Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Politics
Does bias exist in Wikipedia's coverage of politics?
Many different people claim that there is a political bias within Wikipedia's articles, slanting either right or left, or somewhere else. These claims are hotly disputed and no consensus has emerged regarding the political bias of the project. However, there is certainly a bias towards inclusion of political topics and ideas of primary interest in the "western world." Political issues outside of Europe and North America received far less coverage than items from within those areas.
Rough evaluation of coverage:
|Excellent||North America, Western Europe, Australia & NZ|
|Good||East Asia, Japan, Eastern Europe|
|Mediocre||Latin America, Middle East, South Asia|
The causes of this bias are fairly readily apparent. Wikipedia exists solely on the Internet and is thus on one side of the Digital Divide. Wikipedia writers mostly come from developed nations. Take a look at Wikipedia:Wikipedians by country. Our writers submit articles about what they know and what they know is more likely to be close at hand.
- Make Wikipedians aware of the issue so that they might decide to help work to correct it.
- Create lists of basic but missing topics in those under served areas to aid Wikipedians in finding ways to correct bias:
- Rather than only encouraging existing users, attempt to recruit new users to the project who can help counter these biases
- Alter or expand the project so that it is not so subject to the digital divide.
Significant Regional Disputes
Considering the table above and the fact that Wikipedia users are on one side of the Digital Divide, it should not be surprising that the majority of editors of articles pertaining to politics in the Middle East hail from an American, European or Israeli perspective. Oddly enough, there is a significant proportion of perceived pro-Arab bias in many entries. Nonetheless, until the Arab nations establish a broad-based class of internet users, they will have fewer advocates on Wikipedia. Because of this, members of this WikiProject believe that countering systemic bias in coverage of the Middle East should be a much higher priority on Wikipedia.
Current Arab-Israeli disputes:
- The interminable struggle over terrorism categorization: both sides of this dispute dedicate far too many hours to adding or subtracting terrorism related categories to the heroes and/or foes of either side. The only logical way to end these debates is to incorporate sourced text which defines a given individual's, organization's or nation's role in committing acts of terrorism. When enough evidence has been provided (that is, cited), it will be hard for the opposition to defend its edits.
Politics To-Do List
The following politically related articles have been identified as inadequate. They must be completed to counter the systemic bias of Wikipedia. Each article is assigned a level of completedness according to the following scale: (We will have to agree on some sort of scale)
- stub, a paragraph or two, completely inadequate.
- maybe a few paragraphs, but coverage is inadequate, still missing some basic information.
- Many paragraphs, covers all, or almost all, basic information, provides a bit of depth.
- Excellent article. Covers all that is required of an encyclopedia. Has balance and depth. Sufficiently long to cover the topic.
Requests for expansion
- African National Congress Again a poor article for such a significant organisation
- Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Nepalese government party
- Dependency theory Influential political theory within the developing world
- Land Reform Major issue in Africa gets little more than a stub. also listed under Agriculture and horticultural studies
- List of countries where language is a political issue Not a single African country in this list. There should be at least ten and most probably many more.
- Movement for Democratic Change Very small article on the Zimbabwean opposition to Mugabe
- Neocolonialism At least until recent times the dominant ideology.
- Politics of South Africa Poor article considering the ongoing difficulty of transition to stable, free and prosperous post apartheid state.
- Tamasheq languages - languages of the Tuareg, stub
- Third World debt Still remains the dominant issue for governments for most countries in the developing world. Only a stub
- Thomas Sankara A major African leader for many African people.
- Tuareg needs research on current situation after the fighting in the 1990s.
- Guinea-Bissau Civil War
- Pan African Parliament
Request for review/attention
- Congo Civil War Previous collaboration.
This section is for quality political and historical articles which were once considered weak and biased.