Fact-finders everywhere have been put on red alert after a Wikipedia article detailing a 17th century conflict between Portugal and India was proven to be an elaborate hoax and deleted from the website. The article had been hosted on the site for the last five years and described a brief war between colonial Portugal and India’s Maratham Empire that was known as the ‘Bicholim Conflict.’
The article hoodwinked enough Wikipedia readers that it was voted a ‘good article’ and was even nominated to be a ‘featured article’ that would be showcased on Wiki’s homepage.
But, unfortunately for Wikipedia, the Bicholim Conflict never happened, and the entire 4,500 word article was nothing more than an elaborate practical joke.
The hoax was uncovered last December when a Missouri-based Wiki user named ShelfSkewed decided to look into the conflict and found the whole story to be a lie.
Wikipedia admitted the hoax after it was brought to their attention by ShelfSkewed on December 29th and immediately deleted the article.
In a post recommending the deletion of the article ShelfSkewed wrote: “After careful consideration and some research, I have come to the conclusion that this article is a hoax—a clever and elaborate hoax, but a hoax nonetheless.
“An online search for ‘Bicholim conflict’ or for many of the article’s purported sources produces only results that can be traced back to the article itself.”
According to the article the brief Bicholim Conflict lasted from 1640 – 1641, it ended with few casualties and a “peace treaty that would later help cement Goa as an independent Indian state.”
“The conflict was fairly brief and its impact in terms of casualties and damage was minimal,” the article continued. “For this reason, it has not become much of a talking point amongst filmmakers and bookwriters.”
To date, the identity of the article writer is still unknown.