I can’t say that I spend much time thinking about Conservapedia, the creationist wiki created as a counterpoint to Wikipedia, but today I happened to find myself on the page titled “Examples of Bias in Wikipedia“. As you might expect, it’s a fun one. The one-line introduction to the page states:
The following is a growing list of examples of liberal bias, deceit, frivolous gossip, and blatant errors on Wikipedia.
It certainly is growing. The list of examples stands at 150 and counting as of this writing, and it defies easy summary. Many relate to disagreements over the portrayal of religion and use of international or non-U.S. standards, or complaints that certain details they find important have not been included on certain pages. For example, one of the most recent (#150) states:
Wikipedia’s Nidal Malik Hasan article fails to mention any connection to Obama’s transition government.
It’s true that Hasan participated in a task force associated with a GWU think tank that offered advice to Obama’s transition team. In fact, the detail has been considered for inclusion on the article about Hasan. Maybe something about it will be, however if it does it will surely fail to imply… whatever it is that this factoid is supposed to imply.
And then there are some objections (#2) that would never have occurred to me:
Wikipedia’s article on engineering features a photo of … an offshore wind turbine, which is an inefficient liberal boondoggle and certainly not a representative example of engineering. None even exist off the shores of the United States because they are not competitive.
Actually, as of today there is no such photograph in that particular article. Victory for Conservapedia! As it happens, there are other cases where the Conservapedia perspective has “won”; here (#45) is another:
Wikipedia has once again deleted all content on the North American Union. The old pages are inaccessible, and re-creation is blocked.
Turns out, there is now a North American Union article, and has been since December 2007, following a period where it indeed had been deleted. This was certainly in error, as the concept has received plenty of coverage — the article has nearly 50 sources.
And then there are some examples (#14) which are not, in fact, genuine examples:
In his article entitled Wikipedia lies, slander continue, journalist Joseph Farah supports his observation that Wikipedia “is not only a provider of inaccuracy and bias. It is wholesale purveyor of lies and slander unlike any other the world has ever known.”
Well, I am sure he is sincere in this belief, but I would still have to tag that “citation needed”.
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