Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Statisticians Investigate Political Bias On Wikipedia

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the sports-articles-always-lean-whig dept.

Wikipedia 221

Hugh Pickens writes "The Global Economic Intersection reports on a project to statistically measure political bias on Wikipedia. The team first identified 1,000 political phrases based on the number of times these phrases appeared in the text of the 2005 Congressional Record and applied statistical methods to identify the phrases that separated Democratic representatives from Republican representatives, under the model that each group speaks to its respective constituents with a distinct set of coded language. Then the team identified 111,000 Wikipedia articles that include 'republican' or 'democrat' as keywords, and analyzed them to determine whether a given Wikipedia article used phrases favored more by Republican members or by Democratic members of Congress. The results may surprise you. 'The average old political article in Wikipedia leans Democratic' but gradually, Wikipedia's articles have lost the disproportionate use of Democratic phrases and moved to nearly equivalent use of words from both parties (PDF), akin to an NPOV [neutral point of view] on average. Interestingly, some articles have the expected political slant (civil rights tends Democrat; trade tends Republican), but at the same time many seemingly controversial topics, such as foreign policy, war and peace, and abortion have no net slant. 'Most articles arrive with a slant, and most articles change only mildly from their initial slant. The overall slant changes due to the entry of articles with opposite slants, leading toward neutrality for many topics, not necessarily within specific articles.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

hew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153873)

About eight months ago, I was searching around the internet to find out why my computer was running so slowly (it normally ran quite fast, but had gradually gotten slower over time). After a few minutes, I found a piece of software claiming that it could speed up my PC and make it run like new again. Being that I was dangerously ignorant about technology in general (even more so than I am now), I downloaded the software and began the installation. Mere moments after doing so, my desktop background image was changed and warnings that appeared to originate from Windows appeared all over the screen telling me to buy strange software from an unknown company in order to remove a virus it claimed I had.

I may have been ignorant about technology, but I wasn't that naive. I immediately concluded that the software I'd downloaded was, in fact, a virus. In my rage, I broke numerous objects, punched a hole in the wall, and cursed the world at the top of my lungs. I eventually calmed down, cleared my head, and realized that the only remedy for this problem was a carefully thought out plan. After a few moments of pondering about how to handle this situation, I decided that since I barely knew how to properly handle a computer, I should turn it over to the professionals and let them fix the issue.

Soon after making the decision, I drove to a local computer repair shop and entered the building with my computer in hand. They greeted me with a smile and stayed attentive the entire time that I was explaining the problem to them. They laughed as if they'd heard it all before, told me that I'm not the only one who has trouble operating computers, and then gave me a date for when the computer would be fixed. Not only had they told me that the computer would be completely repaired in at most two days, but the price for their services was surprisingly low, and to top it all off, they even gave me advice for how to avoid viruses in the future! I left the building feeling confident in my decision to seek professional help and satisfied knowing that such kind-hearted people were the ones doing the job.

The very next day, I received a phone call from the computer repair shop whilst I was at a local library researching computer viruses. I had stumbled upon a piece of software that appeared to be very promising, and I was about to do more research on it, but seeing as how I required my computer as soon as possible, I decided to put the matter on hold. Upon answering the phone and cheerfully greeting the person on the other end, I was greeted with a high-pitched shriek. Startled, I asked what was wrong. A few moments passed where nothing was said, and suddenly, the person on the other end said to me, in a low voice oozing with paranoia, "Come pick up your computer." They hung up immediately after saying that, and I couldn't help but notice that they sounded as if they were on the verge of tears. I briefly wondered if it was due to stress from work, and then drove to the computer repair shop to acquire my computer.

I was positively dismayed upon entering the building. The inside of the computer repair shop looked nothing like the image from my memories. There were broken computer parts scattered throughout the room, ceiling tiles all over the floor, blood splattered in every direction I looked, and even a human toe on the ground. After processing this disturbing information, I began panicking and frantically looking around for my computer. I spotted an employee covered in blood sitting up against the wall, and noticed that his wrists had been slashed open. Thinking quickly, I ran up to him, grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, shook him around, and began screaming, "Where is it!? Where is my computer!?" After a moment of silence, he passed away, completely shattering my expectations. Such a thing! "What a meaningless individual," I thought.

Enraged, I tore the building up even further than it already had been in my desperate search for my computer. Eventually I discovered a door leading to an area that was normally only accessible to employees. I entered without hesitation and was met with a long, skinny hallway that a single person would have trouble moving about freely in. I proceeded down the dark hallway and bumped into the body of an employee hanging from a rope tied to something on the ceiling. I screamed, "Not only do you people have the gall to allow my computer to be endangered, but even in death you intend to block my path!?" After finally managing to push aside the worthless obstacle, I traveled down the hallway and came to a small black door. I entered without a moment's notice, and in the middle of the dark and dreary room, I spotted my computer; it was completely unharmed. With a sigh of relief, I picked it up, left the building, and drove home as if nothing of importance had occurred there.

Upon returning home and hooking up the computer (whilst wearing a cheerful expression the entire time), I, to my horror, discovered that the computer hadn't been repaired. There was nothing in the world that could have contained my fiery anger at that point. I broke almost every single one of my possessions, smashed all the windows on my house, physically abused my family, and then drove back to the computer repair shop to defile the dead lumps of meat that had failed to carry out the task I had given them. After realizing that I shouldn't be meaninglessly wasting my time with such worthless pieces of trash, I remembered the piece of software that I'd discovered earlier. With renewed confidence, I blissfully visited the local library, downloaded the software, and took it home to install on my computer.

I knew. I knew, even before installing it, that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would be my salvation. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would come through with flying colors where no one else could. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would completely, totally, and utterly eradicate the virus in the most merciless, efficient way possible. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] was not a piece of software that could fail to meet my exceedingly high expectations. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] would not fail me like all the other imbeciles had. At that point, it could be said that I could genuinely see into the future and be accurate in my predictions. I gleefully began installing MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] and laughed like a child at the thought of finally being able to attain revenge upon the virus that had shamed me so.

I was absolutely in awe of MyCleanPC's [mycleanpc.com] wonderfully efficient performance. Without a single issue, MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] utterly annihilated in moments the virus that many others had failed to remove after hours of attempts. I let out a victory cry and swore to never turn to any "professionals" to fix my computer ever again. Once again, I was able to predict the future. I knew that I would never need any worthless "professionals" again as long as I had MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] by my side.

MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my system, and increased my speed! I couldn't believe how much overclocking my gigabits and speed were doing! Even restructuring the BIOS wouldn't allow for the miraculously high degrees of efficiency that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] allowed me to attain.

I highly and wholeheartedly recommend that you use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] if you're having any computer troubles whatsoever. In fact, even if you're not having any visible problems, I still recommend that you use MyCleanPC. [mycleanpc.com] There could be dormant or hidden viruses on your system, or problems that MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] could easily and efficiently resolve. Just by using MyCleanPC, [mycleanpc.com] your gigabits will be running at maximum efficiency, and at last, you'll be overclocking with the rest of us! What are you waiting for!? Get MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] today!

MyCleanPC: For a Cleaner, Safer PC. [mycleanpc.com]

The appropriate response to this comment. (0, Offtopic)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155065)

About eight months ago, I was searching around the internet to find out why my computer was running so slowly (it normally ran quite fast, but had gradually gotten slower over time). After a few minutes, I found a piece of software claiming that it could speed up my PC and make it run like new again. Being that I was dangerously ignorant about technology in general (even more so than I am now), I downloaded the software and began the installation. Mere moments after doing so, my desktop background image was changed and warnings that appeared to originate from Windows appeared all over the screen telling me to buy strange software from an unknown company in order to remove a virus it claimed I had.

I may have been ignorant about technology, but I wasn't that naive. I immediately concluded that this cab was rare, but I thought nah, forget it, yo homes to Bel-air! I pulled up to a house about seven or eight and I yelled to the cabby, "Yo homes, smell you later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there. To sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-air.

How to write without political bias? (2, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153875)

What can be done to avoid political bias and how do we do it consistently?

Re:How to write without political bias? (2)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153929)

I dunno. People write the content, so it would be pretty hard to be a person who can let their own viewpoint slide when writing. There may even be some confirmation bias too. For example, a dude wants to write an article, so he looks for references. But he only looks at data that meshes with what he already knows about the topic. So the article gets slanted. Hell, I think I am pretty clever, but most of my posts on websites are pretty inflammatory because I don't review them or stop to consider my position (or anyone else)!

In my opinion, the best way to combat it is to let it happen, because that way you create the most content possible. Then you use a review process to improve the content. Actually this is pretty much what Wikipedia does, it seems to work out okay for them. With a large enough user-base you can probably run a lot of stuff like that. I wonder what the overhead statistics are like though (man hours on creation versus man hours on editing). Maybe the review process is where most of the fun is anyways. You could probably make it a day job, if you are good at research and stuff. Actually, I would love that. I would love to read references for articles and stuff all day, then help revise it. But now I am getting off-topic.

Re:How to write without political bias? (2, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154047)

In my opinion, the best way to combat it is to let it happen, because that way you create the most content possible. Then you use a review process to improve the content. Actually this is pretty much what Wikipedia does, it seems to work out okay for them.

Actually, according to this study, that doesn't work out for them at all. They mention that articles with a bias tend to keep that bias - it remains across many revisions. They only found some balance because other articles with bias in the other direction were also found.

But that raises another question, which they don't address: How much bias is the average reader subjected to if they don't hunt around for obscure, related topics. That is, if the main article for a topic is one read by, say, 1,000,000 people, and there are articles that balance out the viewpoint but are only read by 1,500 people, then the public in general is getting a very slanted view of the topic.

Re:How to write without political bias? (2)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154211)

It sounds complicated. I mean, shit, if you hire someone to be the Anti-Slant Editor, how do you check that person's qualifications? How reliably can you expect that person to edit the articles?

Also, does the slant itself actually hinder the way the information being conveyed? I refuse to speculate what the ratios are, but IMHO most of the readers are probably there on a tiny fact finding mission, not really reading up on a whole subject. It's hard to check the bibliography anyways, especially for psychology stuff. You need a subscription to a lot of journals in order to actually check the data, and most folks just don't have them.

So if they are looking for the date of a fire or something, not really caring about who the blame for it was, then the writer trying to blame it on aliens doesn't even matter to the person who only cares about the date.

The only suggestion I have is that, possibly they can expand on the (I dunno what to call it) 'factual sidebar'. Include more stuff in it, completely neutral data without a essay attached to it. This makes the narrative of some articles smaller, so technically any slant would be less of a problem. Well, I guess that is just a band-aid ... I got nothin'.

Re:How to write without political bias? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155067)

if you hire someone to be the Anti-Slant Editor, how do you check that person's qualifications? How reliably can you expect that person to edit the articles?

Simpler than you might think.

If it pisses off the Democrats, it's a Republican slant.
If it pisses off the Republicans, it's a Democrat slant.
If it pisses nobody off, it's neutral.
If it pisses everybody off... then it's probably closer to the Truth than any of the above.

Re:How to write without political bias? (4, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154559)

There is also another problem. They are measuring only the bias toward the two main parties. What about bias toward/against other points of view?

Re:How to write without political bias? (5, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154925)

There are no other points of view.

Re:How to write without political bias? (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155053)

There are no other points of view.

How come that didn't get modded insightful?

The two party bi-polarism has buried every other point of view in the US and it has pretty much killed the democratic process for years now. Nobody gets a fair vote in anything unless it can be represented as one extreme or the other. The system is rigged in such a way that this is unlikely to change and the media keeps dumbing down everything to the same two extremes.

A democratic system can't function with only the illusion of choice, you need more than just 2 viewpoints.

Re:How to write without political bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155157)

There are no other points of view.

I'd rate you up if I had mod points, that made me chuckle. But it's got truth in it as well; the biggest problem we face in our political system is the False Dichotomy. The problem is, we don't have a third party which is aimed at leaving "all or none" attitudes and insisting on a common sense, realistic set of goals. Everyone preaches not to realistic goals, but rather to ideals, and the Third parties we've seen so far usually are just another Ideal, albeit a less commonly held one.
And frankly speaking, the only way any of those ass-clowns can even hope to deliver what they promise is if they suspend the Constitution, declare Martial Law, disband Congress, and then appoint themselves Dictator.

Re:How to write without political bias? (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153947)

I would suppose that if you were to use the same statistical methods described in the article, periodically refreshing your corpus with new input from the federal register, and ran an analysis on what you wrote, you could get a score that you could use as feedback on your attempt at neutrality. Write what you want to write, pass it through the analysis, then edit until the analysis shows it as neutral. What do you think?

Re:How to write without political bias? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154891)

I think it's impossible to be "unbiased". Even when I was editing articles about HD Radio or DRM radio, I discovered both articles were heavily-biased (against HDR and for DRM). I tried to remove the bias, but now I suspect it's biased the opposite way. This is why I think reporters who claim to be "unbiased" are foolish. The bias sneaks in, even if it's just through omission of relevant stories (such as supposedly unbiased CNN showing a republican primary poll with 2nd place mysteriously missing; the 2nd place person was Ron Paul).

Re:How to write without political bias? (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153981)

What can be done to avoid political bias and how do we do it consistently?

Don't write about political topics that are relevant to you?

For example writing about modern civil rights (gay marriage, gun rights, etc) in the USA is going to get a intention and/or unintentional bias from me.

However if I research and report on the political situation in France, where I have no dog in the fight, I'll probably end up pretty much unbiased.

Its a big interconnected world... there's really no reason for locals to have to write biased filler about local issues.

Doesn't have to be geographic. I have no personal interest in the gay marriage thing, not being gay or close to those in their subculture and not being hyper-christian, so I can be extremely unbiased about the topic. This SHOULD work, but it fails anyway, because my completely unbiased view unsurprisingly seems to match the (few) non-cowardly (D) and oppose almost all the neo-(R) so I'll be accused of being "politically biased" based on results, although I obviously don't have any reason to care that would influence the process of writing about it. Think of how everyone naturally decides that slavery was a dumb idea now, but it was a hot political football around 1860 or so in the USA.

There's some other hints, like if you find evidence of sloganeering in your writing you're probably doing it wrong.

Re:How to write without political bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153995)

There isn't much need to. I am, sure, you could be biased, but so could anyone. Bias is ambiguous and hard to spot. But even if you are biased, that doesn't mean you're wrong.

Re:How to write without political bias? (2)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154081)

What can be done to avoid political bias and how do we do it consistently?

About the only way I can think of is to avoid politics altogether. Too bad we can't determine a man's heroics or douchebaggery without first determining if he's a liberal or a conservative. By the time we figure that out, most of the time, we've already decided his (or her) worth. Sad.

Re:How to write without political bias? (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154233)

You can't. Even if you write purely factual prose, it's slanted toward's the left. Reality has a well known liberal bias.

Re:How to write without political bias? (0, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154801)

So does slashdot moderation, apparently. Mods, disagreeing with a comment is NOT a valid reason to mark it down. There is no "-1, disagree" for a reason. If you disagree with an opinion like at least one moderator did with hatta, the "I disagree" link is labeled "reply to this".

Re:How to write without political bias? (4, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154907)

Ok, I'll not mod the troll for what it is. But that condescending "reality liberal bias" shit is getting really old.

Just to point to a counter example. Greece would prefer to stick with its liberal policies and continue spending government money it doesn't have. In this case, and I am not claiming that this is true in all cases, reality has a decidedly conservative bias. Greece needs to make heavily conservative moves with respect to their government spending or they are doomed. And no, the liberal "raise taxes" move isn't going to work, either.

So, Greece is living in a reality that has a conservative bias. Through proof by contradiction, the lie that "reality has a liberal" bias (in all cases) is patently false.

Re:How to write without political bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155083)

"And no, the liberal "raise taxes" move isn't going to work, either."

No, the conservative "_Pay_ your fucking taxes or go to jail!" move is the one.

Re:How to write without political bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155119)

>>Greece needs to make heavily conservative moves = opinion

>> Greece is living in a reality that has a conservative bias = dogma

Re:How to write without political bias? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154829)

You can't. Really, the best thing you can do is simply acknowledge your bias beforehand. This way you come across as being more honest. Some people might see your initial admission and skip reading what you write, but you wouldn't have wanted them to read you anyway because, if they are that polarized or radical, they would in all likelihood have attacked your ideas anyway. It might also have the effect of getting people who would otherwise have skipped right over your article to decide to read it. Because usually if someone can recognize and admit their own bias, they can present some interesting ideas that are worth considering.

Of course, this works better in journalistic/editorial writing than it does Wikipedia because Wikipedia articles are inteded to be impersonal, whereas journalistic articles/editorials are tied to a specific person trying to present an idea.

Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153877)

Or shall we remind them that the English Wikipedia is not only about U.S., and the word 'republican' and 'democrat' have other meanings too?

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153931)

Would it kill you to read the paper?

We obtain a list of 111,216 articles. We then eliminate these articles that cover countries other than the United States.
[...]

For each of these articles, we construct a slant index by applying the methods and estimates developed by Gentzkow and Shapiro (2010), hereafter G&S. G&S select 1,000 phrases based on the number of times these phrases appear in the text of the 2005 Congressional Record, applying statistical methods to identify phrases that separate Democratic representatives from Republican representatives, under the model that each group speaks to its respective constituents with a distinct set of coded language. In brief, we ask whether a given Wikipedia article uses phrases favored more by Republican members or by Democratic members of Congress.

And the corresponding footnote:

The words “republican” and “democrat” do not appear exclusively in entries about United States politics. If a country name shows up in the title or category names, we then check whether the phrase “United States” or “America” shows up in the title or category names. If yes, we keep this article. Otherwise, we search the text for “United States” or “America.” If these phrases do not show up more than 3 times in the text, this article is dropped. This process keeps articles such as “Iraq War” but drop articles related to political parties in foreign countries.

Researchers do think of this stuff, you know.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154109)

'America' appears 7 times in the article 'Irish republicanism' (3 times as 'America' 4 in 'American') and so by their metric (must occur 3 or more times) it would go in, in spite of being nothing at all to do with the US political party of the same name.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (1, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154239)

Every statistical process has outliers, and one way to deal with those outliers is to have a sample size large enough (oh, say, 111,000 articles) to practically eliminate the effects of those outliers.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154253)

'America' appears 7 times in the article 'Irish republicanism' (3 times as 'America' 4 in 'American') and so by their metric (must occur 3 or more times) it would go in, in spite of being nothing at all to do with the US political party of the same name.

Um. You're not very familiar with the IRA and its sources of funding, I'm guessing...

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155103)

'Um. You're not very familiar with the IRA and its sources of funding, I'm guessing...'

The Irish REPUBLICAN Army you say?

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154357)

That's why they used 111000 articles, you will of course get an amount of statistical noise and articles that doesn't make much sense. That doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong, it just means it's not exact. I'm sure you are aware of that though, judging from even knowing about stuff like "word frequency analysis". :)

I haven't RTFA but it's very likely that they checked a random sample manually, and used the results from that to weigh the results from the larger set.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154705)

Did you even read their metric?

Let each input line consist of the article title, followed by all category names (tab-separated or whatever). The countrynames regex matches any country name. The following AWK script approximates their algorithm (yes, I know egrep misses multiple matches on one line -- but you get the idea).
{
    if ($1 ~ countrynames) {
        if ($0 ~ /United States|America/) print $1;
    } else {
        title = $1;
        "egrep -c 'United States|America' wiki/" title | getline;
        if ($1 > 2) print title;
    }
}

Since "Irish Republicanism" contains "Irish", a form of country name, it would go through the first branch, and would require "America" to appear in a section heading.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (3, Insightful)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153933)

Indeed; I should imagine that those who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War have little in common with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, and neither have much in common with the former Iraqi Republican guard.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (0)

FunkyLich (2533348) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153955)

Mod parent up please. I was just about to wrote the same thing and he beat me twice: first in the chronologial sense. Second in the politeness department, for I felt more like "Who the f*ck do these US politicians think they are that they self-grant the right to give a school grade to Wikipedia?"

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154031)

Read the AC post a few posts above yours... he quotes the article where they explain how they removed articles not relevant to the US political parties.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153973)

Good point

Don't have time to even read the summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153983)

You have to make it all the way to sentence two of the summary to see:

The team first identified 1,000 political phrases based on the number of times these phrases appeared in the text of the 2005 Congressional Record and applied statistical methods to identify the phrases that separated Democratic representatives from Republican representatives...

Armed with this knowledge, they then looked at Wikipedia to identify trends. Specifically, they identified trends based on U.S. politics. While this isn't a comprehensive measure of all political systems of all users of Wikipedia, the method nonetheless tells us something non-intuitive. It's a good idea, if you care to read instead of trying to be pedantic.

Re:Hope they don't do just word frequency analysis (1, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154089)

Doesn't matter. The filter that selects political articles for keyword analysis doesn't have to be perfect to find statistically valid correlation.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153897)

It's quite interesting as a data mining method. I'm not sure I'd use it as strong evidence of Wikipedia's political leanings but it certainly is food for thought.

Equally biased != NPOV (5, Insightful)

TorrentFox (1046862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153901)

One guy may say that the sun is green, the other guy may say it's purple. Having both of them in the same article does not make it neutral.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (2)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153949)

One guy may say that the sun is green, the other guy may say it's purple. Having both of them in the same article does not make it neutral.

It depends on what your definition of "neutral" is. If it's making sure that all major points of view get equal mention and if Green and Purple are the two major points of view then it may well be "neutral".

Of course, there are many other definitions of "neutral" for which your example would not make then neutral.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154127)

You're trying to make neutrality of opinion an absolute measurement; everybody gets an equal say and everybody gets to air their beliefs. Which is as close to neutrality as is realistically possible for the simple reason that neutrality of opinion is no more or less relative than the different biases that exist.

Three accountants go duck hunting. (4, Insightful)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154183)

The first accountant shoots and misses a meter high.
The second accountant shoots and misses a meter low.
The third accountant says "Got it"!
------------------
It looks like another paid for study that proves what they were asked to prove.
They only had to determine which data points would produce the required end point.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154247)

Exactly. A neutral article will be biased towards the position that is actually true. An article that treats all opinions equally is biased in favor of the positions that are untrue.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (3, Insightful)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154607)

You make the erroneous assumption that the biases are empirically provable or that opinions are in some way absolute rather than normative, which is not always the case. (Actually, in politics this is never the case, they all distort facts beyond any limitations of meaningfulness to suit their own agendas.)

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155047)

You make the erroneous assumptions that biases are not apparent, or that they are equal in illogic, that all opinions are valid in some normative way, and that in politics, there is never a right or wrong.

That's a symptom of falling into the trap of False Equivalence.

I know you want to be a cynic, but cynicism is itself a delusion.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155015)

An article that treats all opinions equally is biased in favor of the positions that are untrue.

Since when do opinions factor into any logical definition of truth?

We'd best just accept that everyone has a bias in their opinion, and that makes no statement to the validity of their worldview when applied to everyone else.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155141)

Exactly. A neutral article will be biased towards the position that is actually true. An article that treats all opinions equally is biased in favor of the positions that are untrue.

You are not taking into account Wikipedia's abject hatred of truth. It cares only about what has been reported elsewhere by publications that are also biased. See WP:TRUTH.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154529)

One guy may say that the sun is green, the other guy may say it's purple. Having both of them in the same article does not make it neutral.

And given that it is a well known fact that reality has a liberal bias, clearly the results of this study indicate that Wikipedia has a strong republican bias.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154847)

"And given that it is a well known [opinion among liberals] that reality has a liberal bias..." FTFY.

I may have missed a joke here depending on why you italicized, but since I've frequently see that actual sentiment, I can't assume so.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154805)

This is the same problem we have in the news. Reporters (some anyway) want to be seen as non-biased, so they give equal time to both supporters and non-supporters of global warming, and therefore the general public thinks that there is actually some kind of debate in the scientific community over whether or not global warming is really happening. Same goes for evolution and a lot of other topics. Sometimes it even gets a little out of hand, like this Anderson Cooper interview [youtube.com] where he has some non-educated person who just embarrasses herself on national television, because they insist on having someone from the other side of the issue talk about it, and she was the only person stupid enough to try to defend the point of view. Ignoring the other side of the debate is fine if the other side of the debate is provably wrong.

Re:Equally biased != NPOV (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155115)

One guy may say that the sun is green, the other guy may say it's purple. Having both of them in the same article does not make it neutral.

The sun may well be green to one observer and purple to another depending on their movement relative to it. Look up red/blue shift.

I agree with what you are saying, just disagreeing with your example of it.

Obligatory (2)

beezhive (827703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153907)

[Citation Needed]

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153985)

[Citation Needed]

Is Wikipedia Biased? [usc.edu] , by Shane Greenstein and Feng Zhu.

TFA seems a bit biased (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153917)

lol at silly research biased towards a two party state. do it properly, you two!

Never mind Political bias .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40153941)

Just try and get this revisionist rewriting of the history of Microsoft Windows changed and you'll soon get kicked off.

"Consumer versions of Windows were originally designed for ease-of-use on a single-user PC without a network connection [wikipedia.org] , and did not have security features built in from the outset. However, Windows NT and its successors are designed for security (including on a network) and multi-user PCs, but were not initially designed with Internet security in mind as much, since, when it was first developed in the early 1990s, Internet use was less prevalent."

Changed to what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154161)

It seems accurate enough to me.

Libertarian bias? (3, Interesting)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153945)

Surely they need to investigate libertarian bias (especially seeing as Wales himself is, how should I put this, a raving Objectivist nutjob). The fact that libertarian beliefs overlap with democrat and republican beliefs can explain the two separate slants with one single hypothesis.

Re:Libertarian bias? (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153969)

Please don't confuse objectivists with actual libertarians. 1049 applies [xkcd.com] .

Dangerous to Conclude this is "Slant" (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153963)

This is a neat study but I feel like the foundational assumptions are subjective and a little flawed.

(civil rights tends Democrat; trade tends Republican)

Could that be simply because Democrats invent/introduce/overuse new phrases and talking points for civil rights and Republicans invent/introduce/overuse new phrases and talking points for trade? For example, you'd probably hear Democrats say "Equal Opportunity Employment" or "Affirmative Action" a lot and you'd probably hear Republicans say "Laissez-faire" or "Free Market" a lot. What would be the antithesis of these phrases for the other side? I would posit that it's entirely possible that these articles are not on average biased and instead are merely explaining and using the phrases that each party has employed to tackle their number one priorities.

On top of that, I didn't see anything that seemed to indicate that they used windowing to determine when a phrase was opposed to the phrase they were using. For example if you found that the acronym ACORN indicates a Democratic slant but there's a whole section on its Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] full of negative criticism despite them using 'ACORN' frequently in that section. Would this section be identified as a Democratic slant?

Where is this G&S word bank? Where is the list of results so I can look up the ACORN article's scores?

I'd be more interested in the media (3, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40153975)

I would have assumed a fairly even distribution with Wikipedia so the results weren't that surprising. I'd be more interested in using it to find bias in the media. There are obvious cases of bias such as Fox but I've noticed a gradual move towards the right in groups like CNN who seemed in the past Democratic in it's leaning. I've found more open reporting from comedians these days. Some subjects only the comedians take on that the media avoids or barely mentions. One interesting trend I noticed early on is all media sources including supposed left wing groups call the President Mr Obama while Bush was generally called President Bush and I can't remember him being referred to as Mr Bush. Traditionally the media always calls a sitting President by the title President and expresidents are generally referred to as Former President. Pay attention when you listen to the news and see if I'm right. Both Bushs and Clinton are referred to as former Presidents far more often than Obama is called President Obama.

Re:I'd be more interested in the media (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154199)

CNN used to be blatantly biased against President Bush. After he left office their coverage might have become less biased; I wouldn't know though since I became disgusted with CNN several years ago.

As far as referring to the men as "Mr." vs. "President" I don't see any difference in coverage. Most writers will mix it up within an article to avoid repetition.

Re:I'd be more interested in the media (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155265)

Strange. I always saw CNN as pro-war, anti-middle east ( all of it ), and quick to oppose anyone who contradicted US government views on anything. To some extent it appeared to treat the rest of the world as a bunch of fools crying out for US help in every situation. I certainly didn't notice it being against Bush.

I gave up even trying to watch it as it appeared to be more a propaganda exercise than a news channel.

WAIT! (2, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154001)

How on earth can 2 scientists be so naive as to think there are only 2 political points of view... and then to measure for those 2 points of view? They basically took talking points from our 2 main parties and then measured how often each showed up in an article. I'd argue that the Republican and Democrat points of view are one and the same. They disagree on very minor, but very polarizing points of view that give them something to argue about in an election. Most of the subjects they were surprised to see no slant on, both parties agree on... foreign policy, war, peace... How has our current president acted any different than the last one? Or the last 10 for that matter? Abortion? Does anyone really care other than extreme feminists and extreme Christians?

We have one ruling political party in this country that masquerades as two. They measured bias in those articles... far more than they realize. Bias towards the statuesque and our 1 party system.

Re:WAIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154613)

Hence the fallacy of "neutrality". To say that right wing propaganda and left wing propaganda appears statistically even, and call that "neutral" is nonsense. If the left says "the sky looks green on a sunny day" and the right says "the sky looks pink on a sunny day" - they may be polarizing and different(1), but neither is factually true. This is the problem with main stream news media these days. Rather than seeking "truth, as best we can tell", they combine a right wing perspective with a left wing one and then say "that's all the time we have" after each side argues for a sort of equal time period. That's not neutral or fair & balanced, it's plain ol' bullshit.

(1) The example colors intentionally reverse the standard view that left wing liberals are "pinko commies" and right wing conservatives are driven by dollars (green) just to emphasize how pathetic this all is.

Sounds US-centric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154015)

People called "Global Economic Intersection" ought to take a less US-centric view: a middle ground between
democrats and republicans is nowhere close to NPOV (democrats would be considered pretty right-wing in most
of the world).

Six of one, half dozen of another (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154023)

No tirade, experiment, or analysis can be free of observational bias. Perhaps the best presentation of information includes bias from as many fringes as possible. Or we could limit our information flow to one source and Trump reason.

Interesting, but shallow (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154045)

The frequency of using individual words is far from an actual political bias.

Speaking of shallow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154417)

I have also not read the actual paper, but obviously these researchers did not base their methods on earlier research that has shown correlation between political bias and the frequency of certain words and expressions. They should have asked Slashdot first.

Re:Speaking of shallow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154585)

I doubt the original study just as much as I doubt this one. You're saying that this debatable study is backed up by another debatable study. How does that do anything to bolster the ridiculous conclusions of this ridiculous research?

Some things can't be objectively measured. There's absolutely no way to validate whether the results of this research indicate the conclusions the researchers are trying to make. I could have asked a magic eight ball about bias on Wikipedia and the answer would have just as high a likelihood of being correct.

When statisticians and sociologists get together bullshit is the result.

Re:Interesting, but shallow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155001)

That's why there's a discussion of the findings section in any research. Numbers and statistics have no meaning without context.

Re:Interesting, but shallow (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155175)

Well, I could understand if some language gets more use by one party or another, but that's linguistics, not bias. If you assume everyone with a texan drawl is a dyed-in-the-wool republican and you see a lot of articles with that Texan drawl, you can't assume that those articles are biased towards republicans. Because the Texan republicans can still write with a NPOV. They can be professional and, you know, fair. Even when they speak funny.

Hey, it's possible. (plus, there's this place called Houston).

Please limit it to articles about the US gov't (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154067)

Europe has a clear political bias too (we're left wing socialist surrender monkeys), and we're quite happy about that. So, please America, leave our wikipedia alone. Thanks.

If I think that wikipedia is politically neutral, then this investigation will show it has a bias for the Democrats.
If wikipedia is neutral between Democrat and Republican views, then I will think it has a strong right wing bias.

The problem with this kind of reserach is that it might either undermine Wikipedia as a source in general (when finally the world seems to agree that the qualiy of wikipedia is just as good as any encyclopedia), or worse: it leads to changes in the contents to neutralize the supposed bias. This investigation has no benefits for wikipedia, or for free information.

Re:Please limit it to articles about the US gov't (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154155)

Europe has a clear political bias too (we're left wing socialist surrender monkeys), and we're quite happy about that. So, please America, leave our wikipedia alone..

Didn't you know that every use of British spellings counted as a "left wing" article.

Re:Please limit it to articles about the US gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154969)

Didn't you know that every use of British spellings counted as a "left wing" article.

Didn't you know where Karl Marx's [wikipedia.org] "Das Kapital" [wikipedia.org] was written?

This really surprises me (0)

anticant (1971806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154075)

Given that republicans can't read.

Funny, but not politically correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154739)

I would have modded you funny if I had mod points. Unfortunately Slashdot is very politically correct, and your statement was not PC, so you will be modded down.

I wonder what a similar study on slashdot... (0, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154143)

I wonder what a similar study on slashdot would show. Probably neutrality as well, for every "hang the niggers" there is a compensating "death to America".

Re:I wonder what a similar study on slashdot... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154397)

Actually, hanging the niggers would bring death to a significant part of America, indeed.

Re:I wonder what a similar study on slashdot... (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154435)

Might be more interesting and relevant to compare Windows, Linux, OSX and BSD...

And of course Amiga, but that would be cheating.

No news (1)

Claudix (2464776) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154173)

History books are biased too.

What's "Global" about "Dem." vs. "Repub."? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154319)

Seems to me that "Democrat" or "Republican" are USA-specific terms - not sure what's 'global' about that bias? ;-)

Not much use exploring articles about political biases in civil rights articles in the UK using "Democrat" and "Republican" as terms. "Labour", "Scottish National Party", "Plaid Cymru","Liberal" , and "Conservative" (amongst others) might be more useful.

Ok, so I guess it is a good test of an example, whether USA specific articles on the English language have a political bias. Not sure it says much about UK articles (won't be much reference to these terms there as we have neither of those parties) , not sure if those US named parties exist in other countries either.

Re:What's "Global" about "Dem." vs. "Repub."? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154583)

Not much use exploring articles about political biases in civil rights articles in the UK using "Democrat" and "Republican" as terms. "Labour", "Scottish National Party", "Plaid Cymru","Liberal" , and "Conservative" (amongst others) might be more useful.

LIberal ...?

I'm glad it isn't liberal, because... (2)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154337)

I'm glad it didn't turn out to be a liberal bias. I would tire quickly of the phrase "Liberal Pedia" constantly from Conservatives.

Though, it still might not stop Fox.

And this article is example 1: Apodixis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154453)

Bias is rhetoric. Apodixis: A rhetorical device that stealthily inserts a false pretense of general knowledge. For example "As everyone knows..."

Or, as this article does: "expected political slant - civil rights tends Democrat"

Republicans broke the Democrats filibuster of the Civil Rights Laws of the 60's. The Republican Party was formed for the sole purpose of overturning Democratic Legislation that allowed slavery to expand into the Western Territories. The first Republican President freed the slaves. Every Governor of every state that let loose the fire hoses on and dogs on minority students was a Democrat.

Study rhetoric, and don't fall for it. We are most vulnerable to the rhetoric we cheer for. That's where we should put most of our scrutiny.
Being tricked by adversary is bad enough, being tricked by someone you support is truly insulting.

Re:And this article is example 1: Apodixis (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154811)

Republicans broke the Democrats filibuster of the Civil Rights Laws of the 60's.

Everett Dirksen [wikipedia.org] was a republican congressman that grew up in the extremely racially charged town of Pekin, Illinois. I grew up nearby, and Pekin is still regarded as one of the most racially divided towns today, but they have made a lot of progress. At least they got rid of the previous high school mascot (changed from the "Pekin Chinks" to the "Pekin Dragons").

Dirksen is the one who brought forward the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [wikipedia.org] .

You can't go through the Illinois school system without hearing about what Dirksen did to bring about equality, and Springfield has even tried to make him a local hero, by naming roads after him, etc. But, I don't know how many times I've seen him listed as a democrat, when the truth was the complete opposite. Now, this article is calling civil rights a democrat issue, and it just makes me cringe. Is history education really this bad in this country?

The conservative movement has an option... (0)

BVis (267028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154499)

If they don't like the 'liberal bias' (read: intersection with reality) that they see in Wikipedia, they can go use Conservapedia [conservapedia.com] with all the other conservative folks.

Re:The conservative movement has an option... (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154889)

This "reality has a liberal bias" meme popular among people my age is exactly the type of conceit that puts a stop to introspection and self-critique -- which are among the pillars of liberalism.

Bias is not in the use of phrases alone (2)

hessian (467078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154521)

There's also choice of topic, slant of the article and what is included or excluded.

I see, for example, they excluded the chart with the average IQs of all nations.

Slant of article is tough to define, but it's your approach to the topic. "Self-Appointed 'Neighborhood Watch' guy shoots innocent teen" or "Angry Teen with marijuana possession offense attacks neighborhood watch official."

As long as there are people, there will be political bias, and Wikipedia still leans left because the people behind it are mostly students.

Bias is rhetoric. Apodixis For Example (4, Informative)

TerryCary (809450) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154545)

Apodixis: A rhetorical device that stealthily inserts a false pretense of general knowledge. For example "As everyone knows..." Or, as this article does: "expected political slant - civil rights tends Democrat" The Republican Party was formed for the sole purpose of overturning Democratic Legislation that allowed slavery to expand into the Western Territories. The first Republican President freed the slaves. Every Governor of every state that let loose the police, the fire hoses and the dogs on minority students was a Democrat. Republicans broke the Democrat's filibuster of the Civil Rights Laws of the 60's Study rhetoric; don't fall for it. We are most vulnerable to the rhetoric we agree with. So, that's where we should put most of our scrutiny. Being tricked by an adversary is bad enough, being tricked by someone you support is truly insulting.

Re:Bias is rhetoric. Apodixis For Example (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154609)

Mod parent up.

Re:Bias is rhetoric. Apodixis For Example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154643)

Despite being perfectly correct, this will probably be marked down as trolling. It is hard to speak ill of the three gods of Slashdot: wiki-anything, Google, and the Great Linus.

Re:Bias is rhetoric. Apodixis For Example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40154793)

And then in the 1960s, after the Civil Rights Act...it changed. The Republicans saw what the Democrats had done with the Solid South for decades, realized they could grab it up since the racism and prejudice was still there, and went for it.

I know it's a strategy in the Republican party to try to present a history of discrimination and racism to attack Democrats, while ignoring the immediate present, but do you really think anybody is actually fooled by your chicanery? Abraham Lincoln is dead, trying to wrap yourself in his skin is nothing more than base rhetoric, and you are the one who is trying to get us not to scrutinize your own presentation.

But you ain't that good at tricking the public. The only people who will chime in for support are those who are supportive of your attempt to exploit ignorance with distractions and illusions.

Stick to being a state magician, it's an honest profession.

Conservative Democrats (2)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154989)

Your "history" stops at the 1960s. You are aware, aren't you, that huge numbers of conservative Democrats moved to the Republican party in the '60s? Look up "Solid South."

So you are basically claiming that a significant part of today's Republican party is racist.

Brilliant.

Could this be any more USA-centric?? (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154639)

Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.... not the encyclopedia that any American can edit.
Why do the authors think the "Democrats" and "Republicans" labels are standard measures of the left-leaning and right-leaning policies?

Considering most people accept that the U.S. is more conservative and right-leaning than the majority of the world (even Americans tend to think most of the world is too far on the left), if the article finds Wikipedia to be a fair balance between (U.S.)Democrats and (U.S.)Republicans, then Wikipedia is pretty right-wing oriented by world standards.

Debates can be reframed, introducing bias (4, Insightful)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154703)

Bias can sneak in because of changes in terminology, presumably in both directions, although I've noticed it more on the right these days. As Robert Anton Wilson famously observed, you can go from liberal to conservative without changing a single idea if you wait long enough -- the reverse is also true, depending on the domain in which you have your ideas.

For instance, an article about taxation written in the 1990s might be considered neutral in its time, and talk about the "inheritance tax" a lot. Fast forward ten years, during which the term "death tax" has come into prominence, and the old term "inheritance tax" is only used by fogies and liberals. The textual analysis of the unchanged article will now score it as "liberal", because the terms of the debate have shifted.

This can happen with policies, too -- I remember when a carbon tax was considered a compromise position between liberals, who wanted to directly regulate carbon dioxide emissions, and conservatives, who felt that some kind of market mechanism would provide useful flexibility. Carbon taxes were a technocratic, ideologically neutral solution when they were proposed, but now they're seen as liberal social engineering.

It doesn't always go rightward, of course, some debates have been successfully re-framed by the left, as well, I think -- "global warming" used to be a neutral descriptive term, but the warming isn't uniform, so "climate change" is the preferred term, and I think it's mostly conservatives who use the term "global warming".

That ought to blow up my karma for a solid year...

The paper's bias? (1)

noobermin (1950642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154839)

Does anyone else find it odd that this paper has been submitted to American Economic Review [usc.edu] ?

Perhaps this validates the point of the paper in that if we had the title "Economists Investigate Political Bias On Wikipedia" we would have gone in with different feelings about the whole thing.

Flawed (2)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#40154999)

I think the major flaw is that this seems to be assuming that bias on Wikipedia is done in the same way as bias elsewhere. Someone who wants to bias a Wikipedia article has to do so within the confines of rules which help prevent some kinds of bias more than others.

For instance, one of the most common ways to bias a Wikipedia article is undue weight--you include negative information and exclude positive information, or vice versa. This sort of bias doesn't use coded language (thus making it invisible to this study) and while it is still against Wikipedia rules, Wikipedia does relatively poorly at stopping it.

Don't trust Wikis for that info anyway (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155007)

I've seen far too many contemporaneous and historical political pages being modified for political purposes, usually to water down or outright whitewash a scandal. Heck, even some scientific content I wouldn't bother reading on Wikipedia if there was a strong enough political angle; e.g. climate change or the nuclear industry.

Next Study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40155039)

Next, we're going to take Fox News and Steven Colbert, then cross-reference against words commonly found on TMZ . . . SCIENCE!

Left slant + right slant != neutral. (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155077)

There is a basic error in this idea that because there are roughly equal amounts of "slant" towards various partisan ideological points of view that this somehow adds up to being "neutral". Objectively neutral would be straight to the facts without ideological slant at all, if that's even possible given the nature of the subjects.

Examples of some of the phrases? (1)

pne (93383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40155307)

What are some examples of "typically Democrat" and "typically Republican" phrases?

I skimmed the links but didn't find anything there.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?