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US: Lying for woo — Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia monkey gets caught

December 13, 2013

The editor who filed the OTRS ticket uses the login name Vivekachudamani. The name refers to an ancient Sanskrit poem about Hindu philosophy, and thus is clearly a pseudonym.  Since this person started editing on December 7, 2008 they have made 189 edits, and 112 of those were to actual public articles (as opposed to discussion and other administrative pages which few see).

The user contributions history for this editor shows that all but two of those 112 edits were to the article “Deepak Chopra” – his biography. The two remaining edits were to add Sanjiv Chopra (Deepak’s younger brother) to the list of notable faculty of a particular hospital.

Clearly whoever this editor is, they have an intense interest in the Chopra family.  In fact, one of numerous acronyms thrown around in Wikipedia jargon – SPA – clearly applies here.  It would appear this is a Single Purpose Account….

Finally on November 8, Vivekachudamani gave in:

In last 24 hours I have been talking with and emailing Chopra’s office and Dr. Chopra himself. In large part, trying to explain the “copy editor” comments. So after all that connecting, I can officially announce that I am now a Connected Editor. The good news is that he has a sense of humor and said this kind of thing happens quite often. He then offered a research project to me starting next week. Maybe because he felt bad for his part in inadvertently toasting me as an editor. Anyway, that means I really do have a COI with the subject now. Once I figure out how to stick the COI after my name It’ll show up in my signature. This new status actually accords with my desire to step away from an active role on this page anyway.

At that point, the COI investigation was closed and a conflict of interest was officially declared – not on Alexbrn and Binksternet, but on Vivekachudamani – the original accuser.  And now, if you examine the talk page for Deepak Chopra, you will see this warning:…

In this case, a copy editor and researcher for Deepak Chopra, attempting to “right great wrongs” in Chopra’s biographical article over the course of five years, has completely misunderstood what constitutes a conflict of interest. Now that the person is outed, they won’t be editing Chopra’s article any more.

I guess they’ve transitioned into a different quantum state.

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