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Wikipedia deletes article on Tablighi Jamaat hotspot of Coronavirus calling it anti-Muslim, administrator uses Supervote to overrule majority vote to retain article

The article was deleted based on the personal opinion of an administrator, going against the majority of editors who had participated in the discussion

By now it has been established that Wikipedia has become a bastion of Leftist-Ismalists. A small number of individuals now control what can be published on the crowd-sourced online encyclopaedia, and these individuals tend to have a pro-Islamist bias. The latest example of the same is a Wikipedia article on the role of Tablighi Jamaat in spreading the Wuhan Coronavirus in India, which was deleted after a voting process where an overwhelming majority had voted against its deletion.

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which took place in Nizamuddin Markaz in the first half of March, has become the mega-spreader of Coronavirus in India, as many as more than one-third cases in India are linked to that event now. People who had attended the event, and their family members and those who came into contact with them are testing positive regularly, contributing the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Therefore, the Tablighi Jamaat has become an important angle to the Coronavirus Pandemic in India, along with some other countries. In view of this, a Wikipedia page was created on 2nd April. But soon it came under the attack of Islamist editors, and it was nominated for deletion on the same day. After a discussion as per rules of Wikipedia, the article was deleted on 10th April.

The deletion discussion

The arguments given for deleting the article defies logic, while some others are outright lies. It is interesting that the person who had nominated the article for nomination originally, withdrew his nomination on a later date, but still the page was deleted by administrators. The person who goes by the username Kautilya3 on Wikipedia, had withdrawn the nomination on 5th April, ‘because the size of the hotspot has turned out to be much larger than previously known’, and said that this appears to be a legitimate topic for an article.

A total of 38 people had participated in the discussion to delete the article, and in them, only 12 persons had advocated for deletion. 23 persons had voted to not delete and keep the article, while 3 had said that it should be merged with other Coronavirus related articles in India. Those who had supported the deletion said that the article was biased and anti-Muslim. While those who had advocated to keep it had argued that it is a significant event that merits its own Wikipedia page, as it has become the largest source of Coronavirus in India, accounting for one-third of positive cases.

The Supervote

Despite the majority wanting to keep the article, one Wikipedia administration with the user name Sandstein decided to delete the page, using his power which is known as ‘Wikipedia: Supervote’ on the site. This term means an administration taking a decision without entering into a discussion and without taking into consideration the opinions of others.

Sandstein also posted a monologue on the deletion discussion page giving justification for the deletion, which nowhere comes near standard policies of Wikipedia. The administrator wrote, “there are a lot of tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India, and there is also increasing state-sanctioned Islamophobia and persecution of Muslims in India”. Which is clearly a personal opinion of a person against the governments in India, which was used to take a decision on Wikipedia.

While Wikipedia thrives on notability, which means the validity of articles are decided on the basis of their notability, Sandstein surprisingly wrote that “arguments based on notability criteria should not be given decisive weight in the context of this kind of topic”. The administrator also wrote that they should limit the amount of article creation only because the subject in question is “highly volatile and rife with misinformation and tensions in the real world and on Wikipedia”, which makes no sense and there is no such policy in Wikipedia.  

Therefore, the article was deleted based on the personal opinion of an administrator, going against majority of editors who had participated in the discussion. Most importantly, the original nominator for deletion has withdrawn the nomination, but despite that the administrator chose to apply a Supervote to delete the article due to allegations of Islamophobia.

Although decisions on Wikipedia are not taken based on majority, and therefore the number of votes does not matter as the discussions are held mainly to arrive at a consensus. But even in that scenario, a glance on the deletion discussion shows that it was deleted just on the allegations on being ‘anti-Muslim’ and ‘fanning religious hatred’, which are unproven, while the arguments for keeping it were backed by solid logic.

Baseless accusation of anti-Muslim

It is interesting to note that while the article on Indian Tablighi Jamaat was deleted accusing it of being anti-Muslim, a similar Wikipedia page exists for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. While Muslims in Pakistan do not hesitate in recording the role of Tablighi Jamaat in spreading coronavirus, leftists and Islamists in India think it is anti-Muslim if the same is done in India.

It has been established that the members of Tablighi Jamaat has been responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in several states of the country. That is established by the fact that in bulletins about new cases, individual state governments are reporting the number of cases linked to the Jamaat, even if some of them have some replaced the words ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ with generic names like ‘single source’ or ‘special operations’ due to attacks from Islamists.

For example, in Assam which have 34 positive cases for coronavirus, as many as 33 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event that took place in Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi in the first half of March. Similarly, in most of the states, Tablighi Jamaat members account for majority of the cases, while the Jamaat members are also found hiding in mosques avoiding testing, and also avoiding treatment in case they test positive. They are also misbehaving with healthcare workers and others in hospitals and quarantine centres.

The Tablighi Jamaat has become a super spreader of Coronavirus, and the information about them is important in containing the highly contagious virus. To document the various event that led to it can’t be termed anti-Muslim just because it is an Islamic congregation. Any large group spreading majority of the infection merits documentation, and Tablighi Jamaat is one of them. But Islamists are working overtime to whitewash the role of the Jamaat, who had already forced two states to replace the words ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ in their bulletins. This deletion of the Wikipedia page looks like just another step in that whitewashing effort. Now a deletion review request has been filed on Wikipedia, requesting for deletion of the article. Most people participating in this discussion agree that the article should be restored, and the administrator deleted it based on his personal opinion without any valid logic. But Sandstein replied to the discussion affirming that it will be kept deleted. The administrator quoted an article by New York Times alleging that Coronavirus is fuelling religious hatred in India, while New York Times’ hatred for India is well known.

It is a repeat offence

A couple of months ago similar bias in Wikipedia had become evident when they tried to paint the Delhi riots as anti-Muslim riots perpetrated by Hindus, while the reality was the exact opposite. The article had labelled BJP leader Kapil Mishra as the main architect of the riots for his one speech calling for the maintenance of law and order, while had refused to name Muslim leaders who were seen leading the riots in videos. Later it was revealed that one Wikipedia editor with the user name DBigXray was spreading anti-Hindu venom in several articles on the encyclopaedia site.

These incidents have once again showed that while Wikipedia remains good source for topics on general knowledge, science etc, it has become very unreliable for topics related to politics, society, and current affairs, as the personal bias of the administers decide what is published and what is not on the website.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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