The manipulation of Wikipedia for political purposes is an issue that has been generating controversy around this digital encyclopedia for years.
Well-known people in the public sphere from several Spanish-speaking countries, with different political tendencies and opinions, have signed a manifesto entitled "Against the clear political bias and lack of objectivity in Wikipedia edits". Among its signatories areCayetana Álvarez de Toledo, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, Javier Milei, Juan Carlos Girauta, Joaquín Leguina, Federico Jiménez Losantos, Lucía EtxebarríaMarcos de Quinto, Marcos de Quinto and Toni Cantó. I fully endorse the manifesto, and for your interest I reproduce it in full below (I highlight some parts of the text in bold).
Against the clear political bias and lack of objectivity in Wikipedia edits
There is no denying that the Internet and social networks have changed and made it easier to obtain knowledge and information, creating a new method of learning.
Millions of people frequently utilize resources like the digital encyclopaedia Wikipedia to do searches or compare information on a variety of topics. According to Wikipedia's website, it receives up to 36 million hits every day. Its importance in the academic world is particularly noteworthy, since students from all backgrounds use it as one of their learning resources.
Wikipedia is not a primary source, it is true, but since its objective is to summarize knowledge, as they themselves declare, it is crucial that the data and material provided there be accurate and present an unbiased point of view. In reality, neutrality is one of the pillars that, in Wikipedia's own words, define its nature. Wikipedia strives to guarantee that pages do not promote a particular point of view by seeking for a neutral point of view. To achieve this, it is necessary to present information from as many perspectives as possible, to accurately present each point of view, to contextualize articles so that readers may appreciate all points of view, and to avoid endorsing any particular point of view as "truth" or "the best." This entails quoting reliable sources wherever possible, especially when discussing contentious subjects.
The signatories of this manifesto have confirmed that, despite the aforementioned requests for neutrality, their respective Wikipedia pages in Spanish are edited by individuals who use the opportunity to engage in political activism while hiding behind anonymous editor accounts. These individuals may do this by adding inaccurate or false information or by choosing news from sources with obvious political and ideological bias that refers to controversial, distorted, insidious, or inaccurate information.
Some of the signatories have formally brought this issue to Wikipedia's attention, but to date, it has not agreed to correct the inaccurate or non-neutral information, despite the fact that it seriously undermines the honor and consideration of those of us who sign this manifesto as well as the millions of people who in good faith consult this website. Since they have a detrimental impact on students' grades, we must pay particular attention to the disastrous effects that false and inaccurate data or pernicious and distorted information are having in the academic sector.
For all of the aforementioned reasons, we believe it is crucial that Wikipedia take the necessary steps to prevent biased, partial, or inaccurate information, shielding its pages from being vandalized by its editors who, posing as political activists and acting undercover, seek to prejudice readers of the digital encyclopaedia against figures from the Spanish and global public sphere, including many of the signatories.
In Madrid, September 8, 2022
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