Talk:Examples of Bias in Wikipedia/Archive7

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What if Wikipedia editors were to remove some instances of bias?

It strikes me that dedicated Wikipedia editors might seek to restore their image by rooting out bias. Hypothetically speaking, if an item on this list is later repaired by an editor so that it is no longer true, should it be forgiven and removed from the list, or kept as a reminder of past transgressions? --JonathanDrain 17:57, 24 July 2007 (EDT)

If the correction reflects bias, as in removing smears against Democrats but not against Republicans, then obviously that is another instance of bias. How about an unbiased commitment by Wikipedia??? Godspeed.--Aschlafly 18:08, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
And if the correction does not reflect bias? --JonathanDrain 18:57, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
Sure, if the bias is cleaned up, then I'd love to eliminate the examples and reduce the size of this list, hopefully even to zero. But I'm not naive about the liberal bias at Wikipedia, and I doubt an unbiased clean-up effort is even possible there. Feel free to prove me wrong. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 19:31, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps other editors disagree with your stance. Some entries are written in past-tense, implying that Wikipedia has since cleared instances of bias from at least those articles. --JonathanDrain 04:28, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

It isn't actually possible to reduce this list to zero, partially because of incomplete info and partially because some of the examples are past issues. Without getting into arguing about what's valid or not...

  • #3 has since been corrected.
  • #4 is unreferenced.
  • #5 has since been corrected.
  • #8 has been corrected. Twice.
  • #30 is no longer true as worded. (It may still stand as a criticism if rephrased.)
  • #34 is no longer true. That said, looking at a version from March 3 I can't find this call to participate in a political march. Am I missing it?
  • #35 is the description of a past sequence of events; it is uncorrectable.
  • #38 has since been corrected.
  • #42 is unreferenced.
  • #43 is no longer true; that article is now only in an eponymous category and a handful of maintenence/cleanup categories.
  • #44 has since been corrected; it even cites Conservapedia.
  • #47 has since been corrected.
  • #49 has since been corrected.
  • #52 has since been corrected.
  • #56 has since been partially corrected: the article now mentioned his daughter in the lead, wikilinks "double first" to explain it to unfamiliar readers, his time as Dean of Christ Church is now in his article (it was in the Christ Church, Oxford article), the grammatical error in the lead is gone, and the Britannica 1911 source is now made explict. His lineage is still described in detail.
  • #60 has since been corrected.
  • #65 doesn't have any references explaining when Wikipedia linked PIR to Holocaust denial, and I can't find it in the history. Neither of the two references in the current version have any such accusations.

There are seventeen examples on the list that have either been corrected or lack sufficient information to be acted upon. This is not including the criticisms that have been made by third parties (and thus persist even if they have been acted upon).

To say that Wikipedia is able to reduce this list by cleaning up the articles in question is a bit disingenuous. AManInBlack 06:05, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

  • Arguing without end, and discussing the wallpaper (what if's) while the house is flooded, is another form of deceit. The fact that hundreds of Adminstrators allowed the bias to begin with, and in most cases added to it, is indictment enough. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 05:09, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
    • Are you opposed, then, to Aschlafly's suggestion that in the unlikely event that Wikipedia manages to satisfactorily remove bias from an article referred to on this list, that its entry on the list may deserve to be forgiven in favour of focusing on remaining and future transgressions? --JonathanDrain 11:54, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I am confident that Sysop TK and everyone else here would welcome an end to the lynch-mob approach by Wikipedia, and we would let bygones be bygones if there is a real change there. That would entail an unbiased cleaning of the smears and errors and perhaps a rule change at Wikipedia to prevent recurrence.
Obviously that has not happened, and probably won't because of the intense liberal bias of the Wikipedia editors. In the above list of alleged corrections, only 3 out of the most important 29 examples have been corrected by Wikipedia. Two of those corrections were concerning powerful individuals, and thus may simply reflect Wikipedia's protecting its self-interest. So that leaves only one genuine correction out of 29. That's a far cry from a sincere effort by Wikipedia to stop its National Enquirer-stuff. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 12:22, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Out of interest, which are the most important 29 examples? Bronzefinger 12:49, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
You can't be serious. Try 1-29.--Aschlafly 13:01, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I was entirely serious. The list does not indicate that it is in order of importance, and it seems that new entries are added to the start of the list, so I assumed they were in roughly chronological order. Thanks for clarifying. Bronzefinger 13:28, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps what needs to be "worked on" is thinking like that shown above? Instead of just tackling the problem, the discussion is diverted by a need to rank which items are the most important! Surely one cannot believe that sort of obsessive need to become completely mired in endless discussions about the discussions, serves WP or its readers well? Wiki's (all wiki's), in general, seem to attract users who use debating tricks too much, and pay too little attention to doing what is forthright, IMHO. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 14:41, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Today's front page asks when Wikipedia will clean up its sixty-five instances of bias. I'm sure there's some overlap between Conservapedia editors and conservative Wikipedia editors, who would be more than happy to try and improve Wikipedia. What guidelines do you suppose Wikipedia should follow in order to absolve itself from this list of complaints? --JonathanDrain 15:19, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

  • What is "wrong" at Wikipedia is systemic. Without Jimbo making fundamental changes in his personal ideas about how the place operates, I cannot see that happening. It is like trying to push a Donkey Cart uphill, along with the Donkeys. Possible, but extremely difficult, unless he is now prepared to state some "absolutes" of right and wrong, truth and fiction. This he has been resistant to do, deciding to run with the sixties commune style of mobocracy, where a 14 year old editor has equal weight, in theory as well as practice, with that of a Nobel Laureate. Without that, people there will continue to be "rat-packed" by the roving bands of thought police, demanding a world-view, secular progressive agenda, and getting it by tying everything they disagree with into a never-ending argument and a series of arbitrations, panels, commissions and reviews, all the while personally attacking them, second-guessing their posts, etc. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 16:05, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Many of these aren't even legitimate cases of bias. If #1 is, then Conservapedia is guilty of the same sort of thing on its Liberal hypocrisy page (linking John Kerry to the National Humane Society merely because he received a high rank from them). A bunch are instances of past vandalism that have been corrected (ie #4, #34), though obviously the past cannot be undone. #6 is a legitimate criticism, but hardly an example of liberal bias. In #7 the instances are hardly comparable (the former being a news blurb for a day, the latter being a substantial issue that has been widely referenced, nor would I compare an illegal act with someone's sexual orientation). For a site that complains that Wikiepdia isn't concise enough (and I generally agree with that) there's an awful lot of criticism for not mentioning certain details (#11, #23). #32 is flawed, as it compares 8% athiests with 35% atheists, agnostics, seculars, etc., nor is the references Wikipedia page a stastically relevent scientific survey. #41 highlights an unnecessary detail included in a Wikipedia article, but if referenced is hardly "gossip" (and still not bias). The newspapers really have to take the rap for #63; no newspaper should use Wikiepdia, or any wiki (or probably any encyclopedia) for a source without backing up the claims elsewhere. They would have been rightly criticized for using Conservapedia as well. As for #45 (many of Wikipedia's articles having no educational value), I've come across many articles here that are too brief to really have any educational value at all. On top of that, the number of articles on pop culture here is growing rapidly (as I thought it would). I haven't even looked at most of the examples (and I'll get a bunch of a certain amount of legitimacy to them). If you're going to put this on your front page you should probably look into it a bit more closely. PortlyMort 16:17, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

  • As for "pop culture" articles, I delete many on sight, but you do have a good point. Comparing that particular thing, on a new wiki like CP, as compared to an established and mature one like WP, is a bit unfair, no? --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 16:27, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Well, many comparisons are going to be inequitable. Wikipedia's more serious offenses (Seigenthaler, Zoeller) are due to its too big to completely police for cases of vandalism and malevolent edits. Conservapedia can do a much better job, being much smaller. As for pop culture, this brings up a question: what is Conservapedia's deletion policy? I haven't seen one. PortlyMort 16:53, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Daily Historical Quote: "If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law."-- Sir Winston Churchill --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 17:04, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I take it from the use of that quote that you don't have a deletion policy. And I take it from your other statement that sysops can delete at will any article that they feel is inappropriate. Fair enough. However, I don't think this policy (or lack thereof) is sustainable. As you clearly have some articles on pop culture and not others it seems only a matter of time before there is serious disagreement among sysops as to what is acceptable and what isn't. Eventually something will have to be hammered out that addresses these subjective descrepencies. While ten thousand regulations might be too much, I feel you will need more than 8. PortlyMort 19:48, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
    • Very true. If you have too many rules, how can you expect people to obey them all? --JonathanDrain 17:13, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I don't really feel like getting into a debate about whether such-and-such points are right or not. My point is merely that it's disingenuous to say that Wikipedia can do anything to reduce the length of this list, since when corrections are made, the criticisms turn into "Well, you didn't fix it until we pointed it out." AManInBlack 18:52, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

  • Exactly so! So, if their policies were changed by Jimbo himself, that wouldn't be happening nearly so much, that long delay in righting wrongs posted as fact. The point is, the built in bias of the Adminsistrators there, too many cloned from the same idealogical POV, leads them to ignore such items, as they assume them to be correct. That is what a mob school of thought is. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 18:58, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

No, "ManInBlack", I've been clear that a sincere effort at reform by Wikipedia would result in deleting entries from this list. We hope and pray for that sincere reform. Obviously that has not yet happened, starting with example 1 here and proceeding to dozens of other examples. Isolated, biased corrections by Wikipedia, such as its acting in self-interest to remove smears of powerful people, is not sincere reform.--Aschlafly 19:03, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

What sort of sincere effort for reform would lead to the removal of #49 or #52? AManInBlack 19:35, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Hm, I've been thinking. Item #4 on the list refers to Fuzzy Zoeller, who sought to take legal action against the editor or editors who posted the smears, since it's the editor rather than the Wikimedia Foundation who would be liable for making the edits. This would suggest that it's only the editors who made the smears against "powerful people" who have anything to worry about, not Wikipedia itself. In that case, surely editing Wikipedia to remove smears on powerful people can only be in the interest of the editors who added those smears, not Wikipedia or the editors who removed them later on. Am I missing something? --JonathanDrain 19:47, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Folks, this discussion is getting tiresome. I've been clear already, and we don't waste our time here on frivolous chatter. Look again at our Point 1. Enforce Wikipedia's own rule against guilt-by-association and clean it up there. If you can't even do that, then please don't waste our time here. If you can do that, then do it and let's then efficiently clean up and remove the remainder. Thanks.--Aschlafly 19:54, 25 July 2007 (EDT)


The problem with Wikipedia is that it does not acknowledge its liberal bias. It is so concerned with achieving "consensus" on policy, that it forgets that it is not possible to have a consensus on facts. Originally, Larry and Jimbo agreed that Wikipedia would remain neutral when there is a dispute over what the facts are about anything. That eventually and gradually turned into allowing groups of users to create a "consensus version" of an article with a point of view which cannot be overturned.
The new policy is that even if an article has a POV, no one is allowed to create another article with a different POV - even if the sole reason the extra article is created is to fix the bias in the first article. The alternate POV can be "legally" suppressed: one can neither create an alternate article to describe another POV, nor can one wedge the alternate POV into the first article. This is how they perpetuate the bias in key articles such as theory of evolution (in favor), intelligent design (they're against it), and global warming (they insist there's a scientific consensus). --Ed Poor Talk 19:57, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Yes. "What is "wrong" at Wikipedia is systemic. Without Jimbo making fundamental changes in his personal ideas about how the place operates" as I said above, and nobody can refute that, because it is indeed factual. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 20:48, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I think the issue is that the title of the article is being confused with the subject. Many of the entires here are factual omissions or other problems that don't reflect bias so much as the potential for vandalism or simply the fact that Wikipedia isn't a complete project. The lead even acknowledges this; "silly gossip and blatant errors" aren't bias, and neither are unconscious omissions. (Otherwise, the absence of CP articles on figures like John C. Frémont, George Wood Wingate, Nelson W. Aldrich, and Thomas Edmund Dewey would establish that WP is more conservative than CP, which is plainly silly.)

It may be helpful to better organize this list, categorizing each entry (or ordering it chronologically, or dealing with it in prose instead of as a numbered list), so it isn't quite as much a grab-bag of randomness. Right now, it feels a lot like a nitpicky rant, and it's very difficult to sift through it to find a way to fix things (or even to tell what's new).

Many of the things on this list can (and generally have) been fixed uncontroversially. It would be helpful to make it easy as possible to identify points that still need to be fixed and/or are new and make it clear why they're a problem, if your genuine goal is to enact change on Wikipedia. AManInBlack 21:03, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Ah yes, that's the ticket. Excuse us, this article is still a work in progress. RobS 21:08, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Indeed, I'm not on any crusade to whitewash commentary on Wikipedia; I just want to use that commentary to is utmost. AManInBlack 21:18, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

ManInBlack, take a look at Point 1. If you can't or won't fix it on Wikipedia, then don't waste our time here.

You're like an apologize for a lynch mob who says something good about the mob. It's still a lynch mob hanging people.--Aschlafly 21:24, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I don't think I could make the case that associating someone with the John Birch Society is smearing them, I'm sorry. It's taken as assumed here that such association is a smear, with no real stated reasoning behind it. (I guess it's self-evident if you're familiar with the politics in that area?)
It's not as though I haven't looked at this list for things to fix; I fixed some of the Henry Liddell stuff, removed a bunch of ridiculous unsourced allegations from an article on TBN, and (while I didn't get the idea from here) I was the one who closed the final AFD that got rid of the disgraceful Brandt article.
I am broadly sympathetic to criticism of Wikipedia, and I try to act on it when I can. The organization of this list, with open and closed cases mixed freely, and different - often contradictory - problems scattered all over, does not lend itself to use.
It comes down to your goal. If your goal is to make Wikipedia look bad, mission accomplished. That a big, impressive-looking list and its nature lends itself to nothing on the list getting resolved ever because nobody can make heads nor tails of it. If your goal is to enact change on Wikipedia, then some organization would make it significantly more useful. AManInBlack 21:37, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Ok, here's some criticism you can fix: the link to the New American at Chip Berlet#Criticism of Berlet has been broken for two years and nobody's fixed it. I'd fix it, but they'd only add another year to my ban. And personally, I think they deliberately want the link broken. Here's why: It links to an article entitled Propagandizing the Police [1] which says this,
" Berlet published a column in Overthrow, an organ of the militant, far-left Youth International Party (Abbie Hoffman’s “Yippies”)..."
Now considering this site says Yippies are a terrorist subsidiary of the National Lawyers Guild, of which Berlet was VP, it's not surprising he'd write for their journal. And what would happen to Berlet's status as the inhouse resident expert on politcal affairs, if it was discovered he was published in an extreme and terrorist publication?
So, beware if you dare fix that link, you will be a marked user, stalked and harassed, if your contributions do not tow the party line. RobS 23:16, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
So, um, what's the problem and why? AManInBlack 23:46, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
The text of the Berlet entry uses the John Birch Society's New American allegedly to give balance & criticism. The quoted text even puts Berlet at odds with the Anti-Defamation League. But when you click on the link to read the source document, the link is broken. The source document, Propagandizing the Police, cites Berlet as having written for extremist publications. I was banned likewise for using a different source that cited Berlet writting for another extremist publication (See Guardian, here in CP). If Berlet writes for extremist publications, he cannot be used as a source for anything other than his own organization, Politcal Research Associates. Yet Berlet literally authored the entire Dominionism series (look at the Template under "critics" [2] or you can check the contribs any page in the series).
IOW, Berlet cannot be cited for anything in Wikipedia, as per Wikipedia's attribution policies, written by SlimVirgin, which state, "An extreme political website should never be used as a source for Wikipedia except in articles discussing the opinions of that organization or the opinions of a larger like-minded group," a passage I [SlimVirgin] was the author of." 466
Oddly, SlimVirgin is Berlet's staunchest defender.
Oh, as to the smear in the Brandt entry, the neologism "conspiracist" has been documented to be Berlet's own invention. Berlet created Wikipedia's "Conspiracist" entry, and cited himself. Berlet called Brandt a conspiracist, so using his own neologism is another policy violation in the Brandt case (all this I called attention to ArbCom, Jimbo, and Foundation two years ago). The John Birch Society in WP is slandered with Berlet's neologism as "conspiracist." RobS 00:25, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
Okay, short version. What link is broken, and where should it link? I'm not diving into all of this for your sake, but if there's a broken link, I'll fix that. AManInBlack 01:21, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
Footnote 15 here [3] should link to this [4]. Good luck. RobS 10:14, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
Right now, the link links to a New American article, so I don't see the problem. I'm not really comfortable digging deeper, as I know nothing about the subject matter. (This is part of why the list could stand to be better organized; I'm patient enough to dig through it for stuff I can fix; others may not be.) AManInBlack 00:32, 27 July 2007 (EDT)
Yah but the link is broken, a 404 dead end page comes up. I provided the link to the cited article above. You're not telling me you're afraid of a bunch of Stalinists, are you? Stalin's dead, the KGB is defunct (moreless) and these people are just a bunch of bullies and wannabe's. So what if the ArbCom Chairman & Berlet go back 37 years [5] to that KGB front organization, the National Lawyers Guild, it's not like the old days where they'd arrange an accident for you or ship you off to the Gulag. All they can do is ban you. RobS 00:38, 27 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't make a practice of intervening in situations where I don't feel I can practically explain my actions. There's a difference between taking a risk of getting in a big fight because I honestly believe in the cause and doing the same on the frankly confusing say-so of someone else. I'm sorry. AManInBlack 21:14, 27 July 2007 (EDT)
Face facts. You're afraid of SlimVirgin.
What more evidence do we need, of WP high level Admins in the Cabal bullying people, promoting disinformation, and getting clones and cronies to coverup thier dirty work than your appearance here on this talk page? You've been presented the facts, and the evidence, yet refuse to do a simple maintance chore of fixing a simple broken link. RobS 15:49, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
Generally, it's more effective to respond to "I don't feel I have enough information to help you" with more information, not vague insinuations of cowardice. I didn't come here to get into a fight about subjects I'm not well-informed about, either. AManInBlack 15:26, 3 August 2007 (EDT)
Ok, so there's a broken link here (footnote 15) that is supposed to link here [6]. Simple maintance chore. It's been broken for two years. Rob Smith 16:38, 3 August 2007 (EDT)
Nevermind. Some courageous soul fixed it. I'd love to find out who, and follow the remainder of his editing career. Rob Smith 16:42, 3 August 2007 (EDT)
It was WP editor SallyForth123 yesterday. Didn't take long to get a response, they're accusing her of being a robot. Your_edits_to_Chip__Berlet And the revert war is on in the Criticism of Berlet. Rob Smith 16:49, 3 August 2007 (EDT)

<---

Typical. Look at the reactions. Deja vu all over again:

"I suggest you explain what you plan to do on the talk page first... doing these massive edits... you have introduced errors, and you have also added unsourced material. Since this is a biographical article of a living person, you need to tread very carefully. I suggest you discuss your proposed changes first on the talk page, and try to get consensus....
"My edits were not massive: they were all trivial....
"I suggest you take it easy on this article – if you want to edit it, do it in small bits, that are easy for others to inspect and follow. [7]

Rob Smith 16:59, 3 August 2007 (EDT)

Here's some material User:SallyForth123 could insert. [8]

Number 1

The "guilt-by-association" charge seems to rely on the John Birch Society being a Bad Thing. Some people may think the JBS isn't a Good Thing; but on the whole, it seems, (to the well informed) a group of like minded individuals similar in message and scope as some other conservative groups. Being associated with it, even by simply being a member or having gained some measure of support from the society for a position or an act of some sort, doesn't seem to render one less desirable. U2 15:34, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

I am old enough to remember the JBS back in the sixties. Since then, I haven't found it particularly in the forefront of "Conservative" groups, nor particularly relevant to most Conservatives. I believe the membership numbers show this to be true. But I do see it mentioned often in Liberal blogs, and whenever Liberals wish to point up something about Conservative's being "fringe" or out of the mainstream political thought. Odd. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 15:56, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia itself says that guilt-by-association is against the rules when debating someone. Yet Wikipedia supports and defends the use of guilt-by-association to smear conservatives in their entries. Wikipedia adheres to rules and ethics about as much as a lynch mob does. Guess what: intelligent people abandon both.--Aschlafly 17:48, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Per WP's own rules, the JBS is not an extreme group, or it's publication, The New American considered extremist. Under WP attribution policies, an extreme source can only be used to when writing about the same organization. The citation to the New American in the criticism section of Chip Berlet#Criticism has been there for years, and I doubt very much if even Berlet's defenders would allow it to be removed, if anyone is familiar with this long running controversy. In fact, if anyone cares to investigate it, I would wager that John Birch Society publication was placed there by SlimVirgin herself. RobS 18:05, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

hypocricy?

As I pointed out above, if "guilt" by association is such a problem at Wikipedia (still not sure what exactly the "guilt" is in this case), then it should be removed here. The Liberal hypocrisy page links John Kerry to the National Humane Society merely because he received a high rank from them. Exactly the sort Wikipedia is criticized for. I'd change it but the page is locked. PortlyMort 09:52, 26 July 2007 (EDT)

PortlyMort, the National Humane Society reference is *not* in the entry about John Kerry. Wikipedia does smear conservatives with guilt-by-association in their own entries. And liberals insist on keeping those smears there, despite its own rules against it. Bottom line: no credibility for Wikipedia anymore. No intelligent contributor is going to be part of a guilt-by-association smear machine.--Aschlafly 13:56, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
So guilt by association is okay here as long as it's only in certain articles? So it's not in the Kerry article, but it's still in Conservapedia. I wouldn't care myself (it's certainly arguable if mentioning a politician's score from a special interest group is a smear or simply reporting statistics; saying "Senator Fancypants has a 85% rating from the Seirra Club" or "Congressman Popcorn has a 90% rating from the NRA" doesn't seem terribly unfair, though context would be a fator), but this site seems to think it's some sort of cardinal sin. And if it is then you should remove the Kerry reference. So it's not on Kerry's page, It's on the Liberal hypocrisy page (ironic, as it seems to illustrate some hypocricy here). PortlyMort 19:25, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
PortlyMort, you miss the point. Guilt-by-association is a smear when it appears in the entry for the target of the smear. This is what Wikipedia does, and intelligent contributors will continue to leave Wikipedia as long as it continues that practice. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 21:54, 27 July 2007 (EDT)
It seems I do miss the point. Why is only a smear when it appears in the entry for the target, but not on any other page? This is making up the rules as you go along. A smear is a smear, regardless of what page it appears on. If it were in the debate or conservapedia or talk space you'd certainly have a point, but it's right there in an article. Are you saying if "Senator Noodle closely associates with Nazis" appears on the Senator Noodle page it's a smear, but if on the Nazi page it says "Nazis have been known to associate with Senator Noodle" it's not? I really do not follow that logic at all. And I'm not trying to be argumentative; I'm just trying to understand the reasoning here. PortlyMort 13:39, 28 July 2007 (EDT)

the facts

User:SlimVirgin wrote:[9]

"An extreme political website should never be used as a source for Wikipedia except in articles discussing the opinions of that organization or the opinions of a larger like-minded group," a passage I was the author of back in March. 466

User:SlimVirgin authored in the Chip Berlet mainspace:

"these groups compile lists of organizations and individuals for police intelligence divisions, and then the police are expected to use that information to keep tabs on such people, who may have done nothing more than express a political view the ‘watchdogs’ disagree with," Wilcox told The New American, which is published by the John Birch Society. diff

Hence, according to the author of Wikipedia's own Attribution policy, the John Birch Society and it's publication The New American are acceptable, mainstream sources for Wikipedia, and cannot be considered extreme. RobS 18:32, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

It's related to this. [10] Rob Smith 16:48, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

Number 65

  • #65 doesn't have any references explaining when Wikipedia linked PIR to Holocaust denial, and I can't find it in the history. Neither of the two references in the current version have any such accusations.
This is directly related to Wikipedia longstanding dispute with Daniel Brandt, and the Wikimedia Foundations unwillingness to require certain "priviliged experts" (a) be required to following WP policies, and (b) refusal of ArbCom to take sanctions against the most blatant and incivil conduct.
The reference you cannot find is available right from CP's main space page [11] Let's extract it, and count the violations of Wikipedia's own policies. Further, this slander and defamation, which Jimbo Wales himself was aware of, stood for at least 18 months. Extracted:
"Between 1990 and 1992, three members of Brandt's PIR advisory board, including Chip Berlet, resigned or were removed after complaining that another board member, L. Fletcher Prouty, was openly working with and defending Liberty Lobby and the Holocaust denial group the Institute for Historical Review, which republished Prouty's book Secret Team. According to Berlet, Brandt defended Prouty, and brushed off complaints that he (Brandt) was promoting alliances with right-wing conspiracist groups, some of which Berlet considered antisemitic or even pro-fascist. [1]
Look who inserted the information, Mr. Chip Berlet, aka User:Cberlet. I personally was banned for one year for citing Washington Post criticism of a publication Berlet was working for, the editor of which was on Berlet's Board of Advisors. And my citation of the Washington Post criticism was adjudicated as a personal attack against another user. Let's count the number of WP violations of this diff,which Jimbo Wales was aware of, that were allowed to remain for 18 months.
  1. personal attack against another user
  2. citing self
  3. violation of BLP
  4. violation of Reliable Sources
  5. using a self publishing source
  6. using a marginal, fringe, or extreme source
  7. Wikipedia is a not a battleground
  8. Wikipedia is not a vehicle for self promotion
  9. experts do not occupy a position of privilge
Wikipedia has a long way to go before it cleans this one up. RobS 16:56, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Have you been to the Daniel Brandt article lately? The Brandt situation was disgraceful, and I'm ashamed to say it persisted for so long, but that issue is finally resolved. AManInBlack 18:56, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

  • "Resolved" according to whom? And after such a horrible, long process of obfuscation and denial, who can say there was any fair resolution at all? Justice delayed is indeed justice denied. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 19:00, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I think we should note the situation persisted for a year and half until I posted #65 here; then it was rather quickly resolved, because I exposed exactly the root and core of the a dispute as cited above. Now, what action has been taken against blatant violations of policy CP exposed with this diff? As another editor stated somewhere above, "there certainly seems to be a lot of undue emphasis on Berlet's writings on wikipedia, which are widespread." [12] Widespread indeed. The first action that probably needs to be taken is him being banned permanetly, and then all his contributions meticulously reviewed. I would venture to say, Berlet has had a hand in numerous examples cited on this list.
The problem in WP isn;t just a flawed edit here or there, it is an institutional problem, a policy stance that allows some editors to slander and promote disinformation with immunity, even when it's brought to the attention of ArbCom. the Trustees, and the benevolent dictator. And when it is exposed, the reprisal and banning happens to the whistleblowers. RobS 19:32, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
My hunch was exactly correct: Bias #1 states, "Wikipedia uses guilt-by-association far worse than Joseph McCarthy ever did. Wikipedia smears numerous persons and organizations by giving the false impression that they are associated with the John Birch Society (JBS). Examples include:
  • anti-communist Fred Schwarz, merely because JBS agreed with him[2]
This guilt-by-association was written & inserted by none other than Mr. Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, 13:27, 1 April 2005 [13]

To answer the question, "What action has been taken against blatant violations of policy[...]in [such and such diff]", the article is now long-gone, and Wikipedia has enacted a strict policy to try and deal with articles about living people.

The entire Brandt article debacle was a disgrace to Wikipedia by any standards. I misunderstood the somewhat vaguely-written and -attributed listing in #65, taking it to mean that it was a separate, additional issue with the PIR article. As far as I can tell, the list still hasn't changed, and misattributes the mess to the PIR article, without making the context clear. It's certainly a fair criticism and belongs on any list of Wikipedia's failings (although I'm not entirely sure how it establishes some sort of bias), but the current version of this list doesn't make it clear what actually happened to someone who doesn't already know. AManInBlack 21:18, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Berlet has a long stream of slander victims, ArbCom knows he does this, so does the Board of Trustees, and so does Jimbo. And SlimVirgin, Jayjg, and Will Beback all work as a tag team with him. Fred Bauder, ArbCom Chairman. is a fellow former National Lawyers Guild member and has known Berlet for almost 40 years. When Berlet's malicious conduct is brought before ArbCom, the accusers are banned, And Berlet feels even more justified & reinvigorated.
Who else are known vicitms? Dr. Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Payul Weyrich, Tim LaHaye for starters. Last winter I was in correspondence with User:Baby Dweezil, whom Berlet was trying to get banned. Every indication is is that Baby Dweezil is most probably Dr. Lenora Fullani, not only the first black, or the first black woman, but the first and only women who achieved ballot status in all 50 states for the office of President of the United States. This woman is a living historical figure, yet Berlet has been viciously slandering her for 20 years. When she tried to mitigate the slanders in WP, the old lynch mob led by Berlet & SlimVirgin got rid of her. And then Berlet has the audacity to claim he's for minority and women's rights. It's outrageous the way Wikipedia embraces this fraud. RobS 21:45, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Article talks only of American statistics

There are conservatives outside the US. All the statistics here say things like "n% of people in are not athiests" as some kind of claim for bias, however the statistics for other countries are different, particularly in Europe. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mrescher (talk)

65 Findings of Bias

With nearly two million entries on Wikipedia finding 65 that are claimed (claim leaves room for disagreement on whether these are actual cases of bias) to be biased is really remarkable. That leaves a bias rate of .0000325 percent. A truly remarkable rate given the free wheeling nature of what they do and provide. I beleive that such a rate doesn't prove that Wikipedia is biased but rather proves what a great job they do to maintain an open, factual online reference. I would challenge Conservapedia to meet such a high standard while maintaining an open and free environment for all voices.

--AGivenVoice 14:49, 30 July 2007 (EDT)

Don't be ridiculous. You know that nobody has read every single article on Wikipedia. 65 reflects the number found out of the representative number reviewed. This is the method that sysop (and former WP bureaucrat) Ed Poor used to compare CP and WP: picking a certain number of random articles from each. DanH 14:50, 30 July 2007 (EDT)

You're not trying to say that those 65 examples were all found using a random article search, are you? PortlyMort 17:21, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
The vast majority of Wikipedia is either (1) copied directly from an out-of-date public domain encyclopedia, (2) complete junk about rock music, Hollywood figures, or obscure towns, or (3) pornography. Wikipedia welcomes this stuff to try to drive up its internet traffic for the for-profit search engine that its leaders are building. Our examples of bias here do not draw upon this vast majority (and useless) portion of Wikipedia. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 17:31, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
Wow. You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you? Actually, very few articles are copied from public sources: it was about 8% several years ago, and as Wikipedia has more than doubled in size since then. Included in that figure (in fact, the vast majority) of that 8% are articles on "obscure towns", mostly pulled directly from the 2000 census. Since Wikipedia has grown, and the number of small towns has not, that figure is probably closer 3%. Rock music and Hollywood figures are certainly well-covered, but nowhere near the "majority". Going through 30-some random articles just now I found maybe 5 that fit the bill (a pretty large number, but nowhere near the majority). As for porn, well, I'm not sure what you mean. Certainly Wikipedia covers all sorts of sexual stuff that Conservapedia does not, and it has articles on many porn stars (too many, certainly), but combined they are a miniscule amount of the nearly 2,000,000 total entries on the site. Even this stuff would not meet most people's definitions of "pornography". In any case, my question wasn't answered as to whether Dan was implying that the random article generator was used to make the list, because it clearly was not. PortlyMort 17:48, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
You're clueless about what drives traffic to Wikipedia. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 17:52, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
Hmmmm, let's see, what drives traffic to Wikipedia? Well, google for one. Also people who want to look up stuff on all sorts of topics but don't want to pay the fees commercial encyclopedias charge, or want to find stuff on the "fluff" that the othres don't cover at all (yes, I'm sure looking up Pokemon, Harry Potter, rock bands, and the like does bring a lot of traffic to Wikipedia, but not all of it by any means). And anyone who wants to look for porn will be very disappointed with Wikipedia. There are so many places to find porn on the internet; searching an encyclopedia would be silly (unless someone gets their jollies out of reading prose text giving colorless definitions of sexual acts, but most people are looking for photos and video of hardcore bonking). So what does drive traffic to Wikipedia? You seem to be an expert on it. PortlyMort 18:00, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
Oh really? Then explain why you have articles on homosexuality, Molly Ringwald, Rush and Hebden Bridge. Would this be an example of deceit? Noemi 17:47, 30 July 2007 (EDT)
There's one other source, this this stuff, the author of whom we've proven writes for extremists publications, inviolation of WP:ATT, WP:RS, WP:NOR, WP:NPOV, WP:NOT. Yet the Foundation wants this junk in. RobS 18:02, 30 July 2007 (EDT)


I checked twenty random pages - probably not statistically accurate but I thought it might give some idea. We have six people (1 sportsperson, 3 historical figures, 1 fictional character, 1 celebrity) two european buildings, two American cities or states, two video games and one music album. We also have a Christian musical award, a year of the Islamic calendar, a mental disorder, an asteroid, a political foundation in India and an oil company in Vietnam, and a racehorse.
Now, I do the same on Conservapedia. We have four articles on science (one each of genetics, physics, chemistry and medicine), three on geography or foreign nations (including Islam and the Middle East), three articles on religion, two articles on history, and two on law or law enforcement. We also have one conservative think tank, a neoconservative writer, a Shakespearean play, an animal, a rock band, and one other.
From this small sample set, it should be clear that Conservapedia has quite a different approach than Wikipedia. If nothing else, the people it attracts are more likely to be interested in traditional encyclopedia material like science and history, than in stuff like video games and cartoons. --JonathanDrain 08:07, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
Interesting, although what your study does not take into account is that Wikipedia also has entries (probably much more complete ones) on the subjects you found in Conservapedia. At least, I'd wager they do; I can't be sure without knowing specifically what they are. Wikipedia has nearly 2 million entries (I say "entries", not "articles") compared to Conservapedia's 15,000 entries. Your study shows that Wikipedia has much mroe fluff. Of course it does; no one denies that. The implication that therefore Conservapedia has more serious topics, because more come up in a random search, is erroneous. If even 2/3 of Wikipedia's articles were fluff or substantially problematical (and that is by no means true), it would still have more than 600,000 more articles on encyclopedic topics than Conservapedia, most of them containing much more information (I certainly agree that Wikipedia could really use some more conciseness, but many articles here are grossly inadequate). And keep in mind that your pop culture entries are growing quickly. I've seen plenty of movies, celebrities, minor characters from fiction, etc. here, but having them does not make the articles on other topics any worse. Most people go to encyclopedias to look up a specific topic, not to hit the random article button. If someone looks for and finds a decent article on the Battle of the Nile, fine. That it may share hard drive space with thousands of articles on albums doesn't really matter. PortlyMort 10:15, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
I have to come to the defense of JonathanDrain. If the question is which encyclopedia has the higher fraction of serious topics, the approach is actually a good start. If you however want to measure the relative quality, you might want to do the following: First get a random sample in Conservapedia, and then lookup the corresponding article in Wikipedia, and compare those. And then get a random sample in Wikipedia, and compare those article with the corresponding ones in Conservapedia. But I still think that getting random samples is a good start. Maybe we should in the future agree on an experiment before we conduct it. User:Order
I did this before. The result was that Wikipedia's articles tended to be much longer and more comprehensive. However, Wikipedia's had a sizeable head start, it's been argued and a longer entry isn't necessarily better. Some of the Wikipedia articles are more verbose than strictly necessary. --JonathanDrain 11:51, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
I am glad to see that finally someone has started to get actual numbers, even if 20 is an admittedly small sample. Kudos JonathanDrain. This is much better than second guessing and hearsay. User:Order 31 July 22:25
The real test of an "encyclopedia" is how clearly and concisely it explains something to an inquiring student or adult. Any objective evaluation of Wikipedia entries in terms of their ability to teach has to give Wikipedia an "F". I know that may sound harsh, but as a teacher who once used Wikipedia entries in a course, I see that as the inescapable, and unfortunate, conclusion.
The famous, widely publicized comparison between Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica in Nature in 2005 missed the most important measure of an encyclopedia: its ability to educate in an efficient manner. While the publicized report claimed that Wikipedia was superior to the Britannica in terms of accuracy, in fact there is no question that Britannica is infinitely better than Wikipedia in its educational value. But that news report, which bordered on defamation, ignored that key measuring standard and as a result destroyed the Encyclopedia Britannica. The loss is everone's.--Aschlafly 15:29, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the report found that Britannica was more accurate, as everyone expected it would be. The surprise was that they were realitively close. Of course, the study looked at specific articles in a specific field; it was hardly very broad or comprehensive. And the accuracy of the study itself has been criticized. This, however, does start to address the real problems of Wikipedia, not the "it's nothing but porn and rock bands" fallacy. I'm sure Britannica is more accurate; the advantages of Wikipedia are that it's free and it has many more articles. Additionally, some believe that Wikipedia's longer (on the average) articles cover more information, and are therefore better. Of course, this is highly debatable, and I tend to disagree, in many cases at least. Sometimes more is better. To pick a random article, I'd say the Wikipedia article on the Domesday Book is better than the one here. It has more information, and if it's more than someone needs, they can stop reading after the first couple paragraphs. And lest anyone in a glass house strat throwing stones, Conservapedia has articles from the way too "concise" to the overly wordy. PortlyMort 16:09, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

"And keep in mind that your pop culture entries are growing quickly. I've seen plenty of movies, celebrities, minor characters from fiction, etc. here, but having them does not make the articles on other topics any worse." Nice to see by the use of "your" what you are here for, PortlyMort. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 10:50, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

Example of Pro-Gay Bias

The category allowing users to self identify as heterosexual was deleted because it served no useful purpose, yet the exact same category for homosexuals was kept. We should add this to the list.SSchultz 17:24, 4 August 2007 (EDT)

  • Wow. Unbelievable! How can anyone argue now that there is no liberal bias on Wiki in light of that? Jinxmchue 01:31, 20 August 2007 (EDT)

I disagree. If anything, having only a "homosexual" group brands them as abnormal, as everyone else is assumed to be normal and heterosexual. There's a homosexual group without a heterosexual group for the same reason that there are gay bars but not "straight bars". All bars are by default assumed straight, and so are editors. It's an interesting case of what could possibly be bias, but it's not really pro-gay.

--Choronzon 00:06, 13 August 2007 (EDT)

Sheeesh, don't people ever get tired of talking about homosexuality? Yes. It exists. It alsways has, and it always will. And no, it has not always been regarded as acceptable conduct. Yes, the Greeks and other ancients were opnely gay,and there is a reason why, based upon human experience, that gay behavior was legislated against by both God, and man.
Why can't we leave the discussion at that? Every day, gay gay gay gay gay gay gay is all we hear? Really, it gets quite tiresome. Rob Smith 00:53, 13 August 2007 (EDT)

What reasons are those, that gayness is legislated against by God and man?-Baruch 23:50, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

Anti-Homeschool bias

Another category that was deleted was the list of users who are homeschooled. Again, the claim was that the category wasn't useful, but I think that wiki wants to prevent homeschoolers from organizing so that we can't share ideas. SSchultz 17:27, 4 August 2007 (EDT)

Yes. Meanwhile, there are plenty of categories listing Wiki users by which high school they graduated from. What if they graduated from homeschooling? (Rhetorical question there.) Jinxmchue 01:34, 20 August 2007 (EDT)

A word about wikipedia

It is people who write the articles, and since many (as you Americans call liberals) are using wikipedia and editing it, it is simply unavoidable that a small bias will show. Do take into account the VAST numbers of articles and compare them to the ones that are biased I am pretty sure it wont be a big percantage. How can this be corrected? By going in there and editing for yourself and make sure that you can back up your claims with reliable sources. Obvious transgresions by the administrators of wikipedia can be taken higher up, all the way to the top. And if someone believes that every single administartor all the way to the top is currupt advocate of the devil who only wishes to hide the truth...then I can only say your probably paranoid. --Sachaztan 20:40, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

  • Well, I know Jimbo, and so does Ed Poor. He sets the marching orders for institutionalized Liberal bias, on the part of the very top echelons of Bureaucrats. They in turn advance users who they trust and share like interests and ideas to Sysops. It is only natural. However this is why they have the entrenched bias they do. Biased articles about Conservatives and those whose POV they disagree with, languish unchanged for days or weeks, and endless arguments and reviews are oftentimes needed to remove the bias vandalism. And that is why Conservapedia exists, and other wiki-type encyclopedias and information sites. I think that is a good thing. Does bias exist here on CP? Of course it does. So if there is left-leaning bias on some WP articles, and right-leaning bias here at CP, that is a good example of a free marketplace, no? --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 21:06, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
    • Have you done anything to reduce the liberal bias on wikipedia? --Sachaztan 21:11, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

That's a stupid question, Sachaztan. It's the equivalent of asking a businessman in the garment district of New York City whether he's done anything to counteract the baleful influence of the Mafia. Or maybe it would be like asking me, for example, whether I've done anything about the sin that runs rampant in the Episcopal Church, and has been running rampant for more than forty years, that prompted me to leave it and find a proper Baptist church.

Where I come from, we have proper uses for organic fertilizer, and improper uses.--TerryHTalk 21:19, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

I have personally attempted to correct some liberal bias on Wikipedia but found that to be hopeless. My factual additions to an entry that related to education and evolution, which were not even about the theory itself, were reverted within 60 seconds. Other factual edits, like my additions there to an entry about Wikipedia itself, were gradually altered and removed over time. Wikipedia is beyond salvage value at this point.

Sometimes something becomes so broken that it makes more sense just to throw it out and get something new. Wikipedia, with all its bias and gossip and pornography and leadership trying to profit from a new search engine, is at that point. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 23:47, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

Many edits by involved parties.

Recent software Wikiscanner has found that many interested parties have edited their own Wikipedia articles and not been caught. See [14] [15] [16] [17]. Even the liberals happy about this [18]!


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