Wikipedia is biased in favor of liberals, study finds

By Around the Web

Wikipedia (Unsplash)

Wallace White
Daily Caller News Foundation

Wikipedia entries are more likely to paint public figures on the right in a negative light than the left, a Manhattan Institute study released Thursday found.

The study analyzed the sentiments of 1,628 words that were used in reference to political topics and found that Wikipedia generally uses more negative terms in reference to right-leaning public figures, and less when referencing left-leaning figures. The results would suggest that Wikipedia is contradicting its “neutral-point-of-view” policy, according to the study.

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It also found that certain terms associated with right-wing politics are connected with emotions of anger and disgust more than left-wing politics. The same pattern can be seen with left-leaning ideas being more associated with joy related terms than right-leaning ideas.

The study warns that OpenAI language models share similarities with Wikipedia, underscoring the potential for bias in Wikipedia to affect other systems that rely on OpenAI technology.

“There is a degree of overlap in the prevailing sentiment associations of political terms in word embeddings derived from Wikipedia content and word embeddings from the OpenAI GPT series,” the study said. “This is not surprising, given that Wikipedia articles are likely a prominent part of OpenAI’s secret corpus of data used to train ChatGPT.”

OpenAI’s ChatGPT software has been shown to express left-leaning bias in its responses, according to a separate finding from the Manhattan Institute. Other researchers in 2022 have also found bias in its content filtering system.

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger said to Unheard in 2021 that Wikipedia cannot be trusted any longer as a neutral source of information, saying it has become “propaganda.”

“You can’t cite the Daily Mail at all. You can’t cite Fox News on socio-political issues either. It’s banned,” Sanger said. “So, what does that mean? It means that if a controversy does not appear in the mainstream center-Left media, then it’s not going to appear on Wikipedia.”

Wikimedia Foundation, the parent 501(c)(3) that manages Wikipedia, created the Wikimedia Endowment as a “collective action fund” managed by the left-wring grantmaking titan Tides Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to left-leaning causes since its inception. In 2019, the Wikimedia foundation hired Amanda Keton as general counsel, who was previously the CEO of Tides Advocacy, the 501(c)(4) arm of Tides that works on the “creation, financing, and consultation of various left-of-center organizations,” according to Influence Watch.

The Wikimedia Foundation did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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