The left-wing bias of Wikipedia | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The left-wing bias of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the most widely used source of information in the world, and a great deal has been written about its impact on public perception of certain topics. Wikipedia shapes both scientific research and real-world economic outcomes, and is the top source of medical information for both doctors and patients. The widespread reliance on Wikipedia would not be a problem if it were a neutral and authoritative source, but earlier this year Wikipedia’s co-founder Larry Sanger declared that “Wikipedia’s ‘NPOV’ (neutral point of view) is dead.” Is Sanger’s statement correct?

A 2018 study by Shane Greenstein and Feng Zhu compared levels of political bias in Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica by quantifying each encyclopaedia’s respective usage of phrases favoured by Democratic or Republican members of US congress. Their study found that Wikipedia articles are more politically biased than those in Encyclopaedia Britannica, as well as being slanted towards Democratic (as opposed to Republican) points of view. The study also found that the amount of bias in Wikipedia articles tended to decrease the greater the number of people who had edited them. The reason for this trend was explained in an earlier study by the same authors: “Benefitting from the efforts of many contributors, an article is also more likely to present controversial content in an unbiased way: thus diversity may help reduce content bias.”