Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wikipedia Is Not Always Right

Wikipedia Is Not Always Right
By Matthew Weaver / Internet 03:43pm

A group of religious zealots and social rightwingers in America are taking on the might of Wikipedia. Based on their belief that Wikipedia's liberal and secular bias is polluting young American minds, they have set up Conservapedia to put the record straight and promote creationism in "educational, clean and concise" entries.

Despite suspicions that it is a parody, the site is apparently deadly serious. It has become the laughing stock of the internet, as bloggers compete to find the most ludicrous entries.

Cosmic variance finds lots. BoingBoing is tickled by the entry on the Satanic aspects of the humble cactus. While Erikemery thinks the whole thing is "absolutely, incredibly hilarious".

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is relaxed about it, judging by comments to the New Scientist blog. But the site he created has a pretty dismissive entry on the Eagle Forum, who are apparently responsible for Conservapedia.

Meanwhile, Wonkette is amused by efforts to subvert the site with vandalised entries.

Others say the site is no laughing matter. It is "racist" and "repugnant trash", says Jack and Jill politics. While Mike Dunford on Science blog says Conservapedia may seem funny at first but it is actually a very worrying sign of the growth of prejudice over facts. In a thoughtful post, he says: "Conservapedia is a joke, to be sure, and it's not even a good joke ... It is a mindset that is unhealthy and unacceptable, and it needs to be fought."

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