Facebook Embraces Wikipedia as ‘Arbiter of Truth’

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33, after it was reported that 87 …
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Facebook is testing a new feature that integrates Wikipedia pages in Facebook search results. Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger admitted in May that the popular open collaboration encyclopedia is riddled with leftist bias.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is testing a new feature that integrates Wikipedia information in Facebook search results. The function will provide users with information from Wikipedia when searching for things like politicians, movies, and celebrities with the Facebook search bar.

The new feature is targeted at combating what the company considers to be misinformation on Facebook.  However, Breitbart News has reported extensively on misinformation found on Wikipedia. In May, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger argued that the encyclopedia had a strong leftist bias.

The report claims that the new feature will also prioritize Facebook’s own information in search results. For example, Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center appeared at the top of search results when queries related to the virus were entered.

“Facebook Search will also direct users toward its own features when doing so is more beneficial, it appears. For instance, a search for “covid” or “covid-19” will return Facebook’s own COVID-19 Information Center at the top of the search results, not a data-powered side panel about the disease,” the report reads. “Google, by comparison, returns a coronavirus map, cases overview and CDC information in its Knowledge Panel.”

The report claimed that the function is imperfect. For example, a search for “Donald Trump” returned information from Trump’s Wikipedia page. However, searches for members of the president’s cabin did not return their Wikipedia entries.

“Meanwhile, a search for “Donald Trump” easily returned an information panel for the U.S. president, but information for many members of his cabinet did not come up when they were searched by name,” the report stated. “Information about leading coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci came up in a side panel when the term “anthony fauci” was entered in the Facebook’s search box, but not when “dr. fauci” was used as the search query.”

Breitbart News argued in May that Wikipedia has increasingly become the “arbiter of truth” in an age of online misinformation.

“Big Tech has deepened its effort to integrate Wikipedia into its services at every opportunity. As the tech overlords of Silicon Valley such as Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey claim they are not the “arbiters of truth,” they are increasingly using Wikipedia to fill that role despite its extreme left-wing bias,” according to Breitbart Tech contributor T.D. Adler.

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