Wikipedia is a bit more politically biased than Encyclopedia Britannica (in favor of Democrats)

Wikipedia is a bit more politically biased than Encyclopedia Britannica (in favor of Democrats)

English Wikipedia articles are slightly more politically biased than Encyclopaedia Britannica articles, and most of this bias is in favor of Democratic views . That is, in almost all cases, Wikipedia leans more to the left than Britannica.

The bias disappears as more edits are made. Something to keep in mind after having witnessed that kind of Granguiñolesque performance that was the assault on the Capitol .

Objective / subjective information

One of the biggest problems with encyclopedias is that of objectively presenting knowledge that involves subjective, unverifiable, or controversial information . Even today’s issues like immigration, gun control, abortion, and foreign policy are open to heated debate depending on who’s taking the view.

Using data from the Encyclopædia Britannica, written by experts, and Wikipedia, an encyclopedia produced by an online community, one study compared the inclination and bias of pairs of articles on identical topics in American politics .

The skew measure is less (more) than zero when an article leans toward Democratic (Republican) views, while skew is the absolute value of the skew.


What was found is that Wikipedia articles are more skewed towards Democratic views than Britannica articles , and they are also more skewed. All in all, perhaps the most interesting finding from the research is that the more times an article is reviewed on Wikipedia, the less bias it is likely to show.

However, the number of reviews needed to start showing this effect is quite large (at least 2000 editions) and the articles most read by users are not necessarily the most reviewed by editors .

These results highlight the pros and cons of each knowledge production model, help to identify the extent of empirical generalizability from previous studies that compare the quality of information from the two production models, and offer implications for organizations managing knowledge. crowd-based knowledge production.

If Wikipedia wants to improve its objectivity , the study authors caution, it is recommended that you encourage editors to review the most read stories first, as well as encourage people with different political leanings to edit the same article. Only in this way, perhaps, we will blur a bit the increasingly opaque border between Democrats and Republicans: