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Qatar is a small peninsular country that juts into the Persian Gulf and whose only land border is with Saudi Arabia. Gas-rich, the country's citizens enjoy the highest per capita income in the world. Doha's capital is well known for its skyscrapers, at least one of which resembles a spicy pickle. Though sports like camel-racing and falconry are more traditional, Qatar has shown an interest in football (soccer) through its ownership of Paris-St. Germain and its sponsorship of FC Barcelona. It is building nine stadia in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, which it is hosting. Its media property Al Jazeera has been a bone of contention with other Gulf nations, as has its refusal to condemn the Muslim Brotherhood. After its neighbors decided during Ramadan in 2017 to cut diplomatic ties, many families living in Qatar found themselves with difficult choices, including potentially being forced to renounce their citizenship if they remained in Qatar.

In June 2017, John Ascroft's lobbying firm signed a $2.5 million contract to rehabilitate Qatar's image in the US by better publicizing steps taken in recent years to prosecute private citizens funding the Taliban and jihadi groups.[1]

Georgia Aquarium - Giant Grouper.jpg

Copy of the en.wp "Ideological bias on Wikipedia" page currently at Articles for Deletion...

Template:Article for deletion/dated

To some, ideological bias can be seen as a "thumb on the scale" of Wikipedia's editorial balance.

Concerns about an ideological bias on Wikipedia are reflected in analysis and criticism of the reliability of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, and especially its English-language site, in relation to whether or not its content is biased due to the political, religious, or other epistemological ideology of its volunteer Wikipedia editors.

Collectively the findings show that Wikipedia articles edited by large numbers of editors with opposing views are at least as neutral as other sources, but articles with fewer edits written by smaller groups of ideologically homogeneous editors were more likely to exhibit bias.

Public opinion

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said in April 2006: "The Wikipedia community is very diverse, from liberal to conservative to libertarian and beyond. If averages mattered, and due to the nature of the wiki software (no voting) they almost certainly don't, I would say that the Wikipedia community is slightly more liberal than the U.S. population on average, because we are global and the international community of English speakers is slightly more liberal than the U.S. population. There are no data or surveys to back that." [2]

Sorin Adam Matei, a professor at Purdue University, said in 2018 that, "For certain political topics, there's a central-left bias. There's also a slight, when it comes to more political topics, counter-cultural bias. It's not across the board, and it's not for all things."[3]


Greenstein and Zhu

Shane Greenstein and Feng Zhu, both professors at the Harvard Business School, have authored several studies and articles examining Wikipedia from an ideological standpoint as component of its collective intelligence.

Is Wikipedia Biased? (2012)

In Is Wikipedia Biased? (2012), the authors examined a sample of 28,382 articles related to U.S. politics (as of January 2011) measuring their degree of bias on a "slant index" based on a method developed by Gentzkow and Shapiro (2010) to measure bias in newspaper media.[4] This slant index measures an ideological lean toward either Democratic or Republican based on key phrases within the text and gives a rating for the relative amount of that lean. The authors used this method to measure whether Wikipedia was meeting its stated policy of "neutral point of view" (or NPOV). They also examined the changes to articles over time as they are revised. The authors concluded that older articles from the early years of Wikipedia leaned Democratic, whereas those created more recently held more balance. They suggest that articles did not change their bias significantly due to revision, but rather that over time newer articles containing opposite points of view were responsible for centering the average overall.[5][6]

The findings have been confirmed by later research, such as The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds (2017).[7]

Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? (2017)

In a more extensive follow-up study, Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write with More Bias? Evidence from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia (2017), Greenstein and Zhu directly compare about 4,000 articles related to U.S. politics between Wikipedia (written by an online community) and the matching articles from Encyclopædia Britannica (written by experts) using similar methods as their 2010 study to measure slant (Democratic vs. Republican) and to quantify the degree of bias. The authors found that "Wikipedia articles are more slanted towards Democratic views than are Britannica articles, as well as more biased", particularly those focusing on civil rights, corporations, and government. Entries about immigration trended toward Republican. They further found that "(t)he difference in bias between a pair of articles decreases with more revisions" and, when articles were substantially revised, the difference in bias compared to Britannica was statistically negligible. The implication, per the authors, is that "many contributions are needed to reduce considerable bias and slant to something close to neutral".[8][9][10]

Jointly They Edit (2013)

A 2013 study, Jointly They Edit: Examining the Impact of Community Identification on Political Interaction in Wikipedia, was conducted by Jessica J. Neff, professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and colleagues David Laniado , Karolin E. Kappler, Yana Volkovich, Pablo Aragón, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, all from the Barcelona Media-Innovation Centre. The study was conducted to "take a closer look at the patterns of interaction and discourse that members of different political parties have around information online, because they may have important consequences for the accuracy and neutrality of political information provided online". It investigated how Wikipedians (editors of Wikipedia) identified themselves as affiliated with any political party, whether their participation was divided along party lines, if they had a preference to interact with members of the same party, and how much affiliation impacted conflicts within discussions. The authors identified party and ideological affiliation using "userboxes" which some Wikipedians place on their user pages. The authors concluded: Template:Quote

The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds (2017)

A 2017 study The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds (Feng Shi, Misha Teplitskiy, Eamon Duede, James Evans) investigated the effects of ideological diversity on Wikipedia entry quality scores for political, social issues, and science articles. To accomplish this, the authors estimated editor political alignment on the liberal-conservative spectrum based on their prior contributions and gauged article quality using a MediaWiki tool called "ORES". The authors found that "polarized teams" (a balanced group of editors with diverse political viewpoints) "create articles of higher quality than politically homogeneous teams", "engage in longer, more constructive, competitive, and substantively focused but linguistically diverse debates than political moderates", and "generate a larger volume of debate and their balance of political perspectives reduces flare-ups in debate temperature". They found that homogenous or highly-skewed teams engaged in less, but highly acrimonious, debate which produced articles scoring lower in quality.[7][11]

Case prep


  • In the course of an editwar with an IP then a registered account, Snooganssnoogans introduced a BLP violation by falsely stating that Kathy Shelton had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. This mistake was reverted but Snoog edit-warred it back in instants later, berating the person who had removed their mistake. I pinged them to inform them I intended to correct the mistake once unblocked if nobody had done so by then, but they chose to resume their editwar on Jill Stein (thirty minutes after being pinged) rather than to fix their BLP violation.
  • On 12 Feb 2017 made an edit stating in wikivoice that Tulsi Gabbard opposed the arrest of a consular official for "fraud and perjury". The source does not mention what the consular official was arrested for and instead mentions that Gabbard opposed the way that the official was arrested. Two and a half years later, a new user provided context [1] (not in the source) which Snoogans removed [2]. At first I restored the context, then realized that the source did not include that info so conformed to the source [3], which Snoogans reverted claiming their longstanding text conformed to RS (which it did not as there was no mention of the reason the consular official was manhandled in their source): [4]. Eventually, I spelled out exactly why their contribution which had been sitting in the entry for two and a half years (while I'd been banned for exposing Cirt's astroturfing) was misleading and another contributor came in and removed their text entirely. (Had I done that, I would have ended up at AE.)
  • Bill Lee Here SS claims the source says Bill Lee "created" a holiday ex nihilo when in fact the governor has been legally required to declare the holiday every year since the 1970s (as the article says).
  • John Solomon (only the 2nd source (an opinion piece) verifies the 1st claim, the other two do not.
  • discussion preceding RfC on Snoogans' claim George Galloway supported / favored Trump in the 2016 US election. Note Snoogans incivility towards Kingsindian and the subsequent unanimous condemnation of Snoogans' misleading statement about Galloway.
  • Seymour Hersh (This edit is a huge mess.)
Snoog adds to a paragraph purportedly about Syria: Template:Tq2
The only problem with this is that, in fact, Shafer is talking about an article about bin Laden, that has nothing to do with the Syrian civil war. So in the end the first and third sentences of the new paragraph Snoogans created refer to articles about bin Laden, not Syria, while the middle sentence (which Snoog pulled from preexisting text in the article) is the only one in the paragraph that is actually about Syria. I've looked at this pretty carefully and just cannot understand how or why that mistake could have been made. The irony is that in that sentence Bellingcat Template:Small is accusing Hersh of sloppy journalism (perhaps correctly, I have no opinion on that). All I know is that that paragraph's topic sentence is sourced to articles not about what Snoog's text claims they are about, and the "smoking gun" quote they found in Politico to end the paragraph is not referring to Hersh's reporting on Syria either.
  • Seth Abramson misattribution of a source (which they were in a hurry to post to their wall of shame, and so left the mainspace article wrongly referenced ...)

Jill Stein

  • After not having edited the page for two weeks, Snoog disrupted my editing 6 minutes after I began correcting misleading prose (and restoring the source they had deleted in their haste two weeks prior) on 5 August 2019. In their haste to disrupt, they introduced a new formatting error. The reason for their haste may well have been their desire to bring me to ANEW in order to protect their misleading content. Cf. Snooganssnoogans v. SashiRolls @ ANEW.
I was blocked by Awilley immediately after starting this compilation for ArbCom (@18:32 10 August 2019). An admin commented at BLP/N and a contributor commented on my talk page that this block seemed out of order.
Exactly two hours before I returned on 17 August, Snoogans resumed the "slow edit war" to source the claim that Stein was spending money on "her own campaign's legal defense" to an article headline. They have not discussed on the talk page since beginning the edit war by reverting me on 5 August 2019.
16:28 17 August 2019 (Revert 1)
After this revert, clearly timed to coincide with my return to editing, I posted to the talk page and solicited a third opinion concerning the term "legal defense". Snoog responded to my new post agreeing that they were not "wedded" to the term, which they were sourcing only to the headline of their chosen Daily Beast article. They said that they did not like the term "compliance" used 4 times in the source. I did not use the term "compliance" but rather used a different formulation suggested to me by the person I consulted (as I understand it someone quite familiar with law and legal proceedings).
I created new text from 01:53-03:50 based on careful rereading of Snoog's chosen articles (in my view highly POV pieces) and based on the understanding we had agreed to remove the wording sourced only to the headline.
After this, Snoog twice reverted to the text that they had agreed they were not "wedded to" ("legal defense").
This is covered by point 2 of the explanatory supplement to en.wp policy called gaming the consensus-building process: Template:Tq2
They also said that I had not mentioned that the money came from the recount (which is not true) and that I had not presented the experts more "nuanced" views "as had been explained to me". (The experts views are in fact not nuanced... they say that recount money can be used for campaign-related matters but not for personal expenses.) This is covered by point 4 of the aforementioned "gaming the consensus-building process": Template:Tq2
3:51 18 August 2019 (Revert 2), 4:06 18 August 2019 (Revert 3)
Forcing me to 3RR here as on 5 Aug, 21 July is a very typical example of their MO: Gaming of sanctions for disruptive behavior. Cf. ANI, Levivich's testimony (link to add) Template:Tq2
à suivre... so far they've reverted to the same text 11 times (rather dogmatically one might say) (11:30 5 Aug, 3:03 5 Aug, 2:45 5 Aug, 0:41 23 July, 18:39 21 July, 18:23 21 July, 18:09 21 July, 16:13 17 July)
  • Copyright violation of Yashir Ali's Daily Beast piece on Jill Stein's retirement / life insurance the day it was published. This was only fixed on 2 November 2016, by Green Means Go, fitting with the general pattern of Snoog refusing to fix their own mistakes (cf. discussion).
final rejection with demonstration that the poll was fundamentally misrepresented. (Neutrality mistakenly restored it later, but did not not edit-war to keep it in.)


  • National Review: problems: gets dates wrong (2013, not 2009), adds detail about 17 year old not mentioned in the article, mentions National Review in isolation, does not mention the other 3 papers mentioned in the article (unfaithful representation of the article)


Creates 10K post on "general reliability" of Bellingcat on 4 Aug 2019, without mentioning that he really wants approval to include an article on a specific subject (Tulsi Gabbard) because of a negative article released the same day. The in-depth nature of the 10K post suggests that there may have been some prior work done to coincide with the publication of this article. Compare the above notes about Yashar Ali's story (added to en.wp the same day it was published), the Pink News story, etc. ... (more evidence of Snoog publishing obscure articles as soon as they are published would be helpful)

It has been suggested that Snoog's userpage should be proposed for deletion at MfD. userpage

Previous sanctions

14 Nov 2016: sanctioned for personal attacks and harassments (calling me "batshit insane" & a "sociopath")

24 May 2017: banned from mass-editing in AP-1932 due to biased mass edits

Previous noticeboard appearances

3 July 2017: Warned to use more care after breaking urls and titles in refs in their haste to disrupt an editor fixing mistakes:

Previous sanctions

14 Nov 2016: sanctioned for personal attacks and harassments (calling me "batshit insane" & a "sociopath")

24 May 2017: banned from mass-editing in AP-1932 due to biased mass edits

Previous noticeboard appearances

3 July 2017: Warned to use more care after breaking urls and titles in refs in their haste to disrupt an editor fixing mistakes:

See also




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