Placement bias

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Placement bias is the manipulation of the order and placement of information in order to distort the impression left in the reader.

Liberal methods often use placement bias to obscure important facts unfavorable to their argument, and to promote their claims beyond what is justified. Some examples:

  • The Wikipedia entry on Boy Scouts v. Dale, a case that the liberals lost, features a glowing praise of the attorney on their side near the top of the article, an aside which had no relevance to the decision that he lost.[1]
  • Liberal icon Bertrand Russell receives glowing adoration on Wikipedia; it is only after about 7,700 words about him that Wikipedia finally mentions Russell's support of the communist revolution (but pretends that Russell quickly opposed it). [1]

It is understood in newspaper editing that the number of people who read a comment is proportional to its proximity to the beginning of the article. Moreover, readers expect the more important information to be first, and place more emphasis on the top part of an article. As an example of how this can be manipulated, Wikipedia's entry on former liberal Vice President Al Gore contains no mention of the drug charges against his son. But Wikipedia's entry on conservative Vice President Dick Cheney prominently mentions his adult daughter's sexuality.[1] The same effect can be seen in the Jimmy Swaggart article; also in disputes on the talk page of Wikipedia's Barney Frank article concerning what details deserve mention in the introduction.[2] On Wikipedia, placement bias is taken one step further by downplaying facts unfavorable to liberals by placing them in entirely different, and less-visited, entries. For example, the drug charges against Albert Gore III were mentioned in the rarely-viewed Wikipedia entry "Al Gore III" -- but that entry has now been deleted.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bias in Wikipedia.
  2. See http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Barney_Frank&oldid=291734546.
  3. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Al_Gore_III_(8th_nomination).


See Also

Examples of Bias in Wikipedia

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