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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Conservapedia: like Wikipedia, but for Republicans and anyone else looking for a good laugh

The evening of October 7, on his show The Colbert Report , Stephen Colbert gave a message to his followers, The Colbert Nation. “Nation, I want you to go to Conservapedia and make me a biblical figure!” Colbert’s call to action was prompted by Conservapedia’s "Conservative Bible Project"; an endeavor to re-write the Bible to erase liberal bias. Colbert, who has been known for attempting to have things named after him, most recently a satellite, had a plan for getting his name in to something a bit more well known: The Bible. "Conservapedia is user edited like Wikipedia, [so] you can add something the Bible is sorely lacking: me," Colbert said. Conservapedia was created in November of 2006 as a resource to "educate advanced, college-bound homeschoolers ." It is a self described "clean and concise resource for those seeking the truth." To keep its website as a resource for those who are seeking the truth, Conservapedia has created 7 "Commandments" " to avoid the arbitrary and biased enforcement that is rampant on Wikipedia." These include rules like banning unproductive activity such as "the senseless changing of American to British spellings," and a ban on the use of material from Wikipedia. Though there is one exception: "It is appropriate to quote or cite Wikipedia to illustrate the liberal view of an issue. For example, one could cite the Wikipedia atheism or evolution articles to illustrate a liberal view in regards to atheism or the evolutionary paradigm." Because of the similarity of their names and their user edited content, comparisons between Conservapedia and Wikipedia are inevitable, but Conservapedia has made it very clear that it is very different from Wikipedia. This differentiation includes an article titled: "The following is a growing list of examples of liberal bias, deceit, frivolous gossip, and blatant errors on Wikipedia." The list contains 176 examples on Wikipedia that the members of Conservapedia believe to show a liberal bias. Example 86: "Wikipedia’s entry on liberal former Vice President Al Gore contains no mention of the drug charges against his son. But Wikipedia’s entry on conservative Vice President Dick Cheney prominently mentions his adult daughter’s sexuality." Some see this as a manifestation of a conservative bias in Conservapedia and not liberal deceit on Wikipedia’s part. In it’s article about Wikipedia, Conservapedia states that "Wikipedia is a self-described online encyclopedia written and edited by an adhoc assemblage of anonymous persons who are mostly, according to the Register (UK), teenagers and unemployed persons." Wikipedia’s entry on Conservapedia states that "Conservapedia is an English-language wiki-based Web encyclopedia project written from an Americentric , conservative Christian and predominantly young earth creationist point of view." And that "[it] has been the subject of criticism, both inside and outside of the United States, for bias and inaccuracies." Conservapedia’s complaints on Wikipedia’s liberal bias may be hypocritical. In Conservapedia’s article on Liberals it says a liberal " is someone who rejects logical and biblical standards, often for self-centered reasons." Where as Wikipedia says "Liberalism is the belief in the importance of individual freedom." On the other side of the political coin , Conservapedia says "a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all." And Wikipedia says that "Conservatism is the diverse political and social philosophy that supports tradition and the status quo." Though it’s conservative bias is not for everyone, Conservapedia does have some information that could be very useful, though not any more useful than Wikipedia, as an Internet encyclopedia. "No other encyclopedic resource on the Internet is free of corruption by liberal untruths. Please look around while you’re here, share this with others, edit your favorite entries, and enjoy the benefits of new insights that you never realized before. For example, do you know why pretzels have their shape?"

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