Government reprimands Wikipedia for wrong information on cricketer Arshdeep

Wikipedia has been strongly reprimanded by the central government for adding incorrect information to cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page after he dropped a catch during the Asia Cup match against Pakistan last weekend. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued summons to the executives of Wikipedia in this matter.

NDTV’s one Report It has been told that Wikipedia executives will be questioned about this and a show cause notice can also be issued. On Arshdeep’s page, he was linked to the separatist Khalistani Movement. The government says that this may threaten the security of the cricketer’s family. Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has expressed displeasure over Wikipedia in a post on Twitter. “No intermediary in India can be allowed to spread such misinformation. This violates the government’s expectation of a secure and reliable internet,” he added.

The sequence of edits to Singh’s Wikipedia page reveals that an unknown user had made changes to the page and described him as associated with the Khalistan movement. However, these changes were removed within 15 minutes. Singh dropped the catch in the 18th over of the match against Pakistan. After this, many users targeted him on social media. However, many cricketers including Virat Kohli supported Singh. Kohli had said that he too had faced a similar situation.

The ministry had announced last month that it would conduct compliance audit of social media companies on a quarterly basis. Social media companies in the country every month under IT rules compliance report has to be given. The ministry had told that it has created a mechanism to audit their compliance. The government had also asked these companies to implement a process for redressal of user complaints. In the past few months, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have banned millions of users for spam and other reasons.

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