Wikipedia Co-Founder Criticizes Site for ‘Reliably Establishment’ Bias, Leftist ‘Propaganda’

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
July 19, 2021 Updated: July 19, 2021

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger said in a recent interview that the site has become little more than “propaganda” and denounced what he called its “reliably establishment” bias.

Speaking to online blog UnHerd last week, Sanger said Wikipedia “seems to assume that there is only one legitimate defensible version of the truth on any controversial question,” adding that the predominant perspective presented on the site is left-leaning.

“The word for it is propaganda when it’s systematic, and that’s really what we’re dealing with on Wikipedia,” said Sanger, who co-founded the site in 2001 before leaving the project and later becoming a vocal critic.

“You can trust it to give a reliably establishment point of view on pretty much everything,” Sanger said of Wikipedia. “Can you trust it to always give you the truth? Well, it depends on what you think the truth is.”

Wikipedia officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Sanger criticized what he described as a “very big, nasty, complex game” played behind the scenes on Wikipedia by people wanting to push a certain perspective, which he said has taken the site away from its initial form as a platform that provided “multiple different points of view, reasonably, fairly laid out.”

“Wikipedia is pretty reliably establishment in its viewpoint, whatever the viewpoint is, which is ironic considering its origins from a couple of libertarians who, at least in the beginning, were really tolerant and open to all sorts of anti-establishment views being canvassed within the article,” he said.

As an example, he cited the Wikipedia page for President Joe Biden, arguing that it contains “very little” in the way of references to the Ukraine scandal.

“What little can be found is extremely biased and reads like a defense counsel’s brief,” he said.

“The Biden article, if you look at it, has very little by way of the concerns that Republicans have had about him,” Sanger said. “So if you want to have anything remotely resembling the Republican point of view about Biden, you’re not going to get it from the article.”

Sanger said that people who are motivated to edit Wikipedia articles to make them “more politically neutral” are not allowed to do so.

“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,” he said. “And they do that.”

Sanger has criticized Wikipedia before, writing in an article on his website that, “in short, and with few exceptions, only globalist, progressive mainstream sources—and sources friendly to globalist progressivism—are permitted” on the site.

Wikipedia has 230,000 volunteer editors who work on crowdsourced articles and more than 3,500 “administrators” who can take actions such as blocking accounts or restricting edits on certain pages, according to Reuters.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'