Founded in 2009 by Eliezer Yudkowsky, LessWrong is a community blog focusing on human rationality. It originated as an offshoot of the blog Overcoming Bias, co-founded by Yudkowsky in 2006. The site was relaunched as LessWrong 2.0 in 2017 under Oliver Habryka’s leadership. It hosts discussions and articles on various topics, including artificial intelligence, philosophy, and cognitive science.
Funded by / Ownership
LessWrong is primarily funded by its users and the broader community. The site has a donation page where users can contribute to support the maintenance and development of the platform. A team led by Oliver Habryka currently manages the site. The specifics of the site’s ownership are not explicitly stated on the website.
Analysis / Bias
The political alignment of LessWrong with specific political ideologies or parties may vary, as it depends on the individual authors who contribute to the platform. For example, in the post “In Defense of Twitter’s Decision to Ban Trump,” the author analyzes Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump. The author, known as ‘ragintumbleweed,’ references other blogs like blog.ericgoldman.org as a source. The article’s tone leans towards a negative perspective regarding Donald Trump. The phrase ‘So be it. We’ll all be better off for it,’ indicates the author’s positive stance on the ban.
Providing sourced links can vary from post to post and author to author. Some authors may provide direct hyperlinks to their sources, while others may mention them without a link. The second blog post, “The Dictatorship Problem,” discusses the trends and potential risks associated with democratic backsliding and the rise of right-wing authoritarianism.
A quote from the article reads, “America’s political problems are sometimes described as ‘polarization,’ with one group consisting of right-wing Trump supporters and the other composed of ‘woke’ progressives.” It states that The ‘woke’ movement, led by educated elites, lacks a strong electoral base. The passage does imply a negative stance towards “right-wing Trump supporters” by contrasting them with “woke” progressives and suggesting that the latter group is “less dangerous,” which implies a bias against Trump supporters. The author cites sources such as Wikipedia, Freedom House, Morning Consult, The Economist, and other forum posts like, forum.effectivealtruism.org, the Global Institute, and a coup blog.
Another blog post, “Politics is way too meta,” discusses Hillary Clinton’s use of an insecure email server when serving as Secretary of State to illustrate the difference between object-level and meta-discussions.
In general, from a political perspective, LessWrong presents varied viewpoints, but overall more tend to favor the left. While they have not failed a fact check by a third-party fact checker, they occasionally do not provide hyperlinked sources or rely on factually mixed/unknown sources. Finally, there is a lack of transparency as authors/posters/admins do not use their real names resulting in a mixed factual rating.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate LessWrong as Left-Center biased based on story selection that slightly favors a liberal perspective. We also rate them as Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing techniques and a lack of transparency with authors and those behind the website. (M. Huitsing 07/10/2023)
Last Updated on July 10, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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