Monday, November 10, 2014

Who is More Biased? The Crowd or the Expert?

 Shane Greenstein and Feng Zhu have published a new working paper titled, "Do Experts or Collective Intelligence Write With More Bias:  Evidence from Encyclopedia Brittanica and Wikipedia."  Their results surprised me.  I would have expected more bias from experts.  I thought the work of the crowd would mitigate biases by any particular contributors.  However, they found that Wikipedia entries exhibited more political bias than encyclopedia entries.  Here's what they said in their paper:  "Using a matched sample of pairs of articles from Britannica and Wikipedia, we show that, overall, Wikipedia articles are more slanted towards Democrat than Britannica articles, as well as more biased."  Perhaps not surprisingly, they did find that the Wikipedia articles tend to become less biased as they receive more and more revisions.  However, the overall analysis does show more bias with Wikipedia.  The scholars conclude, "It is surprising because the average Wikipedia article receives over 1,900 revisions and that is still not enough for eliminating bias."  

No comments: