What's even more funny is that the because the search result became a story in itself, the problem remains.

Wikipedia Wars How Modis image popped-up on Google-search for Indias first PM
Flix Social Media Friday, October 16, 2015 - 11:49

On Thursday, everybody’s favourite story on social media about social media was how, when you Google ‘India’s first Prime Minister’, the name ‘Nehru’ pops up, but the image is of Narendra Modi, the present PM of India.

This was a fun story online. People were cracking jokes, and there were the usual conspiracy theorists who warned us that Google and Modi were conspiring to take over the world and saffronize Mars.

But first, what happened? Why did Modi’s image pop up when the search query was for India’s first PM?

Here is what we think happened, based on what Wikipedia administrators and experts like Tinu Cherian Abraham have told us.

Google’s top result for the search-query for ‘India’s first Prime Minister’ is sourced from the Wikipedia page for List of Prime Ministers of India. Quite obviously, there cannot be a separate page for “the first prime minister of India” or any country for that matter. So Google sources the answer from that page, which is quite intelligent, actually.

But, Google algorithm is such that the image which pops up during ANY search query is the top image of the top page. So in this case, as you can see here, the top image of the page ‘List of Prime Ministers of India’ is of Narendra Modi. Ergo, when we searched for India’s first PM, Google threw up Modi’s image.

But the more interesting bit of the story, which Cherian pointed us to, is what ensued after the story went viral – a Wikipedia war among users, one side asking for Nehru’s picture to be put at the top, and other side stating that the page should remain the way it should.

“After this has hit the news, several people have been trying to put Modi and Nehru picture in this article back and forth and the article has been protected from editing now,” says Cherian, who is also a Wikipedia administrator.

You can see the long-winded, angry and hilarious arguments on this page.

But what one of the Wikipedians said in the thread settles the debate, for good.

“We know full well it is not Nehru, we have never said it is a picture of Nehru, and it clearly says Narendra Modi underneath it.

Modi is the current Prime Minister, and as in similar lists, such as List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, we normally have a picture of the current Prime Minister in the top corner.

This is a "List of Prime Ministers of India", it is NOT an article on "The First Prime Minister of India", so there is no reason for us to put Nehru at the top.

As explained above, if you have a problem with Google, please complain to Google, not us. Thanks.”

And no, you cannot ever win over Modi. If you search for “India’s first PM” on Google now, the image is still of Modi’s, but this time from the news articles on the viral story. Ha.

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