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Liberals: Wikipedia not biased, Conservapedia a joke

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum has started an alternative to Wikipedia called Conservapedia.

Needless to say, the usual "liberal" suspects are having a great deal of (what passes to them as) fun (link, link, link,link). They're pointing out "errors" in the encyclopedia, and some of those "errors" may actually be vandalism (link, link,link) and would be refered to at WP as such. Did you really expect anything different?

Of course, those of us with a greater mental age might wonder, "if unthinking 'liberals' say Wikipedia isn't biased, isn't that prima facie evidence that it is indeed biased?" And, we could compare that to the occasional ludicrous statement that the MSM does not have such a bias. And, we could point to entries at WP such as that on Antonio Villaraigosa, or the press-release-manquee for Media Matters. Or, something else I just noticed: Art Torres' 187 quote was added to his entry in April 2006, removed in May, and then not added back in until August. Meaning that all during the Summer of 2006, a very "liberal" POV of Torres was being presented to all those who visited the entry, which turns up at the #1 spot in a Google search for his name.

Nope, no bias in Wikipedia, which is "normal" and "unbiased" in the same sense that the New York Times is "normal" and "unbiased".

I note also that WP publishes an /Interwiki_map, which lets you create links to other wikis. Instead of entering the full, external URL, you use something like Disinfopedia:Wikipedia, which would link to the Wikipedia entry at sourcewatch.org. Unlike almost all other external links, such links don't have the nofollow tag added, which is certainly of benefit to many sites. There are interwiki links for commercial sites such as IMDB, and one was briefly added for Youtube (it was deleted over concerns of linking to copyrighted material). You can suggest adding an interwiki link on its talk page, and no one has so far offered for Conservapedia. I wonder what would happen if someone did?

The bottom line is that the "liberal" response to Conservapedia is similar to their response to Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, and Fox News, and their push to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. They aren't content with having their biases presented in almost all of the wider media, they simply want it all.

VERY SPECIAL UPDATE: Certainly, not all the bias at WP is "liberal". In the 06:13, 26 January 2005 revision of the Asa_Hutchinson article (a Republican and a former DHS Undersecretary), I added four negative links, none of them to any of my sites and all relating to illegal immigration:

"Rounding up all illegals 'not realistic'"
"Hutchinson’s Remarks Indicate Cheap Labor Bias of Administration"
Cheers, jeers at immigration town hall meeting
"(Hutchinson) slammed for stopping illegals sweeps"

Those links were deleted 10 weeks later; in August I added them back in twice before giving up. In its current state, no one would know anything about his involvement in the Temecula sweeps, which is about the only thing (other than running for Arkansas governor) he's known for in the past few years.

DON'T MESS WITH MINILIB UPDATE: My Digg post was buried; searching for it by name didn't bring it up until I checked the 'show buried stories' checkbox. I don't know exactly how that works, but if you go here and vote for it it might become un-'liberaled'.

Miscellania · Sat, 02/24/2007 - 12:55 · Importance: 1

Thu, 03/01/2007 - 01:21

As has already been said, one wonders why you aren't on Wikipedia trying to constructively argue your case and improve the articles to the benefit of all, rather than running off to make a page devoted to criticising it in the apparent hopes of destroying a useful educational tool.

If this is how all conservatives react upon seeing something they disapprove of, that might explain why you see liberal bias in Wikipedia: because "your side" are either too lazy or eager for attention/controversy to actually contribute in any way.

Of course, luckily for Wikipedia, this *isn't* how all conservatives react.

Sun, 02/25/2007 - 21:17

This post isn't about Conservapedia per se. It's about the reaction to it, and it's about bias at Wikipedia. Check out the latter's CFR article for another example of WP's sterling ability to ferret out the true story.

Sun, 02/25/2007 - 08:03
Fred Dawes

its all about money

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 21:36
Jeff Fecke

I think I've seen two pages at CP, other than screenshots of pages that had been vandalized.

Well. That's evidence of the high standards of conservative scholarship right there. No wonder you felt compelled to write this blistering critique of liberals.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 19:29

I didn't say editing was "almost exclusively done by liberal college students". It's a matter of numbers: if 1,000,000 people edit WP, and 700,000 of them lean left, then they're going to have to be very, very careful to make sure that WP doesn't lean left.

I think I've seen two pages at CP, other than screenshots of pages that had been vandalized. If people can't register, perhaps it's because of the vandalism or a technical issue.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 16:38
Nomine Cervus

Ok, TLB, answer me this. If editing wikis is something that's almost exculusively done by liberal college students, do you feel this way about Conservapedia also? That annoys me quite a bit;I actually have edited wikipedia on occassion and have found no problem in doing so, that is, when I explain my changes in a calm, non-accusatory manner. There wasn't wikipedia around when I was in college, but I would have started editing it then, even though I was conservative both then and now(I don't change with the seasons like a lot of people do).

Nonetheless, the issue at hand is Conservapedia. Why are you dodging the fact that it can't be edited? I wanted to give the site a shot, but apparently no one is allowed to register. Don't you feel frustrated by that?

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 15:43
Jon Swift

Thank goodness for Conservapedia, which doesn't have any bias at all, and operates under the strictest standards of scholarship.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 15:27

In the real world, attempts to correct bias go to the "fittest", i.e., those with the most desire and time. That tends to favor those who are younger (i.e., high school and college students and such), and those people tend to be more "liberal".

While I certainly haven't done the best job at laying out what's wrong at WP (wait for the new site), in the meantime you can review the history of Antonio Villaraigosa's entry at WP, referenced above. In 2005 I did attempt to add factual, material information which was missing, and that was removed three times. The user who removed that factual information even referenced the upcoming elections. Search for "slanted campaign-related edits" on the history page for AV's entry. I don't think that it was "slanted", but that editor could certainly have kept the facts and removed the "slanted" bits. He removed everything, and his edits stuck for a long time.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 14:44

Oh and how about, intead of "working on a site that will show more examples of bias", you just go to Wikipedia and CORRECT the bias? Are you not aware of how Wikis work? Go correct the bias.

See that's why Wikipedia successed, while Conservapedia will be a briefly-joked about flash in the pan. Wikipedia corrects bias because bias from one side will be deleted, and countered by bias from the other side, which will be deleted...leaving only the facts, the part EVERYONE can agree on, the truth.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 14:33

Wackjob; the fundamental problem with your "bias" claims is that the Wikipedia can be edited by anyone to correct that bias. The conservapedia can't. It's that simple. So let's look - any human being, left, right, or middle of the road, can create and edit articles in Wikipedia. But only a very limited, American, Christian subset of conservatives can edit articles in the Conservapedia. Now look me in the eye and tell me which one will be more biased.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 14:14

I mention three examples of "liberal" bias above: Villaraigosa, Media Matters, and Torres. For the first, see the link. For the second, see the history (2005?) where an example of them getting it wrong was deleted, and see the current entry which reads like a press release. For the latter, see the post which details a three month period where highly material negative information was missing from his entry.

I'm also working on a new site which will provide more examples of long-term bias.

Sat, 02/24/2007 - 13:56
Nomine Cervus

First of all, you failed to actually point out how Wikipedia has a liberal bias. (which doesn't suprise me, as anyone, even a conservative, is allowed to edit the articles. The fact that they're too lazy to do so isn't the fault of the Wiki structure.)

Second, what do you think about the fact that Conservapedia is broken- it won't let people even sign up to edit it, which defeats the entire purpose of it?