The Co-founder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, has said that the site has been taken over by left-wing 'volunteers' who write off sources that don't fit their agenda. He added that the left-leaning volunteers cut out any edits meant to provide balance. "You can trust it to give a reliably establishment point of view on pretty much everything," Sanger said. But is this true?
Sanger had co-founded Wikipedia in 2001 along with Jimmy Wales. To add to his argument, Sanger said that the crowdsourcing project had betrayed its original mission by reflecting the views of the establishment.
Joe Biden's Wikipedia Entry Biased?
Speaking to the DailyMail.com, Sanger gave Joe Biden's entry on Wikipedia as an example to prove his point. He said that Joe Biden's entry does not include arguments from a GOP perspective. "The Biden article, if you look at it, has very little by way of the concerns that Republicans have had about him," Sanger said.
He also said that the article mentioned the Ukraine scandal with bias. He cited Wikipedia passage: "Beginning in 2019, Trump and his allies falsely accused Biden of getting the Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin fired because he was supposedly pursuing an investigation into Burisma Holdings, which employed Hunter Biden. Biden was accused of withholding $1 billion in aid from Ukraine in this effort..."
He said that the article gave a closure to the issue with arguments like: "Despite the allegations, as of September 2019, no evidence has been produced of any wrongdoing by the Bidens."
Sanger wrote in a blogpost that the entry on Biden did not include any mention of the fact that Hunter Biden received $600,000 per year to serve on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma, from 2014 until 2019. He also said that Wikipedia made no mention of Hunter Biden's laptop and the controversial emails shared by Hunter Biden.
"Plenty of Republicans use Wikipedia and would be eager to go into articles and make editors to bring a semblance of balance to the stories. But the site won't allow it. It's quite remarkable considering that the neutrality policy is still in place," Sanger said.
"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," said Sanger.
Sanger's Anger with Liberal Edits
This is not the first time Larry Sanger has expressed his anger against what he calls as leftist edits. Reports also claim that Jimmy Wales has openly claimed that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia, and has disputed Sanger's designation as a co-founder. In fact, when internet economy had collapsed, Wales decided to discontinue funding for salaried editor-in-chief [Sanger] in December 2001. Sanger resigned from Wikipedia in 2002.
It can be noted that Sanger has been critical of Wikipedia's accuracy since 2002. In 2004, in an article in the website Kuro5hin, he termed Wikipedia as an 'anti-elitist' forum. In 2007, after joining Citizendium, he stated that Wikipedia was 'broken beyond repair'.
In September 2009, Sanger said that the Wikipedia community was taken over by trolls to a great extent and that Jimmy Wales absolutely refused to do anything about it.
Reacting to the same, Wales had stated: "I think very highly of Larry Sanger, and think that it is unfortunate that this silly debate has tended to overshadow his work."
In November 2015, in an interview with Zach Schwartz from Vice, Sanger said: "Trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum." Sanger equated the trolls with modern-day social justice warriors.