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Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively and openly by a community. Larry Sanger in an interview to UnHeard said he no longer trusts the website he created.
The website was designed to make collaboration and modification of content and structure easy called “Wiki”.
According to Sanger, the platform gives one version of facts, which gives a huge incentive to wealthy and powerful people to control things on Wikipedia to shore up their power.
It is the 10th most visited website in the world, with millions of people checking the site regularly. He felt Wikipedia has almost become our external repository of knowledge. But can you trust one side of the story?
Can we Trust What we read on Wikipedia?
Jimmy Wales, host of the show asked Larry Sanger, can you trust one side of the story?
Sanger said Well, “You can trust it to give a reliable establishment point of view on pretty much everything. Can you trust it always to give you the truth? Well, it depends on what you think the truth is. What many of our media sources today and Wikipedia included, seem to assume is that there is only one legitimate defensible version of the truth on any controversial question. Of course, that’s not how Wikipedia used to be.”
How has Wikipedia Changed from Larry Sanger to the modern version of Wikipedia?
Larry Sanger said, “When Wikipedia was just entering the public eye, it was still committed to neutrality, actually, and for several years, between 2004 and 2009, Wikipedia actually was kind of an important player in the conversation about how new media were going to emerge, people were talking a lot about collaboration and neutrality was one of them.”
He further said, “But it was very interesting in that you could go to an article about a US president or about some hot button issue, or some controversial news event. And you actually would see multiple different points of view, reasonably fairly laid out. And if that weren’t the case, then people would get on what’s called the talk page of Wikipedia. And they would actually battle it out and different sides would have a chance of having their points of view heard.”
He said in the last five years or so it has been a lot harder to participate in a lot of articles. Editing the articles is monitored and you are warned or just kicked out, irrespective of the edit being positive edit. This happened with unimportant articles, people appoint paid consultants to avoid constantly attending their Wikipedia entries.
The entire interview has a lot of things Larry Sanger had to say about using Wikipedia in recent times. Don’t miss out on the entire interview mentioned in the video below.
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