Wikipedia

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Wikipedia
Wikipedia.png
Motto The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit
Existence January 15, 2001—present
Type Wiki
Headquarters Tampa, Florida, USA
  Owner   Wikimedia Foundation
Founder Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger
Website Wikipedia.org
Black pride, Gay pride, Asian pride, and White pride as explained by Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a multilingual wiki project. As the world's largest encyclopedia it has enormous and often pernicious influence.

In 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation openly stated that it is a political organization and participated in opposition against US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.[1]

Contents

General criticisms

Wikipedia has been criticized for many reasons. Some examples:

  • Content in practice often decided by the majority of the particular editors being involved in a particular dispute at a particular moment. There are some rules (such as the "three-revert rule" granting each individual three reverts within a 24-hour period) which in effect enforce this by ensuring that the majority side will win any "edit wars" over article contents. The rules also state that views from both sides should be included (the so called "Neutral point of view" rule). But the majority decides also how the minority view should be represented, so this rule seems to amount to little more than an instruction to include some token straw men arguments from other side. As such, Wikipedia can be considered an ongoing opinion survey of the personal opinions of the unrepresentative and generally leftist group editing the website.
  • In addition to the above method, Wikipedia has a complex, multi-layered bureaucracy and a vast, complicated, and obscure set of rules regarding contents. The labyrinthine systems of rules, norms, dispute resolutions systems, and enforcement systems have been criticized as difficult to master, giving experienced editors a large advantage in content disputes.
  • The so called "Arbitration Committee", which (according to the Wikipedia article "Arbitration Committee") is the "court of last resort", "has generally adhered to the principles of ignoring the content of user disputes and focusing on user conduct". Thus, Wikipedia disputes are in the end resolved by character attacks (ad hominem) rather than by the scientific merits of arguments.
  • Few disputes actually reach the "Arbitration Committee" since disputes are usually arbitrarily decided before this by Wikipedia administrators who function as a leftist ruling class/caste and censors/gatekeepers. Punishing administrators for wrongdoings is complicated and rarely done as administrators tend to protect their own. Furthermore, the "Arbitration Committee" has decreed that so-called "discretionary sanctions" apply to many controversial topics which in effect means that "uninvolved" administrators have even greater freedom to arbitrarily "solve" any dispute. "Uninvolved" administrators are almost always non-expert administrators who have very little expert knowledge on the issues in the dispute and who therefore "solve" the dispute by decreeing that the political correct, leftist view is the correct one.
  • Those supposedly judging and punishing rule-breakers are often anonymous, as are those accused, which makes it very difficult or impossible to detect various kinds of improper relationships, if these are not revealed voluntarily. For example, a prominent and often criticized editor who had been involved for many years in Wikipedia rule disputes on race and intelligence topics eventually essentially bragged about having a friendly personal relationship with a leading member of the "Arbitration Committee" judging the case.[2][3][4]
  • The so called "Essjay controversy" was a controversy concerning a prominent Wikipedia participant and salaried Wikia employee, known by the username "Essjay". He held powerful positions within Wikipedia known as "administrator", "bureaucrat", and "arbitrator". Later it was revealed that he had made false claims such as being a "tenured professor" and used false credentials in order to win content disputes. Various proposals after the controversy to require verification of claimed credentials have been rejected.[5] Applying a double standard, the situation is completely different when Wikipedia writes about disliked individuals (such as claimed "far right" individuals), who are not allowed to state anything regarding themselves, unless published in (leftist) "reliable sources", as discussed in later sections.
  • Content and rule system sensitive to manipulation by organized groups. In effect, editing a sensitive Wikipedia article has been argued to demand not just mastery of complicated rules but spending a lot of effort building a network with other editors with the same opinion on the appropriate content of the article. The goal is to work together in order to ban or drive away the opposing side so the own side becomes the majority side and which can then control the content of the article.
  • Non-experts as content writers and administrators. Less of a problem in areas which non-experts do not care about and where the non-experts can be outvoted by the experts (like advanced mathematics) but problematic in other areas. Such non-experts may include persons who may be highly educated and experts in other areas but in Wikipedia write on topics they do not know particularly well.
  • Absence of expert writers in many areas (in particular politically sensitive ones).
  • Varying quality of articles over time. There is a common belief that Wikipedia articles are constantly improving in quality over time but article quality instead often deteriorates if the expert writers leave an article and are replaced by non-experts, vandals, and agenda pushers.
  • A long-term decline in the number of active editors. Many different reasons have been proposed but may simply be due to dissidents increasingly losing the Wikipedia content battles and then leaving Wikipedia and the victorious side(s) then feeling little need to add further arguments to the article(s) after victory.

Evaluations

Wikipedia has sometimes in evaluations received favorable reviews but these refer to areas that are dominated by experts and which are not politically sensitive. In particular, a 2005 comparison between Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica on several not politically sensitive hard science topics is very often cited as (false) evidence for that everything stated in Wikipedia is very reliable. The comparison and the descriptions of the comparison have been criticized for a variety of reasons.[6]

An example of an evaluation where Wikipedia performed very poorly is a 2008 study which compared nine Wikipedia entries on historical topics to their counterparts in Encyclopædia Britannica, The Dictionary of American History and American National Biography Online. The paper found that Wikipedia's entries had an overall accuracy rate of 80 percent, whereas the other encyclopedias had an accuracy rate of 95 to 96 percent. The study stated that "The study did reveal inaccuracies in eight of the nine entries and exposed major flaws in at least two of the nine Wikipedia articles. Overall, Wikipedia's accuracy rate was 80 percent compared with 95‐96 percent accuracy within the other sources. This study does support the claim that Wikipedia is less reliable than other reference resources."[7]

Experiments have found that subtle vandalism and deliberate hoaxes are often undetected for long time periods or indefinitely.[8][9]

A 2016 study titled "Manipulation among the arbiters of collective intelligence: How Wikipedia administrators mold public opinion" stated that “Enforcement of neutrality is in the hands of comparatively few, powerful administrators. In this paper, we document that a surprisingly large number of editors change their behavior and begin focusing more on a particular controversial topic once they are promoted to administrator status. The conscious and unconscious biases of these few, but powerful, administrators may be shaping the information on many of the most sensitive topics on Wikipedia; some may even be explicitly infiltrating the ranks of administrators in order to promote their own points of view.[10]

Regarding Wikipedia's political content, evaluations have found a leftist bias. However, supporters claim the bias is not large, citing for example a 2014 study that claimed this.[11] However, this ignores that Wikipedia's bias varies. For example, while there may be only a limited bias in articles on "mainstream" "conservative" individuals, the bias is extreme on anything perceived as "far right", with articles on such topics typically written from an exclusively negative and extremely biased leftist point of view, as described in more detail in other sections.

Much has been written in various sources about the problematic aspects of Wikipedia. See the "External links" section below.

Wikimedia Foundation

In addition to content issues there are also economic and management issues. The supposedly non-profit and wealthy Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is governed by a Board of Trustees with the Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales as unelected Trustee for life. The wealthy foundation continues to ask for and receives large donations. It has now a large number of paid employees but has been criticized for low productivity. Meanwhile, the number of active Wikipedia administrators who do chores without being paid are steadily decreasing.

In 2017, an analysis stated that “The modern Wikipedia hosts 11–12 times as many pages as it did in 2005, but the WMF is spending 33 times as much on hosting, has about 300 times as many employees, and is spending 1,250 times as much overall. WMF's spending has gone up by 85% over the past three years.[12] In 2016, the WMF had net assets of $92 million, revenue of $82 million, spent only $2 million on internet hosting, but despite this continued to ask for donations, even continuing to ask for money after stated targets had been achieved, and despite promising to no do so.[13]

Various forms of conflicts of interest and problematic editing by large donors to the Wikimedia Foundation have been argued.[14]

Also in 2017, the WMF executive director called US President Donald Trump's immigration ban "an affront" to Wikipedia's "vision". The chair of the WMF Board, weighed in with a strongly worded statement, ending with that “as a movement, we have the potential to have a huge impact on the world. That is not neutral, that is a force of change and change always is political". The WMF's interim general counsel stated that “Today, the Wikimedia Foundation joined with more than 90 other organizations in filing an amicus brief in State of Washington v. Trump currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States.[1]

Wikipedia's "vision" supposedly includes opposition to government censorship and “The freedom to share and access knowledge".[15] However, Wikipedia is an enthusiastic supporter of government censorship regarding "Holocaust denial" and more generally censors anything perceived as "far right" views, arguments, and facts, as discussed in later sections.

Leftist, politically correct, and anti-White bias

In general Wikipedia has a leftist, politically correct, and anti-White bias. This has contributed to the creation of alternative Wikis such as Metapedia.

Why Wikipedia has this bias has been discussed. One explanation is that since the content is decided by majority vote by non-experts it will be heavily influenced by the views promoted by the leftist mass media rather than the views which can be found among experts and in the scientific literature.

Cultural Marxism and political correctness are other explanations. They have been enormously influential in academia, the media, and elsewhere and likely to some degree influences many Wikipedia writers.

Wikipedia makes a distinction between "primary sources" (considered bad) and "secondary sources" (considered good). While such a distinction may make sense in some scholarly fields (and where the terms were originally invented and used), such a distinction is often dubious and problematic regarding, for example, recent news, since there are rarely any scholarly "secondary" reviews available. Wikipedia solves this by citing what is in effect often opinion pieces or personal commentaries in mainstream media (and which often do not cite sources for claims and opinions) and claims that these sources are reliable, "secondary sources". Not politically correct sources are excluded as being "primary sources" or otherwise "unreliable". "Primary sources" are not actually prohibited according to Wikipedia rules, just discouraged, but this is ignored if the source is politically incorrect. Wikipedia in effect often prohibits politically incorrect individuals and organizations to state their view on themselves, even as just one of several possible views, even in the articles exclusively dedicated to describing such individuals and organizations, and this despite rules such as on "Biographies of living persons" stating that in such articles "primary sources" by the described living persons can be cited.

Another supposed reason for excluding not politically correct sources is that they supposedly do not do "fact checking". Evidence for that allowed politically correct sources do fact checking and that not allowed not politically correct sources do not do fact checking is not presented. Politically correct media often do not present any supporting evidence for the claims and opinions stated there.

Wikipedia has a much harsher de facto policy on anything that is perceived as "far right" than even on Communist dictatorships and their state controlled and censored media (which can be cited in Wikipedia on issues such as official Communist government positions and self-descriptions).

Also regarding more mainstream right-wing views there is bias and censorship, although somewhat less extreme. For example, Breitbart has been partially banned in Wikipedia as a claimed “unreliable source”.[16] Breitbart in 2016 in an article titled "Wikipedia’s Seven Worst Moments" criticized Wikipedia.[17] Many other critical articles have also been published.[18]

In 2017, Wikipedia banned right-wing Daily Mail, the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper, from being used as a source in Wikipedia, after a vote with 77 participants. The newspaper was claimed to be unreliable but no statistics were given in support of this claim. Daily Mail wrote that this occurred just before the newspaper “was shortlisted for 15 awards at the British Press Awards, the news industry’s Oscars. (Indeed, as we shall see, the Mail has an enviable record on accuracy.) […] Curiously, though it has now placed a ban on this paper, the website remains happy to use the state propaganda outlets of many of the world’s most repressive and autocratic Left-wing dictatorships as a source for information. […] In 2015, with our sister website MailOnline, the Mail published more than half a million stories; IPSO upheld complaints against two of them. By way of comparison, five articles in The Times had complaints of one kind or another upheld against them, along with four in the Daily Express, and ten published by the Telegraph group.[19]

When it comes to the more sensitive issues, such as race and intelligence, Wikipedia simply censors even academic, peer-reviewed, secondary review articles, if they do not support the politically correct views.

In contrast, pushing a politically correct viewpoint by using dubious or even falsified sources is not difficult. WikiIslam in a critical article states that "At Wikipedia, Islam-related articles are often compromised by pro-Islamic editors. An example of this is a 2010 incident where an editor with over 67,000 edits was caught intentionally inserting false information into articles. Jagged 85 had been editing there for five years, and his/her inaccurate edits and articles have been reproduced all over the net by other websites which use Wikipedia as a source. [...] A lot of his efforts were also concentrated on downplaying the achievements of non-Muslims (mainly Europeans) in various topics, and once again, focused primarily on science [...] With contributions to over 8,100 separate articles, it is unlikely that all of Jagged 85's edits will ever be fixed."[20]

Organized team editing

Hasbara Fellowships is an Israeli organization that recruits Zionists as Wikipedia editors for hasbara purposes.
Wikipedia's Sayanim article deleted.

Another criticism against the supposed "neutral point of view" in the articles is the presence of systematic propaganda by organized groups. The propaganda activities of such organized groups may be open or concealed.

Fox News wrote in 2013 that "Fifteen universities including some Ivy League schools are offering college credit to students who will inject feminist thinking into the popular website Wikipedia..."They’re more concerned with making it politically correct than factually correct"".[21] In 2017, several institutions were hosting Wikipedia “Edit-a-thon” events in order to advance feminist point of views in Wikipedia articles.[22]

In 2017, when a Berkeley professor was criticized when as part of his course, students created Wikipedia articles that advanced an anti-Trump agenda, containing in-depth critiques of Trump’s environmental policy among others.[23]

More covert argued example are articles related to Pakistan which in 2015 were argued to be systematically manipulated, possibly by governmental agencies, and articles related to Cherokees, which in 2013 were argued to be systematically manipulated, possibly by pro-Cherokee activists.[24][25] In 2017, an analysis found 7,200 changes to Wikipedia since 2014 made by people using Canadian government IP addresses. This only included not logged in user who thereby revealed their IP addresses.[26]

In 2013, there was an exposure of a multi-million-dollar company which "created, edited, or maintained several thousand Wikipedia articles for paying clients using a sophisticated array of concealed user accounts."[27] Accusations of large scale paid editing have continued after this.[28]

A simple form of organized team editing consists of using, for example, a covert mailing list in order to secretly enlist voters in order to "win" various Wikipedia votes on issues such as article contents.

See the article on hasbara and the "External links" section regarding large scale Israeli and Jewish efforts to control Wikipedia contents.

Most covert organized team editing will likely never be detected in part due to most Wikipedia editors being anonymous. Even if it is and even if it can be proven, then the rules are unclear regarding if it is allowed. Openly stated organized team editing promoting politically correct views such as feminism have not been disallowed.

Specific biased topics and articles

Criticisms of Wikipedia's claims of being neutral and accurate have in particular been applied to politically related topics (including science topics strongly related to politics).

In addition to a generally leftist bias, there are some politically related topics that are more biased than others. This applies in particular to all "far right" topics which are often written from an exclusively critical point of view and often include many straw men descriptions and errors. This can be contrasted with "far left" topics which may include some criticisms but which, at the very least, include many views by the "far leftists" themselves, including replies to criticisms.

Pro-White organizations are routinely being described with epithets such as White supremacist and/or "hate group" while similar labels are not applied to special interest organizations promoting the interests of non-White groups. There are anti-White articles such as on "Whiteness studies" and on "White privilege" with no corresponding articles for other groups despite some being very influential and on average more wealthy than Whites such as Jews (see the article on Jewish influence).

Notably all race related articles more or less openly state that race is a social construct and all that all group differences are due to non-genetic factors despite there being large scale disagreement with this among scientists. Much of the new research on genetic group differences is not mentioned at all or described falsely.

Articles related to race and crime, even articles on specific crimes, are often biased and censored, even regarding included photographs, such by censoring photographs of non-White perpetrators and White victims.[29]

Almost all articles related to the Holocaust describe only the now "standardized" politically correct view (ignoring the extremely varying claims made also by politically correct "witnesses" and "confessors"). A few articles are dedicated to stating exclusively negative views on "Holocaust denial".

More generally all articles related to National Socialist Germany have a very negative point of view often influenced by the politically correct views on the Holocaust, Lebensraum, master race, and subhumans as well as non-revisionist views on the causes of the World Wars. In contrast, various Allied atrocities are often not mentioned, minimized, and/or described misleadingly.

See the section "Organized team editing" regarding organized teams creating biased articles.

Special interest organizations can usually dominate their own article and influence many others if they are considered to be at least somewhat leftist and politically correct. For example, heavily criticized special interest organizations such as the SPLC and the ADL have articles excluding many criticisms and are in Wikipedia themselves considered to be very reliable sources that can be cited everywhere in Wikipedia regarding their unsupported opinions on others.

More generally, special interest groups/movements that are seen as leftist and politically correct can often dominate the articles they feel strongly about and for which there are no opposing special interest group (or no allowed opposing special interest groups). Thus, topics such as homosexuality are often dominated by supporters which no, few, or only straw men criticisms allowed. Other articles such as the article on psychoanalysis can include some criticisms but often surprisingly little compared to the lack of empirical support and the criticisms in the scientific literature.

On the talk pages of politically sensitive articles there are often various valid criticisms and views that are excluded from the article if they are not politically correct

Word usage

  • The articles on leftist mass murderers such as Lenin and Mao describe it as a view only by critics that these individuals were dictators. (Part of a more general situation, with for example the article on the far leftist favorite Trotsky saying almost nothing on his responsibility while in power for the mass killings under Communist regimes.)
  • Nazi: The derogatory "Nazi" is constantly used instead of "National Socialist" despite not using "Commie" instead of "Communist" and so on.
  • Block users when they add the German names to former German areas.
  • Bias and double standard regarding article titles, such as regarding there being an article titled "German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war" and a corresponding article titled "German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union", despite German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union being mistreated on a large scale.

Missing articles

Deleted articles

Metapedia article

English Wikipedia has an article on Metapedia with various errors and derogatory labels. This also applies to the descriptions of organizations and individuals such as the Nordic Alliance ("Nordiska förbundet"). Various sources are listed for these allegations but they likely often ultimately derive from the unreliable opinions of Expo which is a Swedish organization somewhat similar to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

See also

External links

Sites about Wikipedia

Criticisms

Article archives

Jewish influence

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Official WMF rebuke to Trump policy WMF secures restricted funds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2017-02-06/News_and_notes
  2. Deconstructing Wikipedia User Mathsci http://wikipediocracy.com/2013/06/30/deconstructing-wikipedia-user-mathsci/
  3. Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator http://wikipediocracy.com/2015/08/30/roger-davies-wikipedias-imperial-arbitrator/
  4. Mathsci and MastCell http://wikipedia-sucks-badly.blogspot.com/2015/11/mathsci-and-mastcell.html
  5. Essjay controversy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essjay_controversy
  6. Wikipedia: as accurate as Britannica? http://wikipediocracy.com/2015/08/25/wikipedia-as-accurate-as-britannica/
  7. Rector, Lucy Holman. "Comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles". Reference Services Review. 36 (1): 7–22. doi:10.1108/00907320810851998
  8. Experiment concludes: Most misinformation inserted into Wikipedia may persist http://wikipediocracy.com/2015/04/13/experiment-concludes-most-misinformation-inserted-into-wikipedia-may-persist/
  9. How pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia http://wikipediocracy.com/2014/07/20/how-pranks-hoaxes-and-manipulation-undermine-the-reliability-of-wikipedia/
  10. Manipulation among the arbiters of collective intelligence: How Wikipedia administrators mold public opinion http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~magdon/ps/journal/Wiki-TWeb2016.pdf
  11. Wikipedia Is More Biased Than Britannica, but Don’t Blame the Crowd https://hbr.org/2014/12/wikipedia-is-more-biased-than-britannica-but-dont-blame-the-crowd
  12. Wikipedia has cancer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2017-02-27/Op-ed
  13. Wikipedia exceeds fundraising target, but continues asking for more money https://slashdot.org/submission/6575473/wikipedia-exceeds-fundraising-target-but-continues-asking-for-more-money
  14. The Thin Bright Line http://wikipediocracy.com/2014/03/10/the-thin-bright-line/
  15. Censorship https://policy.wikimedia.org/policy-landing/censorship/
  16. Wikipedia:Potentially unreliable sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Potentially_unreliable_sources
  17. Wikipedia’s Seven Worst Moments http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/07/05/wikipedias-seven-worst-moments/
  18. Breitbart Tag Wikipedia http://www.breitbart.com/tag/wikipedia/
  19. The making of a Wiki-Lie: Chilling story of one twisted oddball and a handful of anonymous activists who appointed themselves as censors to promote their own warped agenda on a website that's a byword for inaccuracy http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4280502/Anonymous-Wikipedia-activists-promote-warped-agenda.html
  20. Islam, Science and the Problems at Wikipedia https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Islam_Science_and_the_Problems_at_Wikipedia
  21. Wikistorming: Colleges offer credit to inject feminism into Wikipedia. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/09/06/wikistorming-colleges-offer-credit-to-corrupt-wikipedia/
  22. Feminists at Oberlin, Bucknell, Temple Host Wikipedia “Edit-A-Thon” http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/03/16/feminists-at-oberlin-bucknell-temple-host-wikipedia-edit-a-thon/
  23. UC Berkeley Professor Banned From Wikipedia Over Anti-Trump Edit Project http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/05/09/uc-berkeley-students-label-trump-sexist-racist-during-wikipedia-edit-project/
  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-02-18/In_the_media#Are_Pakistan_articles_being_manipulated.3
  25. Scandal at Wikipedia http://www.examiner.com/article/scandal-at-wikipedia
  26. Government’s ‘Ninja Edits’ to Wikipedia Alarming, Critic Says https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/01/10/Canadian-Government-Wikipedia-Edits/
  27. Wiki-PR's extensive network of clandestine paid advocacy exposed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2013-10-09/News_and_notes
  28. The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/08/wikipedia-editors-for-pay/393926/
  29. Wikipedia’s Censors are Hard at Work, Ensuring That Readers Do Not Learn about Crimes Committed by Members of “Protected Classes” Against Members of “Non-Protected” Classes https://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/2010/12/wikipedias-censors-are-hard-at-work.html
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