Which source of information contains greater bias and slant—text written by an expert or that
constructed via collective intelligence? Do the costs of acquiring, storing, displaying and revising
information shape those differences? We evaluate these questions empirically by examining slanted
and biased phrases in content on US political issues from two sources—Encyclopædia Britannica
and Wikipedia. Our overall slant measure is less (more) than zero when an article leans towards
Democrat (Republican) viewpoints, while bias is the absolute value of the slant. Using a matched
sample of pairs of articles from Britannica and Wikipedia, we show that, overall, Wikipedia articles
are more slanted towards Democrat than Britannica articles, as well as more biased. Slanted
Wikipedia articles tend to become less biased than Britannica articles on the same topic as they
become substantially revised, and the bias on a per word basis hardly differs between the sources.
These results have implications for the segregation of readers in online sources and the allocation of
editorial resources in online sources using collective intelligence.