Wikipedia, is an online wiki-based encyclopedia hosted and owned by the non-profit organization Wikimedia Foundation and financially supported by grants from left-leaning foundations plus an aggressive annual online fundraising drive. Most of Wikipedia's articles can be edited publicly by both registered and anonymous editors, mostly consisting of teenagers and the unemployed. As such, it tends to project a liberal—and, in some cases, even socialist, Communist, and Nazi-sympathising—worldview, which is totally at odds with conservative reality and rationality.
Wikipedia was co-founded by Jimbo Wales (an atheist, libertarian, and objectivist), and philosophy professor Larry Sanger in 2001. The website was originally created to complement the now-defunct peer-reviewed online encyclopedia Nupedia as a way for collaboration on articles. However, Wikipedia overtook Nupedia and became an independent project hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, which also hosts various related websites, known as "sister projects", such as Wikinews and Wikibooks. Co-founder Larry Sanger later acknowledged that Wikipedia does not follow its own neutrality policy.
Critics of Wikipedia state that Wikipedia's articles contain systemic bias, and that the information included within its articles are a mixture of truths, half-truths, and falsehoods. It is also used to discredit conservative politicians and organisations. The nature of Wikipedia also makes it subject to spin and bias, examples of which include paid public relations advocacy and inserting libelous content into the biographies of politicians for a political purpose. Wikipedia was also criticized for having a liberal bias in its articles about politics, despite Wikipedia's "neutral point of view" policy.
- 1 Continuing loss of influence
- 2 Unreliability of Wikipedia
- 3 Origins
- 4 Leftist bias
- 5 Purported "Tertiary" Source and Arbitrary Standards
- 6 Economics
- 7 Scandals and decline
- 8 Shane Fitzgerald Hoax
- 9 False claim about Brent Bozell
- 10 Rewriting its own history
- 11 Seigenthaler scandal
- 12 Brandt / Berlet feud
- 13 The Wordbomb Saga
- 14 Michael Moore
- 15 Sinbad hoax
- 16 Robert Clark Young revenge edits
- 17 Rutgers-Ivy League hoax
- 18 Barbara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation
- 19 GFDL License Issue
- 20 Censorship
- 21 Cyberbullying
- 22 Wikipedia on bestiality
- 23 Trademarks and domain names
- 24 Humorous quotes concerning Wikipedia
- 25 Unbiased editor recruitment
- 26 Flaws in governance structure
- 27 Core policies
- 28 See also
- 29 Further reading
- 30 References
- 31 External links
Continuing loss of influence
Wikipedia's traffic level stems from its high placement in Google searches, and that many people rely upon it for quick research regarding trivial facts. However, users are turning to alternatives such as the voice-based iPhone application Siri or the Knowledge Graph display on Google search result pages of key facts about search targets. Wikipedia page-views dropped by 2 billion between December 2012 and December 2013. Wikipedia's most popular versions are leading the decline: page-views of the English Wikipedia dropped by 12 percent, those of German version slid by 17 percent and the Japanese version lost 9 percent.
In addition to the number of visitors declining, there continues to be a drop in active editors as well. In August 2012, it was reported that Wikipedia has a shrinking base of editors. At the same time, Business Insider indicated Quora was "Wikipedia's worst nightmare".
Unreliability of Wikipedia
Wikipedia relies on self-selected "editors" to write and compile articles, with no preference given for scholars in the fields about which they are writing. This fact may disqualify Wikipedia from being considered a genuine encyclopedia, ironically even by its own standards. An encyclopedia is supposed to be a collection of articles by "well-educated, well-informed content experts." Theoretically, Wikipedia is supposed to compensate for this weakness by requiring references to reputable secondary sources. But editors can delete, without collaboration, any text or entry they dislike, citing one of the many Wikipedia guidelines for doing so. Entries posted by scholars in the field, based on peer-reviewed, academic articles are deleted by editors with an ideological bias. Wikipedia, then, only represents the majority view of its editors.
As the contribution of volunteer editors has declined, some of the void has been replaced by paid public relations professionals. These paid editors seek to present their client companies or individuals in the best possible light. This has resulted in many articles being transformed into paid advertising pieces that take advantage of the English Wikipedia's high placement on Google search results. This chronic problem has become so severe that the Wikimedia Foundation has proposed amending its terms of service to require disclosures of paid editing conflicts of interest. In the competition to control content, the paid PR editors win out because they are monitoring pages as a full-time job, while editors seeking to keep content more balanced are only part-time volunteers.
In 2008, the American Journalism Review declared concerning Wikipedia:
|“||"An even more blunt assessment appears in the encyclopedia's "Ten things you may not know about Wikipedia" posting: "We do not expect you to trust us. It is in the nature of an ever-changing work like Wikipedia that, while some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish." It also reminds users not to use Wikipedia as a primary source or for making "critical decisions."||”|
Despite its official "neutrality policy," Wikipedia has a strong liberal bias. In an article entitled "Wikipedia Lies, Slander Continue," journalist Joseph Farah stated Wikipedia "is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is a wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known." Mr. Farah has repeatedly been the victim of defamation on Wikipedia. In December 2010, Christian apologist JP Holding called Wikipedia "the abomination that causes misinformation".
Some say that Wikipedia's unreliability is systemic, citing Douglas Adams: "In other words—and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation’s Galaxywide success is founded—their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws. Wikipedia, which is written by anyone, still struggles to solve the need for traditional quality controls characteristic of conventional encyclopedias. The self-policing practices have produced results and accuracy some claim is far better than originally expected but still widely questioned. Research released in April 2012 claimed 60% of Wikipedia articles contain "inaccuracies", leading the Daily Mail to dub it "Iffy-Pedia". The lack of consistency and uniform supervision leaves an ever-present shadow over any given piece of information. Many in the academy insist that it is an unreliable source for research and an unacceptable reference in many classrooms. However, Wikipedia steers people to original source material, and with the use of hyperlinks and search engines, it has become the most widely used intermediary reference tool on the Internet.
According to the style manual for the Associated Press, the largest news agency in the United States, Wikipedia should not be used as a primary source, but the hyperlinks in articles may be helpful as sources.
Wikipedia has millions of entries on trivia and mundane topics ranging from an explanation for "duh" to singles by obscure rock bands to arcane British nobility. There are editions of Wikipedia in 250 languages, and 130 have more than 1000 articles. After about four years Wikipedia had about 450,000 entries, and after six years it had about 1.7 million entries. Four years later this number had more than doubled again: in November 2011, there were more than 3.8 million content pages. As of February 2014, there are more than 4.4 million "content" pages, many of which lack educational value. On important topics, the information is often misleading due to the unchecked, systematic liberal bias that dominates Wikipedia.
The quality of Wikipedia articles can vary greatly. Some articles, particularly about narrow topics and those of little interest, are well written and appear to have input from one or more subject matter experts. Articles about broader topics and with high viewership naturally have more editors, many of whom are not well versed in the subject matter. In determining the quality of an article it is helpful to check the sources or references to see if one or more of the standard references for the topic is frequently cited. Often the most valuable feature of an article will be to direct the reader to good quality references, if they exist.
Initially, Wikipedia was hosted on servers operated by Bomis, Inc., a company that also sold pornographic pictures. The majority owner of Bomis had lost his fortune in a lawsuit, and the Wikipedia volunteers feared that if all of Bomis' assets were seized, ownership of Wikipedia would be transferred. In 2003, Jimbo Wales addressed this risk by founding the Wikimedia Foundation to take control of Wikipedia's assets. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides support for Wikipedia and other similar projects, and also the free MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia and Conservapedia. It also gives out millions of dollars in grants each year to liberal causes that recruit liberals to edit Wikipedia so as to reflect their biases.
- See also: Leftist roots of Wikipedia
See also: Examples of Bias in Wikipedia
Wikipedia shows a systematic bias in the proportion of articles which treat controversial issues. It ignores its own NPOV policy when it allows contributors to "delete well-referenced information" merely because it comes from a scientist who holds a minority view. It would only be a violation, if the article used the information to give a false impression of the proportion of scientists adhering to that view, but liberals use "undue weight" like a sledge hammer. They are either unaware or unconcerned about their bias.
This is not surprising, given this Zogby poll:
While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a "conservative bias". Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right – and 17% said the bias favored the left.
David Swindle writes at FrontPage Magazine:
|“|| There was not a single ideological vision driving Wikipedia’s founders and core contributors as they launched the project. Jimmy Wales, who would become the face of the project and its “benevolent dictator,” according to Andrew Lih’s The Wikipedia Revolution, is a libertarian and Ayn Randian Objectivist. Also important in shaping Wikipedia was the so-called “hacker ethos,” the culture that has developed amongst computer programmers over the last 40 years and been shaped by the Left, the counterculture, popular culture, and anarchist thought.
What binds together these ideologies is a utopian ideal that human beings are more prone to altruism rather than self-interest. In Wikipedia Revolution Wales is quoted as saying, “Generally we find most people out there on the internet are good… It’s one of the wonderful humanitarian discoveries in Wikipedia, that most people only want to help us and build this free nonprofit, charitable resource.” Ward Cunningham was the programmer who created the wiki concept and software. According to Lih, he believed in the Wiki because “People are generally good.”
Lih explains how this philosophy is embedded within Wikipedia’s rules:
A core idea Wikipedia embraced.. was to assume good faith when interacting with others. The guideline promoted optimistic production rather than pessimistic nay-saying, and reads, “Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it; avoid accusing others of harmful motives without particularly strong evidence.
But as it worked out, Wikipedia in practice has strayed from these utopian ideas because of the ease with which political and social bias trumps altruism.
After almost a decade of rapid growth and free-wheeling experimentation the situation at the site by the Summer of 2009 was chaos. Political operatives would sabotage one another in electoral contests by vandalizing pages. More malicious misinformation filtered in freely, with living historical figures accused of involvement in conspiratorial plots.
Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, who left the site, later acknowledged that Wikipedia does not follow its own neutrality policy.
Wikipedia also has an automatic Wikimedia Commons editing software called "Commonist," which allows the user to upload multiple files at once. The symbol of communism - the "hammer and sickle" of the leftist ideology which murdered millions in the former Soviet Union - is featured prominently on the instruction page as well as the tags that mark each uploaded image.
On August 23, 2011, David Swindle published an article at FrontPage Magazine detailing how Wikipedia has been taken over by the political left and he cited statistics relating to Wikipedia's articles on Anne Coulter, Michael Moore, Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann which helped demonstrate the Wikipedia has a leftist/liberal bias plus he discussed the liberal/leftist cultural foundations of Wikipedia.
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?"
A lot of Wikipedia's leftist bias is clearly evident from their talk pages.
For example, when an article about the Barcelona May Days (an event during the Spanish Civil War where hundreds of anti-Stalinist Trotskyists and anarchists were gunned down by the pro-Stalin Republican government) portrayed the anti-Stalinist side, which contained author George Orwell, in a generally favourable light, Stalinists filled the talk page with childish attacks on the authors of the article, including expletives, as is characteristic of Wikipedia.
Purported "Tertiary" Source and Arbitrary Standards
Wikipedia purports to be a "tertiary" source, relying on edited work from reputable sources. The policy is meant to build on the work of qualified editors of secondary sources. Some accuse Wikipedia, therefore, of relying on hearsay, and discouraging the application of logic and new development of new insights. The result is an agglomeration of reheated "consensus" with little or no intellectual merit of its own; in particular, it is impossible to challenge orthodoxy, received wisdom or commonly held misconceptions through the Wikipedia system, no matter how factually incorrect those orthodoxies might be.
Supporters of Wikipedia would claim that relying on secondary sources encourages reliability and objectivity. However, there are cases of Wikipedia applying it's standards arbitrarily. For example, the case of Wikipedia editor "Yeoberry" (user ID 3606936), an editor with a Ph.D. in church history who first posted materials about "Icons" on August 6, 2012, with multiple citations to historical documents. The material was removed and Yeoberry was told that Wikipedia is a "tertiary" source and so he needed to find reliable secondary sources. On April 4, 2013, Yeoberry again added largely the same material, this time citing a newly published academic paper in a peer-reviewed journal. The information was again removed, with editors, at least some of whom religiously affiliated with the organization supporting icons, claiming the editor had a "COI" (conflict of interest). Neither time did the editors removing Yeoberry's material consult Yeoberry. But when Yeoberry reverted to his edition, he was charged with "edit warring." When Yeoberry challenged the arbitrary use of Wikipedia criteria he was blocked from editing indefinitely and then his access to his own talk page was also blocked.
Wikipedia articles, especially on controversial or political and religious topics, are often guarded by editors who have an interest in slanting the content of the article, may have no formal education on the topic, and can find a so-called reason for suppressing the information they want to suppress. Editors can claim the source is unreliable (as they interpret that); that information gives "UNDUE" weight to the topic the information is about; peer-reviewed, academic articles written by scholars can be removed by editors if, in the opinion of an editor, the view expressed is "Fringe" or if the contributor has a "COI" (conflict of interest) if he's the author of the secondary source or has an advanced education or other interest in the topic; etc. Editors with advanced education in a topic, citing sources from peer-reviewed journals, can have their contributions deleted and their participation prohibited if a few other editors, without such qualification but with enough knowledge of the Wikipedia jargon, decide to suppress him or her.
Originally, encyclopedias were written by scholars, either by one or a few whose knowledge is considered "encyclopedic" (i.e. very broad) or each article is written by an expert in the field. But in Wikipedia, expertise in a given field can disqualify one from contributing in that field resulting in Wikipedia being accused of being a "idiocracy".
Though Wikipedia is non-profit, the Wikia project of its co-founder is very much for-profit and has raised millions of dollars in venture capital. Already Wikipedia has been criticized for favoring Wikia. When Wikipedia community voted 61-39% percent to treat all links to other sites equally by removing nofollow (Google-ignored) tags for all of them, the Wikipedia co-founder overruled this decision and Wikipedia now favors Wikia in its treatment of nofollow tags.
The Register said:
- Wikipedia has tried to balance the Utopian goal of "an encyclopedia anyone can edit" with the more utilitarian goal of "a website anyone would want to read". With over a million articles, and a rulebook almost as dense, Wikipedia has demonstrated an insatiable desire to participate, create lists and generate procedures. The result is a huge silo of recorded trivia, and perhaps the world's largest, most distributed bureaucracy - mostly manned by a casual staff of teenagers and the unemployed.
For the past few years, Wikipedia has added banners begging for money from its viewers. The site claims to be in need of more funding, but in fact it is "awash with cash - and raises far more money each year than it needs to keep operating."
Wikipedia, a registered trademark of Wikimedia Foundation, is used also by services like WikiExperts.us, which is declared as not being affiliated with it. WikiExperts.us accepts money to write Wikipedia entries for businesses and is included in American business ventures of Alex Konanykhin, the Former Russian oligarch, who has been wanted in Russia since Yeltsin's days to face charges relating to embezzlement and financial fraud.
Scandals and decline
Even after the hoax was revealed of high level intimates promoted by the Wikimedia Foundation as experts in fields that they were not, to persuade college professors to allow students to cite Wikipedia as a reliable source, and entrusted with the ability to invade users privacy which could affect, in their words, "life and death," Wikipedia still appealed to students with a Jim and Tammy Faye Baker-style fundraising slogan across one million project space pages that read, "OMG! Wikipedia is gone! I’ll flunk my exams!" 
Further evidence of the decline in Wikipedia is that the number of editors who voted in the 2012 Arbitration Committee elections has dropped to 858. For a website that claims to have thousands of active editors, this is very low. Active editors are discouraged from voting because all voters are subject to automatic investigation and invasion of their privacy to determine if they are "sockpuppets" of other voters.
Shane Fitzgerald Hoax
After the death of composer Maurice Jarre, a Wikipedia editor named Shane Fitzgerald attached a quote to Jarre's page: "One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head, that only I can hear." The words are poetic, yet were never spoken by Jarre, and meant to appeal to news journalists seeking information. It was cited in many newspapers as a genuine quote before its removal.
Had Fitzgerald not confessed to the lie and informed major newspapers, it is likely that the quote would have been cited to one of them. In the days following, only one newspaper (The Guardian) publicly apologized for the use of a source that can be a tool for duping the public. Other newspapers, such as the Washington Post, simply deleted their articles from online archives.
False claim about Brent Bozell
In March 2007, Brent Bozell described this falsehood in Wikipedia:
- The other day, Bernie Goldberg emailed me, upset. He pointed me to his Wikipedia entry. To read what was written was to conclude that apparently I must hate his guts. But we are friends. He is a man for whom I have profound respect, professional and personal. He knew there was foul play.
- Right there on the screen, under the heading "Criticism," it stated that I had attacked him, "claiming that Goldberg merely lifted material he had been producing for years, and only published the book because he had an ax to grind with his former employers and was attempting to make a 'quick buck,' noting that Goldberg never mentioned the alleged liberal bias of the media until it was 'convenient' and 'profitable' for him to do so."...
- In fact, those words have never been uttered by me. The accusation would be false. Back in 1996, Goldberg used the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal publicly to castigate his own network for its one-sided oafish bashing of Steve Forbes. It was anything but "convenient" or "profitable" for him. It ruined his friendship with Dan Rather and put him on a path to the outer fringes of CBS News. Ultimately, it ruined his newscaster career.
- My attorney contacted Wikipedia by email demanding the removal of this false entry. No response. So we edited out the offensive material ourselves, after which in writing counsel alerted Wikipedia to the legal action that might befall them should this be repeated. Here's full disclosure, Wikipedia-style: You can see how each article is altered, sometimes hour by hour, in its "History" section. But there is no mention of the attorney's complaints. In the Goldberg article's history, an editor simply now scolds: "Bozell's article is a mock-jealous swipe at Goldberg's opportunism. PLEASE REREAD IT." (Capitals theirs.)
- Goldberg and I are not alone. The website Conservapedia.com has a long list of 41 allegations of bias and factual errors at Wikipedia. You can add to that the problem with the credentials of its staff. One of its editors, named only "Essjay" online and described on his user profile "as a tenured professor of religion at a private university with expertise in canon law," was recently exposed as a 24-year-old college kid in Kentucky. He resigned in disgrace — even though Wikipedia tried to retain him, claiming he'd edited thousands of articles with flair.
Instead of apologizing to Brent Bozell, Wikipedia instead says "Bozell points to Conservapedia as a resource that documents Wikipedia's faults in this regard, presumably holding it as a more authoritative reference less vulnerable to vandalism."
Rewriting its own history
The Associated Press and others credit Larry Sanger as the co-founder of Wikipedia. But the Associated Press quotes Jimmy Wales as denying it:
- "When you write this up please do not uncritically repeat Sanger's absurd claim to be the co-founder of Wikipedia."
- "I know of no one who was there at the company at the beginning who would think it anything other than laughable," he added. This is an interesting comment, considering that Larry Sanger takes credit for coining the name, "Wikipedia."
- "I am not bent out of shape about it," he wrote. "The facts are on my side, which is why I bother so little about it."
According to the Associated Press, Jimmy Wales "has repeatedly tried to address this - even going so far as editing his own Wikipedia biography to tone down credit for Sanger. Such autobiographical contributions are frowned upon in Wikipedia's community, and Wales apologized after his changes were noticed and publicized by blogger Rogers Cadenhead in 2005." Wales' booking agent for speaking engagements claims that Wales is "the founder" of Wikipedia, which results in surprised clients when that claim is challenged. The false "founder" claim is on Wales' webpage.
Jimmy Wales has admitted that certain administrators, contrary to their own rules, have at times completely removed editing evidence.
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. Essjay, a 24-year-old Wikipedia Administrator who was advancing rapidly in the organization, was dispatched to handle the situation. An anonymous contributor added to Seigenthaler's biography the previous May,
- "John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s. For a short time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven," and "John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1971, and returned to the United States in 1984. He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter."
Wales told Seigenthaler that Wikipedia is "accountable" and corrects mistakes immediately, but that the internet service provider of the anonymous user probably would not be helpful in identifying who placed the content. Accountability activist Daniel Brandt, a victim of a spurious biographical entry by Wikipedia Administrators, identified the place of employment of the anonymous user, and from there the person accountable was identified.
Seigenthaler returned to the editorial pages of USA Today from which he retired as its first editorial manager to write an Op-Ed piece critical of Wikipedia and the threat it poses to free speech due of its overt provocation of government regulation, its irresponsible self-regulation and lack of accountability.
On December 5, 2005 Wales and Seigenthaler appeared on CNN. An exchange between CNN moderator Kyra Phillips and Wales went like this:
|“||PHILLIPS:...I ran my name. I was shocked to see what was under my name. ...I'm telling you right now, Jimmy, that's not how I want people to see me and understand me. And what I'm about, and what I write about in my interviews, et cetera. So, you know, it's not just individuals like John, but me and many other people, that just have concerns that this is creating gossip that can be very harmful. And people go to these sites thinking that this is the truth.||”|
|“||WALES: Well, I mean, I think the real key is that the site matures over time, the -- all of the articles are edited over and over and over, and improved. Anyone's free to contribute. You're free to go and contribute.||”|
This in fact is not the case. Phillips was not free to remove objectionable content within her biographical entry, as Daniel Brandt at that exact moment was discovering. Not four days prior, Wales told Editor & Publisher magazine regarding Brandt's objections to a false Wikipedia biography created by Wikipedia Administrators about him, "I find it hard to take him very seriously at all," and libelous slanders remained in Brandt's biography for a year and half. Wales told CNN, "we are very, very responsive to complaints and concerns."
Seigenthaler told the audience "with accountability comes credibility" and expressed fear that, "I'm afraid we're going to get regulated media as a result."
On December 9, Seigenthaler appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal with Brian Lamb and articulated his concern that members of Congress or other powerful figures in government may likewise be targeted. 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."
Seigenthaler wrote a more expansive column in the The Tennessean after the November 30 USA Today piece appeared,
|“||a sudden stream of invective — homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist — spilled, as if from a sewer, onto the Wikipedia page under my name. ..It identified me as ...a "Nazi," "fascist-oriented" ....murderer ...there also was the profile picture of Adolf Hitler over the caption, "Press photo of Seigenthaler." The accompanying line: "He is secretly responsible for killing all the Jews."||”|
Accountability and Section 230
Upon his retirement from USA Today, Seigenthaler founded the First Amendment Center, an organization dedicated to a national dialogue about First Amendment rights and values. Seigenthaler criticized passage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Section 230 states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker." Unlike print and broadcast companies, internet service providers (ISP's) cannot be sued for disseminating defamatory attacks on citizens posted by others. Seigenthaler noted Jimbo Wales told Brian Lamb in a C-SPAN interview that Wikipedia is accountable and that mistakes are corrected within minutes, but the false information remained in Seigenthaler's biography for five months. Seigenthaler concluded,
|“||And so we live in a universe of new media with phenomenal opportunities for worldwide communications and research — but populated by volunteer vandals with poison-pen intellects.||”|
In the case of Zeran v. AOL, Zeran sued AOL for refusing to screen and remove defamatory messages, even after Zeran notified the ISP of their existence. The lower court ruled for the service provider and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the decision, noting that the intent of Section 230 was to (1) remove incentives on service providers to restrict speech on the Internet and (2) encourage self-regulation by service providers.
An American citizen who posts material on the Internet that is illegal in a foreign country could be prosecuted if he subjected himself to the jurisdiction of that country. Internet users who export material that is illegal, that is to say, post material that is accessible and illegal in some foreign countries may be subject to prosecution in that country. However, under American law, the United States will not extradite a person for engaging in a constitutionally protected activity even if that activity violates a criminal law elsewhere.
Essjay given oversight
- See Main article: Wikipedia:The Essjay scandal
Essjay wrote a professor to persuade her to allow her students to use Wikipedia as a viable source of information and posted a verbatim copy of the email for others to use. Essjay stated, "I was the administrator who deleted the inappropriate revisions when Mr. Seigenthaler contacted our founder, Jimmy Wales; it is quite unfortunate that a relatively minor issue on a relatively minor figure has provided so much negative publicity. Seigenthaler noted in his Op-Ed piece, "The motive for the salacious stuff directed at me is reasonably obvious," and quoted some comments, "We all at Wikipedia think he (Seigenthaler) is a horrible, stupid p...k for complaining about small inaccuracies in his biography."
Others said, "Mr. Seigenthaler's attitude and actions are reprehensible and ill-formed," and “if there is an error whether large or small, he can correct it.” This again, was not true. Even prior to the Wikipedia policy, Biographies of Living Persons, conflict of interest restrictions existed on the subject of an article editing their own entry. Another wrote: "Rather than fixing the article himself, he made a legal threat."
Despite the damage to an innocent person and divulgence of Wikipedia's precarious claim as a viable source, the Seigenthaler scandal was viewed as a triumph and considered "the best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia," catapulting it into a top ten most visited website as curiosity seekers responded to the negative publicity.
The scandal was originally billed as a "hoax", then "controversy," then downgraded to "incident," and now re-upgraded to "controversy," evidently in response to criticism. The Wikipedia entry on "Seigenthaler controversy" contains disinformation, making the claim, "After the incident, Wikipedia took steps to prevent a recurrence, including barring unregistered users from creating new pages." No actions were ever taken to require disclosure of the real life identities of contributors. Barring unregistered users from creating new pages had nothing to do with the Seigenthaler scandal—the page already existed when an anonymous IP added the false information. Registration of accounts requires no accountability of the real life identity of the contributor. Indeed, many experienced Wikipedia editors and Administrators have dozens of registered accounts, called "sockpuppet accounts." Protecting the identities of anonymous high-level Administrators has always been more of a priority to the WikiMedia Foundation than the propagation of false information about real life persons whose identities are known. Wales was asked by BusinessWeek magazine, “Why do you feel it is important to allow contributors and site administrators to remain anonymous?” Wales responded, “there are definitely people working in Wikipedia who may have privacy reasons for not wanting their name on the site….there are lots of reasons for privacy online that aren’t nefarious.” In the Seigenthaler case, it was the odd circumstance that a victim of false information had a large enough platform to respond, coupled with the welcome fact that the victim fundamentally opposes government regulation of internet speech.
Wikipedia's "Seigenthaler controversy" also states, "The Foundation added a new level of "oversight" features to the MediaWiki software, accessible as of 2006 to around 20 experienced editors nominated by Wales," one of whom was Essjay.
This ban on anonymous page creation “reform” was abandoned less than two years later as Wikipedia's usage and ratings slumped in the wake of yet more scandals and questions about Wikipedia's culture, core content policies, and endemic lack of accountability.
Brandt / Berlet feud
- See Main article: Wikipedia:The Daniel Brandt controversy
An ugly far-left sectarian dispute reared its head in 2005 with disastrous consequences for the site's credibility. The feud had been dormant for many years until the need to elevate a “controversial and notable expert” above the level of “partisan and extreme” defined by its own policies became apparent which would have precluded the so-called “expert” as "a source for anything other than himself,” as Wikipedia's ever fluid policies dictate.
Daniel Brandt, founder of Namebase, Google Watch, and Wikipedia Watch, removed Chip Berlet from his Board of Advisors in 1991 when Berlet refused to sit on the same Board which included Fletcher Prouty." Prouty, a retired Air Force colonel whose intelligence career stretched back to accompanying President Franklin Roosevelt to the Teheran conference, was allegorically portrayed as the mysterious “Man X” by Donald Southerland in Oliver Stone's film, JFK. A Brandt biographical page was created using Berlet as the source for unsavory attacks on Brandt. Brandt describes himself as an "accountability activist" and claims he originally began working with Wikipedia editors in good faith during October 2005 but any biographical information he revealed was spun against him to depict him in a negative light. Brandt states,
|“||I soon realized that it was also about Berlet, who was still bent on undermining me. Berlet was using Wikipedia as part of his political agenda, and he was successful in this.||”|
Berlet's biography underwent an extensive revision with most of the substantive NPOV criticism cut out. The revising editor commented, "I kept Daniel Brandt, not because I feel he's a credible source, but because there's so little published criticism of Berlet, that I felt I had to retain something." This is an extraordinary statement and raises the question why the same high-level Administrator and author of several of Wikipedia's core content and citation policies, including Wikipedia:Reliable Sources and Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Persons (BLP), would use a source she did not consider credible.
Biographies of living persons
Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Persons (WP:BLP) policy did not come into being because of the Seigenthaler scandal, but rather over the Brandt controversy, as the originating editor noted in an edit summary. Brandt requested Wikipedia delete his biographical entry, and ceased working with editors he suspected of working to further the propagation of false information about him.
Editor & Publisher magazine bills itself as the nation's oldest trade journal serving the newspaper industry with roots dating back to 1884. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales responded to questions from Editor & Publisher in a prepared statement on December 1, 2005 about Daniel Brandt saying,
|“||I don't regard him as a valid source about anything at all||”|
Wales comments added undue weight (WP:UNDUE) to criticism of Brandt when placed within his biographical entry. Brandt demanded accountability from the army of unidentified Wikipedia Administrators furthering Chip Berlet's agenda to destroy Brandt's credibility, and elevate Berlet's own as a Wikipedia "expert."
Brandt became known as the scourge of the Wikipedia Admin community. WikiTruth says in its Brandt the Boogeyman entry,
|“|| he dates back to a time when people would look up facts in books and would verify information without just doing a copy and paste from an AP news article and thinking they were done. He compares writing styles, he calls government agencies, and he writes letters. And when he's done, he tends to know. Or at least, he knows where he stands in terms of information. He's rather tenacious about getting stuff right.
Wikipedia, of course, doesn't do this much at all: depending on the day, they'll laud a link to a website as being absolutely useless (it's on the WEB, of course) and then the next minute link to a different website to back a "fact" up. Citing books and printed materials is often a no-go, because nobody can read the original citation, so it gets swept away as well. Really, you have no idea what's good and what's bad, and it's all one big happy soup-hug.
Therefore, guys like Daniel Brandt are horrible for Wikipedia: he researches. He finds laws that pertain to situations. He asks the tough questions that could upset the whole Wiki-cart.
Wikipedia continues to publish inaccurate and defamatory articles about living persons, written by anonymous contributors, based on other unreliable sources, and refuses to withdraw or change them. The victims of its libels have no legal means of compelling Wikipedia to make any changes. It is not answerable to any court or libel laws and simply behaves as if it is above the law.
The Wordbomb Saga
One of Wikipedia's most bitter and drawn-out disputes, chronicled in The Register, centers around the assertion by representatives of Overstock.com that a mainstream financial journalist Gary Weiss had been editing Wikipedia to impose his point of view on a series of articles relevant to the company. Weiss was once a reporter with BusinessWeek, in 2007 became a columnist with Forbes, and had for over 10 years been posting under fake names to confuse, distort, hijack Usenet groups, stock message boards, and Wikipedia, to prevent the public from understanding criminal activity. Weiss was notorious around the Internet for his public feud with Overstock and its CEO Patrick Byrne, ridiculing their campaign against the controversial practice of Naked Short Selling.
In 2006, Judd Bagley, an ally of Overstock's Patrick Byrne having interviewed the CEO for a personal project, began editing Wikipedia to counter what was perceived to be a skewed representation of Naked Short Selling and Overstock.com. He was swiftly dispatched by influential Wikipedia administrators.
Shortly after, Bagley became Overstock's Director of Communications, and embarked on an aggressive campaign to publicize the dispute on various websites, aiming to expose the administrators he held responsible for protecting Weiss. Using the moniker “Wordbomb”, Bagley presented evidence suggesting that not only was Gary Weiss editing Wikipedia using the name “User:Mantanmoreland“, but that he was operating other accounts to manipulate consensus and protect his interests in the dispute. Mantanmoreland violated Wikipedia policies against Conflict of Interest and No Self Promotion by creating an article about himself. Bagley proved Weiss had edited Wikipedia from one of two main IPs used by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the organization charged with settling about a quadrillion stock trades each year. The DTCC is also the organization Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne said acts an enabler of perpetrators of illegal naked short selling of many public companies.
Wikipedia responded to Bagley's campaign in typical schoolyard fashion. The dispute was escalated by a small clique of powerful Wikipedians who seemed less interested in the truth of Bagley's assertions, and more concerned with attacking perceived threats to the status quo at Wikipedia. With the approval of Jimbo Wales, administrators sided with “Mantanmoreland” / Gary Weiss, and anointed Bagley / Wordbomb an “Enemy Of The Wiki” who needed to be silenced — a “stalker” and a “harasser” for publicizing the details of the person who had been editing relevant articles on Wikipedia, and the people who had been stopping him from doing the same.
For nearly two years, Bagley's name was invoked to inspire paranoia in the Wikipedia Admin Community to keep questioning editors in line. It became a textbook case for analysis of the intense group-think Wikipedia has become notorious for.
Bagley was repeatedly disparaged by a cabal of out-of-control administrators such as Guy Chapman, who denounced Bagley as “lunatic” and “evil” when it suited. UK Wikimedia representative David Gerard banned an entire area of Utah to prevent Bagley raising his issues and made personally disparaging remarks. Wikipedia Arbitrator Fred Bauder claimed that Bagley's blog AntiSocialMedia.net showed “moral depravity” for challenging the Wiki-elite. Administrator Phil Sandifer dismissed Bagley in highly personal and offensive language while boasting that he himself had become a “powerful and trusted administrator on the 9th biggest website in the world.”
Other editors who raised Overstock's quite legitimate complaints were banned as proxies of Judd Bagley. Paranoia had taken such a hold that editors with productive records from all over the US, and as far afield as Europe and Asia found themselves accused of being Bagley. When the editor Cla68 questioned the issue of Gary Weiss editing Wikipedia, he was swiftly blocked by administrator Durova on the orders of Jimbo Wales who wrote, “Durova and Guy have my full support here. No nonsense, zero tolerance, shoot on sight. No kidding, this has gone on long enough”.
A study undertaken by concerned administrators into the editing patterns of “Mantanmoreland” came to fruition. Despite the “Mantanmoreland” account ceasing edits on Overstock / Naked Short Selling articles in September 2007, the study revealed evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the same person had been operating several accounts to “control” articles. Thus affirming Bagley's claims.
More worryingly for good faith Wikipedians was the revelation that Jimbo Wales, alongside leading administrators, had considered that this person was almost certainly Gary Weiss in a private discussion as long ago as September 2007 (the same month the “Mantanmoreland” account quit editing the relevant articles). Meaning that behind the scenes, they were admitting that Bagley was probably right all along, yet in public were vilifying or blocking anyone who publicly stated so.
After the financial meltdown of 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued directives aimed at curbing abusive naked short selling. Patrick Byrne has been widely recognized as in the forefront of the movement aimed at curbing such abuses.
The website MichaelMoore.com, dissatisfied with a Wikipedia editor's edits to Sicko, published an image of a Wikipedia user on its main page. This was combined with links to edit both Sicko and the editor's user page. Several Wikipedia editors and Administrators regarded this action on the part of Michael Moore's official website as an egregious violation of a well publicized ruling to protect Wikipedia editors from outside harassment.  The consensus, per Wikipedia's policy was to remove links from Wikipedia to Michael Moore's attack site which was urging vengeance and reprisals against an editor who posted criticism of Moore's film.
In Arbitration, Wikipedia's internal policy making and dispute resolution arm, the Arbitration chairman publicly admitted,
|“||No question it contained an attack, including a link to edit our user's page. The problem is that many of us like Michael Moore very much and don't care much for the viewpoint of the user involved. Applying our policy in a rote manner (Without consideration of the unwritten rule that we support prominent subjects that we like) yields removal of the link (At least while it contained the personal attack).||”|
Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View (NPOV), laid down by founder Jimbo Wales allegedly is "absolute and non-negotiable." Few people find the claim convincing. The ArbCom chairman further stated, "Obviously we need to make an exception for prominent people whose viewpoint we support."  When asked, "How, then, is this remotely compatible with NPOV?", the ArbCom chairman responded, "Not at all."  The editor whom Michaelmoore.com was urging its viewers to attack and harass is described as "a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank."
On March 16, 2007, Wikipedia entry on the 50-year old entertainer Sinbad, born David Adkins, stated: "He succumbed to a fatal heart attack on the morning of March 14, 2007." This hoax was widely reported in the media.
Robert Clark Young revenge edits
From 2006 to 2013, Robert Clark Young, an author who had only published one novel to mixed reviews, edited Wikipedia extensively with 13,000 edits under username "Qworty." He engaged in aggressive behavior making revenge edits to biographical articles of his rival authors and other people against whom he held grudges. He also puffed up his own Wikipedia autobiography, and repeatedly denied that he was connected to Young. He also created other single purpose accounts to further his campaign. Only after his true identity was revealed in a salon.com article, was Young banned and efforts made to reverse his vindictive edits. In essence, he would remove favorable items from the biographies of his enemies or nominate them for deletion. The salon.com article concluded,
But Qworty’s example tells us that even when people call attention to a rogue editor, even when that editor’s temper tantrums come to the attention of the founder of Wikipedia, it’s quite possible that no action will be taken.
Rutgers-Ivy League hoax
A Wikipedia entry falsely stated that Rutgers was once invited to join the Ivy League. Although that false statement was eventually removed from Wikipedia, it was not removed before the Daily News relied on it in this story:
- You don't have to define your college with your football team, but Rutgers long ago decided to give it a try. Back in 1954, when it was considered a 'public Ivy,' Rutgers might have joined the fledgling Ivy League and altered its destiny. But the school declined the offer - arguably the dumbest mistake in its history. Ever since then, Rutgers has scrambled to prove itself worthy of playing football with the big boys."
Barbara Bauer vs. Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation is one of 17 defendants in a lawsuit suit filed in New Jersey, by Barbara Bauer and her literary agency. Her Wikipedia article was deleted on March 25, 2007 by Wikipedia administrator Doc Glasgow as a "bloody disgrace".[Dead link][Dead link]
GFDL License Issue
Wikipedia's practice of complete deletion of articles without reference to the original article, the author(s)/publisher(s) of the article, and the history and title(s) of the article, including modification history, description and appropriate dates, is a direct violation of at least GFDL version 1.2. Additionally, the GFDL License states that if the article/document contains Copyright notices, that said notices must be preserved at all times. If those notices are removed, then they are in violation of Copyright Law, as well as the terms of the GFDL license. Furthermore, the question of them removing anything outright at all comes into quite a grey area. If one reads the GFDL License literally, then it implies that once the article document is posted, it is in distribution, and technical measures are not allowed to be taken to prevent the use of the document in question, and that no other conditions whatsoever can be added by the user to those of the GFDL license.
However, beginning June 15, 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation began transitioning content on Wikipedia to be dual-licensed under both the GFDL and Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Among the many userboxes that are used by editors in Wikipedia, there is one that claims "Wikipedia is not censored". This is a lie, as Wikipedia routinely engages in censorship against any edits its editors and administrators do not like for political/ideological reasons (particularly involving political articles, ivermectin and prophylaxis and early treatment for COVID-19 generally, the "global warming" article, the GamerGate controversy article and articles involving gender-confused individuals and those claiming to be "non-binary") and its leftist editors/administrators have been very quick to revert/censor such edits and to quickly block editors who make such edits to fit reality instead of the leftist editors' personal and ideological preference, wishful thinking and political correctness in defiance of reality and logic.
The press have reported on incidents of cyberbullying on Wikipedia. An editor threatened an Asian student at the Glen A. Wilson High School in 2008, and a 14-year-old boy was arrested for making a threat against Niles West High School on Wikipedia in 2006.
María Sefidari, the female Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors, is involved in a lesbian relationship with Wikipedia editor Laura Hale, which creates an inherent conflict of interest in the following controversy. Ms. Hale has a long history, dating back to 2011 of incompetent edits and abusing male editors while making false accusations of "misogyny" against editors who correct her edits. A long-time male administrator, Fram, followed Ms. Hale around making corrections to her problematic edits. In turn, Ms. Hale complained to the Trust & Security staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, rather than to the volunteer-staffed complaint mechanisms on Wikipedia. Although the Trust & Security staff has previously banned a few editors for problems involving illegal conduct such as pedophilia, in June 2019, for the first time, they suspended Fram for one year for alleged "incivility". In response, an English Wikipedia administrator lifted the block and was in turn stripped of his administratorship by the Foundation, and several other administrators resigned in protest. In response to a Buzzfeed article about the controversy, Wikimedia Foundation executive director Katharine Maher sent a tweet calling the article "s***ty", which drew heavy criticism against her on her Twitter account from other Wikipedia editors for what they indicated was her dismissive and elitist attitude toward those opposed to the Foundation's unilateral abuse of power. As more Wikipedia Administrators and Bureaucrats resign or go on strike, the crisis has also been reported by Breitbart.
Wikipedia on bestiality
See also: Wikipedia on bestiality and Atheism and bestiality
As noted earlier, the Wikipedia project was initiated by atheists and entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and the agnostic philosophy professor Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001.
Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. 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". 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.
See also: Atheism and bestiality and Evolutionary belief and bestiality
Trademarks and domain names
The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) uses the licensing of its trademarks as a tool to control local chapters. Although each local chapter is in theory an autonomous organization, each chapter signs a contract with the WMF as a condition for using its trademarks. The WMF also tried to stake out control over many domain names that contain the word "wiki" including "wikileaks". WikiLeaks and Wikipedia have no affiliation with each other. ("Wiki" describes a type of website and is not a trademark.) Wikia did purchase several WikiLeaks-related domain names (including wikileaks.com and wikileaks.net) as a "protective brand measure" in 2007. Wikia started to transfer those domain names to WikiLeaks on June 14, 2007, but the transfer was never completed, and Wikia held those domain names when the "Wikileaks scandal" broke.
Humorous quotes concerning Wikipedia
"...dealing with the Wikipedians is like walking into a mental hospital: the floors are carpeted, the walls are nicely padded, but you know there’s a pretty good chance at any given moment one of the inmates will pick up a knife.” - quote from a New York Times article on Wikipedia written by the journalist and author Judith Newman
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.
Jimmy Wales said the typical profile of a Wikipedia contributor is "a 26-year-old geeky male" who moves on to other ventures, gets married, and leaves the website.
Seth Meyers noted on his Late Night program, "Wikipedia is now accepting donations using the online currency Bitcoin. So now you can support information you're not sure is true with currency you're not sure is money."
When obscure author Patrick Modiano was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in October 2014, few journalists knew much about him. The person updating his Wikipedia biography to reflect the prize added this warning to the article, "To the Reporter Now Copying From Wikipedia: Be careful boy. Primary sources are still best for journos."
Unbiased editor recruitment
Wikipedia claims that anyone can edit it. That is true to an extent, but its editor pool is self-selecting. However, on January 25–29, 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation paid for Gregory Varnum and others to attend and staff a booth at the "24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change" conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The purpose of the Wikimedia booth was to recruit more LGBT activists to edit Wikipedia. Although Wikimedia has outreach efforts at other conferences, there has been no outreach at conservative events.
Wikipedia editor Sarah Stierch was the volunteer moderator of the Gender Gap email list where she departed from discussing Wikipedia to freely share her negative experiences with men in her life. In fall 2011, she was hired by the WMF as a Community Fellow to work on creating a "Teahouse" for newer Wikipedia editors. The report on the Teahouse Pilot Project explained, "If you click through to the Teahouse, it’s clearly aiming to broaden female participation - just look at the pastel background and references to tea." Stierch tried to use Twitter to recruit more female editors into Teahouse and the English Wikipedia. The report concluded, "Because so much time and energy needed to be spend during the pilot on setting up and maintaining the space, we weren't able to focus as much as we'd have liked on gender-targeted strategies for recruiting female guests and hosts. There are clearly more experiments that need to be run in order to better integrate the space with other gender gap efforts and WikiWomen's calls to actions." The WMF terminated Stierch on January 9, 2014 following complaints of her moonlighting as a paid editor.
On August 18, 2014, during the Congressional summer recess, the Cato Institute and Wikimedia DC jointly conducted a seminar to encourage Congressional staff members to edit Wikipedia about pending legislation and policy issues. The panel discussion included Michelle Newby, a full-time Cato employee who edits Wikipedia as a part of her job. She promised to work with any Congressional Staff that would be interested in editing.
Flaws in governance structure
Perhaps Wikipedia's greatest structural problem is Jimmy Wales' inability to remove himself from the process. He calls himself a "God-King" and rules the site with the style of monarchy, robbing it of its potential to achieve some form of Jeffersonian democracy and accountability. Wales once speculated that all significant productivity emerged from his circle of a few hundred personal friends while the rest of the world groped along doing only spelling and punctuation mark corrections and other trivial modifications. The computer programmer and activist Aaron Swartz did a proper analysis and showed that the productivity was the results of many, many thousands of anonymous users. Swartz later committed suicide.
Wales delegated the run-of-the-mill decision-marking to a hand-picked group he called the Arbitration Committee. They take months to make any decisions and dole out multi-month to multi-year or permanent intervention solutions. A reputable encyclopedia usually simply chooses an Editor-in-Chief, i.e. one reputable, mature and experienced person with one mind to make high-quality decisions rapidly and perhaps dispense moderate penalties when needed. Sanger served as such, but Wales, an Objectivist economics major and former stock options trader, opted to drastically reduce his salary when it became clear that the project would be a success, thus forcing him out. Wales has since been making a living, in part, by promoting his notions of governance of Internet-based projects, often emphasizing that users should remain anonymous and thus without any serious form of credential or reputation.
The problems are in the structure and in the personality flaws of Wales himself. Wales takes advantage of this vast pool of free labor to hunt his perceived enemies, somewhat in the style of L. Ron Hubbard or other such supposed founders of movements.[Citation Needed]
Equally important are the flawed steps that Wales took to separate the community of volunteer Wikipedia editors from the financial control of the enterprise. The servers and software are owned by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), a non-profit organization that at first was set up as a membership organization, but quickly changed to a non-membership organization so that members would not have any legal say regarding the organization. Although people who have made a required minimum number of edits per year can vote for members of the Arbitration Committee and for a minority of the WMF Board seats, at least one community-elected Board member was removed because he did not agree with the majority of the Board. Of course, Wales is guaranteed a perpetual WMF Board seat as a co-founder.
Originally, revenue from fundraising banners in the United States went to the WMF, but banner revenue in foreign countries went to the chapters located in those countries. In recent years, the WMF has consolidated all fundraising revenues, with national chapters being forced to apply for specific grants from the WMF.
To further complicate the financial controls, the WMF established a separate endowment at the Tides Foundation which is controlled by that foundation in consultation with an advisory board. Instead of having a community-selected advisory board or the entire WMF Board serving as the advisory board, the Tides Foundation appointed a new group with Wales and large donors serving. When the endowment reaches its fundraising target, the advisory board decides whether the funds should stay at the Tides Foundation, be transferred to the WMF, or used in some other way. So, if Wales has a falling out with the WMF Board over the next ten years, he and his hand-picked advisory board could take the Wikipedia endowment somewhere else. The editing community has no say in the endowment—who manages it or how the income will be spent.
Wikipedia has three policies that it calls its core policies. These are Neutral Point of View, Verifiability, and No Original Research. Despite designating these three policies as "core", Wikipedia barely even cares about them, especially with cases in regard to atheism. Wikipedia has reverted well-substantiated edits for disagreeing with atheism numerous times, gone several paragraphs on pro-atheism topics without citing a single source, banned Creation Ministries International employees for an indefinite amount of times despite said employees having not violated any written policy, and more.
- Examples of Bias in Wikipedia
- Articles about Wikipedia from previous "Breaking News"
- Essay:The Protocols of Ritual Defamation
- Wikipedia prejudice and KAL 007 (Wikipedia deletion material related to New World Order and Larry McDonald, touching Korean Airlines Flight 007)
- Essay:Wikipedia and Citizendium
- Wikipedia Governor Impeachment Cover-Up
- Elijahandskip - A Wikipedia Editor and Conservapedia Editor
- Wikipedia's atheism page - monthly page views
- SHEFFIELD: Conservatives miss Wikipedia's threat by Washington Times, August 21, 2008
- Wikipedia black helicopters circle Utah's Traverse Mountain, By Cade Metz, The Register, 6 December 2007.
- Avoid Wikipedia, warns Wikipedia chief - It can seriously damage your grades by Andrew Orlowski, The Register, June 15, 2006
- Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems by Andrew Orlowski, The Register, October 18, 2005
- Who Writes Wikipedia? by Aaron Swartz, 2006
- Wikipedia’s Seven Worst Moments by Charlie Nash, Breitbart News, July 5, 2016.
- Wikipedia and “Astroturf” Sarah Chaffee, Evolution News. November 30, 2017 (Journalist Sharyl Attkisson).
- Top 7 Alternatives to Wikipedia Open Education Database. (Includes Conservapedia along with six other online encyclopedias, criticizes Wikipedia for inaccuracies and hypocrisy.)
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20180527010133/http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_Foundation_announces_tenth_annual_fundraising_campaign
- ↑ https://books.google.com/books?id=wMhBQ0WdjF4C&pg=PA199#v=onepage&q&f=false
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/18/sanger_forks_wikipedia/
- ↑ https://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=9856155&threshold=1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=53229619
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Uncommon Descent, December 1, 2016, Posted by Barry Arrington
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 http://www.frontpagemag.com/2011/david-swindle/how-the-left-conquered-wikipedia-part-1/
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/125437
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Varma, Subodh. "Google eating into Wikipedia page views?", Times of India, January 20, 2014. Retrieved on March 20, 2014.
- ↑ Pro-evolution Wikipedia has a shrinking base of editors plus Quora is Wikipedia's worst nightmare
- ↑ Pro-evolution Wikipedia has a shrinking base of editors plus Quora is Wikipedia's worst nightmare
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclopedia
- ↑ http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4461
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83640
- ↑ http://tektonticker.blogspot.com/search/label/Wikipedia
- ↑ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2131458/Up-articles-Wikipedia-contain-factual-errors.html
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duh (only after Conservapedia criticized the entry on the English word "duh" did Wikipedia eventually remove it)
- ↑ such as Honk If You Love Fred Durst (accessed April 1, 2007)
- ↑ Part of the article about Henry Liddell, a 19th-century Vice-chancellor of Oxford University and author, includes that his grandfather was the youngest son of the 8th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and that his daughter was the child Alice in Wonderland was written for (accessed April 1, 2007)
- ↑ List of Wikipedias - Wikimedia, accessed April 1, 2007.
- ↑ Aaron Weiss, The Unassociated Press, N.Y. Times, Feb. 10, 2005, at G5.
- ↑ English Wikipedia statistics accessed April 1, 2007
- ↑ English Wikipedia statistics accessed May 6, 2011
- ↑ Martin Hickman and Genevieve Roberts, "WIKIPEDIA," The Independent (London) p. 12 (Feb 13, 2006)
- ↑ Wikimedia Foundation accessed April 7, 2007
- ↑ MediaWiki home accessed April 7, 2007
- ↑ http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1262
- ↑ http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/23/how-the-left-conquered-wikipedia-part-1/
- ↑ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Commonist
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 How the left conquered Wikipedia - Part 1
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:May_Days&oldid=903699178
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=548948980#Proposal:_Indefinite_Block
- ↑ Nik Cubrilovic (April 28, 2007). Wikipedia: Special Treatment for Wikia and some other Wikis. Retrieved on July 22, 2012.
- ↑ http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-January/061137.html
- ↑ Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?, 20 December 2012
- ↑ Roslyn Fuller (July 25, 2014). 'Not terrorists': Hysteria over MH17 fails to take account of both law and facts. Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
- ↑ Wikipedia scandals. Retrieved from centiare.com October 10, 2007.
- ↑ Statistical Decline of the English Wikipedia, Dragons flight/Log analysis, October 9, 2007.
- ↑ Arbitration Commitee Elections December 2012. Retrieved on December 18, 2012.
- ↑ Kohs, Greg (December 11, 2013). Wikipedia's "scrutineers" snoop on living arrangements of contributors. Examiner. Retrieved on December 15, 2014.
- ↑ http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/the_maurice_jarre_wikipedia_hoax/
- ↑ https://www.nbcnews.com/id/30699302/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/student-hoaxes-worlds-media-wikipedia/#.WLNTW5ArLrc
- ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/04/journalism-obituaries-shane-fitzgerald
- ↑ http://archive.mrc.org/BozellColumns/newscolumn/2007/col20070320.asp
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Bozell accessed April 1, 2007
- ↑ http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/tech/2007/mar/25/032502465.html
- ↑ id.
- ↑ User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 20, Larry Sanger 03:26, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
- ↑ id.
- ↑ About Jimmy. Retrieved on February 6, 2015.
- ↑ 52.0 52.1 User:Essjay/Letter. Retrieved from WikiTruth, November 3, 2007.
- ↑ 53.0 53.1 Seigenthaler's Op-Eds, October 1, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org November 12, 2007.
- ↑ http://www.journalism.cf.ac.uk/2006/online/index.php?id=parse-195-0-0-251&article=336&author=India+Camm
- ↑ A false Wikipedia 'biography', By John Seigenthaler, USA Today, 11/29/2005.
- ↑ http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/05/lol.02.html
- ↑ Wikipedia/Tom DeLay, Revision as of 20:19, 2 November 2006, IP 188.8.131.52
- ↑ WikiScanner
- ↑ A false Wikipedia 'biography', By John Seigenthaler, USA Today, 11/29/2005.
- ↑ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916529
- ↑ http://www.adl.org/Civil_Rights/newcyber.pdf
- ↑ http://www.rjayco.com/obrien/nazism.pdf
- ↑ http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/02/12/bias_sabotage_haunt_wikipedias_free_world/?page=3
- ↑ Talk:John Seigenthaler Sr.#The best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia, retrieved 23 March 2007.
- ↑ Wikipedia: A Nightmare Of Libel and Slander, Joel Leyden, Israel News Agency, 8 May 2006.
- ↑ http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2005/tc20051214_441708.htm
- ↑ Seigenthaler controversy#Wikimedia Foundation reaction.
- ↑ http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-October/084292.html
- ↑ Laird Wilcox, The Watchdogs: A Close Look at Anti-Racist "Watchdog" Groups, Second Edition, Part 2, Editorial Research Service, 1999, p. 21. ISBN 0-993592-96-5.
- ↑ http://www.namebase.org/
- ↑ Leroy Fletcher Prouty, Jr., Colonel, United States Air Force, Arlington National Cemetery Website, Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- ↑ Believers, Negativists Debate Wikipedia’s Trustworthiness, by Mark Glaser, 20 April 2006. Retrieved from pbs.org October 29, 2007.
- ↑ Wikiquote/Daniel Brandt#Sourced
- ↑ http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=5641&st=40&p=21441&mode=linear#entry21441
- ↑ Chip Berlet/Talk, SlimVirgin 00:19, 7 January 2005.
- ↑ 76.0 76.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons&diff=31947681&oldid=31753956
- ↑ Wikipedia Founder, Readers Respond to Seigenthaler Article, Jay DeFoore, Editor & Publisher, December 01, 2005.
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:UNDUE#Undue_weight
- ↑ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/06/wikipedia_and_overstock/
- ↑ http://www.overstock.com/community
- ↑ http://www.deepcapture.com/gary-weiss-scaramouch-psychopath/
- ↑ http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/2007/05/overstockcoms-ethical-dilemma.html
- ↑ http://allantyoung.com/2008/09/22/patrick-byrne-vindicated/
- ↑ http://antisocialmedia.net/final-word-on-weiss/
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mantanmoreland
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gary_Weiss&diff=prev&oldid=48341962
- ↑ http://www.dtcc.com/about/business/index.php
- ↑ http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=10360&st=0&p=36485&mode=linear#entry36485
- ↑ http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=15897
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:David_Gerard/archive_5#User:184.108.40.206
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Attack_sites/Proposed_decision&diff=158954587&oldid=158809362
- ↑ http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/2007-October/083509.html
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Mantanmoreland/Evidence#Evidence_presented_by_Cla68
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Gary_Weiss&diff=165916446&oldid=165916313
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SirFozzie/Investigation
- ↑ http://www.wikback.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2762#Post2757
- ↑ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/01/wikipedia_and_naked_shorting/print.html
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://www.investigatethesec.com/drupal-5.5/?q=node/425
- ↑ Wikien-1 Harassment sites, Fred Bauder, Sun Oct 14 19:03:28 UTC 2007.
- ↑ http://www.ioltechnology.co.za/article_page.php?iSectionId=2891&iArticleId=3734818
- ↑ Geri Litton sockpuppet investigation (2007). Retrieved on July 11, 2013.
- ↑ Quorty sockpuppet inviestigant (2013). Retrieved on July 11, 2013.
- ↑ Revenge, ego and the corruption of Wikipedia. salon.com (May 17, 2013). Retrieved on July 9, 2013.
- ↑ Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive797. Retrieved on July 9, 2013.
- ↑ Bondy, Filip. "They Can Finally Say They Belong Here", New York Daily News, 2006-11-10, p. 92. Retrieved on 2006-12-13.
- ↑ 107.0 107.1 http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/bauertc.html
- ↑ http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/bauert1.html
- ↑ http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/bauert2.html
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Log&page=Brian+Peppers
- ↑ http://www.wikitruth.info/index.php?title=Wikipocalypse:GF'DL
- ↑ http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html#TOC1
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-06-15/News_and_notes
- ↑ "Wikipedia is not censored" userbox at Wikipedia
- ↑ 115.0 115.1 Hennessy-Fiske, Molly. "Wikipedia threats went unchecked – Los Angeles Times", Los Angeles Times, 29 April 2008.
- ↑ 116.0 116.1 Hacienda Heights school receives possible threat | abc7.com
- ↑ 117.0 117.1 "Student arrested for violent threats on Wikipedia", Los Angeles Times, 29 April 2008.
- ↑ "Teen charged after threat to school on Wikipedia", Pantagraph.com, 31 October 2006. Retrieved on 26 January 2011.
- ↑ Thesis Acknowledgements. Retrieved on July 15, 2019.
- ↑ Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram. Retrieved on June 24, 2019.
- ↑ "The Culture War Has Finally Come For Wikipedia", Buzzfeed News, July 27, 2019. Retrieved on July 28, 2019.
- ↑ tweet. Retrieved on June 28, 2019.
- ↑ "Wikipedia Editors Revolt over Site’s Ban of Veteran Administrator", Breitbart, July 28, 2019. Retrieved on July 28, 2019.
- ↑ http://www.nndb.com/lists/288/000092012/
- ↑ Impact of laws section of "Zoophilia and the law" (July 17, 2012). Retrieved on July 18, 2012.
- ↑ Wikipedia:WikiLeaks is not part of Wikipedia. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved on September 17, 2012.
- ↑ "Wiki giants on a collision course over shared name", The Independent, 30 August 2010. Retrieved on September 17, 2012.
- ↑ 128.0 128.1 Press:Wikia Does Not Own Wikileaks Domain Names. Wikia. Wikia. Retrieved on September 17, 2012.
- ↑ Wikipedia-Mania: Wikipedia, What Does Judith Newman Have to Do to Get a Page?
- ↑ http://gawker.com/5410917/wikipedia-gridlocked-by-wikipedia-nerds
- ↑ Wikipedia losing contributors, founder says
- ↑ http://www.thespec.com/living-story/4733681-tuesdayfile/ Retrieved August 8, 2014
- ↑ Wickman, Forrest. "A Reminder to Journalists Writing About the New Nobel Prize Winner, From Wikipedia", Slate, October 9, 2014. Retrieved on October 10, 2014.
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Patrick_Modiano&diff=prev&oldid=628920987
- ↑ Teahouse: Pilot Report (June 14, 2012).
- ↑ http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-January/129466.html
- ↑ Scola, Nancy (August 18, 2014). A call to edit: Congress and Wikipedia told to peacefully co-exist. Washington Post. Retrieved on August 22, 2014.
- ↑ Wikipedia and Congress. C-SPAN (August 18, 2014). Retrieved on August 22, 2014.
- Study shows that the world's biggest pro-evolution website is driving away newcomer editors! Also, video shows evolutionists at Wikipedia are clowns!
- Wikipedia's List of Wikipedia controversies
- Wikipedia: What Is It Good For?, By Dick Clark, 9/19/2007. Retrieved from The Ludwig von Mises Institute, http://www.mises.org/ November 5, 2007.
- Wikipedias' Own Cofounder Lambastes the Site for Bias