Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fjordman: The Bias and Dishonesty of Wikipedia


Fjordman’s latest essay has been published at Europe News. Some excerpts are below:

I cannot and will not respond to all of the negative writings about me or accusations against me. My time is limited, and may be more usefully spent doing other things. My initial instinct was to ignore the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, too, but on further reflection, it seemed necessary to clarify the record.

Tens of millions of people use Wikipedia on a regular basis. They have a right to know just how biased this source can be and sometimes is.

Because Wikipedia is continuously edited by numerous unpaid volunteers in many countries, it changes more frequently than, say, the Encyclopædia Britannica Online. The following Wikipedia citations all refer to entries as they existed on June 15, 2012. One may hope some of these will later be changed for the better.


Arnulf Hagen, a technology professor at NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in the city of Trondheim, claimed that Wikipedia has been manipulated by “ right-wing extremist networks.” He did point out some real flaws in the Wikipedia model, for instance that a tiny percentage of its anonymous users are responsible for a vastly disproportionate number of edits or entries there.

In a magazine published by the labor unions (LO), which cooperate intimately with the Labor Party, Hagen suggested that I have operated within a vast right-wing extremist network in the Wiki-world under the nickname Misheu, and there edited more than two thousand articles. That’s definitely a very interesting theory. The only problem with it is that is has absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever and is 100% fabricated. I never had anything actively to do with Wikipedia at all under any name until well after the Breivik case, when I first contacted them to request that a few statements on their extremely hostile entries on me be edited. I didn’t even know how to log in there.

That fact didn’t prevent Mr. Hagen from publishing several articles about this issue and being interviewed about it by the national broadcaster NRK. Curiously, nobody asked me about the matter even though quite a few journalists have my email address.

In another venue, Professor Arnulf Hagen, again without having the tiniest shred of evidence, stated that the American author Bruce Bawer writes at the blog Gates of Vienna under the pseudonym The Observer. For the record: I know who The Observer is, and he is an ethnic Norwegian.

Wikipedia suggests that Eurabia is a “conspiracy theory,” despite the fact that those wring about this subject can back up every single claim using publicly available sources. I am also routinely refereed to as a “conspiracy theorist” in the mainstream media in multiple countries, despite the fact that they find it hard to pinpoint exactly what I have written that is factually wrong. Yet here we have a case where a respected academic at a noted national university simply invents things out of thin air, thereby implicating named individuals in a vast conspiracy. He had these claims published with nary a single critical question asked by established journalists.

It says bad things about the state of modern academia when an established professor, who is supposed to know a thing or two about sources and doing critical research, fails so utterly and publicly in this task. I hope Hagen is better at his job under normal circumstances. If not, perhaps he should consider finding a different line of work.

Read the rest at Europe News.

For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.


Road_Hog said...

A comment from someone else of a forum I read, summed up Wiki perfectly.

Wikipedia is an excellent reference source, as long as the subject isn't religious or political.

Unknown said...

It´s hard to decide how to react to the shameful attacks of antifa-like establishment figures, but when the official media give them room to vent their accusations I wonder whether they should not be challenged in a court of law. Obvioulsy the left simply can´t withstand the temptation to use the public stage as their personal property, but it is not a good idea to let them, and destroy even the concept of fairness and reason in a western society.
People obviously get used to that kind of thing very soon that chaos might descend even earlier, because the public decides as a matter of fact that you can´t trust the papers, because nobody not even officials apparently have any regard for the truth or for decency anymore.
But it is a great sacrifice, and there are so many much better things to do, I agree..

Unknown said...

Road Hog: or even better is what Fjordman said about wikipedia himself. Fjordman said that we should rely on wikipedia the way smart people have learnt how to rely on the BBC.
The BBC is fine as long as one is interested in cars or the colorful sex life of some rare beetle on Madagascar. One just shouldn't rely on it for information concerning ideology, politics, culture, religion or world affairs.
It is already clear that in western countries we can no longer trust the official media when dealing with important affairs
We´re on our own, we must deal with the fact that you do not know any longer who is to be trusted, in official life.

Anonymous said...

Learn from the islamists and the Left. The Right must restart their own long march through the institutions to regain lost ground. In the meantime, use the Lefts tactics against them. Challenge their libels, threaten them with the law, insist on corrections, retractions, prosecution, or damages. It might not always succeed but over time, they will be forced to limit attacksa to avoid the spotlight of public controversy and legal sanctions.

In the meantime the publicity generated by this opposition will help spread the facts and generate further support until the message of resistance becomes impossible to ignore.

Anonymous said...

It's been well known not to trust wikipedia on a multitude of topics that concern politics, economics, foreign affairs, religion, etc.

For technical topics it's not too bad, but I wouldn't rely on it for research of any import.

In regards to professor Hagen, he seems to be the typical sort of Leftist academic that doesn't teach but instead propagandizes his students. Which is not that uncommon any more in academia.

Anonymous said...

"Wikipedia is an excellent reference source, as long as the subject isn't religious or political."

But anything can become political, especially "apolitical" conjecture about personal lives.