Ist Wikipedia noch neutral?

Larry Sanger, Wikipedia-Mitbegründer, hat im Mai 2020 in dem Artikel Wikipedia Is Badly Biased erklärt, dass Wikipedias neutraler Standpunkt tot ist: “Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead. The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance. The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science. Here are some examples from each of these subjects, which were easy to find, no hunting around. Many, many more could be given.” Die Vermeidung des “falschen Gleichgewichts” führt zu einer tendenziösen Darstellung von Sachverhalten, die er exemplarisch anhand folgender darstellt: Obama, Trump, Hillary Clinton, Abtreibung, Drogenlegalisierung, Christus, Erderwärmung, alternative Medizin. Er fordert, dass Wikipedia “sauber” wird, also zumindest offen zugibt, dass Neutralität aufgegeben wurde. “It is time for Wikipedia to come clean and admit that it has abandoned NPOV (i.e., neutrality as a policy). At the very least they should admit that that they have redefined the term in a way that makes it utterly incompatible with its original notion of neutrality, which is the ordinary and common one. It might be better to embrace a “credibility” policy and admit that their notion of what is credible does, in fact, bias them against conservatism, traditional religiosity, and minority perspectives on science and medicine—to say nothing of many other topics on which Wikipedia has biases.”

Shuichi Tezuka and Linda A. Ashtear: The left-wing bias of Wikipedia. Is Wikipedia’s neutral point of view truly dead? The Critic 22.10.2020 legen eine vertiefende Analyse der englischsprachigen Wikipedia vor. Im Gegensatz zu der früheren Studie von S. Greenstein, Feng Zhu: Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia, Working Paper 2014, die sich auf Inhalt und Geschichte von Wikipedia-Artikeln konzentrierte, untersuchen sie die sozialen Mechanismus in der Wikipedia Community, insbesondere der Einordnung von Quellen und der Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit von kontroversen Fällen: “examining specific mechanisms that produce political bias in Wikipedia, with a focus on administrative decisions at the Arbitration Enforcement noticeboard. We also discuss how this bias ultimately affects the site’s content.” Vorwiegend konservative und rechtsgerichtete Quellen werden als veraltet und nicht vertrauenswürdig eingestuft. Bei  der statistischen Analyse der Schiedsverfahren zu den Themen Trump, Waffenkontrolle, Rasse und Intelligenz, Abtreibung kommen sie zu dem Ergebnis: “editors who support views associated with the political right tend to receive disciplinary action more frequently than those who support views associated with the political left.” Sie belegen darüber hinaus, dass sich dies auch in dem politischen Selbstverständnis der Redakteure niederschlägt, die explizit Neutralität aufgeben. Durch die sich dadurch ergebene Konstellation werden Falschinformationen und Hoaxes, die eigentlich mit dem eigenen politischen Standpunkt übereinstimmen, auch schwieriger und später entdeckt und führen zur Qualitätsminderung: “The principle illustrated by this series of events is that members of Wikipedia are far less likely to notice and remove vandalism or hoax material if it is in support of a viewpoint that they agree with. (This is true of all viewpoints, both left-leaning and right-leaning.) While this particular example was more severe than most, the same principle also applies to more subtle violations of Wikipedia’s content policies, such as article text not adequately supported by the sources it cites. When Wikipedia’s administrators suppress one side of a dispute in a controversial topic, one of the long-term results is that policy violations favourable to the opposite side may be overlooked for months or years.”

Die Autoren kommen zu dem Ergebnis, dass Neutralität nur durch Reformen von Wikipedia wieder hergestellt werden könnte. Der Anspruch der Neutralität wird aber wahrscheinlich nur formal aufrechterhalten, aber inhaltlich nicht mehr gefüllt: “There are three possible outcomes, and one is for Wikipedia or the WMF to implement reforms protecting the viewpoint diversity necessary for its core policies to be upheld. A second option is for these policies to be officially overturned, although it is unlikely the Wikipedia community would agree to a change on that scale. The final possibility, and perhaps the most likely, is the one predicted by Larry Sanger: that these policies will remain on the books, with perhaps a few half-hearted attempts at reform, but that in the long term they will come to be understood as unenforceable.”