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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:12 PM
Original message
Is Wikipedia Biased Against Israel?
This is just part of a long article with first background of allegations of bias in Wikipedia and then focuses on specific claims that Wikipedia is biased against Israel.
---
In 2008, David Shamah, writing for the Jerusalem Post in his article The other side of Wikipedia, writes

As most of us have come to realize, its too late for Wikipedia, as far as Israel is concerned. The Npov crowd (an acronym for the supposedly Neutral Point of View of Wikipedia editors) have basically installed themselves in the positions of editorial authority that control the site.

..
So, for someone looking for the truth about Israel, Wikpedia is pretty much a dead end it seems to carry only the truth as approved by the international Arab propaganda machine.


But is it merely Israel? Or is there an anti-Jewish bias as well? Stephen Dubner notes

Also, FWIW, has anyone else noticed that Wikipedia entries often exhibit a rather serious interest in a subjects religious background? particularly if the subject is Jewish?It turns out that Sergey Brin of Google has also noticed this.


And in fact, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, in this 2007 interview, specifically fingers Wikipedia when asked if he has experienced antisemitism.

Ive experienced it,he tells me. Usually it is fairly subtle. People harp on all media companies being run by Jewish executives, with the implication of a conspiracy. As an example, he cites the entry about him in Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that famously accepts submissions and edits from anyone. The Wikipedia page about me will be subtly edited in an anti-Semitic way, he says.


Author Karen McQuillan, in a FrontPageMag article entitledWikipedias Jewish Problem describes the editing environment at Wikipedia:

Unless you like endless fighting with anti-Semites and Israel-haters, it is not pleasant to try to contribute to topics dealing with Israel. Major topics like Jerusalem or the Holocaust attract enough attention that destructive editors depredations are kept at a minimum.

Propaganda purporting to be reference material, such as Israel and the Apartheid Analogy, is tolerated although it is against the rules.

This system has not worked well on Jewish or Israel related topics. As Larry Sanger points out, it is a system that is easily gamed by the malicious, abetted by a nerd culture that doesnt understand proper supervision.


Recent articles bemoaning Wikipedias Israeli coverage include articles in the left-wing Israeli paper, Haaretz Wikipedia editors: Coverage of Israel problematic, in which author Cnaan Liphshiz notes that Editors say worlds fourth most popular Web site presents problematic views on Hamas, Iran, Holocaust denial.

Haviv Gur, in the Jerusalem Post, describes the anti-Israel editors asanti-Israel mobs and part of international campaign to erode Israels legitimacy which is slowly expanding its reach into the online encyclopedia Wikipedia adding,

However, in recent months, Israeli editors have sensed a growing presence of pro-Palestinian activists who have begun to develop ways to sidestep these controls. The result has been the introduction of narratives that question Israels legitimacy and advocate international legal and political action against the Jewish state.

These activists also use teams of like-minded editors working together to sustain debates about new edits ad infinitum, thus improving the chances that their changes will be accepted and preventing the removal of any claims they have added.


Other methods used by editors to push their political view into the encyclopedia include censorship and personal attacks.

In an article by Andre Oboler (a one-time editor in Wikipedia) and others, the authors show how biased editors can write articles and censor out criticism of a favored subject. Yet Wikipedia as a system doesnt seem to know how to deal with this damage, or perhaps it is just that various admins dont want to get involved? Either way the system relies on peoples honesty and continues to be broken as Palestinian advocates seek to exploit it, Oboler notes in an article in AISH.

Full article: http://www.emunahmagazine.com/is-wikipedia-biased-again...
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's not actually POSSIBLE for Wikipedia to have a bias
Edited on Sun Aug-08-10 03:21 PM by Ken Burch
Given that the "NPOV"(neutral point of view)policy is strictly enforced by its moderators and makes bias impossible. What this piece is really complaining about is that Wikipedia doesn't automatically take the Israeli government's side on all issues, as the people who put out this magazine think everyone should feel obligated to do.

Probably the facts are objectively biased against the Israeli government version of events-but that's just part of Stephen Colbert's "reality has a well-known liberal bias" phenomenon.

And there was no excuse for any implication that Wikipedia is antisemitic. Any actual antisemitic material would automatically be removed under the NPOV policy.

If you really want Israel to have a better image in the world, work against the Occupation and call for the removal of all the West Bank settlements. Neither of those are good for Israel's image or in any way essential for its survival.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Well put
It is israel that has the bias, not wiki.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. A group related to CAMERA tried to bring their bias to Wiki...
If they'd succeeded, it certainly would have had a bias. Thankfully they were busted and banned.

I don't think Wiki is all that great of a source for info and I only use it if I'm in a rush. What I've found it handy for is using the references at the end of articles to get to more detailed info...
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-10 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. "If you really want Israel to have a better image in the world, WORK..."
Emphasized your last word for emphasis.

Why work when you can sit on your ass and bitch and moan?
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elias7 Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Not possible for Wiki to have bias?
You sure about that?
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Brandlon Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-10 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. Yes it is possible
to be bias. Not just on the subject of Israel, but on any topic.

It is the moderators, who over the years, on whatever subject you want to talk imprint their own biases on whatever their belief system is.

This is different than posters/members coming along to "vandalism" the articles. Moderates can lock down certain topics, but once again it is their final say even if there is overwhelming evidence that there are mistakes in the article.

Wikipedia equals epic fail. Most, in not all, schools have banned the use of Wikipedia for students to quote.

One of the original co-founders left Wikipedia in disgust and was going to start another online encyclopedia with the goal to route out all the bias. But then human nature what it is, I don't think that is possible. There is always one who has more control over others.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Highly unlikely that "Wikipedia" per se has a bias against Israel
There may be certain contributors who are, but in aggregate, no.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. any article that quotes Human Events is useless to me
Human Events is so ruthlessly dishonest that any source that quotes them favorably I consider to be not worth listening to. I'm not referring to you, OP. I'm assuming you are not familiar with Human Events.

The Jerusalem Post is also suspect, but not nearly at the level as Human Events.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Front Page Mag is pretty bad too
Wikipedia has a lot of problems, though, and I do not think it is something that anyone should use as any kind of definitive source on anything - especially with respect to politics and the like.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Indeed....and what a lot of people may NOT know
Is that "Front Page Mag" is the personal organ(so to speak)of David Horowitz-the leading demonizer of everyone to the left of Attila The Hun in American politics. Horowitz is basically the Whittaker Chambers of the post-New Left era.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. The problem here is that the Jerusalem Post and Human Events magazine (David Whoreowitz bullshit)
are biased against reality.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bullshit
n/t
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-08-10 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
10. Far too many folks expect truth-tellers to turn tail and run at the first mention of...
"anti-Semite!". That works many, many places, but
it doesn't work so well at Wikipedia. This frustrates
these people as the truth is frequently not nearly as
pretty as the Zionists pretend it to be.

Tesha
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Shaktimaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. You know, I hear this comment all the time.
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 11:05 PM by Shaktimaan
That pro-Israel posters will use the accusation of anti-semitism as a cudgel to block legitimate criticism of Israel. However I have very rarely ever seen it. In truth, I have sometimes seen people make anti-semitic remarks (whether knowingly or not I can't say) during a criticism of Israel and then use your defense when they were called out on it. Apparently, since they were critiquing Israel nothing they said could be considered prejudiced.

There is no lack of criticism against Israel on the internet. If you really think that people are eager to make that accusation whenever they're confronted with it then you haven't been paying attention.

In fact, this OP makes very little mention of anti-semitism, and certainly doesn't describe it as a key motivation. It suggests that Wiki is "biased against Israel." So why is it that anti-Israel or anti-Zionist is the equivalent of anti-semitism here? Isn't that distinction the very one you are demanding with this kind of comment?
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. That's because the accusation is made regularly...
Just today I've seen the accusation made in a thread in GD, and I can send you links to where DUers sit on another board away from DU and accuse DUers who criticise Israel of being anti-semitic. Why, here in this forum, there's some posters who've accused me of antisemitism. What antisemitic remarks have I made, Shakti? I don't recall making any comments like that...
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-10 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
11. Wikipedia has a vast amount of well-organized and linked documentation on every possible topic.
But it is just some people's attempt to summarize what they know. The links are there because there is no way for any source to be complete. But there is far more oversight in terms of being impartial on Wikipedia than in any other media on this planet.

The fact that partisans with a bias and a loyalty and an agenda like Horowitz and the others are unhappy that they don't control the information presented there is testimony to its success in keeping purely partisan blathering out.

Although "because it was said on Wiki" is not proof of anything, going to the whole article will usually provide much more detail, more sources, and a more complex overview than some one quoted sentence might be intended to imply.

Personal history led me to keep track of Afghanistan and the info at Wikipedia has gone from a very good and accurate overview to being filled out with a mind-boggling amount of information and detail about almost everything about the land, peoples, history, cultures, ecology, and so on. As a kid the various encyclopedias numbered 20-30 volumes about everything, and maybe a paragraph or two on Afghanistan. Trusting those encyclopedias as the whole objective truth would have been silly, but the Wikipedia articles I've read have been far more thorough, more dispassionate, and certainly far more complete that any other source up to now.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-10 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
12. As Stephen Colbert points out, reality has a certain bias to it.
Perhaps Wikipedia is just reflecting that fact. There's always Conservapedia to put their narrative into.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-10 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
17. The right's latest weapon: 'Zionist editing' on Wikipedia
For years now, Wikipedia has been a fierce battleground between the Israeli right and left. One key battle was over the entry for Bil'in and whether the weekly struggle at that village near the security fence should be described as violent.

Another battle was over the description of the Ariel University Center. Was it "the largest public college in Israel"? Or should an institution in Ariel not be considered as being in Israel? So a compromise was reached: "the largest Israeli public college."

Now the Yesha Council of settlements and another right-wing group, Israel Sheli, are embarking on a Wikipedia battle: Zionist editing on the Web-based encyclopedia. The first course was held yesterday in Jerusalem.

"The idea is not to make Wikipedia rightist but for it to include our point of view," said Naftali Bennett, the director of the Yesha Council.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/the-right-s-l...
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-10 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
18. Israel's wiki editing classes
http://www.jpost.com /

vid about halfway down the front page
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
Arrowhead2k1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. It is indeed biased against Israel.
Since its content consists mainly of nonsubjective facts.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Well put
n/t.
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Brandlon Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-10 02:38 AM
Response to Original message
23. William Connolley
one of the most prolific persons to alter and change facts on over 5000 articles. Over 500 articles, he disagreed with, disappeared under his hand. Wikipedia Arbitration Committee revoked his status. Last I heard, Wikipedia was tossing him to the curb. He was a sysop.

He is only the tip of the iceberg.

As I stated earlier ... Wikipedia equals epic fail on so many topics.

One more tidbit on Connolley. He had over 2000 Wikipedia contributors blocked from making further contributions when they disagreed with his ideology. Now consider that there are over 1000 sysop from all different backgrounds.
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