Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Conservapedia: The wiki with a Fox News attitude

The newest online encyclopedia is called Conservapedia. Its homepage includes daily Bible verses and historical quotes and offers breaking news, such as this tidbit today: "Democratic Congressional Approval Ratings Worse than Bush's."

It's like Wikipedia, only through a conservative lens. Try searching for evolution, for example, and you'll be redirected to "Theory of evolution" and informed that "a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since World War II have been atheists."

Conservapedia defines environmentalists as "people who profess concern about the environment" and notes that some would want to impose legal limits on the use of toilet paper.

Femininity? The quality of being "childlike, gentle, pretty, willowy, submissive."

A hike in minimum wage is referred to as "a controversial manoeuvre that increases the incentive for young people to drop out of school."

And the state of the economy under President Bush? Much better than the "liberal media" would have you think: "For example, during his term Exxon Mobile has posted the largest profit of any company in a single year, and executive salaries have greatly increased as well."

With fewer than 12,000 entries and typos galore (the misspelling of Mobil above; the mayor of L.A. is referred to as "Anthony Varigoso"), Conservapedia isn't about to supplant Wikipedia — which boasts 1.8 million articles in English alone.

But the all-volunteer site has several thousand active readers and writers. (Founder Andy) Schlafly encourages his students to use it as a reference, saying that the articles are more concise than those on Wikipedia. On the home page, just above the daily Bible verse, he tallies total views: 12.3 million and counting.

This story is from today's LA Times, which garners reporter Stephanie Simon her third-straight day of getting mentioned on The God Blog.

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