The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has once again caused a stir for its left-leaning bias. However, this time, it went too far, as it attributed to the Chinese regime a sea that does not belong to it.
The issue surfaced in a discussion on the Wikipedia Reddit community when a user shared a screenshot showing his question about whether China owns the disputed South China Sea and the highlighted Wikipedia snippet that—in response—said China “enjoys undisputed sovereignty” over the sea. Other searches for variations of the question showed the same snippet.
Reddit users noticed that the response was absolutely in line with the rhetoric of the Chinese communist regime. What’s more, it was taken from a statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu. The line was removed from Wikipedia after the Reddit discussion drew attention, according to Breitbart.
The “featured snippet” in Google search results did not include the source of the Chinese regime’s statement and only a single, easily overlooked quotation mark at the beginning of the snippet, which was present to indicate that it was not a statement from the encyclopedia, but from someone else.
That a “free” encyclopedia shows the position of the totalitarian regime without questioning it at all is contradictory and worrying, to say the least. Furthermore, public knowledge is that there are numerous territorial disputes regarding the South China Sea (also known as the South China Sea). Several Southeast Asian countries and the Chinese Communist government, and the Taiwan government dispute control of some or all of the islands.
Google and Wikipedia, one heart
It should be noted that Wikipedia is the 13th most visited website in the world and its good relations with Google allow it a special placement in search results.
Wikipedia’s “featured snippets” are produced by Google’s search engine based on its algorithm determining what will “help people more easily discover what they are looking for.”
The problem with Google’s search results is that they repeat biased or false information due to their reliance on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia and Big Tech
In February of this year, Wikipedia’s co-founder, Larry Sanger, warned that the popular platform currently shares ideology with Big Tech and assures that it is strongly influenced by a pro-communist bias and far from the neutrality it boasts of having.
In a dialogue with Fox News, Sanger -who now has no relationship with the online encyclopedia- assured that a large part of the searches on the platform became essays in defense of leftist ideologies.
“The days of Wikipedia’s robust commitment to neutrality are long gone,” said co-founder Larry Sanger. “Wikipedia’s ideological and religious bias is real and troubling, particularly in a resource that continues to be treated by many as an unbiased reference work,” he added.
When visiting certain pages within the virtual encyclopedia related to the left it is very easy to perceive the progressive bias.
Specifically, searches for “Socialism” and “Communism” contain abundant information on their history, formation and theories, but no mention is made of the millions of people murdered by communist dictatorships both in recent history and today.
Nor is there any mention that socialist economic policies have failed to such an extent that millions of people died from starvation and poor health care.
This is worrying as Wikipedia is one of the most widely used sources of reference, especially by children and teenagers worldwide, and has become a sort of “fountain of knowledge.”
The political bias on a global platform such as Wikipedia could have dire consequences for our future society if it continues to take hold so strongly among young people worldwide.