June 21, 2024 - 6:30pm

→ Wikipedia has a political bias — report

From suspicious donation pleas to censorship drives, Wikipedia has long carried out much of its business in the shadows. Now, a new study has provided further evidence for a widely-held hunch: that the site carries a clear political bias.

Researcher David Rozado has written a piece, complete with numerous illustrative charts, arguing that Wikipedia has a Left-of-centre slant when discussing politicians and politicised organisations. Examples include the average sentiment with which US Presidents are described in articles on the site, as well as the application of terms such as “far-Left” and “far-Right”.

 “These results,” Rozado writes, “suggest that Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy (NPOV) is not achieving its stated goal of viewpoint impartiality in […] articles.” Given that Large Language Models (LLMs) are trained using Wikipedia pages, among other sources, this could have broader implications for AI too. Maybe school teachers are right to warn that it isn’t a reliable source…

→ Trump guarantees no boots on the ground in Ukraine

A major worry voiced about a potential Trump second term, apart from another “insurrection” and the end of the world as we know it, is his isolationist tendencies when it comes to foreign policy. In February, some Atlanticists went into meltdown when Trump said that the US contributes too much to Nato proportionately, and that Russia can “do whatever the hell they want” to any Nato country that doesn’t pay its fair share.

He’ll no doubt ruffle some feathers with his latest promise that no American troops will ever set foot on Ukrainian territory. Speaking to the All-In podcast, he was asked by host David Sacks: “Can you guarantee that no matter what you’re not going to put American boots on the ground in Ukraine.” The former president was clear: “I would guarantee it. I wouldn’t do it, no.” Trump also said of Ukraine joining Nato: “It’s always been understood that that was a no-no.” On a side note, he said he’ll release the JFK files early on in any second term. Popcorn at the ready…

→ PinkNews blames colonialism for LGBT discrimination

A problem is easier to solve once you know the cause. Thanks to PinkNews, we can now stop discrimination against gay, queer and trans people all over the world. That’s because the site has revealed, in a report listing the 68 countries in which homosexuality is still illegal, that the evil responsible is — drum roll — British colonialism.

Alistair Stewart (no, not that one), head of advocacy at the Human Dignity Trust, told PinkNews many anti-gay laws were exported by Europeans during the colonial era, “imposing them at times [on] diverse indigenous traditions where same-sex activity and gender diversity was not necessarily taboo”.  He added: “The clearest example of this is in the Commonwealth where the majority of the 33 Commonwealth countries that criminalise same-sex activity do so on the basis of laws that stem from the colonial era.”

Around half the countries on the list are Commonwealth members, so we can naturally blame the Britain for those. Just don’t ask PinkNews about the other countries…