The co-founder of Wikipedia has claimed that the site shouldn’t be trusted, unfairly picks on Fox News, and brazenly promotes left-wing propaganda.
Per Wikipedia, “The Milkshake Duck is an Internet meme that describes people who gain viral popularity on social media for some positive or charming trait but are later revealed to have distasteful histories or offensive behaviour.”
Oddly, Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has recently joined this list. Sanger has recently said that his creation has become “too one-sided and overloaded with liberal sources in a way that harms democracy”. To underpin the seriousness of his point, he appeared on Fox News, explaining his position to the entirely unbiased (and protector of America’s democracy), Tucker Carlson.
In the interview, Sanger said: “I don’t know that there is a way to fix Wikipedia within Wikipedia. It’s an institutionally conservative place….what I want to see, actually, is a new, basically knowledge-comments, a network of all the encyclopedia articles in the world collected together and made it easily searchable.
“I’m embarrassed, to be quite honest, and I’ve said so for a long time. I’ve been a leading critic of Wikipedia for over a decade now…I’ve been trying various things to try to improve on it and I’m sorry to all the people whose reputations have been sullied by what I got started 20 years ago.”
He wasn’t entirely done. In a post on his own website, he wrote: “It is not too far to say that Wikipedia, like many other deeply biased institutions of our brave new digital world, has made itself into a kind of thought police that has de facto shackled conservative viewpoints with which they disagree…Democracy cannot thrive under such conditions: I maintain that Wikipedia has become an opponent of (a) vigorous democracy.”
Sanger went on to lament that certain sites (like Fox News and the New York Post) are banned as official sources.
“Those might be contrarian or conservative, but they are hardly ‘radical’; they are still mainstream…so, how on earth can such viewpoints ever be given an airing on Wikipedia? Answer: often, they cannot, not if there are no ‘reliable sources’ available to report about them.”
Indeed, Larry said that his creation could not be trusted. And yes, while he blamed “left-leaning volunteers cut out any news that doesn’t fit their agenda,” I think that Larry’s anguish is a trifle misguided. As a user by the name of “KrazyUncle” put it (in the comment box of the Fox News article that carried Sanger’s interview): “As a recent college grad…I can say with certainty that Wikipedia is not a good source”.
Quite. I mean, how can we possibly trust an encyclopedia made for the people, by the people?
Wikipedia is a national treasure, if only because it operates as a mirror to reveal the world’s boredom. How else would we have discovered Charlie Sheen was partially assembled from cocaine, or that the state motto of Delaware was written by Ricky Bobby, or that Ray Romano is entirely hypothetical?
Wikipedia only really works, because no one trusted it in the first place. Someone needs to change Larry’s entry. That’ll fix him.
I double dare you.