Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wikipedia v. Conservapedia

Today, Bob did his duty as a religious conservative and promoted the Conservapedia, an "alternative" to the allegedly "liberal" Wikipedia. Bob used his familiar style of pretending to hold a call-in debate on the issue. To start, Bob basically read the "Examples of Bias in Wikipedia" provided by the Conservapedia. Then he "opened up" the phone lines asking whether there really is a liberal bias in the Wikipedia. Of course, all the callers (3 of them) agreed that there was a liberal bias. Apparently, for Bob, this is "evidence."

Naturally, Bob failed to talk about the core feature of the Wikipedia (and wiki's in general), that anyone can edit content. There isn't a staff of people who write the articles; it's all done by volunteers. Since anyone can edit, inaccurate information can be easily fixed. Furthermore, additional information (i.e., both sides of a debate) can be added. Wikipedia policy provides for a Neutral point of view that is free of bias and a detailed procedure for resolving disputes.

The Conservapedia, on the other hand, is merely a religious conservative propaganda outlet. For example, compare Wikipedia's article on abortion to that provided by the Conservapedia. The Wikipedia article starts with detailed definitions and information, then recites health information, history of abortion, a summary of the debate, and notes on abortion law. In contrast, the Conservapedia starts right out by saying that Hippocrates was against abortion, then moves right into the discredited claims of an abortion-breast cancer link, followed with more health risk scare tactics. While any registered user can edit Wikipedia's abortion entry, only "sysops" can edit the Conservapedia's version.

Of course, if you want a non-biased, neutral point of view opinion about the Conservapedia, you can just check Wikipedia's entry...

2 comments:

Irl Hudnutt said...

Wow. I missed this segment on yesterday's show and I am happy for it.

It's really simple for Bob: If he thinks you're wrong, you're a liberal. If he agrees with you, you're for the forces for good, i.e. republicans.

He stubbornly denies the complexity of every issue so he can support his narrow point of view.

Speaking of narrow points of view, that article on abortion at Conservapedia is insane.

The old saw is that you can have your own opinion but you can't have your own facts. That's not true at conservapedia. They just make it up as they go along to promote their agenda.

Wired reports that Conservapedia is written by homeschoolers. That's not surprising. The complete lack of education is shining through.

djtyg said...

In the world of conservatives, truth and neutrality have liberal biases and must be censored immediately.