Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently criticized Wikipedia saying the free online encyclopedia is losing its objectivity, angering the online encyclopedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales. After Musk pointed out the fact that Wikipedia editors have significantly changed the definition of recession to protect the Biden administration, Welsh responded, “reading too much nonsense on Twitter makes you stupid.”
The Biden administration sought to change the conventional definition of “recession” after the US experienced two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Social media platforms like Facebook have even tried to “fact check” economic experts who have pointed out that by most standards, the country is now in recession. The conflict has spread to Wikipedia where editors are trying to cover the Biden administration, with the “recession” page edited dozens of times and administrators locking the page. Some Twitter users pointed out that the now uneditable definition of “recession” appears to favor Democrats and the Biden administration.
Wikipedia has changed the definition of recession.
Wayback was last captured on July 11, 2022.
According to the Wiki changelog, the line: “There is no global consensus on the definition of a recession” was added on July 27.
The page is now locked. pic.twitter.com/6tx1vPHEPM
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) July 28, 2022
Right! Notably, the most significant change, keeping the memory of the oft-used “two quarters” rubric, came on the very day the first estimate of first-quarter GDP contraction was released. Ha. https://t.co/p0Cxpidapa
— stevemur (@stevemur) July 29, 2022
Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticizes Wikipedia for appearing to lose its objectivity. Musk singled out Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and warned him that the online encyclopedia was slowly losing its integrity, though Breitbart News’ report on the online encyclopedia suggests this is not a new phenomenon:
Wikipedia is losing its objectivity @jimmy_wales
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 29, 2022
Wales responded to Musk that “reading too much nonsense on Twitter makes you stupid.”
Elon take a moment to read this: https://t.co/8MydQ8SNyW
Reading too much nonsense on Twitter makes you stupid. Call me next week if you want a real discussion. @elonmusk
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) July 29, 2022
Others have pointed out that Musk is far from the first person to challenge Wikipedia’s bias in recent years, with the site’s co-founder himself previously raising concerns about the issue.
Your co-founder has also criticized Wikipedia’s bias. Probably then condescendingly deleting the reviews from @elonmusk Perhaps you should heed the warning while your site’s reputation still has a chance to be saved. https://t.co/5gZnBlA2Ma
— The Rabbit Hole (@TheRabbitHole84) July 30, 2022
What should I be disappointed about? The claim is obviously ridiculous and I said so. End of it.
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) July 30, 2022
Breitbart News previously reported in 2020 that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger published a blog post stating that the online encyclopedia’s “opinion neutral” policy is “dead” due to left-wing bias on the site.
Breitbart News reported:
On May 14, Sanger published a blog article titled “Wikipedia Is Badly Biased” and began by declaring Wikipedia’s “Viewpoint Neutral” policy dead. Having founded the online encyclopedia with Jimmy Wales and having participated in the original composition of politics, Sanger offered particular insight into its development and practice in recent years. Regarding the current policy’s rejection of giving “equal validity” to differing views, Sanger stated that this contradicts the intent of the original policy and that “as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now promotes controversial views on politics, religion and science.”
Providing examples, Sanger noted those of former President Obama article it excludes the most notable scandals during his administration, such as the ATF Fast and Furious operation that armed Mexican cartels that killed a US border agent or the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Instead, Sanger pointed to Trump’s article containing overwhelmingly negative sections about the President regarding his “public profile” as well as investigations and impeachment. The sections criticizing Trump and his presidency are almost as long as those dealing with his presidency as a whole. He also criticized Wikipedia repeatedly saying that Trump makes false statements instead of attributing such characterizations to sources.
Wikipedia’s moderation issues are getting funnier, with one editor banned for criticizing the use of the word “tree” as a personal pronoun. Breitbart News reported:
The Wikipedia page for actor Keiynan Lonsdale has become a battleground in the “preferred pronouns” race because of a Twitter thread noting that Lonsdale once suggested “tree” as his preferred pronoun. Despite doubts about Lonsdale’s sincerity, editors repeatedly changed the pronouns of his article to “tree” last week until an editor sought a compromise by removing the pronouns altogether. An editor who criticized the move and denigrated the idea of ”tree” as a pronoun was banned for a week.
Breitbart News will continue to report on Wikipedia’s leftist bias.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan