Larry Sanger, one of the 2001 founders of Wikipedia, told reporters that he intends to create a novel knowledge platform that will overcome the deficiencies of the most famous online encyclopedia.
The platform will be called Encyclosphere and is expected to involve much more freedom of the users.
The main difference from Wikipedia will consist in the procedure in which users themselves would freely write and submit articles that would later be assessed for accuracy by other users and readers, instead of the ‘oligarchy’ Sanger described as an authoritative moderator of Wikipedia.
It would neither be the first nor the second time for Sanger to launch a new encyclopedia website.
Before Wikipedia, he launched Nupedia in 2000, a project which ultimately failed due to complicated review procedures and too few dedicated contributors.
Soon after he departed from Wikipedia, Sanger tried to revive Nupedia but ultimately failed. From 2007 to 2020, Sanger ran Citizendium, a platform that utilized the article screening process performed by experts and a requirement that users use their real names on the platform.
Unfortunately, the platform did not manage to keep its user base over the years, which eventually led to its virtual closure.
Removing the Leftist Bias
In an article published on a personal blog, Sanger wrote that one of the crucial goals of the new platform will be to overcome the prejudice Wikipedia exhibits in favor of the leftist political views.
Sanger referred to the Wikipedia articles on socialism, communism, and the Soviet Union.
The Citizendium founder was particularly critical of the lengthy articles in which murders of millions of people perpetrated by the socialist and communist dictatorships were neglected.
Sanger also pointed to the article that emphasized the technological accomplishments of the Soviet Union and, at the same time, did not mention the mass starvation of Ukrainians and Kazakhs during the Stalin regime.
Earlier, Sanger discussed the leftist bias present in the articles on Jesus Christ and Donald Trump.
Wikipedia isn’t so neutral anymore
The future founder of Encyclosphere also wrote about Wikipedia’s gradual slip into leftism.
Sanger explained that, in its early stages, Wikipedia genuinely expressed political neutrality.
He said that during the first five to ten years, each side on the political aisle was fairly represented among the editors.
According to Sanger, this trend was interrupted ten years ago by the leftist takeover of American institutions, one of which ended up being the famous encyclopedia website.
Before officially launching the platform, Sanger plans to conduct a long seminar the main purpose of which is to more precisely explain the function of the new encyclopedia and attract potential donations from people interested in the free dissemination of knowledge.
Given his bad experience in the past, successfully launching another knowledge platform will surely be a big challenge for Sanger, involving many obstacles to be overcome.