Wikipedia is a multilingual wiki project. As the world’s largest encyclopedia it has enormous and often pernicious influence.
One of Wikipedia’s founders, Larry Sanger, claims that “Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead and it is not to be trusted. The original ideals have long been forgotten and Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. “Not only articles about politicians, but also articles about political issues are, according to Sanger, written from “a liberal-left point of view”.
Wikipedia has been criticized for many reasons. Some examples:
- In brief, despite claiming to be a neutral and reliable encyclopedia, Wikipedia does not have any kind of systematic process for quality assurance, fact checking, or expert review. Politically sensitive contents are censored by agenda-pushing, anonymous, and amateurish leftist activists.
- 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) that 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 of involved editors decides also how the minority view of involved editors should be represented in the article, so this rule seems to amount to little more than an instruction to include some token straw men arguments from the 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/assassinations (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.
- 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 by Wikipedia editors have been rejected. 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, which can then control the content of the article.
- Non-experts as content writers and administrators. Less of a problem in areas that 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.
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