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10/09/2018 / By JD Heyes
Americans who have attended a college or university worth its salt already know this, but millions of Americans do not: Students are not allowed to use Wikipedia as a source for papers requiring research because the site has been proven to contain both biased and inaccurate information.
Though the site bills itself as the world’s biggest “free” encyclopedia, it’s free for a reason: It’s not a legitimate source of information.
One of the most recent examples of information bias involves Breitbart News, an admittedly conservative site, but one that also prides itself on accurate reporting (for which it has a good reputation despite protestations to the contrary by Left-wing news sites and commentators).
Recently, Breitbart found itself on the wrong end of a Wikipedia ban, so to speak, after learning that the reference site “formally listed” the right-leaning outlet as unreliable so Wikipedia contributors can’t cite it for factual claims.
“Editors have responded by purging citations to Breitbart News throughout the online encyclopedia, a move no doubt designed in part to hurt Breitbart’s search engine results ranking,” the news site reported.
Users of the leading Internet search engines know that for almost any subject, the very top search results include links to Wikipedia, making it one of the most heavily trafficked websites on the planet at an estimated 5.45 billion visits in August. According to SimilarWeb, a website analysis service, Wikipedia is the world’s No. 1 reference site and the 10th most trafficked website in the world.
So, you can imagine the kind of referral traffic sites can potentially generate from that.
Breitbart News reported further that there have been previous calls to de-list the site from Wikipedia over the past year. Those came “in response to Breitbart’s critical reporting about the online encyclopedia’s rampant Left-wing bias,” the news site noted.
“Wikipedia has been and always will be fake news, and they know it,” said Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow, in a statement. “They believe facts are subject to a democratic process, and the only people with a vote are the bubbled leftists who edit Wikipedia. There is no mob rule when it comes to ‘true or false.’ Even academia knows this, which is why Wikipedia is not considered valid in most classrooms.” (Related: Left-wing media explodes over Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s anti-fake news message.)
A public Wikipedia Facebook group shared my piece on ICE facilities being put in Wikipedia's concentration camps list. One administrator and former member of the site's Arbitration Committee posted this response (one like is from a Haaretz journalist who writes about Wikipedia) pic.twitter.com/oCoqhVfMdP
— T. D. Adler (@tdadler) June 30, 2018
It gets worse, however. Wikipedia is even being used by Big Tech as fact-checker and arbiter, which is really hypocritical when you consider Wikipedia is so regularly wrong it can’t be used as a reference in higher education.
Breitbart News noted:
Faced with pressure from left-wing media and members of Congress over “fake news” concerns, Big Tech has been turning to Wikipedia as a supposed fact-checker. For example, Google-owned YouTube uses Wikipedia to fact-check “conspiracy theories.” Google itself uses Wikipedia for its “knowledge panels” next to search results, something that got them in trouble after a rogue Wikipedia edit led to Google search describing the California Republican Party as a “Nazi” party.
In fact, Facebook earlier this year began linking to biased and factually inaccurate Wikipedia entries about Breitbart News on all posts of Breitbart content on the social media platform. For instance, the entry notes, “Its journalists are widely considered to be ideologically driven, and some of its content has been called misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist by liberals and many traditional conservatives alike. The site has published a number of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, and intentionally misleading stories.”
Breitbart does not traffic in fake news or conspiracy theories; that’s the “mainstream” media’s job (we’re looking at The New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post, for starters). And since when does an accusation (‘Breitbart is racist/xenophobic/misogynistic!) constitute a fact-based description?
Wikipedia, like the rest of the Leftist big tech sites and companies, is simply trying to purge competing political voices from the public square.
It won’t work.
If you want a reliable research resource, go to TruthWiki.org.