In all of the dumb ideas to come out of the right, perhaps Conservapedia is the dumbest. Billed as “a conservative encyclopedia you can trust,” it is destined to fail miserably to expand outside the clutches of a few conservative cultists.
Wikipedia has succeeded because it has been open and accessible to all. Anyone of any political persuasion can participate in building and growing Wikipedia, not so with conservapedia — though it may claim otherwise. Wikipedia, now commonly cited in judicial opinions and other works of note around the nation, does have a liberal bias, but only because of the participants. Conservapedia has the potential to draw away from Wikipedia the conservatives who choose to participate there, while failing to gain popular traction due to its very name — an upfront banner of separatist conservative anxiety against the liberal biases of an online encyclopedia anyone can edit.
It’s a bad idea. Conservapedia, attempting to justify itself lists 32 examples of bias at Wikipedia including such horrors as:
Wikipedia allows the use of B.C.E. instead of B.C. and C.E. instead of A.D. The dates are based on the birth of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise? Conservapedia is Christian-friendly and exposes the CE deception.
Wikipedia often uses foreign spelling of words, even though most English-speaking users are American. Look up “Most Favored Nation” on Wikipedia and it automatically converts the spelling to the British spelling “Most Favoured Nation.” Look up “Division of labor” on Wikipedia and it automatically converts to the British spelling “Division of labour,” then insists on the British spelling for “specialization” also.
I do not deny that wikipedia has a liberal bias. It certainly does, as does modern academia. But conservatives do themselves and the public a disservice by walling themselves off. Christ said to the apostles, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,”* not “wall yourselves off from the world and only talk to each other.”
Conservapedia is a dumb idea.
*I looked up “The Great Commission” on Wikipedia to make sure I had the quote right.