The first thing you hear from your professor after you go off to college is that never reference anything from Wikipedia. Why is that? Isn’t Wikipedia supposed to be an open source for reliable information? Well, it used to be. Now, as a platform where anyone can write anything about anything, you can’t really trust what’s written on there. The situation is so bad that even the guy who made Wikipedia says that you shouldn’t trust the site.
That’s right, Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia has just warned everyone that the site isn’t to be trusted. He spoke to Lockdown TV about his view on the current state of the website and said that it can only give a “reliably establishment point of view on pretty much everything”. That’s about right, most of the articles are general and don’t go into many details while also being highly opinionated. Sanger further added that “Can you trust it to always give you the truth? Well, it depends on what you think the truth is”.
Wikipedia was founded back in 2001 with Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales. Sanger explained the current state of the site by saying that “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 to shore up their power. And they do that”. [Wikipedia] “seems to assume that there is only one legitimate defensible version of the truth on any controversial question. That’s not how Wikipedia used to be”.
Basically, Sanger says that most of the articles show only one side of the truth and not the whole truth and sometimes it is the side of the truth that seems to further people’s agendas rather than be an accurate representation of facts. He gave an example of the Biden article. He said that “The Biden article if you look at it, has very little by way of the concerns that Republicans have had about him. 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”.
He also talked about the lack of information about the Ukraine scandal. According to him what little information is on the site, is only biased facts that read like a defense counsel’s brief. He talked about how the rich and powerful could use the site to provide their version of the truth. He said that many companies would hire paid writers and editors to go in and change articles.
Sanger also talked about potential ways that could remedy the present situation of the website. “Maybe there’s some way to make such a system work, but not if the players who are involved and who are being paid, are not identified by name — they actually are supposed to be identified by name and say ‘we represent this firm’ if they are officially registered with some sort of Wikipedia editing firm”.
But this doesn’t really happen and frankly, each and everything on the internet can be exploited by loopholes. If it’s made by humans, it can be misused by humans as well.