(Tea Party 247) – If you’ve ever looked up one of your favorite conservative figures or pet conspiracy theories on Wikipedia, you’ve probably noticed that the website is about as unbiased as a Chris Cuomo monologue.
This is apparently no accident.
Sharyl Attkisson, one of the most hard-hitting journalists in the nation today, who has fearlessly investigated the so-called “vaccine deep state” and was booted from corporate-run media for her reports on this controversial topic, has taken on Wikipedia in her latest endeavor.
Wikipedia, the “free encyclopedia” that has long been considered the Internet’s top reference site, has been overtaken by bad actors and special interests, like the GMO industry, vaccine lobby, Big Pharma, etc., she reveals.
“It’s become a vehicle for special interests to control information,” Attkisson writes. “Agenda editors are able to prevent or revert edits and sourcing on selected issues and people in order to control the narrative.”
It is one thing for a single website to push such a blatant narrative.
It is quite another for websites like Google, DuckDuckGo, and Facebook to rely on Wikipedia’s perceived authority on millions of of topics.
Attkisson’s interest in exposing Wikipedia’s troubling perceived reliability may be a bit personal, as she explains:
I’ve done quite a bit of reporting about how Wikipedia is definitely not “the encyclopedia anyone can edit.” It’s become a vehicle for special interests to control information. Agenda editors are able to prevent or revert edits and sourcing on selected issues and people in order to control the narrative.
My own battle with Wikipedia included being unable to correct provably false facts such as incorrect job history, incorrect birth place and incorrect birth date.
What’s worse is that agenda editors related to pharmaceutical interests and the partisan blog Media Matters control my Wikipedia biographical page, making sure that slanted or false information stays on it. For example, they falsely refer to my reporting as “anti-vaccine,” and imply my reporting on the topic has been discredited. In fact, my vaccine and medical reporting has been recognized by top national journalism awards organizations, and has even been cited as a source in a peer reviewed scientific publication. However, anyone who tries to edit this factual context and footnotes onto my page finds it is quickly removed.
What persists on my page, however, are sources that are supposedly disallowed by Wikipedia’s policies. They include citations by Media Matters, with no disclosure that it’s a partisan blog.
Now, co-founder Larry Sanger is blowing the whistle on the misleading nature of the website’s reliability.
He recently spoke to 150Sec.
Here is an excerpt:
Reading a Wikipedia entry about Wikipedia itself seems strange. But where else on the web would an average internet user go for digestible, encyclopedia-style content?
With its entries almost always topping Google search results, Wikipedia receives around 33 billion page views per month, according to studies carried out by thinktank Pew Research in 2016. In line with statistics from the website itself, it also changes at a rate of 1.8 edits per second and the number of new articles per day averages 578.
The multilingual free online encyclopedia was established in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, originally under the name of Nupedia. It is now the fifth most popular website in the world.
150Sec spoke to one of Wikipedia’s original co-founders, Sanger who — despite leaving the project in 2002 — shared his thoughts on online knowledge platforms on today’s internet, ahead of this month’s Pioneers conference in Austria.
As an open source, Wikipedia can be added to or edited by anyone in the world through knowledge base websites called wikis, which allow users to collaboratively modify content. However, Sanger claims that this has become one of Wikipedia’s biggest downfalls.
In its early days, “Wikipedia itself had special challenges,” he explained. “One was simply to teach everyone who arrived at the wiki, which was basically a blank bulletin board that could have become whatever we wanted it to become, that we intended to build an encyclopedia. A lot of people didn’t seem to know what that meant, or maybe they just didn’t care,” he said.
“Wikipedia itself had special challenges,” Larry Sanger, Wikipedia co-founder.
“Another hurdle was to figure out how to rein in the bad actors so that they did not ruin the project for everyone else. Unfortunately, we never did come up with a good solution for that one,” Sanger added.
“Wikipedia is a broken system as a result,” he said.
It is this flaw that has earned Wikipedia its reputation as an often untrustworthy source of information, particularly during times of discussion around misinformation and ‘fake news,’ a term which Sanger finds problematic.
Will you keep using Wikipedia as a reliable source for information?