Following a broad range of contentious and controversial events — such as Black Lives Matter riots, the 2020 election, and the impeachment(s) of former President Donald Trump — the online encyclopedia “Wikipedia” has become “more one-sided than ever,” according to its co-founder, Larry Sanger.
Sanger began a blog post titled, “Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever,” by discussing the website’s pursuit of “neutrality.”
“But what does ‘neutral’ mean?” Sanger wrote. “This is easy to misunderstand; many people think it means the same as ‘objective.’ But neutrality is not the same as objectivity.”
“If an encyclopedia is neutral about political, scientific, and religious controversies — the issues that define the ongoing culture war — then you will find competing sides represented carefully and respectfully, even if one side is ‘objectively’ wrong,” Sanger continued. “From a truly neutral article, you would learn why, on a whole variety of issues, conservatives believe one thing, while progressives believe another thing. And then you would be able to make up your own mind.”
Sanger then listed “four of the biggest political issues” in the United States — Trump’s impeachments, Biden’s scandals, the Antifa and BLM riots, and alleged election irregularities — which demonstrated that Wikipedia fails to meet this definition.
“These contentious issues are exactly where we should expect to see fair treatment of ‘alternative’ views on Wikipedia,” Sanger wrote in the post’s conclusion. “But we do not.”
Sanger stated that “Wikipedia openly repudiates neutrality,” and is, therefore “shamelessly hypocritical in how it continues to pay lip service to its ‘neutral point of view’ policy.” Sanger accused Wikipedia’s editors of sometimes embracing their biases “so fervently that their articles emerge more as propaganda than as reference material.”
Sanger then also pointed out that some “conservative” stories which only receive focus from certain outlets remain censored from Wikipedia.
“A lot of mainstream news stories are broken only in Fox News, the Daily Mail, and the New York Post — all of which are banned from use as sources by Wikipedia,” Sanger wrote. “Beyond that, many mainstream sources of conservative, libertarian, or contrarian opinion are banned from Wikipedia as well, including Quillette, The Federalist, and the Daily Caller. Those might be contrarian or conservative, but they are hardly ‘radical’; they are still mainstream. So, how on earth can such viewpoints ever be given an airing on Wikipedia? Answer: often, they cannot, not if there are no ‘reliable sources’ available to report about them.”
“In short, and with few exceptions, only globalist, progressive mainstream sources — and sources friendly to globalist progressivism — are permitted,” Sanger said.
Sanger concluded by arguing that “it is not too far to say that Wikipedia, like many other deeply biased institutions of our brave new digital world, has made itself into a kind of thought police that has de facto shackled conservative viewpoints with which they disagree.”
“Democracy cannot thrive under such conditions: I maintain that Wikipedia has become an opponent of vigorous democracy,” Sanger argued. “Democracy requires that voters be given the full range of views on controversial issues so that they can make up their minds for themselves. If society’s main information sources march in ideological lockstep, they make a mockery of democracy. Then the wealthy and powerful need only gain control of the few approved organs of acceptable thought; then they will be able to manipulate and ultimately control all-important political dialogue.”
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