Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, published a blog post this month declaring that the online encyclopedia’s “neutral point of view” policy is “dead” due to the rampant left-wing bias of the site. Noting the article on President Donald Trump, Sanger contrasted its extensive coverage of presidential scandals with the largely scandal-free article on former President Barack Obama.
Sanger also criticized Wikipedia’s coverage of religion and other controversial topics. After Fox News reported on his blog post, many Wikipedians ignored the bias Sanger identified and instead responded by attacking the conservative outlet as well as Sanger.
On May 14, Sanger published a blog piece titled “Wikipedia Is Badly Biased” and started by declaring Wikipedia’s “Neutral Point of View” policy dead. Having founded the online encyclopedia with Jimmy Wales and having been involved in the original drafting of the policy, Sanger offered particular insight into its development and its practice in recent years. On the current policy’s rejection of providing “equal validity” to different views, Sanger stated this went directly against the original policy’s intent and that “as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science.”
Providing examples, Sanger noted former President Obama’s article excludes most notable scandals during his Administration, such as the bungled ATF Fast and Furious operation that armed Mexican cartels who killed a U.S. border agent or the targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS. By contrast, Sanger pointed to Trump’s article containing overwhelmingly negative sections on the President regarding his “public profile” as well as investigations and impeachment. The sections critical of Trump and his presidency are nearly as long as those dealing with his presidency overall. He further criticized Wikipedia repeatedly saying Trump makes false statements rather than attributing such characterizations to sources.
Wikipedia’s coverage of other contentious political topics such as abortion were also criticized with Sanger singling out Wikipedia claiming abortion is “one of the safest procedures in medicine.” He pointed out how articles on legalization of drugs and gay adoption were focused on positives with little to no mention of criticisms. In the latter case, Sanger noted the section on “debate” about gay adoption only included arguments in favor rather than any against it. Sanger also criticized Wikipedia’s coverage of religion describing the article on Jesus as “a ‘liberal’ academic discussion” focused “on assorted difficulties and controversies” without explaining “traditional or orthodox views of those issues.” (Read more from “Wikipedia Neutral?” HERE)