(I realize that any content on Wikipedia is subject to change, so I'll specify that I wrote most of this article on May 2019.)
Before I get to the meat of this, let me say that any neutrality policy is inherently a sham. Neutrality means not taking sides in a disagreement. But of course, that means you can only state as fact (which is the purpose of Wikipedia) that which no one disagrees with, which is essentially nothing; so they reduce this policy to "present all majority and significant minority viewpoints" and "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small minority, it does not belong on Wikipedia, regardless of whether it is true or you can prove it, except perhaps in some ancillary article". Oh, that's what's going on. Wikipedia doesn't exist to state facts or provable things, but to state consensus. That's something they don't like to admit directly.
Later in the article, when they talk about "Giving 'equal validity' can create a false balance":
We do not take a stand on these issues as encyclopedia writers, for or against; we merely omit this information where including it would unduly legitimize it,
In other words, you take a stand. If you only mention one side of a disagreement, you are by definition stating it as fact and the other side as factually wrong.
They also directly link in that same article to their article on Modern flat Earth societies, and guess what the first sentence of that article is? "Modern flat Earth societies are organizations that promote the misconception that the Earth is flat rather than a globe." Even an article specifically about the minority viewpoint presents it as unambiguously wrong. This isn't the only place in the article either: "In the Internet era, the availability of communications technology and social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have made it easy for individuals, famous or not, to spread disinformation and attract others to their erroneous ideas. One of the topics that has flourished in this environment is that of the flat Earth." Because why not villify social media while we're at it.
They even mention the objection to their policy that "There's no such thing as objectivity" (which is a pretty insightful way of putting it) here, but their rebuttal completely misses the point. To quote their article:
This most common objection to the neutrality policy also reflects the most common misunderstanding of the policy. The NPOV policy says nothing about objectivity. In particular, the policy does not say that there is such a thing as objectivity in a philosophical sense—a "view from nowhere" (to use Thomas Nagel's phrase), such that articles written from that viewpoint are consequently objectively true. That is not the policy, and it is not our aim! Rather, to be neutral is to describe debates rather than engage in them. In other words, when discussing a subject, we should report what people have said about it rather than what is so. This is not to say anything philosophically contentious; indeed, philosophers describe debates all the time. Even sophisticated relativists will immediately recognize that "neutrality", in this sense, is perfectly consistent with their philosophy.
Now, is it possible to characterize disputes fairly? This is an empirical issue, not a philosophical one: can we edit articles so that all the major participants will be able to look at the resulting text, and agree that their views are presented accurately and as completely as the context permits? It may not be possible to describe all disputes with perfect objectivity, but it is an aim that thousands of editors strive towards every day.
Putting aside how this completely misses the point that it's impossible to neutrally decide whose arguments to cover in a limited space...
Are you serious, Wikipedia? "We should report what people have said about it rather than what is so"? That someone claims something - much worse, that the majority claim something - is itself a factual claim that many people would disagree with! It's also worth noting the implicit change in question here. The NPOV sounds like it's about presenting facts and not judging morality, but now it's about presenting opinions and not judging facts. They didn't refute the objection at all, just wrote some long-winded bullshit that talked around the issue and ended with asserting their position without any argument. They have only demonstrated all the more fully why their policy is a logical impossibility: their response is a claim about what is philosophically so. To even argue in defense of it, you have to break it.
It's also almost laughable how the end of their defense here is "It's not a philosophical issue, it's an empirical one! An-and maybe it's not possible, but thousands of people try, so you should too!" Just pathetic appeal to popularity there.
Now let's get to some really incriminating stuff. I did not specifically go looking for this, I accumulated these examples over about two weeks of occasionally landing on Wikipedia in my browsing, noting them in a text file, and eventually I decided I wanted to make an article about it all. In that short time I've found everything from personal libel and obviously false claims about basic storytelling psychology to blatant political propaganda.
```As a young Earth creationist and biblical inerrantist, Ham believes that the Book of Genesis is historical fact. Ham believes the age of the Universe to be about 6,000 years and asserts that Noah's flood occurred about 4,400 years ago in approximately 2348 BC. Astrophysical measurements and radiometric dating show that the age of the universe is about 13.8 billion years and the age of the Earth is about 4.5 billion years. Arguing that knowledge of evolution and the Big Bang require observation rather than inference, Ham urges asking scientists and science educators, "Were you there?" The Talk.origins archive responds that the evidence for evolution "was there," and that knowledge serves to determine what occurred in the past and when. "Were you there?" questions also invalidate creationism as science—an argument with which Ham himself agrees.```
God damn. Ken Ham believes X - evidence shows that X is false. And this is a Biography of a Living Person! Also, both of the citations they give for the following sentence don't even affirm the claim! The first one is a personal story written by someone who is not Ken Ham - and never mentions him - and the second one is an index page (although to be fair I think it's link rot).
The other outrageous thing here is how they cover the bad stuff about him while leaving out his response that obviously exists. Think about it: if the discussion implied in the last sentence here actually took place, Ken Ham must have proceeded to explain himself. Even if he was somehow too stupid to notice the contradiction they would have pointed it out to him. So did the argument happen, according to the citations?
The last sentence gives three citations, none of which support the libelous claim. The first is to talkorigins.org, the evolutionist website he was debating with (their citation is the same as the link-rotted one). The second is to "The Counter-Creationism Handbook" because that's a neutral source of information here (it substantiates the previous sentence but not this one). The final citation is to an Answers in Genesis article (so finally the right source to incriminate him) but it doesn't show him saying it. The article is titled "Were you there?", but is actually about him explaining why this objection doesn't refute creationism. He never directly says that it does refute evolutionism. He comes close but then goes on to make it sound like the only reason direct observation is necessary for evolution is because the scientific evidence is insufficient (which is a completely separate argument) and he's making his argument sound worse than it is with clumsy wording.
If you dig around on answersingenesis.org you can find this article written by Ken Ham, which is interesting. He still doesn't make the argument himself. This is amply explained by the bias of agreeing with anyone who shares your conclusion, even if their reason is invalid; not to mention how the girl in the story demonstrated a non-trivial and rare feat of social courage that makes it natural for a good person to want to praise her. I don't know about you but I wasn't anywhere near that brave when I was her age.
```It is to be considered an act of terrorism and punishable by law.```
Un-fucking-believable. This is far beyond avowing a disputed factual claim, this is outright passing moral judgement (with explicit prescriptive language, and an ideograph) on an encyclopedia.
```Sometimes authorities turn prison labour into an industry, as on a prison farm or in a prison workshop. In such cases, the pursuit of income from their productive labour may even overtake the preoccupation with punishment and/or reeducation as such of the prisoners, who are then at risk of being exploited as slave-like cheap labour (profit may be minor after expenses, e.g. on security).```
My jaw is open as I read this. Why would you go so far out of your way and out of the way of verifiable facts (there are no citations in this paragraph) to smear this obviously better form of punishment in favor of one that hurts the victims further instead of making restitution? The paragraph flies into such a flurry of contradictions and frantic gish galloping it's absurd. First the concern is that penal labor is bad because it places the benefit of society above punishment (because that's somehow not accomplished here?) and "reeducation" of the prisoners (which is exactly the opposite of what imprisonment does, see my linked article), but then suddenly the concern is that the criminals are being exploited. And then suddenly the concern is that the profit "may be minor" which is neither substantiated with any pretense of a citation or the slightest hint of math, nor does it even mean anything if it could be substantiated, without one of the other points being substantiated first (because it only says the profit is "minor", not that there isn't a profit).
```Hate speech is a statement intended to demean and brutalize another, or the use of cruel and derogatory language or gestures on the basis of real or alleged membership in a social group. Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The laws of some countries describe hate speech as speech, gestures, conduct, writing, or displays that incite violence or prejudicial actions against a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group, or disparages or intimidates a group, or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group. The law may identify a group based on certain characteristics. In some countries, hate speech is not a legal term. Additionally in some countries, including the United States, hate speech is constitutionally protected.
In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both. A website that contains hate speech (online hate speech) may be called a hate site. Many of these sites contain Internet forums and news briefs that emphasize a particular viewpoint.```
This whole paragraph is insane grabage. Demean - sure. "Brutalize"? Just wow. TIL that prejudiced language without prejudiced action is brutal and cruel. No, brutality and cruelty can only exist when you have significant power over the person you're being brutal and cruel to, which is clearly not the case in modern-day America with its intense anti-discrimination culture and laws.
It's also laughably bullshit that they say "In some countries, including the United States, hate speech is constitutionally protected." What they meant to say is "In some countries, including the United States, hate speech is not punished with violence".
Also lmao at their sentence "Many of these sites contain Internet forums and news briefs that emphasize a particular viewpoint". Because emphasizing a particular viewpoint is an unusual and wrong no wait, "brutal"! thing to do, and it's totally not what Wikipedia is doing here.
```White power music is music that promotes white nationalism. It encompasses various music styles, including rock, country, experimental music and folk.```
Holy shit... Rock, country, folk, and "experimental music" are now "white power music". I don't understand how anyone could keep a straight face while saying this. One might argue in their defense that it's supposed to mean "white power music can be found in any of those genres" rather than "all music in those genres is white power music", but that's not what the word "encompass" means. Also, if you were to raise that defense then the statement becomes meaningless anyway because by that definition surely all genres would be "encompassed" by white power music.
```Intersex people in the United States have some of the same rights as other people, but with significant gaps, particularly in protection from non-consensual cosmetic medical interventions and violence, and protection from discrimination. Actions by intersex civil society organizations aim to eliminate harmful practices, promote social acceptance, and equality. In recent years, intersex activists have also secured some forms of legal recognition.```
None of these claims about how intersex people are discriminated against are substantiated in the article. We'll get to those.
And also their claim that "actions by intersex civil societies" "aim" (stating their intention, and thus their morality, instead of the facts of what they do or what they claim to intend) <thick layer of ideograph abuse>.
And here's their section farther down about "Intersex medical interventions":
```Since the mid-twentieth century, U.S. physicians have considered intersex status in infants a "psychosocial emergency" and performed "normalizing" or "reconstructive" genital surgery without considering non-surgical alternatives (e.g., counseling). When deciding whether to assign the intersex infant "male" or "female," the factors typically considered are potential for fertility and sexual penetration. These surgeries still continue in the U.S. today despite being medically unnecessary (that is, chiefly cosmetic) and potentially injurious to the patient's sexual pleasure.```
Um... what? Are you calling counseling an alternative to surgery? Counseling and surgery do not solve the same class of problems! They're not "alternatives" in any sense!
This all hinges on their claim that the surgeries are medically unnecessary. I even bothered investigating both the citations they give for it; one doesn't even include a link (it's just a work title that can't be followed) and the other is to an HRW article about a case where the doctors didn't do the surgery because the parents told them not to, completely destroying their argument.
And their section farther down on "Protection from discrimation" exclusively mentions laws that do explictly protect intersex people. (And one report of an accusation (not even Wikipedia affirming it) of discrimination without any evidence to back it up (once again, the citation doesn't provide a link).)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathological_lying (added June 15)
```Lying is the act of both knowingly and intentionally or willfully making a false statement. Normal lies are defensive and are told to avoid the consequences of truth telling. They are often white lies that spare another's feelings, reflect a pro-social attitude, and make civilized human contact possible. Pathological lying can be described as a habituation of lying. It is when an individual consistently lies for no personal gain.```
... What the fuck? Did you just claim that white lying makes civilized human contact possible? Like exclusively portraying "white lies" as good is bad enough, but damn. You didn't have to go that far away from reality.
Also, guess what their citation is for that sentence? A PDF you have to buy.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_binary (added Sep 22)
```Gender binary (also known as gender binarism, binarism, or genderism) is the classification of gender into two distinct, opposite, and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine, whether by social system or cultural belief.```
'...by social system or cultural belief'. They explicitly exclude the possibility that the gender binary is a scientific truth!
```Within the LGBT community, gender binarism may create institutionalized structures of power, and individuals who identify outside traditional gender binaries may experience discrimination and harassment within the LGBT community. Most of this discrimination stems from societal expectations of gender that are expressed in the LGBT community. But many LGBT people and many youth activist groups advocate against gender binarism within the LGBT community. Many individuals within the LGBT+ community report an internal hierarchy of power status. A specific example of this would include a white, gay man who behaves as "masculine" as being more powerful. However, those who do not identify within a binary system experience being at the bottom of the hierarchy. The multitude of different variables such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, and more can lower or raise one's perceived power.```
No kidding, liberals are sexist! Of course, it's the far-right's fault for being so hateful...