Conservapedia

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About

Conservapedia is a web site purporting to be a "pro-American, pro-Christian" alternative to Wikipedia. It uses the free, open-source MediaWiki software developed by the MediaWiki Foundation for Wikipedia.

The site appears to be owned and operated by Andrew Schlafly on behalf of the ultra-conservative Eagle Forum organization led by his mother, Phyllis Schlafly.

Unfortunately, due to subtly satirical posting by those opposed to Conservapedia's mission (a form of vandalism), it is sometimes difficult to tell which articles are genuine and which have been written so as to exaggerate conservative points of view (or represent only the most extreme of such). This problem seems to be declining as the site matures and editors become aware of "problem pages", however.

  • /censorship: ways in which Conservapedia carefully restricts and controls the information available to its readers
  • User:Woozle/Conservapedia: Woozle's interactions with Conservapedia

beliefs

Although Conservapedia pointedly claims to be "trustworthy", they do clearly have a preconceived set of beliefs which are not open for debate; attempts to openly criticize these beliefs are quickly suppressed or even censored and can lead to banning.

Beliefs stated as fact on Conservapedia:

  • Barack Obama is actually a Muslim, rather than this simply being a rumor.
  • It is acceptable to use ad hominem in a rational discussion: "Conservatives understand that the basic moral character of a person is always relevant to an argument. Liberals and Atheists are outraged by examination of an individual's character, considering it to be a personal affront, mainly because they are moral relativists. Conservatives understand how important it is that those debating an issue be trustworthy, otherwise a true debate/discussion cannot happen. An immoral person is of course incapable of making a legitimate, intellectual, argument because they come from deceit, like Richard Dawkins." (source)
  • They also seem to believe in Biblical literalism, but at the moment I can't find a clear statement of this. --Woozle 17:03, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

copyright

Unlike the other major sources used by Issuepedia (Wikipedia, dkosopedia, and Sourcewatch, all of which provide their content for free under the GNU FDL), Conservapedia reserves copyright on its contents and threatens to sue for infringement under the DMCA.

notes

stupidity

  • 2008-01-20 13:24 Conservapedia Main Page: "A crowd much smaller than the millions predicted by the liberal media show up in D.C. for Obama's swearing in as President." citing as evidence this link – where we find that "Hundreds of thousands of people packed the National Mall... It was the largest inaugural crowd in decades, perhaps the largest ever; the throng and the anticipation began building even before the sun rose." (No citation for the "millions predicted" claim.) Later in the day, CNN said: "Former presidents, lawmakers, dignitaries and an estimated 2 million average citizens huddled in freezing weather on Capitol Hill to watch Barack Obama take the oath as the nation's first black president." So even if the "millions predicted" claim is accurate, the "liberal media" got it right. What's your point, Conservapedia?
    Conservapedia then adds: "His first official order is expected to be to authorize taxpayer funding for abortion in foreign countries." but apparently they couldn't even find a source to twist around for that claim.

temporary closure of editing

As of 2007-02-25, editing was closed (you have to log in to edit, and the "log in/create account" page was log-in only), probably due to the vandalism; blog comments on 2007-02-21 indicate that new user registration was recently available. New user accounts were reopened sometime prior to 2007-03-13, so editing is essentially open once again (log-in is still required).

Links

Reference

  • Wikipedia
  • Conservapedia
    • main page
    • Debate: should atheists be barred from Conservapedia?: some interesting claims about atheism
      • This page has been deleted. There are no known archives of its contents outside of Conservapedia's "deleted pages" data, which is only accessible to Conservapedia admins.
      • From deletion log: "?(content was: '{{Delete}} '''Proposal''': that atheists and unbelievers should be barred from participation in Conservapedia, and that the espousal of atheistic views should be a blockable offence, enshrined in the Conservapedia Commandments. ==Yes==...')"
      • According to archived material on RationalWiki:
        • Deletion occurred on or before 2009-01-02.
        • Final decision was apparently "no ideological prerequisites to be a contributor - must simply follow the project rules"
  • dKosopedia
  • SourceWatch
  • Rationalwiki

Filed Links

version 2

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Discussion

  • 2007-02-28:
Blake Stacey said, on Contrary Brin (internal links added):

I discovered a few days ago that the Conservapedia article on judicial activism had been written by a parodist. This bloke, going by the 'nym of "DrShaffopolis", said the following:

There are two major types of judicial activism practiced in the United States' court system:

  1. Liberal judges striking down laws that uphold core conservative American values
  2. Liberal judges refusing to strike down laws that subvert core conservative American values

The most famous example of this is Roe v. Wade

He then confessed at Pharyngula. "Earwig" added the following text, including references to FOX News:

Other examples include Brown v Board of Education which stripped state powers of control over education and put them in the hands of the federal government, McCreary County v. ACLU in which judges stripped free speech and religious freedom from McCreary County and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in which the Supreme Court sided with terrorists over the protection of the United States of America.

"Conservinator" then added a blurb at the end, "and that case where the judge decided to murder poor Terry Schiavo, just because she was in a wheelchair." The project's Fearless Leader, Andrew Schlafly, then reverted the article to its previous state, keeping all the additions of DrShaffopolis and Earwig.

Not too surprisingly, the joke article soon got uncritically accepted by a blogger looking for material to laugh about. Conservapedia was so hammered by traffic (thanks to its publicity at ScienceBlogs.com) that it took me ten minutes to load the page revision history and see what had really happened.

Neither the person who wanted to make fun of it nor the man being mocked could tell they were falling for a parody! The satire has become the object of ridicule; the map is now the territory.