The decision, flagged by Motherboard, was declared on September 25, 2018 after an ongoing discussion amongst site administrators that concluded, “[Breitbart] should not be used, ever, as a reference for facts, due to its unreliability.
Scrolling through the debate is enlightening, seeing the various reaction from site admins to the nature of Breitbart, with some comparing it to the Daily Mail, the UK paper that was similarly demoted as an unreliable source in 2017.
Support. If anything, it’s even more unreliable than the Daily Mail, as they at least use trained journalists, whereas Breitbart is a fringe propaganda organization which lets its extreme partisan bias get in the way of how it reports things, and whether it does so, just as Fox News does. It too should be deprecated, but let’s start with Breitbart (and InfoWars). — BullRangifer(talk) 17:51, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
Support. I don’t like the use of blanket bans, but Breitbart seems to satisfy the conditions that required the Daily Mail one – an obviously unreliable source, with a reputation for inaccurate stories, which a few users nonetheless insist on trying to use as if it were a reliable news source.
Some opposed the comparison, too, claiming the issue with the Daily Mail was about fabricated stories rather than unreliability and partisanship:
“I will support a ban for any news outlet if it is proven it is currently fabricating stories on a regular basis, but no evidence of fabrication has been presented in the proposal. The precedent established by The Daily Mail ban simply does not apply in this case.”
Breitbart isn’t completely banned, though, as citations for the site will still be allowed in regards to opinion and commentary.
Motherboard also notes a similar August discussion surrounding Info Wars that was eventually closed citing the “Snowball clause,” which states: “If an issue does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of being accepted by a certain process, there’s no need to run it through the entire process.”
TL;DR, no one in their right mind would believe an Info Wars citation anyway so there’s no need to ban it.
That President Trump has legitimized both sites did little to sway the Wikipedia decisions so it remains to be seen what this does for his own rallying cry of “fake news.”