Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has warned that the website can no longer be trusted – insisting it is now just “propaganda” for the left-leaning “establishment”.
Mr Sanger told UnHerd’s Lockdown TV on Wednesday that he started the “encyclopaedia of opinion” in 2001 purely on the basis it would offer true neutrality and offer “multiple points of view” on “hot button issues”, the NY Post reports.
Now, he insisted, conservative voices are “sternly warned if not kicked out” if they try to add a different take on establishment views – which Mr Sanger deemed “propaganda”.
“You can’t cite Fox News on sociopolitical issues. It’s just banned now,” he insisted of the apparent clampdown on respected conservative voices.
“It means that if a controversy does not appear in the mainstream centre-left media, then it’s not going to appear on Wikipedia.”
Now you can only rely on the site to “give an establishment point of view”, rather than the diverse range of opinions it was set up to give, he 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,” he added.
“And they do that. There’s a very big, nasty, complex game being played behind the scenes to make the article say what somebody wants them to say.”
Mr Sanger said there are “all sorts of tricks people can play to win it”, including the use of dedicated PR companies to influence listings.
The Wikipedia co-founder cited the entry for US President Joe Biden, noting that 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 said.
He noted there was just a short paragraph on the “Ukraine scandal” involving the President’s son, Hunter, despite the political outrage it created.
“Very little of that can be found in Wikipedia. And what little can be found is extremely biased and reads like a defence counsel’s brief,” he said.
And it’s not just politics, he said, noting that the site only reflects “establishment mouthpieces” like Dr Anthony Fauci as well as government health groups in its coverage of Covid-19.
“There’s a lot of Nobel prize winners and distinguished doctors whose views are not only not welcome on Wikipedia – they’re literally censored on YouTube and sometimes Facebook and Twitter because they contradict the narrative,” Mr Sanger said.
“There’s a global enforcement of a certain point of view on issues like Covid,” he insisted, calling it “amazing to me a libertarian, or a liberty-loving conservative”.
Wikipedia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and is reproduced here with permission