Most have clicked on a Wikipedia page to get quick information. It's easy to find a breakdown on just about any topic. However, Dr. Larry Sanger the co-founder of Wikipedia has issued a warning that the online encyclopedia can't be trusted to provide unbiased truth to the public. Sanger took to his personal blog in May of 2020 and many were in disbelief after reading his article titled, "Wikipedia Is Badly Biased."
“Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead. The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance.” The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science.”
Sanger highlighted the extreme differences between President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump’s Wikipedia pages. Larry also claimed the platform has "pretty egregious instances of bias" in its page dedicated to Jesus Christ.
Dr. Sanger, a respected internet visionary highlighted Wiki’s shocking deterioration and provided cited examples showcasing Wikipedia was once aimed to be a pure sanctuary for universal knowledge, but now Larry’s philomath passion project has grown to a shady platform run by a handful of people who use their centralized authority for biased and/or simply shitty information.
What?! I thought Wikipedia was great!? Who else will help with my kid’s homework?!
Currently, approaching Q3 of 2021, Wikipedia is one of the highest ranked websites in the world according to Google’s Alexa, and Wiki has peaked at the top 5 spots multiple times since its inception…
Wikipedia was originally created in January 2001, to complement Nupedia, an online encyclopedia also founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. However, Nupedia was only written by experts, meaning content was at first limited and slow to publish. "My initial idea was that the wiki would be set up as part of Nupedia; it was to be a way for the public to develop a stream of content that could be fed into the Nupedia process," Sanger wrote in a memoir published on Slashdot. Wales and Sanger launched Wikipedia, its success overtook Nupedia and allowed the public to add and/or edit articles. Source.
Wikipedia originally offered neutral information on topics without obvious bias, but Larry Sanger said things changed "especially over the last five years or so." once Wikipedia became a household name. Source.
"Because there is a lot of influence, Wikipedia is known now by everyone to have a lot of influence in the world," Sanger was reported quoting in an interview on "LockDownTV." "If only one version of the facts is allowed then that gives a huge incentive to wealthy and powerful people to seize control of things like Wikipedia in order to shore up their power. And they do that. So there's a very big, nasty, complex game being played behind the scenes to make the article say what somebody wants them to say."
Sanger stated, "Wikipedia is pretty reliably establishment in its viewpoint, which is ironic considering its origins from a couple of libertarians, who – at least in the beginning – were really tolerant and open to anti-establishment views being canvassed in the article…… Can you trust it to always give you the truth? Well, it depends on what you think the truth is…...The word for it is propaganda…" Sanger reportedly told Freddie Sayers.
According to the History of Wikipedia, Wiki’s “technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993 and the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia (as distinct from mere open source) was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000. Crucially, Stallman's concept specifically included the idea that no central organization should control editing.” Source.
What was once a sister-support project to give aid to the experts for faster accessible knowledge at Nupedia became an uncontrollable-controlled monster when Wikipedia's worldwide monthly readership made it to over 495 million. Before the global pandemic, in September 2018, WMF Labs tallied 15.5 billion page views for the month, with both professionals and kids home and online more, I can’t wait to discover if there was a major increase in Wikimedia users. According to comScore, Wikipedia receives over 117 million monthly unique visitors from the United States alone.
Disgracefully, this global enterprise is a little-advertised hierarchy of volunteers controlled by a few leaders. Countless people around the world apply to volunteer as Wikimedia administrators, autopatrollers, rollbackers, or bureaucrats. Despite 117 unique monthly visitors and 495 million monthly readers, at the very top of the Wiki Hierarchy Tree sit only 36 users who demonstrate Wikimedia in its most concentrated form, the wielders of Wiki’s ‘Global Rights’, have the ability to edit anything and are the ones that respond to controversies across the many Wiki platforms. The Stewards remain nameless and uncompensated, yet their work is essential to Wikimedia’s unique success.
The Stewards anonymous personas have a comical irony, given the extremely public stage they’re overseeing, but perhaps that’s emblematic of Wikimedia - generally speaking...
Wikimedia’s foundational core vision is to make it so “every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge,” and frankly, that sets hierarchies up to become a necessary evil.
Found on Wikipedia there is the list of the 36 Stewards and publicly advertised information.
*The average Steward speaks 3.6 languages.
*Stewards include native speakers of Azerbaijani, Indonesian, Tamil, Swedish, and Sicilian.
*The Stewards language capacity of the group claims to be quite impressive and their geographic diversity is said to span five continents and 22 countries.
*As for Stewards and Wikipedia in general, it lacks African participation
*Only one Steward is female. Which is a representative of the male-dominated culture of Wikimedia, where both contributors and content are skewed male.
*Stewards have the ability to ‘suppress data’ across Wikimedia Wait.. what?
“... how terrible is the pain of the mind and heart when the freedom of mankind is suppressed!” ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,
“Suppression” defined on Wikipedia: (also known as oversight for historical reasons) is a form of enhanced deletion that, unlike normal page deletion or revision deletion, expunges information from any form of usual access, even by administrators. It is used within strict limits to protect privacy, delete defamatory material, and remove serious copyright violations, from any edit, revision, page, or log entry (including, if required, the list of users) on the English Wikipedia. On the English Wikipedia, "oversight" (the power to suppress information) is entrusted to a restricted number of users, who can suppress material if it meets the requirements below. Use of these tools is monitored by other overseers who patrol the log, and by the Arbitration Committee. The permission is granted by Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee(after community consultation and vetting of the editor by the committee's members and the functionary team). While there is no formal requirement that oversighters also be administrators, the Arbitration Committee has traditionally restricted applications to users who are currently administrators.”
“As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002 proclaiming the site is biased against conservatives. "You can't cite the Daily Mail at all. You can't cite Fox News on socio-political issues either. It's banned," he said. "So what does that mean? It means that if a controversy does not appear in the mainstream center-Left media, then it's not going to appear on Wikipedia."
Summer 2021, Larry Sanger wrote an article titled, "Wikipedia Is More One-Sided Than Ever," where he suggested Wikipedia has bias in popular cover stories such as Trump's impeachments, Antifa, Biden/ Clinton scandals, global warming, Black Lives Matter riots, and alleged election irregularities.
Wikipedia provides knowledge seekers with billions of pages of content on almost any subject, that first in search engine results. Alas, knowing reliability and credibility fall incredibly short, Wikipedia itself states, “[W]hile some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. … use [Wikipedia] with an informed understanding of what it is and what it isn't.”
Ummmm…. Aren’t we going to Wikipedia because we don’t know what is and isn’t??? What the hell Wiki?! How are my kids going to complete their homework? What do I tell people who believe everything they read on the internet?! OMG!
According to a 2009 survey by the Wikimedia Foundation, 87 percent of Wikipedia editors are male, with an average age of 26.8 years. According to executive director Sue Gardner, they are largely graduate students hailing from Europe and North America.
Sometimes “vandals” will create factious and malicious entries that can go uncorrected for a damaging amount of time. Since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, users have been known to falsified entries. Though in many instances reviewers quickly delete misinformation, though these lies can remain on Wikipedia for extended periods of time.
Example: “John Seigenthaler, a former assistant to Robert Kennedy, was falsely implicated in the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers on his Wikipedia biography for more than 100 days without his knowledge.”
According to the Palo Alto Research Center, the contributions of casual and new contributors are being reversed at a far greater rate compared to previous years, resulting in a smaller group of editors having control over Wikipedia. A group termed “deletionists” are said to “edit first and ask questions later,” making it harder for new contributors to participate, and making it harder for Wikipedia—which, again, aspires to provide “the sum of all human knowledge”—to overcome the issue that it is controlled by a stagnant pool of editors from a limited demographic.
Except the bots, we’re all human. Mistakes happen. All scholarly journals and newspapers contain addendums in which they acknowledge errors or updates in their prior work. even the most unbiased writer can be guilty of not being fully objective.
Wikipedia editors and contributors as mentioned are known for remaining anon and dislike disclosing any information about who they are. In order to properly evaluate information on the internet, there are three questions you have to ask: the first two are “Who wrote this?” and “Why did they write it?” On sites with anonymous authors like Wikipedia, you can't find this information, so you need to consider ulterior motives.
In theory, the intellectual sparring at the heart of Wikipedia's group editing process results in a consensus that removes unreliable contributions and edits. However, the contributor who publishes is not always the one with truth, but possibly the one with the strongest convictions on the matter.
Example: “In March 2009, Shane Fitzgerald posted a fake quotation on the Wikipedia article about recently deceased French composer Maurice Jarre. Due to the fact that the quote was not attributed to a reliable source, it was removed several times by editors, but Fitzgerald continued reposting the quote until it was allowed to remain. Fitzgerald was startled to learn that several major newspapers picked up the quote and published it in obituaries, confirming his suspicions of the questionable ways in which journalists use Wikipedia as a reliable source. Fitzgerald emailed the newspapers letting them know that the quote was fabricated; he believes they otherwise may never have found out.”
Administrators on Wikipedia have the power to delete or disallow comments or articles they disagree with and support the viewpoints they approve of.
Example: “Beginning in 2003, U.K. scientist William Connolley became a Web site administrator and subsequently wrote or rewrote more than 5,000 Wikipedia articles supporting the concept of climate change and global warming. More importantly, he used his authority to ban more than 2,000 contributors with opposing viewpoints from making further contributions. According to The Financial Post, when Connolley was through editing, “The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy.” Connolley has since been stripped of authority at Wikipedia, but one blogger believes he continues to post. Furthermore, in 2007, a new program called WikiScanner uncovered individuals with a clear conflict of interest that had written or edited some Wikipedia entries. Employees from organizations such as the CIA, the Democratic National Party and Diebold were editing Wikipedia entries in their employers' favor.”
The number of active Wikipedia editors has been reported to have stopped growing. Many don’t believe Wiki can keep up, as it’s been noted they’re not doing the platform justice as is.
Accurate contributors…. are silenced? Deletionists on Wikipedia often rely on the argument that a contribution comes from an “unreliable source,” with the editor deciding what is reliable. An incident last year showed the degree to which editors at the very top of Wikipedia were willing to rely on this crutch when it suits their purpose. Source.
Example: “When the Taliban kidnapped New York Times reporter David Rohde in Afghanistan, the paper convinced 40 media organizations plus Wikipedia not to report on it out of concerns that it would compromise Rohde's safety. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told the Times, once Rohde was free, that “We were really helped by the fact that it (postings on Rohde) hadn’t appeared in a place we would regard as a reliable source.” Thus, Wales and other senior Wikipedia editors showed they were willing to rely on the “unreliable source” canard to delete information they had been told by a very reliable source was true, even when a more noble reason—Rohde’s safety—would have justified it.”
The Wikimedia Foundation, which governs the massive Wikipedia online encyclopedia and related projects, appointed Arnnon Geshuri in 2016 to its board and it wasn't well received by the Wikipedia community of volunteer editors, leaving everyone wondering who the anon stewards are and what companies they’re possibly promoting on Wikimedia outlets. Source.
Example: Found in the 2016 article by Joe Mullin published by Ars Technica: “The voting, which has no legally binding effect on the Wikimedia Foundation, is now underway. As of press time, 187 editors had voted in favor of this proposition: "In the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation, Arnnon Geshuri must be removed from his appointment as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board." Just 13 editors have voted against, including Wikimedia board member Guy Kawasaki. Geshuri has an impressive resume in the human resources field, having worked at Google from 2004 until 2009. While there, he oversaw a department of 900 recruiters who fielded 2.5 million job applications per year. In 2009, he took a job as head of HR at Tesla Motors, where he still works today. The editors object to Geshuri's involvement in a high-profile "no poach" agreement between several large tech companies. In that deal, companies agreed not to "cold call" each others' workers. In 2010, the Department of Justice said the arrangement—which applied to Google, Apple, Adobe, Intuit, Intel, and Pixar, among others—violated antitrust law. Ultimately, the companies reached a settlement with the government in which they agreed to avoid such deals in the future, but the companies did not admit guilt or pay any financial penalty. A class-action suit brought on behalf of affected employees resulted in a $415 million payout last year. Geshuri's role was detailed in certain court documents that became public during the class-action litigation. Some of those details were reprised in a recent article in The Signpost, an online newspaper serving the Wikipedia community.”
People look at Wiki as wealth of truth and knowledge, yet Wikipedia informs us all, “We do not expect you to trust us.” Adding Wikipedia is “not a primary source” and that “because some articles may contain errors,” you should “not use Wikipedia to make critical decisions.” Lastly, Wikipedia notes in its “About” section, “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information.” Source: Using Wikipedia
Stephen Colbert takes a comical view of Wikipedia in a skit on his show and on his own user-generated encyclopedia, Wikiality. Despite the humor intended, this entertaining sketch shows why Wikipedia can't be relied upon as a sole source of information.
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A self-styled “online knowledge organizer,” Dr. Sanger grew up in Seattle and Anchorage and began his career by earning B.A. (Reed College) as well as M.A. and Ph.D. (Ohio State), all in philosophy. His professional specializations were early modern philosophy and epistemology (the theory of knowledge). But instead of becoming a professor, he became co-founder of Nupedia and then its successor, Wikipedia. He then went through a long series of mostly nonprofit projects, including a stint of teaching at Ohio State, theorizing for the Digital Universe Foundation (leading to the Encyclopedia of Earth), designing and co-founding the educational projects WatchKnowLearn and ReadingBear, both widely used by teachers and parents. He spent some time on a for-profit news summary project, Infobitt, advising the encyclopedia of American politics, Ballotpedia, and from late 2017 until September 2019, as CIO of Everipedia, the blockchain encyclopedia.
Dr. Sanger is invited to speak around the world on a variety of Internet-related topics, and his writing has appeared on TheNextWeb, Wired, and other outlets, but especially the LarrySanger.org blog, where he talks about topics ranging from Internet theory, to pure philosophy, to education.
The Sangers are homeschoolers. Larry taught his two boys to read at a very early age and made them many educational PowerPoints (later made into videos). Larry is also an avid fiddle player in the Irish traditional style.
At a cultural moment in which the media is becoming ever more opinionated and centralized—and less trusted to report all the facts—Dr. Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, is announcing an initiative to decentralize the world’s encyclopedias. A new non-profit aims to promote technical standards and software that will make it easier to find high-quality information and a global range of opinion. Sanger and a group of like-minded technologists incorporated the non-profit Knowledge Standards Foundation (KSF) late last year and have been making preparations to launch a deep-dive seminar / discussion group that will hash out the details. The mostly-volunteer group has started several software projects.
The KSF, which has applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, has a weekly virtual meeting of employees and volunteers. Over 4,000 people are signed up for the newsletter, with over half of them, by KSF estimates, being software developers. “We have noticed a massive grassroots interest among developers to address restrictions on free speech and to route around centralized control of information,” Sanger said. In its first year of operations, the group has raised $200,000, and is poised to accelerate fundraising activities.
Four week-long sessions are planned to kick off the KSF’s organizational seminar titled, “The Technology of Decentralization: How and Why to Use Neutral Standards to Build the Encyclosphere and Other Decentralized Networks.” The seminar is free and open to all. It is virtual so travel is not required. Participants should sign up on the KSF’s website, encyclosphere.org.
“Open standards made the internet explode in popularity. Email, web browsers, and blogs became killer apps because they were based on open standards. A public conversation needs to happen so there is agreement on Encyclosphere standards. This seminar facilitates that conversation about the universal network of encyclopedias,” technologist Tim Chambers, KSF Treasurer, said. “We are not making an encyclopedia. We are making standards to drive the technology that will connect the world’s encyclopedias in a single, open network.” Sanger added, “In the end, we want to make it as easy to find excellent articles hidden on obscure academic, professional, and even amateur websites as it is to find Wikipedia articles.”
Among the developing projects KSF supports with funding or other assistance are EncycloSearch.org and FactSeek.org, two different encyclopedia search engines. To illustrate and practice the same sort of decentralized network concepts behind the encyclosphere project, Minifeed.org will let anyone turn an ordinary WordPress blog into a self-owned social media feed.
If you are interested in being apart of this revolutionary act to share truth please contact:
Knowledge Standards Foundation
Larry Sanger, President, or Tim Chambers, Treasurer
Adam Alonzi in short, is a futuristic creative. Alonzi sits as a noted and multifaceted writer, biotechnologist, documentary creator, inventor, programmer, and award winning author. He is a Marketing Director for top several blockchain projects he launches in his incubator, MassCrypto.io. Adam is also the Head of New Media for BioViva Sciences, an interdisciplinary analyst for EthicsNet, and a reviewer for the Millennium Project.
Alonzi resides in Florida and is currently working with his incubator and viral video game experts to introduce revolutionary NFT solutions that focus on fine art, luxury goods and events launching in December of 2021. Please reach out to Alonzi on social media for feedback and collaboration requests.
Alyze Sam is a refreshing blockchain strategist, a novel educator, award winning author and a vehemently driven advocate. First, dedicating her life to her patients in hospice nursing, Sam passionately embraced the world of financial technology after nearly losing her own life in 2014.
Sam wrote the first book on Stablecoins in 2017. The unbiased text takes complex practices and simplifies concepts for most audiences. In February 2020 Sam and her partners book, ‘Complete 2020 Guide to Stablecoins’ sat as the #1 New Release in Business and Money on Amazon Books.
Sam’s second book, ‘Stablecoin Economy,’ a university text, released May 14th, 2020. Sam’s Stablecoin research was published by Don Tapscott at The Blockchain Research Institute in January 2021. The Bad Crypto Podcast honored this work by developing a Blockchain Hero NFT inspired by her work: Mz. Stability
*Directly from the father of online knowledge, himself, Dr. Sanger: Communication on these matters and Press Release sent to Alyze Sam from Larry Sanger, via Twitter messenger