Wikipedia bias on circumcision

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Wikipedia bias on circumcision has been an issue from the very beginning of Wikipedia.

Larry Sanger, a co-founder of Wikipedia in 2001, told of his embarrassment of what Wikipedia has become. Sanger called Wikipedia "a wholly unreliable source of information", speaking primarily of political narrative. Sanger appeared on the Tucker Carlson show, where he "called out the 'Wikipedia game' being played by biased and partisan editors that constantly change and shape articles on the site".[1] The Heartland Institute pronounced Wikipedia to be "broken, biased, and corrupt".[2]

Circumcision related articles

Unfortunately, bias is equally present in articles about and related to male circumcision.

The English Wikipedia likes to claim that "[a]nyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles", and to a limited extent this is true. Wikipedia has editors and administrators who have the power to discipline contributors of whom they disapprove.

Wikipedia commenced operations on 15 January 2001. The circumcision article appears to have been created on 7 November 2001.[3]

  • Jake H. Waskett, a British circumcision enthusiast, made his first edit to the circumcision article at Wikipedia on 18 October 2004.[3] Waskett, who appears to be driven by emotional issues, seems to have considered his sacred duty to be to promote male circumcision by editing the various related articles at Wikipedia. Waskett seems to have wormed himself into a position of power at Wikipedia.
    • His pseudonym Jayjg (whose symbol is a blue jay) is currently charged with maintaining the pro-circumcision bias. His page lists an extensive list of his accomplishments and awards, indicating that he is a high muck-a-muck at Wikipedia.
Male circumcision has a substantial list of harms, complications, disadvantages, and drawbacks, however Jake apparently wanted these to be minimized while the alleged advantages were emphasized. This put him into conflict with others who wanted the whole story to be told. As a result, there were a huge number of revisions to the articles associated with male circumcision until 18 June 2012,[3] when Jake resigned from editing.
  • James Heilman, a Canadian circumcision enthusiast, is another administrator noted for bias in favor of non-therapeutic circumcision. Heilman, under the name "Doc James", made his first edit to the circumcision article on 1 June 2011.[3] Thereafter, he co-edited with Jake Waskett until Waskett resigned a year later. Heilman made a very large number of edits to the Circumcision article and to related articles to maintain the pro-circumcision bias, but he made his last edit on 11 May 2020.[3] Heilman expressed his approval by awarding two "Barnstars" to a long-time British user named Alex Brown who identifies himself as "Alexbrn".[4]
  • Alex Brown appears to have taken over the duties of regulating the various circumcision related articles. He has not altered the bias found in the Wikipedia circumcision related articles.

When Ulf Dunkel added the Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy to the English and German Wikipedia, he also experienced a lot of headwinds from administrators who, however, did not aim at the topic of the article, but tried to discredit the author as an anti-Semite. The article still exists as a stub on the Wikipedia.[5]

Biased source material

The 2012 Circumcision Policy Statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the accompanying "technical report" was created to promote the practice of non-therapeutic male circumcision and third-party payment to physicians who execute circumcisions. As one would expect of such a statement, it is highly slanted and biased in favor of medically unnecessary, non-therapeutic male circumcision. It has suffered unrelenting, scathing critical comment. The AAP chose not to re-affirm the Statement when it expired in 2017. The Wikipedia Circumcision article chooses to cite this highly defective biased source thirty times.

The Wikipedia Circumcision article cites material from the World Health Organization (WHO) several times. There are conflicts of interest and bias at the WHO because David R. Tomlinson, the chief circumcision expert at the WHO, also manufactures and sells circumcision devices. The WHO cites methodologically and statistically flawed articles to promote male circumcision (and of course, the sale of devices).

Brian J. Morris is a prominent and well-known ardent Australian promoter of male circumcision, producer of biased articles, and a member of the Gilgal Society. Morris has associates, such as John N. Krieger and others with a fetish for circumcision. He and his associates write highly biased articles for medical journals to promote male circumcision. No less than four of Morris' biased articles have been cited in the Wikipedia circumcision article.[6][7][8][9]

There also is an article of which Krieger is the sole author.[10]

While Wikipedia may profess to write from a neutral point of view (NPOV), the use of adamantly pro-circumcision editors, their selection of so many sources biased in favor of circumcision, and their omission of most of the functions of the foreskin drags the neutral point over into a pro-circumcision biased position.

The Circumcision article has been amended more than 15,000 times[3] so it is an unstable source of information. If Wikipedia truly hopes to have an unbiased article, then Wikipedia needs to start over with a blank page and writers who are intact, because circumcision induces bias in men.[11] [12]

Information for parents

The general public and parents in particular should be aware of these issues and seek information elsewhere. IntactiWiki maintains a list of sources for parents:

See also

External links

References

  1. REFweb Sanger, Larry (24 July 2021). Wikipedia co-founder embarrassed over how ‘badly biased’ his former website has become, Conservative Institute. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
    Quote: I’m embarrassed, to be quite honest, and I’ve said so for a long time. I’ve been a leading critic of Wikipedia for over a decade now, [...]
  2. REFweb Wikipedia: The fake encyclopedia, Heartland Institute. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. a b c d e f REFweb Circumcision: Revision history. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  4. REFweb User:Alexbrn. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  5. REFweb Wikipedia article: World Wide Day of Genital Autonomy. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  6. REFjournal Morris BJ, Wiswell TE. Circumcision and Lifetime Risk of Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Urol. 2013; 189(6) PMID. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  7. REFjournal Morris BJ, Krieger JN. Does Circumcision Increase Meatal Stenosis Risk? – a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Urology. 4 August 2017; 110: 16-26. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  8. REFjournal Morris BJ, Moreton, Stephen, Krieger JN. Critical evaluation of arguments opposing male circumcision: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence Based Medicine. November 2019; 12(4): 263-90. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  9. REFjournal Morris BJ, Wamai RG, Henebeng EB, Tobian AAR, et al. Estimation of country-specific and global prevalence of male circumcision. Population Health Metrics. 1 March 2016; 14(4) PMID. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  10. REFjournal Krieger JN. Male circumcision and HIV infection risk. World Journal of Urology. May 2011; 30(1): 3-13. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  11. REFjournal LeBourdais, Eleanor. Circumcision no longer a "routine" surgical procedure.. Can Med Assoc J. 1995; 152(11): 1873-6. PMID. PMC. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  12. REFjournal Goldman R. Circumcision policy: a psychosocial perspective. Paedatrics & Child Health (Ottawa). November 2005; 9(9): 630-3.. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 31 July 2021.