Is Wikipedia biased? “Exhibit A” is their Manosphere article

In the early days, Wikipedia wasn’t much to look at. Over time, this crowdsourced encyclopedia became a vast compilation of knowledge – some articles pretty good, others with mixed results.  Sadly, there are those who consider it to be some kind of ultimate repository of absolute truth.  It certainly isn’t.  There are some major problems with it, and I’d have to write a book to describe it all in detail.

For now, one of the major problems is leftist bias. It’s not supposed to be that way, because of the rules about “Neutral Point Of View”, “Reliable Sources”, “Undue Influence”, “Weasel Words, etc., arbitration policies for disputes, and all the rest of it.  So where bias exists, it should be pretty easy to fix it.  Still, when push comes to shove, it can turn into a “press of pike” battle.  Whichever side has the greatest numbers, and the most amount of idle time on their hands, is at a strategic advantage.  If you’re less of a fanatic about it, have fewer other people there who agree with you, or if you have a life and don’t have unlimited time to waste, you’re at a disadvantage.  Also, did you know that there are teams paid to edit it and spin things their way?

Wikipedia has its own hierarchy and internal bureaucracy. As any evil deplorable right wing extremist like me can tell you, an institution is only as good as the people staffing it.  Therefore, those in charge of keeping things fair and balanced sometimes have considerable biases of their own.  That’s why trying to push a dispute up the food chain with their adjudication procedures might not get you too far.  Maybe that’s the whole idea.  Did you know that Wikipedia gets funding from George Soros?  They have plenty of cash already, and whenever they beg for donations, it’s a sick joke.

Exhibit A here is their Manosphere article. This can be edited at any time, so note that I’m using the version in effect as of September 22, 2019.  If you like, on the history page, you can look at earlier versions.

Their editors were ignorant from the beginning

The very first sentence is:

The manosphere is a loose collection of predominantly web based misogynist movements associated with the alt-right.

Okay, so according to this allegation, presumably you have to be a misogynist even to want to read any of those websites. “Misogynist” means someone who hates women.  (I could describe the root words for that, and even write it in ancient Greek, but why be a sperg about it?  Now hold that thought for a moment.)  If all that’s overblown and the typical Manosphere reader doesn’t actually hate women, then surely he’s at least a Neanderthal who yells at the TV during football games, then snaps his fingers and shouts “Woman!  Beer!” whenever his can of PBR is empty.  Got all that?

If the readers are this bad, then surely the writers must be far worse, right? As a matter of fact, I was one of the writers for a website this article discusses.  The truth is that I have considerable affection for women.  As a straight guy, I can’t help but admire the charm and femininity that comes to them naturally, most especially under normal social conditions.  I even remember my exes fondly.

Already that Wikipedia article is off to an ignorant start!  I call bullshit on that insulting definition.  As for the “associated with the alt-right” claim, that too is rather dodgy.  There is an area of overlap, but much of the Manosphere isn’t politically affiliated.  Really, it’s much more diverse than how that article presents it.

Note well, my writings did frequently criticize radical feminists and their crazypants rhetoric. Likewise, I poked fun at spoiled brats and THOTs.  However, I did my best to make it clear that these were outliers and examples of how not to be charming and feminine, who are the way they are mainly because we’re not living in normal social conditions.  I challenge anyone to find anywhere in my 154 articles where I wrote objectively hateful things about all women as a class.  How many radical feminists out there honestly can say that they never wrote anything hateful about men as a class?

The second sentence is:

Movements within the manosphere include antifeminism, fathers’ rights, Incels (involuntary celibates), MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), volcels (voluntarily celibates), pick-up artists, the Men’s rights movement, bloggers and commentators, among others.

Let’s rewrite that second sentence, flipping the script and approximating as best as possible:

Movements within the online misandrist community include radical feminists, the divorce industry, bitter single women, lesbian separatists, cat ladies, bar girls, the women’s liberation movement, bloggers and commentators, among others.

Well, golly jeepers, that sounds pretty fair and balanced, now doesn’t it?

Can’t they find any decent citations?

Supporting that second sentence, there’s a big list of citations – remember, these are Reliable Sources – supporting the original assertion:

  • “The alt-right is creating its own dialect. Here’s the dictionary”. Quartz.
  • Zimmer, Ben (8 May 2018). “How ‘Incel’ Got Hijacked”. Politico.
  • “Balls to all that”. The Economist. 16 June 2016.
  • Dewey, Caitlin. “Incels, 4chan and the Beta Uprising: making sense of one of the Internet’s most-reviled subcultures”. Washington Post.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center (Spring 2012). “Misogyny: The Sites”.
  • Pry, Alyssa; Alexa Valiente (16 October 2013). “Women Battle Online Anti-Women Hate From the ‘Manosphere'”. ABC News.
  • “How the alt-right’s sexism lures men into white supremacy”. Vox.
  • Dewey, Caitlin (27 May 2014). “Inside the ‘manosphere’ that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger”. The Washington Post.
  • Nagle, Angela (2017). “Entering the manosphere”. Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right.

Now what happened to those enlightened Wikipedia policies to keep articles from being biased? I suppose someone might think of all those lefty MSM articles as “Reliable Sources”, but that’s a pretty big stretch.

However, under no circumstances could you call the Southern Poverty Law Center a “Reliable Source”.  That’s a highly partisan leftist foundation.  (Does the Wikipedia page about Communism quote the John Birch Society as an authority, without equivocation?)  The $PLC occupies itself with compiling shit lists and soliciting donations.  I’ll let Pamela Geller – who is a first rate lady and a fine American – tell the story about that one, and there’s lots more where it came from.   For that matter, have a look at the divorce papers of Morris Dees, the $PLC’s long-time head honcho, documented down to the gory details.  If any item in that bill of particulars is true, the Manosphere considers behavior like that to be reprehensible; who’s the one with bad attitudes about women here?

Am I cherry-picking with the selection above? Absolutely not.  I looked over the entire list of sources at the bottom of the page.  You don’t see the “pros” and “cons” balanced out.  I didn’t notice a single one of the “Reliable Sources” that was pro-Manosphere.  There probably isn’t even much neutral content listed about the subject.  Instead, there’s a bunch of MSM hit pieces, feminist and gender studies academic papers, and other leftist rubbish.

The confluence of all that certainly doesn’t make for any “Neutral Point Of View”; it’s just a bunch of bias.  Sure, there’s a place for hostile sources; those go into a “criticism” subsection, or maybe a standalone “criticism of X” article.  However, the entire Manosphere article is nothing but criticism from these hostile sources.  In the article’s “history” page, I did see some attempts to fix that problem, but the edits were reverted, quickly cast into the memory hole.

Sperg-o-rama

The “Terminology” section begins:

Manosphere is a neologism, a portmanteau of man and sphere. A related term is androsphere (from Ancient Greek: ἀνήρ, anḗr, genitive ἀνδρός, andros, “man”).

The “Reliable Source” for that is none other than an article by Jason Wilson in the lefty publication The Guardian, “The ‘man-o-sphere’ is outraged about Mad Max? Hand me my popcorn!” Thank you for sharing, Jason, otherwise we might never have been able to figure out the origins of the term “Manosphere”.

Anyway, those two sentences have convenient hyperlinks for neologism, portmanteau, ancient Greek, and the genitive case. Presumably that’s to help someone who doesn’t understand the terminology in this long-winded and unnecessary explanation.  Moreover, it features snippets of the original language that I already could figure out despite being almost an utter n00b at Greek.

Since I have better things to do, I haven’t looked up the “Reliable Source” – again, the Guardian article with the snotty title – to see if it actually does delve that far into the etymological archeolinguistics of it. However, I’m guessing that Mr. Wilson also has better things to do than conjugate Greek genitive declensions.  One of these activities apparently is to watch a lame feminist sequel of a has-been Hollywood film series featuring a bald has-been actress.  Let me give you a tip, Jason – the series already jumped the shark with Beyond Thunderdome, and I’m old enough of a coot to have seen it on the big screen.

All this brings us to another thing that sets my teeth on edge about Wikipedia, almost as much as its leftist bias. It seems that everyone on the planet with obsessive-compulsive disorder edits this thing.  These are the people who indeed don’t have better things to do than expound on Greek genitive declensions where it’s utterly irrelevant.  That’s perfectly topical in an article about Greek grammar, but why did someone take the time to nerd out about it here?  I suspect that those who do this have OCD, or they’re anal retentive.  Oh, wait a minute, should “anal retentive” have a hyphen?

They overdo shit like this all the time, trying to sound erudite.  I also remember some big Wikipedia argument over the movie Wall-E. It was about whether the dash in “Wall-E” actually should be an interpunct (which is a highfalutin way of saying a dot).  Things like this are why browsing Wikipedia feels like I’ve entered the sperg zone.  Also, it’s why sometimes I read an article to try to learn about a subject, and I come away not one bit the wiser, or even knowing what the hell they were talking about.

Anyone who suffers from OCD this badly should get that problem fixed.  I’ve heard that CBT helps.  Be sure to search Wiki for “cognitive behavior therapy”, because “CBT” takes you to a disambiguation page also including the Chicago Board of Trade, computer based training, cock and ball torture (I’m not making this up – they have an NSFW article about all that), and a couple dozen other things.

Donna Zuckerberg’s big spanking session

spank

The “Content” section ends with the following:

The author Donna Zuckerberg writes that the growth of the movement and the more political tone adopted by some of its leaders as of 2016 has led to more adversarial internal relationships, such as between pick-up artists and men’s-rights advocates.

Ooh, another “Reliable Source”, awesome! She’s cited in a few other places too.  Who is she, anyway?  Well, she’s the sister of Mark Suckerberg, creator of Fakebook.  Apparently she lives in Silicon Valley (hopefully she watches her step carefully on the sidewalk).  Her own Wiki page begins:

Donna Zuckerberg is an American classicist, editor-in-chief of the journal Eidolon and author of the book Not All Dead White Men (2018) on the appropriation of classics by misogynist groups on the Internet.

Ah, okay, so she’s a feminist! What a big surprise, right?  All this is enough street cred to qualify her as a Wikipedia-approved authority about men’s concerns online, is it?  Criticism of feminism is one of the greatest common factors of the Manosphere.  However, a feminist who very openly opposes the Manosphere gets cited repeatedly, and without any counterbalancing opinion.  This is in an online encyclopedia that makes much hoopla about touting its own objectivity.  Sweet!  It’s time to take her out to the woodshed, so to speak.

The above indicates that her major work was a book about why she believes it’s wrong for the Manosphere to draw inspiration from our ancient cultural heritage. Apparently, in her opinion, we’re not supposed to form our own conclusions about classic literature – what our forefathers, and the ancestors of our kindred peoples, wrote to guide us and convey their wisdom.  I have one thing to say to that…

Anyway, she edits the paper Eidolon. (And what is the genitive case for “eidolon” anyway?)  Their mission statement begins:

Eidolon makes the classics political and personal, feminist and fun.

“The personal is political” is a well-known feminist catchphrase, made up by none other than one of the Redstockings. Sweet!  Even so, the above mission statement makes sure the reader gets the message.  So she doesn’t like the Manosphere commenting on ancient literature, but she sure as heck gets to put her own feminist spin on it.  Back in college, plenty of times I saw what the classics of our forefathers looked like after getting run through the critical theory meat grinder, and the results aren’t pretty.

Anyway, about the name Eidolon, that sort of reminds me of Barbara Spectre and her “Paidea” foundation. What an odd coincidence, two rootless cosmopolitan types involved in tricky outfits with august-sounding ancient Greek names.  What’s the deal with this trend?  They need to stop doing that.  If only they learned from the positive examples of Pamela Geller and Laura Loomer, then they wouldn’t create all this opposition for themselves which they curiously blame on everyone else.  It would be great if we could all just get along despite sectarian differences, but that’s a two-way street.

Quintus Curtius delivered a verbal spanking with his response, “When Education Does Not Mean Knowledge: The Case Of Donna Zuckerberg“. The article – long but certainly worth a read in its entirety – begins:

There are times when a sleeping lion must rouse himself from repose to swat a yapping dog. Such ankle-biters need to learn that it is one thing to throw around malicious accusations, and quite another thing to be faced with a response.  In matters such as these, I am not concerned with power or influence–unlike you, Ms. Zuckerberg–but only with my good name, and the meaning and purpose of my work.

Ooh, burn!

Roosh – one of the figures defamed ignorantly in the Wikipedia article – gave Donna another well-deserved verbal paddling with “The Public Humiliation Of Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister“.

We’ve gotten a lot of hate over the past year from politicians, C list celebrities, and female typists, but not from the direct relative of one of the most influential billionaires in the world. That seal has been broken by Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, who turns out is obsessed with the manosphere.

That one is long too, but it’s a laugh a minute, definitely worth a read.

Conclusion

Why would someone consider bias like this to be objectionable in the “ultimate repository of absolute truth”?  Now imagine, for a moment, what the Wikipedia page on Islam would look like if it was only written by atheists, fundamentalist Christians, Hindus, and other hostile editors. Nowhere in it is a single quotation from the Quran or the Hadith.  Any time a Muslim tried to add something, the change would get reverted by an anti-Muslim editor.  Would that result in a “Neutral Point Of View”?  This is exactly the treatment the Manosphere article got.

The rest of the page is full of straw man arguments and inaccuracy too, but you should get the picture by now that the thing is a load of crap. The last part includes opinions that try to suggest that the Manosphere made people go off the rails and commit acts of violence.  It’s little different from the silly “video games make people go postal” argument.  Way classy, guys!  Actually, one of the few examples they were able to trot out in support of the argument was – wait for ita male feminist.

All told, the article was so one-sided that it fails to be informative. The only major takeaway is that the Manosphere is a bunch of scary boogeymen.  Instead of being encyclopedic, it’s a partisan hit piece.  By contrast, Wikipedia has articles for just about every flavor of feminism that exists.  They’re written up in detail, sensitively, sympathetically, and full of their own talking points.  The originators of these feminist factions wouldn’t consider any of it to misrepresent their views, or otherwise be objectionable.  Overall, one gets the impression that hardly anyone would raise a serious dispute about feminism.

Why not just change it?

I can hear it already. If I don’t like the article, why don’t I quit being a loudmouth and make changes to improve it?  I’d be happy to do so, except that it would be an exercise in pissing in the wind.  Now look again at the history page.  Here’s one of the recent “edit wars”:

  • 23:11, 10 August 2019? Nick-D (talk | contribs)? m . . (23,124 bytes) (0)? . . (Protected “Manosphere”: Persistent disruptive editing ([Edit=Require autoconfirmed or confirmed access] (expires 23:11, 13 August 2019 (UTC)) [Move=Require autoconfirmed or confirmed access] (expires 23:11, 13 August 2019 (UTC))))
  • 23:06, 10 August 2019? AnomieBOT (talk | contribs)? . . (23,124 bytes) (+1,168)? . . (Rescuing orphaned refs (“Dewey 2014” from rev 910230878; “Wiseman” from rev 910230878; “Dewey 2016” from rev 910230878; “Nagle” from rev 910230878)) (Tag: PHP7)
  • 22:45, 10 August 2019? EvergreenFir (talk | contribs)? . . (21,956 bytes) (+24)? . . (Reverted to revision 910124281 by Davey1980 (talk): Restore content; mass editing again… (TW)) (Tag: Undo)
  • 22:43, 10 August 2019? 2605:8d80:403:1b1:4885:749f:6a66:5ae7 (talk)? . . (21,932 bytes) (-4,416)? . . (Edited the misandrist content out.) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit, PHP7)
  • 16:06, 10 August 2019? 188.146.66.195 (talk)? . . (26,348 bytes) (-31)? . . (Considering whole group misogynistic based on few extremists is unfair. These people exist in every group that does not control who’s joining, but it doesn’t mean everyone out there is like that. This is why I removed it. Placing it here is an assumption that group is sexist at the fundamental level and everyone in it is also sexist.) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit, Visual edit)
  • 14:38, 10 August 2019? 2600:387:3:801::26 (talk)? . . (26,379 bytes) (-60)? . . (??Content: I edited out horrible misinformation) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit)
  • 13:10, 10 August 2019? 71.37.207.210 (talk)? . . (26,439 bytes) (-37)? . . (Corrected biased misinformation) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit, PHP7)
  • 12:02, 10 August 2019? Lappspira (talk | contribs)? . . (26,476 bytes) (+4,520)? . . (Undid revision 910191677 by 87.92.107.217 (talk)) (Tags: Undo, PHP7)
  • 09:34, 10 August 2019? 87.92.107.217 (talk)? . . (21,956 bytes) (-4,520)? . . (Undid revision 910124430 by Jack90s15 (talk) Removed spam) (Tags: Undo, PHP7)
  • 20:40, 9 August 2019? Jack90s15 (talk | contribs)? . . (26,476 bytes) (+4,520)? . . (Undid revision 910124281 by Davey1980 (talk)) (Tags: Undo, PHP7)
  • 20:39, 9 August 2019? Davey1980 (talk | contribs)? . . (21,956 bytes) (-4,520)? . . (Fixed typos and added correct content) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit, PHP7)
  • 22:59, 7 August 2019? Grayfell (talk | contribs)? . . (26,476 bytes) (+17)? . . (Undid revision 909839488 by 103.77.202.130 (talk) How is this a grammar issue?) (Tags: Undo, PHP7)
  • 22:57, 7 August 2019? 103.77.202.130 (talk)? . . (26,459 bytes) (-17)? . . (??Content: Fixed grammar) (Tags: Mobile edit, canned edit summary, Mobile app edit, Android app edit)

That might look like just a bunch of computer logs, of course. It all means that some people tried to improve the article and help make it balanced, some others undid their efforts, and finally someone locked it.  This sort of thing is hardly unusual at Wikipedia.

Note well, there’s a way someone can get a notification whenever a page is updated. If one or more individuals want to play Internet hall monitor, they quickly can detect any change to an article and revert it if it doesn’t fit the preferred political narrative.  That’s how these leftist “mother hens” with too much time on their hands enforce ideological conformity.  Sure, someone could push it up the food chain, but whoever does so is then at the mercy of institutional politics.  Did I mention that George Soros helps to pay for this thing?

Is Wikipedia biased? “Exhibit A” is their Manosphere article

3 thoughts on “Is Wikipedia biased? “Exhibit A” is their Manosphere article

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