Does Wikipedia present neutral perspectives?: A serious visual investigation
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Does Wikipedia present neutral perspectives?

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By Headbomb

Does Wikipedia lean left? We often hear complaints. Maybe it leans right and we just never hear about the leftists complaining about it? Either way, we have a mandate to cover things from a neutral perspective, or a neutral point of view.

I decided to investigate by picking random topics that I already knew, and see if that was true. Since pictures are a thousand words, I decided to be super efficient and head over to the Wikimedia Commons to dig a selection of images from these topics, and see if they were presented from a right-leaning or left-leaning perspective.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Clearly, there is a bias. Out of a random sample of nine images, only two gave a left-leaning perspective, and just one presented the vaunted neutral point of view. But that could just be a one-off. Let's continue to investigate.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

While WikiProject Military History aims to cover things neutrally, but that doesn't mean they get it right all the time. So how is this famous event covered? Let's investigate.

Perhaps surprisingly, this topic seems to be nearly 100% left-leaning. We have six clearly biased takes on the event... and only one NPOV source. I would not have expected this, given the strongest support for the US military usually comes from people that lean right.

DYK process

It's important to check how well our processes respect NPOV. I decided to check the DYK archives for the month of June 2023. Let's see how they fare.

Twenty-five NPOV images, three left-leaning ones, two right-leaning ones. I note however – the pupils, while neutral in pose, are given left-leaning educational material. Overall, however, DYK seems to be doing a pretty good job of having a neutral perspective.


After investigating 46 images – equivalent to 46,000 words worth of in-depth reading – did I manage to uncover a secret cabal? What does this mean? What other areas should we investigate?

Tell me in the comments below, because I don't have a friggin' clue about what I'm supposed to conclude from this.

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