The typical life cycle of any breaking news about a public figure goes like this: the internet flips out, discusses it on Twitter or Facebook, the news shoots up to the top of Reddit or Hacker News and a portion of the Web goes on Wikipedia to update the developing story.
Such was the case when it was announced that Sundar Pichai would be taking the role of Google CEO. But it wasn’t his job change that got Wikipedians in an editing frenzy – it was his alma mater.
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
As the seventh largest country in the world, India’s got quite the hometown pride for Pichai. When Alphabet news broke, the community rejoiced by updating Pichai’s Wikipedia page with a slew of various background information, from where he grew up to where he went to school. It appears everyone wanted to claim their pride and joy and, well, get some free PR.
Here’s what the page looked like before the announcement:
And right after news broke:
At this point, PSBB’s own Wikipedia page even listed Pichai as a notable alum.
A few hours later (mind you, news broke during early morning India time):
Wow, Sundar, you sure found a lot of time for school:
Note that GRT Mahalakshmi Vidyalaya, an institution that offers classes up to grade 12, was founded in 1992. Pichai would have been 20 years old as of its establishment.
By morning, Pichai found an entirely new hometown and never even went to high school:
Then he moved and got into yet another university:
Finally, the internet sort of just gave up altogether:
An impressive man, indeed.
After 250+ edits since Monday’s announcement, the Wikipedia page now remains stagnant with what’s probably the most accurate information. If the Web has taught you anything over the years, it’s to never believe everything you read on the internet – especially on Wikipedia.