Wikipedia Takes Down Page On “Goan War” After Being Revealed As Elaborate Hoax

And this is how you create history – literally! A long standing hoax on the ‘The Bicholim Conflict’ has been taken down by Wikipedia, when none of the references cited were found to be authentic. There was a detailed entry of 4500 words about the “Bicholin Conflict” of 1640-41, marked as a ‘good article’ on Wikipedia which describes a conflict between the Maratha Empire and the colonial Portuguese forces, which turns out to be a tall tale by some mischievous user.

The article came into existence in 2007 and stood as a respectable article for five long years. Another user, identifying himself as ‘ShelfSkewed’ found that the sources are all either non-existent or fake.

The article has now been taken down and a link cannot be provided, but this is what a part of the article read:
From 1640 to 1641 the might of colonial Portugal clashed with India’s massive Maratha Empire in an undeclared war that would later be known as the Bicholim Conflict.

The article even has photos to back up its claim! Look at the following two photos – one of a building and the other a map – the descriptions of both are now lost after the page was taken down.

However, this kind of hoaxes is nothing new. They have happened before and will definitely happen again. Wikipedia maintains a list of hoaxes that have been seen on the site since 2001. There have appeared Bunaka, an island of Indonesia and Gauis Flavius Antoninus, the fictitious murderer of Julius Caesar.

Wikipedia generally bans users posting such fake content.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.