Wikipedia Co-founder: “Wikipedia Is Badly Biased”

Uncyclopedia logoWikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger published an article on his blog, “Wikipedia Is Badly Biased”, on 2020-05-14.  He begins by stating,

Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead.  The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard of journalistic “false balance,” which is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science.

He then discusses details, citing Wikipedia articles on Barack Obama, Donald Trump, abortion, drug legalisation (which Wikipedia calls “drug liberalization”), Jesus, Christ (the title), climate change, MMR vaccine, and alternative medicine.  He concludes,

It is time for Wikipedia to come clean and admit that it has abandoned NPOV (i.e., neutrality as a policy). At the very least they should admit that that they have redefined the term in a way that makes it utterly incompatible with its original notion of neutrality, which is the ordinary and common one.

Of course, Wikipedians are unlikely to concede any such thing; they live in a fantasy world of their own making.

Read the whole thing.  Sanger also wrote a long, detailed article in 2015, “Why Neutrality?”, which presents his definition of neutrality and argues why it is important.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

20 thoughts on “Wikipedia Co-founder: “Wikipedia Is Badly Biased””

  1. Oh, Wiki does  not  say “Jesus, Christ”! ( I just had to look that up right away! But I think it’s correct to say that “Christ” is a title; that’s why we sometimes say “Christ Jesus“, just like we might say Lord Jesus or Jesus Lord, and Peter says “Thou art  the Christ..”

    I don’t disagree with your premise here: especially if you research a political,or politicized, topic, they ARE left-leaning.  No question.  And the feature that readers can edit the articles sometimes results in entire entries being deleted.  I wanted some stats on abortion a few years ago, and the Wiki article had been removed and replaced with the sole sentence:”It’s murder.”  (Was  that one of you guys, Ratty?😜)

    Diderot was accused  of viewpoint bias.too; the Catholic Church banned L’Encyclopédie..   The editors’ turn of mind will always influence such works.

    But I love Wikipedia.  Within seconds, anyone can know the first thing about anything!  I hafta say I appreciate that, even though it IS in danger of becoming an indoctrination tool on certain issues.  I use it a lot and you may have noticed the indoctrination isn’t takin’ on me!

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  2. I wish to purchase a box of pistol cartridges.  I surf AmmoSeek for the best US price.  I buy 50 cartridges.  In California I will be arrested and imprisoned for not filing impressive piles of paperwork, not being fingerprinted, not paying a series of Progressive fees for doing so, and finally not being robbed by a certified local (or not) vendor who itself imposes same for the privilege.  A slum bunny would get it off the street and not be bothered for having done it – hard target, with Rights.

    Official Truth is ultimately not about bias, it is about availability.

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?  In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” 1984

    https://www.google.com/
    … When google does not,
    https://duckduckgo.com/
    … DuckDuckGo does.

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  3. Sanger also wrote a long, detailed article in 2015, “Why Neutrality?”, which presents his definition of neutrality and argues why it is important.

    That was a powerful article. He feels neutral writing is a positive moral good because it respects the dignity of the reader.

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  4. Wikipedia’s biases began early and have only worsened over time.

    I agree with Hypatia that it is really useful, but only because Google and Microsoft promote it so that it is really quick to get there.   Once there, skip the article and go read the footnotes, which is where you will find the information you seek.

    Sometimes just to explore a culture-war topic, I read their “Talk” tab.  Sometimes that can be really enlightening.

    I recall genuine frustration over some of the Jagged 85 disaster.  Over twelve years later and they are still working to clean up that mess.

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  5. To think that I once gave this organization money and contributed to numerous articles. So many aspects of life have become politicized that I view skeptically any article that has a possibility of political controversy. This is our world now: politics has infested almost everything.

    Wikipedia still has much useful content in strictly technical topics, at least for now. For example, this article on squeezed states is detailed and of high quality, with superb graphics and complete references. That represents the best of what Wikipedia can be and still often is. Just don’t expect objectivity on any topic with the possibility of a political angle. Sadly, the scope of politics is ever expanding and may engulf the entire site someday.

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  6. Hypatia:
    Oh, Wiki does  not  say “Jesus, Christ”! ( I just had to look that up right away!

    You’ve misunderstood. There is one article entitled Jesus and an entirely different article entitled Christ (title).

    That was a series, separated by commas, in the OP. John even used the Oxford comma. You know, like “We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.”

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  7. drlorentz:
    There is one article entitled Jesus and an entirely different article entitled Christ (title).

    And both articles betray an anti-Christian bias, as noted in Sanger’s post.

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  8. drlorentz:

    Hypatia:
    Oh, Wiki does  not  say “Jesus, Christ”! ( I just had to look that up right away!

    You’ve misunderstood. There is one article entitled Jesus and an entirely different article entitled Christ (title).

    That was a series, separated by commas, in the OP. John even used the Oxford comma. You know, like “We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.”

    God bless the Oxford comma.

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  9. John Walker:

    Robert A. McReynolds:
    God bless the Oxford comma.

    My favourite is the author who dedicated his book to “My parents, Ayn Rand and God.”

    Another classic.

    In the spirit of the OP and neutrality, there is a counterpoint to this example and the “the strippers, JFK, and Stalin” case: “the stripper, JFK, and Stalin.”

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  10. Modern leftists don’t even bother with the liberal affectation anymore. They are so convinced that they are neutral that making Wikipedia leftist is something they consider perfectly fair.

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  11. Wikipedia is evil. In 2017, Wikipedia, rejected graphics I created below regarding upcoming New York State Constitutional Convention Referendum. I tried to add to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_New_York but a Wikipedia rep. from the U.K. of all places rejected it (Perhaps King George is exercising legal force here in the Colonies from the grave!) .  I provide graphics below to show you how hostile to liberty Wikipedia and many others in “Big Tech” have become. I’m looking forward to antitrust breakup of Google and they ought to include Wikipedia and other progressive partners in crime that shall remain nameless !!!

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  12. Joe Conservative:
    Wikipedia is evil. In 2017, Wikipedia, rejected graphics I created below regarding upcoming New York State Constitutional Convention

    How was your image licensed? The license implied in your copyright text is problematic for inclusion.

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  13. Joe Conservative:

    Damocles says:
    #14 2020-05-25 at 08:02 UTC

    How was your image licensed? The license implied in your copyright text is problematic for inclusion.

    I  created and owned copyrighted material, and was prepared posted to allow Wikipedia to post/publish. Other than bias of Wikipedia and disrespect to U.S.A. 1st Amendment Rights what is the problem ?

    Wikipedia wants to include stuff that has been published elsewhere.  They prefer “academic” papers, government publications, books from corporate publishing houses and legacy media over all other sources.  Some of the Gatekeepers of Wikipedia can carry that preference to extremes in order to exclude content they do not like.

    They might have looked at it differently if you had footnotes all over it.

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  14. Thank you for the feedback. I would have switched copyright to CC-BY-SA 4.0 — whatever it took to get the message out but got resistance from all sides! New York State still urgently needs constitutional reform — maybe at the next referendum in 2037 …

    Good news for me is I was BLESSED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO RELOCATE INTO A JURISDICTION THAT RESPECTS THE BILL OF RIGHTS . GOD BLESS TEXAS !

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  15. Joe Conservative:
    Thank you for the feedback. I would have switched copyright to CC-BY-SA 4.0 — whatever it took to get the message out but got resistance from all sides! New York State still urgently needs constitutional reform — maybe at the next referendum in 2037 …

    Good news for me is I was BLESSED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO RELOCATE INTO A JURISDICTION THAT RESPECTS THE BILL OF RIGHTS . GOD BLESS TEXAS !

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