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The "largest con in corporate history"?

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By Smallbones
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Discuss this story

Great reporting. Also interesting in this context is this recent Wired article titled "India’s Government Wants Total Control of the Internet":

[Akash Banerjee is] a seasoned journalist who runs The Deshbhakt (“the patriot”), a satirical YouTube channel covering politics and international affairs.


[Adani Group] has denied the allegations and responded using nationalistic language, calling the [Hindenburg] report a “calculated attack” on India and its growth story. Days after the report came out, a video about Adani Group founder Gautam Adani that Banerjee had posted four months before was suddenly targeted by YouTube on the grounds of “strong profanity”—presumably following a user’s complaints.

“I had called him [Adani] an oligarch,” said Banerjee. “But the video was demonetized, saying it has profanity. Is oligarch a profanity? Then I don’t know.”

Although he’s still posting and has yet to face any serious legal problems, Banerjee says he’s already making preparations for that possibility.

“Any social media person, anyone who is willing to do commentary, I always say they have to have two very good things,” he says. “A good chartered accountant and a good lawyer.”

Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:32, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks @HaeB: I hadn't seen anything from Banerjee before, but there are still many videos of his on YouTube. I'd say just turn on the subtitles and you can get it in English, rather than Hindi(?), but his presentation, speed, sense of humor and switching between languages makes it very difficult for me to understand in any case. I don't think he is backing off from any attempted censorship though.
Neither are about 7 Indian newspapers (if they are being threatened with censorship) who are covering this article from The Signpost.
  • The Wire (India) Paid Users, Including Employees, Improperly Edited Adani Articles, Says Wikipedia Newspaper (I love the illustration at the top!)
  • Business Today Did Adani's team 'systematically manipulate' Wikipedia entries?
  • Economic Times Wikipedia editors blame billionaire’s team for manipulating entries
  • Deccan Herald Sockpuppets' created puffery about Adani, says Wikipedia
  • Asianet Newsable Paid users, including workers, inadvertently edited articles about Adani: Wikipedia (strangely "inadvertently" only appears in the headline)
  • Mint
  • The Hindu
  • Times of India

You might even say that this incident is notable. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:17, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

  • One of the unintended consequences of the capitalization style on Wikipedia is that headings written in title case tend to be a red flag.~TPW 19:41, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Smallbones, that's impressive coverage of your coverage. However, it's now been revealed that "Signpost recently banned over 40 sockpuppets". That's very out-of-process of you (plural), and I will of course bring it to ANI. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:55, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Btw, this page needs some Template:Press. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:39, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: - that's obviously a mistake that the newspaper made - nothing to do with me, I've never even heard of them before. And I hope you're joking about ANI. One thing that somebody can do for me, please tell that newspaper that The Signpost can't ban anybody! Their text "Signpost recently banned over 40 sockpuppets ... Wikipedia reported that all 40 sockpuppet accounts have been banned," should be changed to "Wikipedia administrators banned over 40 sockpuppets ... 'The Signpost reported that all 40 sockpuppet accounts have been banned or blocked." Also the bans and blocks were generally not recent. For a private reason I'd rather not tell the newspaper this myself, and why would they believe that I'm Smallbones. Paradoxically, if you or somebody else tells them about their mistake and to see this page, it would confirm that a mistake has been made better than I could. Thanks for pointing this out. Smallbones(smalltalk) 12:30, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I was indeed joking. Amusing misprint, that's all. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:16, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. I see the joke now! Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:49, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry if my attempt at humor caused you any distress or annoyance, that was not the intent. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:26, 22 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

And in video.

There are now 2 videos on this article. It's rather strange seeing a video in Hindi going over my work almost word by word. It's very clear that the two words they are most interested in are "sockpuppet" and "puffery". See

Hey @Smallbones It bothers me that you say Adani manipulated all the mentioned pages although only one user Satyam Trivedi was unmistakably (by his/her own admission) identified as an Adani staffer in 2013. Pardon my ignorance here but how do we know for a fact that everyone else was working for Adani? Manatpeace (talk) 18:29, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

sometimes you have to settle for beyond reasonable doubt.©Geni (talk) 20:50, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thank you. Got it. Manatpeace (talk) 02:49, 2 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Manatpeace: I certainly did not say "for a fact that everyone ... was working for Adani." That would mean that I believe that 40 accounts that had been blocked for socking (after their edits on these articles) had been working for Adani. I don't believe that at all in fact I'd be a quite surprised if at least 1 was not working for Adani! There's an element of uncertainty here for each of the blocked socks. While I haven't tried to quantify the uncertainty, it might be worth the exercise. Let's say, for argument's sake, that each of those blocked socks who edited these articles had a 50% chance of working for Adani or his companies. In that case the probability that not all 40 having worked for Adani is 1- (1-0.50^40) = 0.99999 (for at least 10 digits) in which case we can say something like "they almost certainly were not all working for Adani," or more colloquially "It would be a miracle if they all worked for him." But I didn't say that they all worked for him.
I wrote "So did Adani or his employees improperly edit Wikipedia? Almost certainly yes." The calculation here is for the probability that *at least one* of the blocked socks worked for Adani when each one has a 50% chance of working for him. It's essentially the same calculation 1 - (0.50^40)=.99999 etc. I'll say "It would be a miracle, if at least one didn't work for Adani!"
Well, that wasn't my exact thinking, but the question is "how much evidence do you need until you're sure enough that Adani or his companies were responsible for the socking?" I said to myself "40 seems like quite enough." Several of them, e.g. Hatchens, Similar2me, UncleScrooze, have very high probability of working for the Adanis. Some might only have a 20% chance. Hope that helps. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:10, 21 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I did the math. This is similar to the birthday problem. Starting with a model where the probability that each of the actors meets the criterion "working for A" is independent, and there are 40 actors (blocked socks). In this case you reach 50% probability that at least one meets the criterion at about 1.7% probability for each individual actor 1-e^((ln 0.5)/40) = 0.01718. As the probability of a single actors meeting the criterion increases, obviously the probability that at least one in the group meeting the criterion also increases: e.g. probability of just 5% for each actor results in over 87% odds overall 1-((1-0.05)^40) = 0.8714. And I concur with Smallbones' math above that 50-50 odds for each actor result in 10 or 11 nines, an "almost certainly true" conclusion of some subset of the group acting in cahoots with the subject. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:45, 23 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. Wasn't doubting your judgement anyway! Manatpeace (talk) 02:48, 2 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]


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