakh as part of neighbouring China.
Invoking its powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act of 2000, the ministry had then said that since the map depicted wrong information about India and therefore violated ‘territorial integrity’, it should be taken down or it could be barred from operating in India. The map was subsequently reflected to show the corrected boundaries of India.
Wikipedia, a knowledge-sharing website, allows everyone, especially its own volunteers to edit articles and content entries but says that peers from across the world review the changes. Depending on the quality of the edit and the exclusivity of content shared by volunteers, it ranks them and allows them to make more edits to pages. All the changes made to Wikipedia entries are logged and can be viewed by anyone.