Responses to How to Build Wikipedia, Understand Bias
The NPOV is an ideal, and should be recognized such. True neutrality is impossible to achieve. Thus, we must remember that every contribution to Wikipedia is biased. Rather than giving up and deleting everything, we instead try to contextualize, and distinguish the sources of knowledge: scientific, historical, inspirational, cultural, etc.
- Yes, the neutral point of view is an ideal that in fact is sometimes difficult to achieve, and probably impossible to achieve with regard to all of our articles as a whole. (I.e., it's almost certainly true that there will be some bit of bias in the entire corpus of Wikipedia articles.) But with regard to any particular article, it not impossible to achieve, and I have not yet seen any persuasive arguments that it is; all or nearly all such arguments are based on misunderstandings (straw men, if you will) of what lack of bias entails. But let's not start that again here: perhaps it isn't necessary that we agree on that question, so long as we can agree to try to fix it when we see it. If we can agree on that, the debate is mainly academic.
- That's fine. As long as we agree (largely) on the pragmatic conclusions, and don't mind me asserting my opinion, then it's totally fine to disagree on our specific definitions of neutrality, bias, etc. --TheCunctator
- I agree 100% with the view that we shouldn't just delete whatever we regard as being biased, and I think The Cunctator is right to harp on this point. I personally have seen only a few egregious examples of unwarranted deletions, but I agree that there has been a problem along these lines.
- One further point should be borne in mind. Our best contributors should not have to waste huge amounts of their time handholding people who are clueless, ignorant, or have an ideological ax to grind; if some of the latter people constantly post nearly worthless stuff, and do not react to polite and reasonable criticism, they and their writing shouldn't expect to be treated nicely. However, when one lies about a public figure, alive or dead, in an ideological manner, it's not an "ideological ax to grind" if someone else who disagrees corrects said lie by deleting it or editing it to reflect fact rather than allowing tripe based on ideological hatred.
- Thus Respectful but Firm. I too respect people, not bad writing. I think it should be evident from my editing that I don't waste energy handholding, and don't expect it of others, though I wouldn't actively discourage it. Someday that may define some of "our best contributors", because that's what they want to do. --TheCunctator
- Absolutely. A bias against bias is a bias. NPOV only works by consensus.
- See also : Wikipedia commentary