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Any users with familiarity with this website. Is it left- wing like Reddit, or more balanced like like quora?

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    Not really. If anything, I think it has a bit of a right-leaning bias: many of the regular users express center-right views from their respective countries, and there are a fair number of people with far-right ideas (libertarian, religiously conservative, or quasi-fascist). There are some center-left people, but to my mind not as many, and the few far-left people tend to express some socially conservative views or sympathies with certain right-wing authoritarian governments (as opposed to the sort of anti-system intersectional activism that is more common in the far left in many countries).
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 13, 2023 at 21:46
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    @Obie2.0, this trend "to express some socially conservative views or sympathies with certain right-wing authoritarian governments" for the far-left is nothing new (since at least Stalin's times, or think about Sartre for example). It mostly stems from sheer ignorance about the realities of these authoritarian regimes, and/or hatred of their own governments/system (falsely believing that even such alternatives would be better). This doesn't make them any more "centre" "on the balance"; they are still far-left. There is quite a number of such characters on this site.
    – Zeus
    Aug 14, 2023 at 1:06
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    @Zeus - Stalin was more of a left-wing authoritarian, and was socially conservative relative to the modern left, but not particularly so for the time. People who like Putin and such are supporting a right-wing authoritarianism.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 14, 2023 at 2:46
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    @Obie2.0, this is true, but IMO there are more Putin admirers based on (their own) anti-American (or anti-West, anti-capitalist) stance, than on his conservative ideals. Same with China. "They are not nice, but our imperialists are no better or even worse!", enemy of my enemy, that sort of thing. Many of them (not all) are far-left.
    – Zeus
    Aug 14, 2023 at 3:06
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    On every political forum or QA page I have ever been, right wingers were convinced that everything was dominated by lefties, while the left wingers were convinced that the right had taken over (centrists are loathed by both factions to the same amount). I am a lefty (except that I am aware that I might be wrong sometimes, which is not a typical feature) so I'd say that this is a right wing site, but much of it is really a matter of definitions, and of course selection bias - the people you disagree with will stand out to you. What matters more is that this is comparatively civilized discourse. Aug 14, 2023 at 10:18
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    @Obie2.0 When calibrating to USA metric, one can easily look at the relative popularity of posts promoting Trump vs those discrediting him. Generally speaking it seems like dissing him is much more popular. Questions putting down Trump generally get closed as pushy, while often gathering upvotes. While questions promoting Trump usually get a pile on of downvotes. US conservatives typically complain about their treatment here: there have been at least 2-3 questions about that here recently. Eike's more on target. Aug 14, 2023 at 16:20
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - If only people from the USA were on this site, perhaps there would be some truth to that idea, but there are many people who seem to be conservatives from outside the USA and who dislike Trump. Even for the users from the USA, most of them seem to be clustered around the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. Not too many radicals here.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 14, 2023 at 18:26
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    @Obie2.0 Yet, look at religion questions: votes generally tend towards liberal/secular viewpoints. Racism? Ditto. Climate change: few skeptics do well here. Immigration: mixed bag. Economics: a slant towards classical/corporate viewpoints, but not all that pronounced. Lack of sympathy for the left-leaning side of the Dem party is perhaps less for what it supports wrt to say universal health care than the sentiment that over-progressive positions, even on reasonable subjects by EU standards, will result in a loss to the Reps come election time. Not too many right radicals here either Aug 14, 2023 at 21:00
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    @Zeus, as potentially one of these left-wing authoritarians, I'd agree that the driving force is grievance with the West. The argument is not that the other regimes are better - it's that they stand to inflict serious damage on liberal interests in the West and the conditions liberals use to assault workers, such as free trade. Your assumption is that we must accept the choices presented and choose the best amongst them - instead, we can simply promote destruction of all, either until we get something acceptable or die.
    – Steve
    Aug 15, 2023 at 3:56
  • @Zeus - There is a certain class of people who identify as left-wing, but, say, express some sympathies or support toward right-wing dictators like Putin or even feudal systems, don't like to talk about issues like racism, and even engage in the odd bit of Nazi apologia. But these people are, to be honest, not in touch with the larger left or far left at an international level. Certainly not with the Socialist International, which has "full solidarity to the people and government of Ukraine."
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 15, 2023 at 6:29
  • Nor with the Communist Party of Britain, which says "...none of this [their opposition to NATO etc] justifies the widespread military offensive launched by President Putin on February 24," nor even with many non-European far-left formations like the Communist Party of India, which said that it was "unfortunate that Russia took military action against Ukraine. There should be an immediate cessation of armed hostilities and the establishment of peace." The truth is, in most modern center-left or even far-left spaces, they'd automatically be dismissed.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 15, 2023 at 6:32
  • @Zeus - Even if they could find a bit of support in, say, the Russian or South African Communist parties, the truth is that supporting right-wing authoritarians because their (supposed) threat to capitalism is rather passé on most of the left, which generally prefers to say "a pox on both your houses" and condemn all the powerful governments as capitalist stooges and all their wars as just more imperialism. But on a site with a certain degree of rightward lean, such ideas may find a somewhat more favorable audience.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 15, 2023 at 6:34
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    @Obie2.0, I trust you are correct about the classical organised left. But I had in mind mostly "normal" people who sincerely believe they are Left yet find themselves supporting Putin. Or if not supporting (which, shall we say, is not quite PC now), exonerating him due to being "provoked" etc. Oliver Stone sort of people. There are many of them; perhaps many more than the members of all the parties you mentioned. IMO (from many personal contacts), on the basic level, they are doing it "in spite" rather than for true ideological reasons (unlike the classical Left).
    – Zeus
    Aug 15, 2023 at 7:39
  • Putin/Russia are bad litmus tests for left/right because support is mostly in the extreme margins, usually for diverging reasons
    – bharring
    Aug 15, 2023 at 13:37
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    @Obie2.0, I did rebut, but it's been removed as usual.
    – Steve
    Aug 19, 2023 at 8:44

3 Answers 3

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The aspiration of the site is to ask and answer questions.

There is a notable "English speaking" bias on the site. Most questioners and nearly all answerers are proficient in English.

There is a slant toward youth on the site. There are more people who are confident in using computer and internet forums than people who are not, and this correlates with younger people.

There are supporters of "right wing" and of "left wing" parties active on the site. But the scope of the site means that questions or answers that push one point of view are off topic or downvoted.

So I'm sure, if you survey the users, they would be left of the centre of gravity of American politics. But for on-topic questions that shouldn't matter much. If you aren't asking for an opinion, then the opinion won't matter. If you are asking for an opinion, then your question should be closed.

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"To be honest", there is enough variety on this site to have a multitude of answers of all sorts. The system theoretically supports "objective" answers, but inevitably, politics attracts subjective interpretations, even when much "objective" data is presented.

In my perception, there are more moderately left-leaning answers, especially from respected/high-reputation users. (At least on the American scale of things). There are also more extreme-left answers (and questions). In fact, it would be a challenge to find an openly far-right answer.

However, voting preferences seem to be somewhat right-leaning. This often results in "more right" answers (and comments) being favoured, creating perception of overall right bias.

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I am not sure if this site is left- or right-leaning.

However, my personal experience tells me that this site is pro-West, pro-Israel, and pro-India. Anything against the West, Israel, or India will be heavily downvoted, closed down, or deleted.

Take, for example, this one:

enter image description here

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    While I mostly agree with the conclusion (that the site has a right-leaning bias), the reasoning is very suspect. There are left-wing countries in "the West," particularly in Europe, and there are many right-wing countries outside the West. For instance, a user from a non-Western, non-Indian, non-Israeli country might be against LBGTQ rights, a more typically right-wing position in a world where left-wing movements increasingly emphasize intersectional struggles instead of solely economic ones.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 13, 2023 at 23:51
  • Strange, I always see more accusing it of being a left leaning site then a right leaning one.
    – Joe W
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:55
  • @JoeW, I don't know who accused this site as left-leaning. However, my personal experience tells me that this site is pro-West, pro-Israel, and pro-India.
    – user366312
    Aug 14, 2023 at 14:57
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    I am not sure I agree with all of that or that those things mean that is is right leaning.
    – Joe W
    Aug 14, 2023 at 15:00
  • +1. The overwhelming negativity, to an answer which is basically a frameshift - "there is a bias, but it's not left/right" makes me thing the poster might be hitting a raw nerve. One thing however: judging Westerners on support for Israel is easy to do, but it also ignores our (the West's) unique historical guilt wrt to the Holocaust and still fairly widespread anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism, which, in many alt-right circles, also often comes coupled with Islamophobia. So support/criticism of Israel and the community's responses to it needs to be assessed in that context as well. Aug 16, 2023 at 21:03
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - Oh, I agree that that bias exists as well. I just don't agree with equating it with right-wing bias. Also, questions or answers shouldn't be "against" or "for" countries, so of course those are downvoted: the bias is not in that such questions and answers are downvoted, but that equally biased posts that are "for" the USA or UK or "against" other countries get a good recepción.
    – Obie 2.0
    Aug 18, 2023 at 17:04

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