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Hate Wikipedia? Start Your Own

Have you all heard of Conservapedia? It bills itself as “a conservative encyclopedia you can trust,” and it is pretty fascinating. It has a strong pro-Christian, anti-liberal (and especially anti-N.Y. Times) bent, and is just one of several user-run encyclopedias that have taken root in response (or tribute) to Wikipedia. (Here are our previous posts on Wikipedia). These also include Uncyclopedia, a comic site that mocks Wikipedia with entries that contain not a single correct fact.

I hadn’t heard about Conservapedia until reading Alex Beam‘s piece in the Boston Globe, which calls it “the online encyclopedia for right-leaning wing nuts.” I am guessing that the folks who write Conservapedia would take issue with this, as least the “wing nut” part; they probably consider Beam, the Globe, and Wikipedia to be the real wing nuts.

Here are Conservapedia’s “Commandments,” or rules for posting. Among the more interesting rules:

Commandment No. 1: Everything you post must be true and verifiable. Do not copy from Wikipedia or elsewhere unless it was your original work.

And, perhaps the best barometer of the site’s aesthetic:

Commandment No. 4: When referencing dates based on the approximate birth of Jesus, give appropriate credit for the basis of the date (B.C. or A.D.). “BCE” and “CE” are unacceptable substitutes because they deny the historical basis.