Wikipedia ‘facts’ depend on which language you read them in

Like Facebook and Twitter, Wikipedia could have its own filter bubbles.

A new website lets you uncover geographical biases in Wikipedia articles by tracking down where editors of different languages source their information. Insert the URL of any Wikipedia page into Wikiwhere and the site’s algorithm trawls the web to find out where the references cited in the entry originate from.

Martin Körner at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, and his colleagues made the tool to compare how Wikipedia articles about the same topic but in a different language might be influenced by different sources.

In the English language version of an article on Russia’s annexation of Crimea, for example, they found that 24 per cent of linked references came from Ukrainian new sources while nearly 20 per cent came from Russian sources. In the German version of the same article, however, the balance tipped, with Russian sources making up ten per cent of the total citations and Ukrainian sources only representing three per cent.

Read more: New Scientist

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