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Business News/ News / India/  Did Adani systematically manipulate Wikipedia entries?
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Did Adani systematically manipulate Wikipedia entries?

Signpost said that over 40 later banned or blocked sockpuppets or undeclared paid editors created or revised nine related articles on the Adani family and family businesses.

MSCI inc will release the results of a quarterly review for Adani Group companies' ESG and climate indexes this week (Bloomberg)Premium
MSCI inc will release the results of a quarterly review for Adani Group companies' ESG and climate indexes this week (Bloomberg)

In a new twist in the Adani-Hindenburg saga, Nate Anderson, founder of the US short-seller group Hindenburg Research tweeted an article by The Signpost, Wikipedia's independent newspaper, which said that Adani Group manipulated Wikipedia entries using sock puppet accounts and paid editors.

"Of all things—now the Signpost, Wikipedia's independent newspaper, is out w/ an article showing how Adani systematically manipulated its Wikipedia entries using sock puppet accounts, undisclosed paid editors & removing evidence of conflicts of interest," tweeted US Short seller Hindenburg Research founder Nate Anderson.

In its article, The Signpost said that over 40 later banned or blocked sockpuppets or undeclared paid editors created or revised nine related articles on the Adani family and its businesses.

The Signpost article stated that a declared paid editor used the company's IP address and rewrote Adani Group article while many edited articles to include non-neutral material and removed 'conflict-of-interest' parts.

"Over 40 later banned or blocked sockpuppets or undeclared paid editors created or revised nine related articles on the Adani family and family businesses. Many of them edited several of the articles and added non-neutral material or puffery. A declared paid editor, using a company IP address, completely rewrote the Adani Group article. Others removed warnings about conflict-of-interest editing. Some created articles by unusual methods that avoided Wikipedia's quality control systems," the article stated.

Wikipedia due to its account name regulations had blocked users 'Adanigrouponline' and 'Adani Group' in May 2013 and in September 2014. They were single purpose accounts (SPAs) editing Adani related articles, including a complete rewrite of the Adani Group article which removed a conflict-of-interest notice from the top of the article.

"Due to Wikipedia's account name regulations, administrators blocked User:Adanigrouponline in May 2013, and User:Adani Group in September 2014. These were single purpose accounts (SPAs) editing Adani-related articles, including a complete rewrite of the Adani Group article which removed a conflict-of-interest notice from the top of the article. They also added a detailed list of business units, and – the paid editors' favorite section – a list of awards. But they kept a section which an unregistered user – an admitted Adani employee – had added earlier. The use of "our" and "we" in an encyclopedia article is a particular problem considering Wikipedia's policy of no ownership of articles," said the article.

"The unregistered user left an edit comment of "(Revisited & updated all the content, Changes by Satyam Trivedi (Corporate Communication, Adani))" and the IP address is identified by Whois as Adani Enterprise Limited. A conflict-of-interest notice was added to the top of the article three minutes after this edit, but was soon removed by Adanigrouponline," the article noted further.

It goes on to list various other users who had used similar methods to change information about Adani Group companies and the family.

This comes at a time when Adani Group is under severe pressure triggered by a bombshell US short seller Hindenburg Research's report released on 24 January.

Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Group's market capitalisation (mcap) has slipped below $100 billion on Monday, tumbling over $135 billion since the publishing of the report.

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Published: 21 Feb 2023, 02:24 PM IST
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