Wiki wars

From Language Log, I recently learned about Conservapedia, which, as you might guess from the title, is a conservative Christian version of Wikipedia. (Language Log was interested in Conservapedia’s erroneous entries on linguistics.)

Conservapedia’s welcome message includes the following explanation: “Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American.”

Conservapedia’s entry on Wikipedia begins,

Because anyone can edit it, and because of its system of governance, it does not have standards similar to those of printed encyclopedias. As with any wiki, the balance of the content in Wikipedia inevitably represents what its contributors find interesting to write about, rather than what encyclopedias traditionally contain. Thus, gossip and hundreds of thousands of entries about pop songs or celebrities are pervasive on Wikipedia. (Conservapedia)

And what does Wikipedia, in turn, say about Conservapedia? Until recently, nothing. Wikipedia redirected “Conservapedia” to “Eagle Forum,” and the entry itself was in the “Articles for Deletion” bin. Most voting for deletion feel it’s not notable, it’s trivial, etc.

And then Language Log mentioned it, and over the weekend, it’s reappeared…

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