3

RationalWiki is a wikimedia platform based website which claimed purpose is (see its mainpage):

  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.

All of this sounds great. However, while reading some of RationalWiki articles, I noted a quite strong political bias, which is often somehow masked as irony. (I prefer to not give explicit examples, because I am afraid that the discuss would quickly turn political and goes off-topic.)

I looked for some criticisms of RationalWiki, but I have found very few of them, and their all seemed very bias by their own.

My questions are:

(A). Under which metrics can RationalWiki be considered a reliable, unbiased, and scientific/rational driven source of material? And under which metrics, it can not?

(B). Are there some good analysis/criticism of RationalWiki?

EDIT: The question has been put on hold as "primarily opinion-based" but I suggest to give it a second thought. As in my reply to OddThinking's comment, there are many objective indicators of reliability. Let say for example that my question was about Conservapedia instead of RationalWiki: I can image several possible answers showing by facts, not opinions, that the former is not a reliable source.

18
  • 5
    Welcome to Skeptics! There isn't a specific measure we could use to determine whether a Wiki has a bias, and if there was, there is no claim that it is unbiased in that way.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 10, 2017 at 12:18
  • 9
    Most of Rationalwiki's "political bias" accusations tend to stem from Conservapaedia's adherents, who tend to take personal offense when RW calls them out on unscientific claims and statements. Sep 10, 2017 at 13:03
  • 4
    @Oddthinking I think that there are many "measures" to understand if something is a "reliable, unbiased, and scientific/rational driven source", e.g.: Does it contain scientific-correct information? What are its sources? Is it peer-review? Do the majority of the experts agree? ... Of course, none of these "measures" give absolute guarantees, but I wouldn't call them opinion-based. To make it clear: Would you say that a book on medicine which have been written by non-experts, which didn't pass a peer-review process, and contains many incorrect basic claims is a "reliable,unbiased ecc. source"?
    – Tzason
    Sep 10, 2017 at 14:42
  • 3
    @Shadur Indeed, this is the reason I asked question (B). As far as I understood, RationalWiki was created in opposition of the unscientific and politically biased claims of Conservapedia, and this is good. But I think that RW, although it is undoubtedly much less biased than Conservapedia, suffers itself of many biases. I also think that someway this is much more dangerous, because Conservapedia introduce itself has a clearly politically biased source, while RW introduce itself has "rational".
    – Tzason
    Sep 10, 2017 at 14:55
  • 5
    Asking about specific metrics won't help this question. Skeptics.SE is about providing citations for notable claims. Questions here should be of the form, such-and-such notably (with a broad audience) said something. Is that true? Both before and now, this has no notable claim. So even if it's no longer opinion-based, it's still off-topic.
    – Brythan
    Sep 10, 2017 at 17:40

0

Browse other questions tagged .