Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wikipedia Biased

Past Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate, Richard Rider, tells us one of our common sources of information on all things life is biased. On some things he says Wikipedia does an ok job, but political related entries are often biased towards the left. He explains his own and another organizations' efforts to edit information there:

"I've tried to post factual, annotated information for California HSR, Prop 13, minimum wage and (most recently) "fast food worker strikes" (which most definitely are NOT strikes).

In all cases, I was QUICKLY deleted -- even though I provided solid URL sources to verify my posts.  When I tried to delete or edit patently false unsourced assertions, they were put back up within the hour.

How bad is the bias?  According to my friends at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- the most knowledgeable entity on Prop 13 -- THEY can't get their information posted on the Wikipedia article.  Read Wikipedia's Prop 13 article, and you'll wonder if there's ANYONE who actually supports the lower property taxes that result.

I hadn't ever noticed that. Then again, I've only tried to post one thing to Wikipedia, at least so far.

I did use Wikipedia to look up what they had on that guy from El Salvador that supposedly spent over a year in an open boat at sea and survived. That seemed to have been written by someone who bought the guy's story lock, stock and barrel. I thought about submitting a rebuttal to his version, but decided it would involve too much effort, having to have links, pictures and such.

I did get deleted from Wikipedia myself once, though. Years ago I submitted an entry for "Fred Mangels". Yep, me. Older readers might remember that, just for fun, I wrote an entry with an abbreviated version of my life story. I don't think it lasted an hour before they removed it. 

I don't recall if they e-mailed me the reason or someone else did. It was along the lines of "We're not gonna fill up our site with entries of people that are full of themselves..". Something along that line, anyway. 

I still think they were wrong to do that. When you think about it there's any number of folks that may not seem like much when they're living, but might be worth looking at some time later. Think of some of the old historical figures we might not know much about nowadays. Wouldn't it be cool if they'd written their life story on something like Wikipedia that we could reference 50 or 100 years later?

I think Wikipedia should give a listing to anyone who wants one, for history's sake. So long as they don't try and change it.


At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have heard it said (more than once) that truth is biased towards liberalism.

Truth seekers like Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed,Ghandi, ect all came up with liberal, enlightened philosophies. It's usually the people trying to cover up the truth and enable "the man", "the king", "the oppressor" who are the unquestioning tools of conservatistism.

Now, what if you had a Wikipedia page and someone submitted an entry calling Fred "a libertarian who made sure to get the most, highest quality guberment goodies that he could get his hands on?" Biased or truth?


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