The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, released a video claiming that WikiTribune – a new website he’s working on – will attempt to fix all the “fake news” spreading about the internet these days (mostly from mainstream media). Wales will use crowdsource fact-checkers and professional journalists alike in an attempt to create an open, information capitalist ecosystem where community members and professionals can contribute to making journalism great again.
There’s only one problem with that… it doesn’t work for Wikipedia, so why would it work for WikiTribune?
In the video, Wales argues that fact-checking would reign supreme…
However, Wikipedia uses a similar model but bases their fact checking on the reliability and weight of a source. So ideologically driven editors will scrub a source (even if it’s fact-based) and use another for its “due weight” because it’s more mainstream or considered by Wikipedia’s editors (via consensus) to be reliable.
They use the bureaucratic runaround for their own means, to persuade the masses and peddle misinformation as fact. This causes a lot of hot button topics to turn into “edit wars” and “battlegrounds”, forcing administrative arbitration to step in at times. For instance, when evidenced surfaced of Zoe Quinn and co., involved in doxing, harassment and wrongdoing via the CON chat leaks, the Wikipedia editors filibustered the Crash Override Network article until they could find a way to ensure that none of the actual damning facts made its way onto the Crash Override Network’s Wikipedia page.
It’s also how Wikipedia’s #GamerGate article became such a propaganda-filled mess and is little more than a sounding board and advertising platform for Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and far leftist extremism. The editors favored sites like Gawker, Vox, and Washington Post since they had an obvious bias against #GamerGate. Their inclusion of the FBI report links to sites that paint the FBI as incompetent, all in an attempt to avoid mentioning the fact that the only thing the FBI found in their investigation were third-party trolls, and they couldn’t prove that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign.
So the question becomes: what would make WikiTribune immune from sourcing the Gizmodos, Voxs, and Snopes of the internet, when such sites – even Snopes – have been proven to publish false news?
According to Reuters, media professor from the London School of Economics, Charlie Beckett, believes that the site would simply serve the internet-savvy, information-conscious readers and may not really help curb the tide of false info being peddled to the masses from the mainstream outlets.
The bigger issue isn’t whether WikiTribune has reach, but whether or not it will suffer from censoring and squashing community contributions that don’t toe the political line for whoever takes charge. It’s already happened with Wikipedia under a similar model, and with so many websites succumbing to censorship and SJW sociopolitical biases, what would stop WikiTribune from suffering the same fate?