Larry Sanger, the founder of Wikipedia says that the project has abandoned neutrality and is now “badly biased.” In a blog post on Thursday (May 14th), Sanger wrote a scathing critique of the bias at his former website. “Wikipedia’s ‘NPOV’ (Neutral Point Of View) is dead,” Sanger began, referring to the site’s neutral point of view policy.
He specifically pointed to the entries for former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump as examples.
“The Barack Obama article completely fails to mention many well-known scandals: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP phone records scandal, and Fast and Furious, to say nothing of Solyndra or the Hillary Clinton email server scandal—or, of course, the developing ‘Obamagate’ story in which Obama was personally involved in surveilling Donald Trump,” Sanger explained. “A fair article about a major political figure certainly must include the bad with the good. The only scandals that I could find that were mentioned were a few that the left finds at least a little scandalous, such as Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities under Obama. In short, the article is almost a total whitewash.”
The founder points out that the entry for President Trump, on the other hand, is “unrelentingly negative.”
“Meanwhile, as you can imagine, the idea that the Donald Trump article is neutral is a joke. Just for example, there are 5,224 none-too-flattering words in the ‘Presidency’ section. By contrast, the following ‘Public Profile’ (which the Obama article entirely lacks),
‘Investigations,’ and ‘Impeachment’ sections are unrelentingly negative, and together add up to some 4,545 words—in other words, the controversy sections are almost as long as the sections about his presidency,” Sanger explains. “Common words in the article are ‘false’ and ‘falsely’ (46 instances): Wikipedia frequently asserts, in its own voice, that many of Trump’s statements are ‘false.’ Well, perhaps they are. But even if they are, it is not exactly neutral for an encyclopedia article to say so, especially without attribution. You might approve of Wikipedia describing Trump’s incorrect statements as ‘false,’ very well; but then you must admit that you no longer support a policy of neutrality on Wikipedia.”