Larry Sanger

American former professor, co-founder of Wikipedia, founder of Citizendium and other projects

Lawrence Mark Sanger (born July 16, 1968) is the co-founder of Wikipedia.

Larry Sanger (2006)
I know Wikipedia is very cool. A lot of people do not think so, but of course they are wrong.
Wikipedia lacks the habit or tradition of respect for expertise.


  • If the project was lucky enough to have a writer or two well-informed about some specialized subject, and if their work was not degraded in quality by the majority of people, whose knowledge of the subject is based on paragraphs in books and mere mentions in college classes, then there might be a good, credible article on that specialized subject. Otherwise, there will be no article at all, a very amateurish-sounding article, or an article that looks like it might once have been pretty good, but which has been hacked to bits by hoi polloi.
    • "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism" at kuro5hin (31 December 2004).
  • A few of the project's participants can be, not to put a nice word on it, pretty nasty. And this is tolerated.
    • "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism" at kuro5hin (31 December 2004).
  • Wikipedia lacks the habit or tradition of respect for expertise. As a community, far from being elitist (which would, in this context, mean excluding the unwashed masses), it is anti-elitist (which, in this context, means that expertise is not accorded any special respect, and snubs and disrespect of expertise is tolerated).
    • "Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism" at kuro5hin (31 December 2004).
  • Compare how Britannica and Wikipedia introduce the traditional system of Indian medicine called Ayerveda.
    Britannica is respectful.
    Wikipedia has no fewer than four dismissive epithets in the first paragraph: "quackery," "pseudoscientific," "protoscience," and "unscientific."..
    Not long ago, this article would have been regarded as a deep offense against multiculturalism. ... It is not the role of an encyclopedia to tell people what to think or to cast aspersions on entire cultures. ... Wikipedia should make *no* claims on its own behalf about what is (effective) medicine; that is not the role of an encyclopedia. It can repeat research on that though. ... You assume that you can detect what "modern medicine," or other scientific or scholarly work, really is, i.e., whether it actually passes muster of the scientific method. ... If the systems of peer review is screwed up, you can't. Nor if medical research is tainted by filthy lucre from Big Pharma. The world is considerably more complicated than the silly children at Wikipedia think it is. Britannica at least understands that much.
  • There is a massive irony in the fact that Wikipedia is so extremely biased: it was started by someone who cares unusually deeply about neutrality (me), who developed and defended its neutrality policy at great length.
    Man makes plans, and God laughs.
    • Larry Sanger. Tweet on Twitter, on Sep 3, 2020. [8]
  • It's harder to find a page where there *isn't* some glaringly obvious bias.
    • Larry's reply to the question "What’s an example of article bias on wiki?" Tweet on Sep 3, 2020
  • Jimmy Wales is right. We did originally adopt the neutrality policy to foster “a culture of thoughtful diplomatic honesty.” In other words, the way to keep the peace among a radically diverse set of contributors is not to declare winners and losers. But that is only one reason we adopted the policy. There was another key reason: as I have explained, no one has a right to make up your mind for you, especially in an open, global project.
  • Banning Fox News as a source is just good sense, says Wikipedia.
  • It’s become both opaque and centralized, centralized in the sense that the authority to participate in Wikipedia has been greatly restricted. You can be completely anonymous and even be a top-ranked Wikipedia user with administrator rights. So, they could be working for various corporations, various government spy agencies, maybe for criminal organizations.

Interview, 2020Edit

The best thing we can do basically is to supply alternatives and make them better and better and better
Interview, Sep 2, 2020 Larry Sanger. Sep 2, 2020. Larry Sanger, founder of Wikipedia, Interview with Nupur J. Sharma. Larry Sanger, founder of Wikipedia, talks to OpIndia ([9])
  • It's mob rule and it has been basically since I left.
  • I wish they spend it in more sensible ways like they could be adding ... a feedback system for the public that does not require the public to actually interact with these insane wikipedians, that would be a start.
  • I can't tell you what the cause of the bias on wikipdia is, I can only tell you that its really obvious now it used to be quite obvious like even 10 years ago it was already pretty obvious 10 years ago, now it's just embarrassing... Now there is an official view about pretty much everything...
  • I actually think that the mechanisms just of people acting like jerks and driving off decent people who want a neutral reference, that's enough to explain the bias
  • There is no rule of law in wikipedia... but the way that the policies are applied is absolutely arbitrary.
  • They have no class.
  • They seem not to realize that it is possible to dispute what the facts are, as if they were in all cases absolutely obvious.
  • False balance... according to which on some topics the facts are known and if you actually try to let people make up their own minds by themselves by presenting one side and then another side in a balanced fashion then you are committing the sin of false balance, and wikipedia has absolutely abandoned the neutrality policy by endorsing that journalistic canard.
  • One thing that i would recommend, go to Everipedia, edit the article about the Delhi riots: that would be really interesting if you do that, once it is developed give me a link to it and I would be curious to see how the article differs from the Wikipedia article.
  • The best thing we can do basically is to supply alternatives and make them better and better and better
  • ‘If you are an admin, or if you just have a lot of pull because you are popular because you have a lot of views and stroke the right backs, if you are in the in-crowd then you have a lot more authority in the system. It is mob rule and it has been since I left. Although it was become more organised in many ways. There is a veneer of rather strict bureaucracy – a set of rules and functions applied in an arbitrary way. You can detect a pattern, but it’s a political pattern. Not a principled pattern”.
  • “Basically, the Left tends to invade open institutions, its been their modus-operandi for the last 100 years. Basically, invading open institutions and subverting them, dominating them, and freezing out anyone who dissents their views. I can’t tell you what the cause of the bias on Wikipedia is, I can only tell you that it is really obvious now. It used to be quite obvious 10 years ago, Now, it is just embarrassing”.
  • “The bias that they (Wikipedia) now reflect, is that of the Globalist Left. Of the Establishment, with a capital E”.
  • “It is more than just a mob now. It is a mob in the sense that there is real internal political authority being wielded and no regularised fair, democratic way of determining who should have that authority. The arbitration committee elections are a joke. You cannot know, announce, reveal the identities of the most of administrators on Wikipedia… you don’t know who those people are and if you don’t know, there is no accountability. It is a self-contained system. If it just so happened that one of the leading administrators on Wikipedia is a convicted paedophile, sitting in prison right now, in some prison where they let prisoners use the internet, that does not make any difference because there is no way of finding that out. That bothers me. That does not make it a mob. What makes it a mob is the combination of lack of a fair democratic process of determining who those in charge would be and lack of a fair application of rules, there is no rule of law in Wikipedia. They try to make it look like there is since they keep citing these alphabets soup of acronyms which is short for policies, but the way in which these policies are applied is arbitrary”.

Quotes about SangerEdit

I like and admire Larry very much. I actually think his role in the early days of Wikipedia is under-appreciated.

External linksEdit

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