I have been considering for a long time, and have decided to leave Conservapedia. Much thought has gone into this, and I am not happy to do this. However, I feel that it is something that I have to do. When I first came to CP, the concept for the site was a great idea, a site that was fair, and gave the truth. However over time I found out that CP does not do a good job of living up to its mission, and is run in such a way that I cannot continue here with a good conscience. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I will lay them out for you below. Call this a Parthian shot if you want to, but there is nothing inherently wrong with pointing out the problems that made me decide to leave. And I will stay around for a few days to discuss it if people want to discuss it, and if my concerns are addressed, I will stay at CP.
Disregard of rules
It seems that on CP, rules are only to be followed when they are convenient. Things like “True and verifiable” only seem to apply to the work of people who disagree with the party line. The idea that there are no ideological blocks, is a farce. Users who break the rules are often praised, and users who point out that rules are being broken, are often reverted, and sometimes blocked. Apparently, selective enforcement is accepted policy on CP.
The issue of liberalism
It seems that on CP the accepted practice is to treat all liberals as evil, and all conservatives as good. The basic premise seems to be that evil and liberalism are basically synonymous. Anything that makes a liberal look bad is welcomed, and anything that makes a liberal look good is not. Anything that reflects negatively on a conservative is [com deleted even if it is factual], and the user is often blocked. There is a long list of articles that are dedicated to liberal bashing. While there is some truth to some of them, much of the content is either made up, or greatly exaggerated. Evil is inherent in every person (Romans 3:22-23), not just the liberals. All kinds of people—liberal, conservative, apolitical, atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu—have evil inside of them, and can and do commit evil acts. They all lie, cheat. And engage in corrupt politics. CP has decided that only the liberals do bad things. And if a conservative does bad things, then it is either a rare exception to the rule, or else it is decided that the person is no longer considered a conservative by CP. If a liberal does something right, it is downplayed.
[Editor's note: three links in this section that were never corrected in the original have been repaired in our transcription]
The issue of Point of View
CP claims that it does not have a point of view, that it only deals with facts, that the facts are allowed to speak for themselves. CP claims that it is not Conservative (strange, given the name), and does not hold a Christian, or young earth creationist point of view. However, I would say that it does. I already stated above how CP treats the issue of liberal v. conservative, and it is quite plain that CP holds a conservative point of view. It is also true that CP holds a YEC point of view. Any article that has to do with origins is written in such a way that young earth creationism is portrayed as correct. (let me interject by saying that I do not have problem with that. I believe that YECism is right, and supported by the facts. I just have a problem with the claim that CP does not have a YEC point of view. ) Any changes to the contrary are quickly reverted, and the perpetrator is often banned. It is not wrong for a website to have a POV. In fact, Andy makes a point of the fact that CP does not have a NPOV policy like WP does. The facts often support one POV, and that POV should be presented favorably. However, to have a POV, and enforce it by reverting and banning, is wrong.
What constitutes truth?
On CP, it is claimed that we support the truth. However, truth seems to be defined as whatever ideas make our positions look good. Inconvenient facts are ignored. People that try to add perfectly factual information that makes a conservative look bad are reverted and banned, yet it is claimed that we don’t censor factual information. At the same time, opinions held by people in power are stated as fact, and anyone who tries to change it is reverted (often with a “no censorship excuse”) and often banned. Truth is absolute. It is not determined by the ideas and opinions of a few people.
The 90/10 rule
The 90/10 rule is supposedly intended to cut down on unproductive activity. However, it seems that it’s real use is as an excuse for censorship. Basically, 90/10 is just an excuse to block anyone who isn’t liked. Very few people are ever in literal violation of the 90/10 quota. Users with more than 50% mainspace edits are often blocked under 90/10.
Blocking of users
The blocking practices on CP are basically this. If anyone who has blocking rights doesn’t like you, you can be blocked. It doesn’t matter if you break the rules. You can just be blocked on the whim of any user with block rights. The block will most likely be upheld and defended by Andy and some of the senior administrators. Recently a rule has been added which disallows the unblocking of blocks issued by other sysops, even if the block is wrong. The reasoning behind this rule is supposedly that it is an insult to the original blocking sysop. My question is this, which is more important, the integrity of the project, or the ego of an administrator? I believe that the integrity of the project needs to come first, and I believe that the ego of an administrator should never be taken into account.
What CP needs is a uniform blocking policy, which governs all blocks. If a block cannot be justified under the rules, then it should not be made.
CP has decided that Obama is a Muslim. Nevermind that there is not sufficient evidence to support it. On CP if you disagree with the section of the Obama article that alleges that he is a Muslim, you are very likely to be blocked. If you remove a baseless claim, you will be blocked. If you even argue the point, you will be called a liberal. Very few of the points stated in the article are evidence that he is a Muslim, and the few that are a small bit of evidence are very weak. There are other arguments that back up the idea that he is not a Muslim, but those arguments are not allowed on CP. Add one to the article, and you are likely to be blocked.
Basically every rule on CP is applied with a double standard. If you agree with the party line, you can get away with just about anything. If you disagree, then there is almost nothing you can do that will not be attacked and claimed as evidence that you are liberal, or a vandal, or some such accusation. If you disagree on one topic you are claimed to be a liberal, and your other positions are assumed to be liberal even if you say you are a conservative. (Just ask PJR) But if you agree with the party line, and attack people who disagree, you are assumed to be a conservative regardless of whether there is any evidence or not.
Treatment of Biblical issues
Andy has decided that he is the final authority on biblical interpretation. He has decided that the Adulteress story should be struck from the Bible because he claims it is “liberal vandalism.” And he also claims that it is opposed to “Jesus emphasis on Hell.” The problem is that in reality, Jesus’ emphasis is on forgiveness. (I personally believe that the Adulteress story is genuine. While many experts do say that it is likely a later addition, it is not for the same reasons that Andy claims, and many of them still agree that the story is probably genuine.) He has decided that certain passages should be translated differently because he doesn’t really like their current meaning, even if he is supplied with multiple sources that show that the current translation is accurate. Basically he wants to have the Bible say what he wants it to say, even if that is not what it actually says. He has also suggested that people deny the existence of Hell, because they spell it with a lower case “h.”
Mormon Church and user:Ultimahero
User:Ultimahero made some edits to the article about the LDS church, which point out the differences between mormon doctrine and mainstream Christianity. His edits were reverted, even though they were factual, and he was persecuted and blocked for standing up for the truth. Basically it was decided that because the LDS church tends to be politically conservative, we shouldn’t say anything that would cast them in a bad light. This kind of mindset is widespread on CP.
For all of the above reasons, I cannot justify staying on at CP. CP gives conservatives and Christians a bad name. CP is run in a manner that is decidedly not conservative or Christian. Instead, it is run in an authoritarian manner. It reminds me of 1984. If you disagree with the party you are gotten rid of. If something happens that makes CP or conservatism look bad, the evidence is gotten rid of. If you hold certain positions, you are frowned upon, and much more likely to get blocked. I cannot continue contributing to CP with a good conscience as long as these problems are not dealt with. I herby resign my position as an administrator at Conservapedia. I will no longer contribute to a site that violates so many of my moral principles. If I can find another project that upholds my principles, then I will go there. If not, I will just be done with wiki-work. I will not actively continue at the other site, which I am not allowed to mention either. I only had an account there to defend actions by myself, and others at CP, and to stand up for Christian and conservative principles. That site and its purpose cannot be divorced from it’s connection to CP, and therefore, I will no longer be active there.
I have broken no rules, and everything I have ever done on CP has been with the best interests of CP at heart. --CPAdmin1 19:49, 31 December 2008 (EST)
- Text taken from an e-mail to the other Conservapedia sysops. TZB 240/162a82607538d116.html