Examples of Bias in Wikipedia

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This list covers a wide range of bias in the English Wikipedia website. Although Wikipedia claims to have credibility because anyone can edit it, in fact the website represents the viewpoint of its most strident and persistent editors. It is also heavily influenced by paid public relations professionals who do not disclose their conflicts of interest. This list together with the sublists linked below provide a wide variety of examples of the resulting bias.

Co-Founder of Wikipedia, the atheist Jimmy Wales

On August 23, 2011, David Swindle published an article at FrontPage Magazine detailing how Wikipedia has been taken over by the political left; he cited statistics relating to Wikipedia's articles on Anne Coulter, Michael Moore, Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann, which helped demonstrate that Wikipedia has a leftist bias, and he discussed the liberal/leftist cultural foundations of Wikipedia.[1]

For example, Swindle wrote:

"Consider Ann Coulter versus Michael Moore​. Coulter’s entry (on August 9, 2011) was 9028 words long.* Of this longer-than-usual entry, 3220 words were devoted to “Controversies and criticism” in which a series of incidents involving Coulter and quotes from her are cited with accompanying condemnations, primarily from her opponents on the Left. That’s 35.6 percent of Coulter’s entry devoted to making her look bad. By contrast, Moore’s entry is 2876 words (the more standard length for entries on political commentators), with 130 devoted to “Controversy.” That’s 4.5% of the word count, a fraction of Coulter’s. Does this mean that an “unbiased” commentator would find Coulter eight times as “controversial” as Moore?"[2]

The project was initiated by atheist and entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and the agnostic philosophy professor Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001.[3] An irony of internet history is that Jimmy Wales, despite being an atheist, refers to himself as Wikipedia's "spiritual leader".[4] Despite its official "neutrality policy," Wikipedia has a strong liberal bias. In his article entitled Wikipedia lies, slander continue journalist Joseph Farah stated Wikipedia "is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known."[5] Mr. Farah has repeatedly been the victim of defamation at the Wikipedia website.[6] In December of 2010, Christian apologist JP Holding called Wikipedia "the abomination that causes misinformation".[7] Although Wales "made his original fortune as a pornography trafficker," he has since tried to clean up his image and demands retractions when people report this fact.[8]

    Most examples have been moved to the sublists. Please visit the sublists to learn about the variety of bias in Wikipedia.

Contents

List of examples of liberal bias in Wikipedia

Below is a growing list of around 300 examples of liberal bias, deceit, edits stemming from corrupting conflicts of interest, frivolous gossip, and blatant errors on Wikipedia. The atheist Jimmy Wales was a lead founder of Wikipedia. Christian apologist JP Holding called Wikipedia "the abomination that causes misinformation".[9] Because the list of examples is so long, it is divided into sublists based on subject matter. Some of the most egregious examples are in these sublists, which are well worth reading. At risk of duplication, some of the most interesting examples from the sublists are also repeated on this main list to give an overview. (We limit this main list to up to three examples from each sublist.)

Examples of Bias

Abortion

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Abortion

Benazir Bhutto
  1. Wikipedia has a large article detailing anti-abortion violence committed around the world,[10] but there is no article about pro-abortion violence. There is no article for "Pro-choice violence"[11] and "Pro-abortion violence" bizarrely redirects to the "Abortion debate" article.[12] Before being redirected, the "Pro-abortion violence" article was biased towards downplaying the reality of violence committed by supporters of abortion.[13] For example, while the "Anti-abortion violence" article matter-of-factly begins: "Anti-abortion violence is violence committed against individuals and organizations that provide abortion." ...the "Pro-abortion violence" article dismissingly began: "Pro-abortion violence (or pro-choice violence) is a term used in the pro-life movement to characterize acts of violence committed by abortion practitioners or abortion advocates against those who oppose abortion or against pregnant women. The former is regarded as factual while the latter is just "a term used in the pro-life movement."
  2. Wikipedia changes the meaning of a key quote from an abortion-breast cancer article in the Lancet medical journal (Beral, et al.), falsely stating that it "concluded that abortion does not increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer."[14] The Lancet article said no such thing about a woman's decision to have an abortion, which does increase the woman's risk of breast cancer. Rather, the Lancet article limited its assertion to a claim about the overall effect of a pregnancy that terminates early.[15]
  3. Wikipedia's entry on Benazir Bhutto has nearly 8,000 words on all aspects of her life, and yet not one word acknowledging that she led the movement against the United Nations' creating a new international right to abortion.[16]

Anti-Christianity

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Anti-Christianity

  1. A Wikipedia editor Qworty devoted 13,000 edits to cleaning up articles on pro-pagan topics before being permanently banned[17][18] and then outed as Robert Clark Young by the website salon.com.[19] The failure to crack down on his work earlier drew criticism from the pagan website wildhunt.org.[20]
  2. Wikipedia's article on You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, the youth rock ministry of Bradlee Dean, is an attack page which was criticized in a WND column.[21] In response, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, demanded a retraction regarding his past as "a pornography trafficker". Instead, WND published detailed documentation of Wales' Boomis pornography website.[22]
  3. Wikipedia's article on Extremism specifically points out Christians are commonly called extreme, "It is also not uncommon to necessarily define distinctions regarding extremist Christians as opposed to moderate Christians, as in countries such as the United States" [2]
  4. Wikipedia has a lengthy entry on "Jesus H. Christ,"[23] a term that is an idiotic mockery of the Christian faith. Wikipedia calls the term "often humorous," "joking" and "comedic", and relishes in repeating disrespectful uses of the term, without admitting that the phrase is an anti-Christian mockery. Meanwhile, Wikipedia does not describe mockery of any other religion as "humorous".
  5. The Wikipedia article on elopement appears to make light of the tradition of marriage and weddings.

Bestiality/zoophilia

See Wikipedia on bestiality


As of July 18, 2012, Wikipedia's article on zoophilia/bestiality has an entire section on "arguments for zoophilia" plus pictures depicting zoophilia as well as a section on "arguments against zoophilia". No worthwhile encyclopedia in existence has an article on zoophilia/bestiality with an entire section on "arguments for zoophilia" plus pictures depicting zoophilia. As of September 24, 2011, Wikipedia has a "Zoophilia and the law" article which has a section on the impact of zoophilia laws where eight alleged negative impacts of zoophilia laws are given, but no positive impacts of the laws are given.[24]

Conservapedia smears

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Conservapedia smears

  1. Wikipedia displays pervasive bias in making liberal statements with citations that do not support the statements, as illustrated by its entry about Conservapedia.[25] Wikipedia states that "Conservapedia has asserted that Wikipedia is 'six times more liberal than the American public', a statistic which has been criticized for its poor extrapolation and lack of credibility." But the two citations for this claim of "poor extrapolation and lack of credibility" are to articles that say nothing about extrapolation or credibility and instead tend to confirm the liberal bias on Wikipedia.
  2. For nearly two months, from at least as early as July 15 through September 9, 2007, Wikipedia classified its critics, including Conservapedia, as "Fanatics and Special Interests."[26]
  3. In 2011 Wikipedia User Σ organized systematic vandalism of Conservapedia using the English Wikipedia IRC. This only came to light when he was nominated to be a Wikipedia Administrator and users there debated whether his actions were a good or bad thing to do.[27]

Conservative personalities and politicians

Hannah Giles

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Conservative Personalities

  1. On November 2, 2006, days before the mid-term Congressional elections, an anonymous IP address traced to the New York Times changed U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay's Wikipedia biographical entry from "a prominent member of the Republican Party" to "Grand Dragon of the Republican Party."[28][29][dead link]
  2. Wikipedia has thousands of obscure pages for individuals that the public never heard of or recognize. Conservative undercover journalist Hannah Giles is not given her own page mostly likely due to the fact she has taken on the liberal establishment and won. A search of Hannah Giles gives her an obscure paragraph in what Wikipedia titles the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy.[30]
  3. For liberal politicians, Wikipedia uses flattering photos. But for conservative politician Sally Kern, about whom homosexual activists have had a sissy fit, from 2009 to 2011, Wikipedia used an absurd, uncharacteristic photo.[31]

Criminals and mentally ill editors

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Criminals and mentally ill editors

  1. Adam Lanza, who conducted a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, has been identified as editing Wikipedia particularly regarding guns and other mass murders.[32]
  2. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik edited English Wikipedia under the username "Conservatism". He also edited the Norwegian Wikipedia.[33]
  3. The the United States Federal Government claimed, among other things, that Bruce Edwards Ivins, a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks who apparently committed suicide in July 2008, had edit-warred on Wikipedia under the username Jimmyflathead.[34][35]

Ethnic and racial bias

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Ethnic and racial

  1. In 2008, two 15-year old students wanted to harass a third student named "Azid", so they edited a Wikipedia article on Korma (a Eastern food) to add Azid as a synonym for a spice.[36] This meaning was then added to hundreds of web postings about mid-eastern cooking. On July 16, 2014, one of the students confessed his stunt on Reddit[37], but so many Azid references copied from Wikipedia had emerged in the meantime that Wikipedia did not delete the vandalism as untrue.[38]
  2. For over a year, the article on Glen A. Wilson High School contained threats against an Asian student and made ethnic slurs against the school's primarily Asian badminton team.[39]
  3. Wikipedia has developed a series of history articles outlining the struggles of Jews, Catholics, Asians and blacks against discrimination and the Kl Klux Klan. These articles are now called "African-American Civil Rights Movement" despite being formerly called "American Civil Rights Movement."[40][41][42][43][44]

Gender bias

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Gender bias

  1. Wikipedia has a gender gap crusade which seeks to increase the percentage of female editors. (In practice that crusade has the effect of driving away male editors.) There are also many serious examples of gender bias in Wikipedia's content.
  2. When a New York Times op-ed crticised feminist Wikipedia editors for moving women from Category:American Novelists to a separate category,[45] the article about the author was attacked and watered down, restored[46] and attacked again.[47]

Global warming

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Global warming

  1. A recent charge is that U.K. scientist and Green Party activist and Realclimate.org member William Connolley functioned as a Wikipedia editor and website administrator, repressing information that militated against Climate Change. As such he "rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period."[48]
  2. Michael Mann is a well known global warming alarmist who is ridiculed for his so-called scientific work on tree ring temperature data, the Hockey Stick theory and was the subject of fraud in the Climategate scandal. Wikipedia decides not to allow any mention of his involvement with Climategate. Any mention of Climategate is immediately removed from Mann's page. [49]

Homosexuality

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Homosexuality

  1. Wikipedia editors regularly and fiercely alter the use of the terms "he" or "she" in articles regarding cross-dressing/transsexual figures. Male to Female transexuals are near-universally referred to as "she" while women attempting to pass as men are referred to as "he", despite this usage absolutely incorrect in both scientific and legal senses.
  2. When NBA Basketball player Jason Collins announced that he was a homosexual, his Wikipedia biography was altered to say that he was a "faggot." When an editor attempted to change the word to "gay" Wikipedia's anti-vandalism robot changed it back.[50][51][52] An editor replaced his photo with a poster for "Gay N-word".[53] After the page drew criticism on the Huffington Post, Wikipedia locked the page to editing and the changes have been hidden from public view. The article on the 2012-13 Washington Wizzards season had similar problems.[54]
  3. After an edit war,[55] Wikipedia changed the Bradley Manning article to Chelsea Manning and gave the article subject female attributes, even though Manning had yet to legal change his name or begin any sex reassignment treatments or therapies.[56] The article was moved between "Chelsea Manning" and "Bradley Manning" six times in one day as Wikipedia administrators fought amoung themselves.

Internet policies

  1. The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) claims to have a policy against internet censorship. Yet, the WMF has entered into a partnership with the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to provide Wikipedia to mobile phone subscribers, prompting questions about the potential conflict over censorship.[57] Meanwhile, the English Wikipedia has an article entitled "List of Wikipedia articles censored in Saudi Arabia".[58]

Journalists

See, Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Sun News Network

  1. In early October 2005, a prominent and respected journalist John Seigenthaler Sr., contacted Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales about false and libelous content in his biographical entry. Instead of correcting the false allegations that Seignthaler was involved in the Kennedy assassinations, Wales and other editors turned it into a wikidrama with attacks on Seigenthaler for trying to defend his own good name.[59][60][61] [62][63]
  2. Israeli journalist Gideon Levy's Wikipedia Biography has been frequently vandalized with false facts, including allegations that his father was a Nazi collaborator.[64] So many slanderous statements have been posted that the revisions to the article have been hidden from public view at least 22 times.[65]
  3. BBC presenter Lynn Parsons wrote Wikipedia claiming that her biography was false -- including her birth date. Her request to have her article deleted was voted down.[66]
  4. Journalist Violet Blue reported on a Wikipedia paid editing scandal for CNET. In response, " Mr. Wales said on his Wikipedia “Talk” page that I’m not a journalist, or credible. Shortly afterward, everything on the Wikipedia page about me citing and documenting my career as a journalist was removed, as were related links on Wikipedia to stories I broke writing for CBS."[67]

Liberal Politicians

Jimmy Carter

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Liberal Politicians

  1. Wikipedia now promotes the late liberal icon Ted Kennedy as the leader of ... "progressivism": "By the time of his death, he had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman for American progressivism."[68]
  2. Wikipedia's article on Jimmy Carter's Presidency is clearly biased in favor of the failed politician.[69]

Mathematics and Engineering

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Mathematics and Engineering

Subjects such as Mathematics and Engineering require a precision of thought that is more than the group-think of Wikipedia editors can muster.

  1. The Wikipedia article Elementary proof was proposed for deletion in October 2009 and the debate turned on what Conservapedia had written on the subject. The article was kept and not deleted.[70]
  2. A Wikipedia editor going under the pseudonym Jagged85 made 67,000 edits between 2007 and 2010 until it was demonstrated that he was systematically misrepresenting Islamic science, technology, and philosophy. [3]

Obama

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Obama

  1. Wikipedia added a "Controversies" sections to their article for the "Presidency of George W. Bush"[71] but not to their article on the "Presidency of Barack Obama"[72] The section on Bush has since been removed.[73]
  2. In addition to the previous example, there was a massive Wikipedia article for "Criticism of George W. Bush,"[74] but the article for "Criticism of Barack Obama" had been deleted at least FOUR TIMES since October 2008 with excuses like "Article that has no meaningful, substantive content" and "Attack page or negative unsourced BLP."[75] Wikipedia has since redirected "Criticism of George W. Bush" and added "Public image of" articles for both presidents, however President Bush's article is heavily negative[76] while President Obama's is filled with glowing, pandering fluff with very few meaningful criticisms.[77] The edit summary of the redirect says, "so the conservatards won't get their knickers in a twist."

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Paid Editing

In theory, Wikipedia articles are supposed to be written by disinterested volunteers based on reliable secondary sources. However, because Google will rank a Wikipedia article as the first result when a person searches on the article's title, public relations firms and "reputation management" companies work hard to remove any negative or controversial facts from Wikipedia articles relating to their clients. Although such paid editing is not allowed, Wikipedia does little to enforce its rules against paid editing and there are numerous examples of paid editors introducing biased content on behalf of their clients. Wikipedia selectively fails to enforce its ban on paid editing when the payments come from its large donors.[78] Many organizations that visit the WMF Headquarters also engage in undisclosed paid editing to promote themselves.[79]

Pornography / Sexuality

  1. Wikipedia Commons, which collects public domain images, has drawn extensive criticism for sexually explicit material, including nude photos and photos of various acts. The editors of Wikipedia Commons have created a "Hot Sex Barnstar" to reward those people who upload particularly explicit images. When a former member of Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee asked to have it removed, many people opposed his suggestion.[80]
  2. The Wikipedia article Body parts slang had an elaborate list of definitions. It was subject to two controversial deletion debates, and finally merged into Slang.[81][82] Many of the definitions were moved to Wikitionary. The deleted article was also copied to Wikibooks.[83]
  3. When the WMF Board of Directors voted to implement an image filter so that pornographic images would not be shown to children or people who wished to avoid them, Wikipedia volunteers rebelled and Fox News reported that WMF had abandoned its plans to address the problem.[84]

Public Policy in the United States

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Public Policy in the US

  1. Wikipedia's entry for the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) reads like an advertisement for vaccine manufacturers, including unsupported and implausible claims about vaccination.[85] Unsupported claims featured there include "Vaccine makers indicated they would cease production if their proposal for the NCVIA was not enacted" and "concern that the NCVIA may not provide an adequate legal shield." Wikipedia's entry omits references to leading pro-parent websites concerning vaccination,[86] and instead Wikipedia's entry lists pro-government and pro-vaccine-manufacturer websites. Wikipedia's entry even includes this entire paragraph, which is unsupported and is little more than an advertisement for drug companies:
    Public health safety, according to backers of the legislation, depends upon the financial viability of pharmaceutical companies, whose ability to produce sufficient supplies in a timely manner could be imperiled by civil litigation on behalf of vaccine injury victims that was mounting rapidly at the time of its passage. Vaccination against infectious illnesses provides protection against contagious diseases and afflictions which may cause permanent disability or even death. Vaccines have reduced morbidity caused by infectious disease; e.g., in the case of smallpox, mass vaccination programs have eradicated a once life-threatening illness.
  2. The Wikipedia article on the Haymarket Riots and subsequent trial of the labor terrorists claimed, "The prosecution, led by Julius Grinnell, did not offer evidence connecting any of the defendants with the bombing. ... " A college professor who wrote a book about the trial knew that a lot of evidence was presented during the lengthy trial and tried to correct the article. His account in the Chronicle of Higher Education shows the contempt that Wikipedia holds for scholarly experts.[87]

Science and Evolution

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Science and Evolution

  1. Wikipedia savages anyone who criticizes the theory of evolution, such as Dr. William Dembski, whom Wikipedia introduces with outlandish, unsupported quotations by liberal critics.[88] For example, Wikipedia describes David H. Wolpert as a "prominent mathematician" in order to insert a scathing, unjustified quotation by him about Dembski.[88] In fact, Wolpert does not even hold a math degree and his (non-math) doctorate was from the University of California at the weak Santa Barbara location.[89] Dembski's PhD is in math from the preeminent University of Chicago.
  2. Wikipedia's article on dinosaurs contains no mention of the strong evidence that they existed alongside humans and no mention of modern sightings of dinosaur-like creatures reported by the best of the public.[90]
  3. Wikipedia has separate articles on many small wikis, for instance, LGBT History Project with a WikiFactor of 6, but does not have an article on CreationWiki with a WikiFactor of 45. Articles on CreationWiki are repeatedly deleted.

Conspiracy Theories

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Conspiracy theories

  1. In Wikipedia's page on the ABC's docudrama The Path to 9/11, the page contains a section titles "Controversy and criticisms," which contains 19 sub-sections to support it, while the section titled "Controversy: support for The Path to 9/11" only contains four, despite the fact that the controversy was sparked by pro-Clinton liberals that failed to see the fact that the two-part miniseries criticized both Bush and Clinton administrations leading up to 9/11 and that writer Cyrus Nowrasteh stated that many of their consultants on it stated that the docudrama went easy on Clinton. It also fails to note John Ziegler's documentary on the censoring of the docudrama Blocking the Path to 9/11 [4], which contains interviews with many people on the topic, and points out how the MSM liberals and Clintons have smeared it so much that it has destroyed it from ever being shown on TV or being sold on DVD in the near-future. [5]
  2. The Wikipedia article "List of consipracy theories" ridicules and dismisses as "conspiracy theories" more hypotheses advanced by conservative thinkers than hypotheses advanced by left wing thinkers. The editor(s) of this page have an obvious liberal bias that hold in disfavor a number of ideas advanced by conservatives. For example, Water Fluoridation has been opposed by many conservative groups due to concerns about health impacts as well as a question of personal freedom and limits on the proper scope of government. Yet, the Wikipedia list dismisses these views as a "conspiracy theory" that draws on "distrust of experts and unease about medicine and science". In another example, peak oil is a theory advanced by many conservatives including geologist T. Boone Pickens. Yet, the page dismisses it, noting "There are theories that the 'peak oil' concept is a fraud concocted by the oil industries to increase prices amid concerns about future supplies."[91]
  3. The Wikipedia article "The Plan (Washington, D.C.)" is one of the conspiracy theories included on the official Wikipedia conspiracy list. However, the article cites few sources supporting the existence of the conspiracy to replace black residents with whites in Washington DC and no sources that refute the existence of the conspiracy.

Naziism, Socialism, Communism

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: Naziism, Socialism, Communism

  1. Edits from Russian Government IP addresses removed statements in the Wikipedia article on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which said that Russia had provided the terrorists with the surface to air missile used to shoot down that civilian flight.[92][93]
  2. Wikipedia's main article on Communism does not mention any act of genocide in Communist countries, and any attempts to edit the page to include this information are deleted. The Nazism page, however, includes multiple mentions of the Holocaust. The only mention of communist genocide is buried deep within the article structure for Communism.
  3. Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew communism in Chile and then restored democracy before voluntarily giving up power himself, is called a "dictator" by Wikipedia,[94] but Fidel Castro, the communist dictator of Cuba for four decades, is instead called a "leader" or even a "president".[95][96]
  4. Wikipedia is sympathetic to Fidel Castro in its entry about Cuba.[97] Wikipedia blames President Dwight Eisenhower for choosing "to attend a golf tournament" rather than meet the revolutionary Castro in 1959, and then Wikipedia claims that Castro became a communist because of the American-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Conservapedia tells the truth up-front: "Cuba has been ruled by a communist dictator named Fidel Castro since 1959."[98]
  5. Wikipedia's article on far-left politics outright praises the dismantling of social structures and even goes on to say that the far-left promotes equality, while failing to mention the blatant anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hate speech among the far-left, its racism against whites in the form of Jeremiah Wright, the blatant racism among groups like Black Panthers. While its far-right politics articles accuse them of maintaining a social hierarchy and being racist and being supremacists that keep the "oppression" in check, while utterly failing to mention the black supremacist politics among the far-left. It promotes the far-left as bringing equality, while failing to mention its supremacist racism by people like NBP for example.

General/Uncategorized

Jens Stoltenberg.

See Examples of Bias in Wikipedia: General or uncategorized

  1. Wikipedia falsely reported that the prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, was a pedophile who had served time in prison.[99][100]
  2. Wikipedia appeals to a dumbed-down culture of users that appreciate obscenity instead of education. The vulgar swear word referring to sex, F---, is mentioned in nearly 7,000 articles. [6] Most recently, it is used in an article about Republican Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner when the article's sources did not spell out that word.[101]
  3. Wikipedia does its best to cover-up crimes and lewd behavior coming from left leaning Occupy Wall Street crowd. Assault emphasized, rape is minimized by the terms omission. Rape is not used in the article and can only be found in a reference title at the end of the page. [102]
  4. Wikipedia does not mention until after 600 words that Jared Loughner, like many Wikipedia editors, is an atheist, and its entry initially failed to admit that he is also a nihilist, an extreme form of atheism.[103]
    Most examples have been moved to the sublists. Please visit the sublists to learn about the variety of bias in Wikipedia.

Structural problems with Wikipedia

A major source of bias comes from the Wikipedia pillar of "verifiability." Wikipedia proudly proclaims, "Verifiability, and not truth, is one of the fundamental requirements for inclusion in Wikipedia;"[104] There have been many attempts to change this because when a Wikipedia editor tries to remove false content, editors who favor biased content rely upon this policy to retain the falsehoods.[105][106][107] An example of such misuse involve radical feminists who tried to have Wikipedia state that netball was an Olympic sport[108] when in fact it has never been played "at the Olympics." Because they found a speech where a politician told the New South Wales Parliament that netball was "technically an Olympic sport"[109] they were able to retain this false material as if it were a verified fact.

Requiring just one source to meet Wikipedia's verifiability standard is a serious logical flaw. Any well-established fact can be contradicted by finding one obscure source somewhere on the web, and Wikipedia will allow just one reference to overrule the majority of definitive sources saying the opposite.

An editor who was never in Malawi says this is a photo of a Malawian netball team. An edit war ensued.

Another bias is from "show and tell." Some Wikipedia editors have not outgrown their need to show off what they have found on the internet. Again using the obscure sport of netball as an example, the editor found a photo posted on flickr that was labeled, "The Girls Netball Team"[110] even though it did not show anyone playing netball. The editor then captioned the photo, "A Malawian netball team" and placed it along side a few other obscure facts to create a Malawi section of the netball article.[111] So how can the reader trust that the people in the photograph are really in Malawi and that they really play netball?[112][113] Adding photos to articles is the most visible form of the "show and tell" syndrome. The need to "show and tell" can also result in including random, obscure facts and data in an article. For example, an editor can find a data source from years ago, but if the data is included in the article without proper emphasis of the date, it creates the implication that the data remains true today.[114]

Errors and bias can be introduced by robotic submissions. For example, many Wikipedia articles about populated places in the United States were created by robots using 2000 census data. A standard paragraph on demographics which included 2000 data was automatically included in each article. Wikipedia has not been able to program a robot to update all of those statistics, so most articles about places in the United States do not have more recent data from the 2010 census. Robots tagged many Wikipedia articles that had an article name in common with those in an early edition of Encyclopædia Britannica as having that book as a source -- even if nothing in the article was based on that book, and no human checked if the Wikipedia article was consistent with the Britannica article.

Another level of error and bias comes from Wikipedia's reliance on poorly-trained volunteers instead of paid professionals. For example, someone proposed that a copyrighted photo of Joseph Stalin taken by Margaret Bourke-White be deleted in 2009.[115] It was kept because someone with a gmail account sent permission claiming to be her son. She died without children[116] and the photo's copyrighted actually belonged to Time, Inc. but the mistake was not detected until 2012.

Accountability

Wikipedia relies upon volunteer administrators to maintain the accountability of the website and enforce its rules. The number of administrators continues to shrink. In January 2008, there were 1,011 administrators, but the number dropped to 661 in November 2012.[117] The number drops because the process of selecting new administrators subjects each candidate to extensive abuse. If the action of Wikipedia administrators appear very odd, perhaps it is because the actions are the product of anonymous, very young people or, in some cases, of mentally ill people. For example, sysop Altenmann was desysopped and community-banned in April 2010 for sockpuppeting and improper closure of deletion discussions over a period of several years. He admitted mental illness and has been unbanned.[118]

Fundametally, the owner of a website is accountable for its governance and contents. To qualify for a tax exemption, Wikipedia is owned by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) that has a Board of Directors and a paid professional staff of 146.[119] However, the WMF, its Board and Staff disavow any accountability for the Wikipedia encyclopedia. Instead, co-founder Jimmy Wales claims ultimate authority for it, and acts as the executive/monarch on whatever he chooses. For example, although the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee is selected in an election, Wales accepts the election results and appoints the new members. As recently as September 2013, Wales claims to have the right to overturn Arbitration Committee decisions.[120] If a person has a complaint about being falsely libled by Wikipedia, the WMF disavows any control of the matter and hides behind Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. So, the WMF has a legal incentive to maintain a "hands off" approach to content disputes. Its Board and Staff collect the charitable donations and meet IRS requirements, but Wales and the volunteer editors maintain the biased, defamatory site.

There have been lawsuits against Wikipedia and its editors. For example, Theodore Katsanevas, a Greek politician sued a Wikipedia editor and the WMF to seek removal of allegedly defamatory materials from the Greek Wikipedia. A Greek Court granted a preliminary injunction requiring the removal of material, but other editors have added it back in and have translated the biography with the offending material into 20 other languages. A full trial is expected in 2016, and the WMF has promised to pay all of the defendants' legal fees.[121]

Humorous quotes relating to bias and Wikipedia

See also: 10 telltale signs you are on your way to becoming an atheist nerd - satire

An article entitled Wikipedia Gridlocked by Wikipedia Nerds declared:

So who are these Gatekeepers to all the internet's knowledge?

A survey the foundation conducted last year determined that the average age of an editor is 26.8 years, and that 87% of them are men.

As you suspected: nerds.[122]

Song excerpt

All of my action figures are Cherry,

Stephen Hawking's in my library....

I edit Wikipedia...I'm nerdy in the extreme, whiter than sour cream...

They see me strollin', they're laughin' And rollin' their eyes cause I'm so White and nerdy". - White and Nerdy, Weird Al Yankovic[123]

From July 26, 2011 to March 13, 2012, the Wikipedia article "Cannabis reform at the international level" referred to the "U.S Department of Justice Drug Endorsement Administration" instead of the Drug Enforcement Administration.[124] The phrase had been inserted by User "Dala11a".

See also

External Links

References

  1. How the left conquered Wikipedia - Part 1
  2. How the left conquered Wikipedia - Part 1
  3. http://www.nndb.com/lists/288/000092012/
  4. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/09/wikimedia_pron_purge/
  5. http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83640
  6. http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83640
  7. http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/search/label/Wikipedia
  8. Here's Your Correction, Wikipedia Founder. WND (December 17, 2012). Retrieved on December 26, 2012.
  9. http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/search/label/Wikipedia
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence
  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-choice_violence
  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-abortion_violence
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