I wrote a post about Conservatipedia, which was picked up by Super Blogger Daniel Price of Wales, England. The site is, well, read the blog entry, then head over and see what you think. Then leave a comment here, and clue me in. Part of me says this has to be parody, like The Colbert Report, because there’s just no way this stuff could be believed by anybody – even the person who wrote it. Except that parodies are funny, and this isn’t.
It was a fun post, providing for great laughs. And it’s sent new readers this way (I hope you’re enjoying your stay here!). But now let’s introduce a new angle to the story, Conservapedia. Along with lectures, homework and a “final exam” (hopefully not a final solution?) a fascinating article they’ve published is called Examples of Bias in Wikipedia. Reading it, one gets the sense of bias in another pedia.
- As Fake Steve Jobs would say, here’s the money quote “Wikipedia promotes suicide with 21,544 entries that mention this depravity, including many entries that feature it“.
- Imagine, an encyclopedia that has articles about suicide. With more than 2 million English language articles – many of them on famous people who have committed suicide – it takes a stupid person to expect any encyclopedia not to mention the concept. This would be censorship, which the article later complains about.
- Conservapedia actually has the Fixed News quality required to call the University of Southern California “an obscure university”.
- This line of reasoning predicts that by telling people about air bags, society is forcing them to drive into trees.
- On Ron Paul – I find it disturbing to see (a site complaining about the already poor quality of Wikipedia) it listed as bias that a controvesial subject grabbing news headlines is locked to prevent “correction”. The author further complains that Mr Paul is listed as having said things that he did in fact say, then later renounced. The type of “correcting” Conservapedia wants to do will only make Wikipedia’s quality even lower than it already is!
- The Wizard of Oz and Rumpelstiltskin? (I have to admit this seems a valid criticism, but it seems so funny – and hard to take seriously!)
- The cons are upset because “a 20/20 report” does not invalidate the truth.
- This bears quoting in full
# Wikipedia’s pervasive anonymous editing vandalizes numerous conservative entries, such as that of pro-life scholar Mary Ann Glendon. For nearly two weeks her entry on Wikipedia has featured the disrespectful and unsupported statement that “She is a notable pro-life feminist, and a fan of the Dropkick Murphys,” which is a punk rock group. Liberal editors monitor anonymous editing, but often allow attempts to embarrass conservatives to remain for a long time.
It’s true that anonymous editing hurts Wikipedia, and creats a framework for vandals. But liberal, conservative, and not political articles are all vandalized. To imagine a single article (makes a trend?) which contains a frankly not insulting random bit of trivia was edited because the subject is a politico is the height of arrogance.
- The authors don’t understand the conept of encyclopedia worthy “the Wikipedia entry on pro-life leader Judie Brown is nothing but a redirect to an entry about an organization which barely mentions her.“
- A hysterical quote “Wikipedia lies to exaggerate the credentials of atheist Richard Dawkins,” almost immediately follows complaints about vandalism by anonymous editors.
- More obsession with Dawkins is further down the page “Illustrating Wikipedia’s favoritism towards liberals, it took a long time (well over a year after he first edited his own article) for anybody to confront this well-known atheist for this conflict of interest, despite being against Wikipedia’s own rules.”
Make no mistake – this is the product of a drug user who never realized that a user name of Richard Dawkins isn’t a guarentee that the user is actually Richard Dawkins. For example, on this blog my user name is Alexander The Greatest, but this is in fact not my legal name. (Imagine how easy authentication code would be if you could just ask people who they were!)
The bottom line is that Wikipedia is deeply flawed, but it’s very useful. Conservapedia is just deeply flawed.