(by Payton Hoegh, CNSNews.com) – A conservative alternative in the up-and-coming online encyclopedia field said it aims to combat what it calls “liberal bias” on the highly popular collaborative Wikipedia.com site.
Conservapedia.com was formed late last year in a bid to challenge the established online encyclopedia giant Wikipedia, which is one of the 15 most visited websites in the world.
The conservative encyclopedia began as a class project for Andrew Schlafly – whose mother, Phyllis founded the [conservative] Eagle Forum – and 58 of his New Jersey history students. It claims to have grown since then to be “one of the largest and most reliable online educational resources of its kind.”
The opening screen for the website states that it “is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American.”
The site claims that many of Wikipedia’s entries provide dates with the “anti-Christian” C.E. (Common Era) rather than A.D. (Anno Domini, or in the year of our Lord) and claims that Christianity receives no credit for its role in great advances like the Renaissance.
“Tired of the liberal bias every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?” the Conservapedia site asks. “Now it’s time for the conservatives to get our voice out on the internet!
“Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America … You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of ‘political correctness.’ “
A representative of the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent company of Wikipedia, told Cybercast News Service Monday that its editors “come from all political spectrums” but that they are held to a strict code of neutrality.
“Wikipedia articles are neutral and adhere to a neutrality policy called NPOV (Neutral Point of View). This means that all major viewpoints are represented in an entry reflecting the diversity of our editors as well as insuring the stability of our articles.”
The Wikipedia website explains the NPOV concept, saying that all articles must present “fairly and without bias all significant views that have been published by a reliable source.”
“The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented,” the website added.
Wikipedia co-founder Jim Wales said this principle is “absolute and non-negotiable.”
Conservapedia did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comments, but Schlafly was quoted by the New York Times as saying that his site achieves “what Wikipedia says they are trying to do but actually don’t do.”
The relatively new Conservapedia site boasts over 3,800 entries compared to 1.67 million articles in the English section of the multi-lingual Wikipedia site.
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1. What is Conservapedia.com?
2. Why was Conservapedia.com formed?
3. Who created Conservapedia.com?
4. What claims does the site make about Wikipedia.org?
5. How did a representative for Wikipedia respond to Conservapedia’s assertion that it has a liberal bias?
6. Read the “Examples of Bias in Wikipedia” page at conservapedia.com. Do you think that Conservapedia’s assertion that Wikipedia has a liberal bias is accurate? Explain your answer.
Over the next several weeks/months, when reading about a controversial issue: global warming, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the death penalty, gun control, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc., read the entries at wikipedia.org and decide if you think they portray one side of the issue in a better light than the other.
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