With many voters going online to get details on candidates before the assembly polls, politicians and their supporters are sanitising their profiles on Wikipedia.
The profile of Congress legislator Kripashankar Singh , who is being probed in an alleged disproportionate assets case, say his “commitment to social work helped him rise from an ordinary worker to the general secretary of city Congress”.
It doesn’t mention the SIT probe or any other allegations.
Singh allegedly has links with some of the accused in the 2G scam.
Similarly, Congress leader and state forest minister Patangrao Kadam’s profile claims that he is a philanthropist and a dedicated social servant.
State BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis’ profile boasts of him as a ‘youth icon’, and is widely recognised for his ‘intellectual analysis’ skill and intellect.
This phenomenon isn’t restricted to sitting ministers and MLAs. The profiles of many MLA aspirants also seem to have been rewritten.
The profile of former Mayor and Shiv Sena corporator Shraddha Jadhav , who has been eyeing the Sion Koliwada assembly seat, mentions that she is known for her “elegant dressing”, her “fashion sense” and “her crisp cotton sarees”, along with describing her as an articulate corporator.
It, however, has no mention of the controversies that plagued her term as well as that she lost a by-poll she had contested in 2006.
Tinu Cherian Abraham, a Wikipedia administrator and former Wikimedia India chapter board member, said this phenomenon had been observed elsewhere as well. “While we do respond to such articles that are effusive in their praise [of politicians], there’s no definite time frame for editors and administrators to take note of such plugs, as these often skip the attention of many,” Abraham said.
A social media consultant based in Pune confirmed the trend as well. “We often get requests from politicians to sanitise their Wikipedia profiles. While some insists on weeding out inconvenient facts, others also insist on inserting words of praise.”