I got an e-mail from long-time reader and fairly new blogger Paul at Comic Nut’s Jar (conservative politics, comic books, and metal? Nice!) asking that I pass along his latest post. Paul has grievances against Wikipedia and he thinks we conservatives who relish fair play should look for other sources of information to link.
I admit I’m torn about this. There’s no denying that Wikipedia is shot-through with progressive bias and that it sometimes takes Herculean efforts for conservatives and others perceived as right-leaning to get a fair article written about them. If you need “nuts and bolts” political information, like you’d find in an encyclopedia, it’s a fine site. If you’re looking for objective articles on politicians, look elsewhere. The people who run the site have cast their lot with the progressives and they’ll have to deal with whatever consequences that decision brings. I won’t dissuade Paul from what he’s trying to do. Nothing is likely to change unless some pressure is brought on the Wikipedia honchos to change how they do business. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll see some fairness there in time.
On the other hand, it’s darned-near invaluable as a research tool (the footnotes and references on each article are a must-use for anyone writing a school paper, for instance) and if you need to learn quite a lot about something quickly, there is no better web site than Wikipedia.
What to do? I do link to Wikipedia, especially when I make a reference to something that would take too much room to explain in the post or would otherwise derail the post. But that’s for my benefit, and yours, not Wikipedia’s. Does the site derive a benefit from the links? I suppose it does, insofar as any web site needs links to thrive (mine included). But the site seems to be donation-driven, so links are less important than hits to the tip jar (hmm…sounds familiar!). ON that basis, I don’t recommend you give Wikipedia any money until they stop the cheap shots against right-leaning political and public figures. Infantile and anti-intellectual behavior shouldn’t be rewarded.
Go check out Paul’s post and let him know what you think.