Wikipedia's leftist bias

Source: Fox News | 19 Feb 2021 | Maxim Lott

The online encyclopedia, which claims “anyone can edit”, is the 13th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa’s web rankings. Google gives it special placement in search results.

But critics – including Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger – tell Fox News that many Wikipedia pages have become merely left-wing advocacy essays.

“The days of Wikipedia’s robust commitment to neutrality are long gone,” co-founder Larry Sanger said.

“Wikipedia’s ideological and religious bias is real and troubling, particularly in a resource that continues to be treated by many as an unbiased reference work,” he added.

The two main pages for “Socialism” and “Communism” span a massive 28,000 words, and yet they contain no discussion of the genocides committed by socialist and communist regimes, in which tens of millions of people were murdered and starved.

“The omission of large-scale mass murder, slave labor, and man-made famines is negligent and deeply misleading,” economics professor Bryan Caplan, who has studied the history of communism, told Fox News.

The Wikipedia socialism page also mentions China’s Communist history, but only begins its description in 1976, after Mao Zedong’s reign of terror had already killed tens of millions.

Chinese-American immigrant Lily Tang Williams, who lived through Mao’s cultural revolution, says she’s outraged by Wikipedia’s focus.

“Who writes this stuff? Trying to whitewash crimes against humanity?” she asked.

“What about students, who now will not know the real history of what happened? Or even teachers who won’t know?” she asked. Tang Williams volunteers at schools to teach kids about the history of communism in China, and her personal experience with it. She also presents it on her YouTube channel.

“I went through the entire 10 years of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, as child. I witnessed it,” she said.

Wikipedia bills itself as the “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” But experienced Wikipedians say new users will find they cannot simply fix things.

One prolific Wikipedia editor, Jonathan Weiss, told Fox News that “bias on Wikipedia somewhat reflects the bias in academia and journalism. It’s easier to find an open Marxist rather than a center-right conservative,” he said. … But he said that the political pages have largely been taken over by editors with a political axe to grind.

The talk pages show that various users attempted to add balance to the socialism and communism pages. In 2020, for example, longtime Wikipedia volunteer “Narssarssuaq” added a mention to the communism page about the atrocities committed, sourced to a Harvard University Press publication, but the edit was quickly erased by other editors. … “The era of Wikipedia… is over,” he said. 

Encyclopedia Britannica provides one alternative. A study by Harvard researchers published in a peer-reviewed journal concluded that, “we find that Wikipedia articles are more slanted towards Democratic views than are Britannica articles, as well as more biased.”

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger says that the deck is too stacked on Wikipedia for it to ever be salvaged, and he is now working on a protocol called “Encyclosphere” to facilitate other encyclopedias.

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  •  EVERYDAY #47574

    Wikipedia has always been unreliable just because who knows who is editing the articles. The left bias is not at all surprising.

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