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Trus me
Conservlogo late april.png
In-depth analysis

I'm so awfully glad I'm not a liberal.

~ Conservapedia Motto of the Day

In recognition of your superb contributions, you've been given the additional power to lock the entire database if needed to fend off a massive attack.

~ Andy to his #1 parodist

Sentences should not be facts.

~ Conservapedia (true quote!)

[Senator Carl Levin] voted no on a mandatory patently notification for miners (sic) who wish to get a (sic) out of state abortion.

~ Conservapedia (true quote!) [1]

Conservapedia is the latest public manifestation of how the American fundamentalist Christian right "thinks". It is a wiki-based attempt to build a heavily biased and factually incorrect encyclopedia. Due to its bias, it ends up portraying liberals, atheists, and homosexuals (along with whoever the "bête noire du jour" is, like Muslims) as being evil[2] and anti-American.[3] Their attacks on these groups are fueled by traditionalism and jingoistic pro-Americanism. It has been called "The Watchtower of the Internet."[4]

The site was founded by Andrew Schlafly,[5] spawn of professional anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly,[6] in an attempt to offset what he perceived as an excessive liberal bias at Wikipedia.[5] Conservapedia's goal is to try to create a version of Wikipedia that has a conservative bias, especially when it comes to issues where politics and fundamentalist Christianity overlap, such as creationism, evolution, sexuality and morality.[7]


Andrew Schlafly at the helm.

Currently, Conservapedia ("CP" for short) is managed by Aschlafly[8] and a group of homeschooled teenagers known as "The Panel",[9] who seem to have given up on Conservapedia because not a single panel request has been considered yet.[10] While there is a list of Conservapedia Commandments, they seem to be mostly honored in the breach, and their basic policy seems to be banning people for ideological differences, attempts at humor, or backtalking to them. The latest expansion on this is the "Scorched Earth Editing Policy", in which after banning someone, they undo all of that person's recent edits, just to make certain the filthy heretic doesn't feel like trying to get back on to vandalize the site further by posting more facts the sysops don't agree with. Users there have been warned not to delete content on threat of banning.[11]

Liberal revulsion for Conservapedia is mollified by the knowledge that a Wikipedia-like site can only thrive with a relatively free exchange of ideas and some tolerance for vandals, hoaxers, and crackpots, and the gang of beady-eyed zealots running CP are going to stifle it to death while thinking they're 'protecting' it. (For an example, look at all the pages that various editors have locked so that nobody can 'deface' them, thus preventing anyone from improving them as well.)

In addition, Conservapedia has taken the extreme step of preventing any user from registering a new account or making any edits at certain times of the day unless granted special rights, which are rarely granted. [12]

The management at Conservapedia also struggles with the wiki software. Some sysops do not even know how to unblock users.[13]

Philosophical stance

Conservapedia (The Trusworthy [sic] Encyclopedia) is an (abnormal) encyclopedia with an American Conservative Christian point of view. But what exactly do these terms mean? Some of Conservapedia's main tenets include:

File:Anticreation familyguy.jpg
Licensed medical professionals, on the dangers of Conservapedia.

See also: Conservapedia:Delusions

Public restroom stance

W  I  D  E  

Parodist T.Paper's contribution to the article on paper.

Usefulness of Conservapedia

Conservapedia is actually useful when arguing with various strains of religious fundamentalist, in ascertaining just what on earth they claim to think themselves. Of course religous fundamentalists don't think themselves. They let their religious leaders think for them. Note that Wikipedia is also surprisingly detailed in delineating the various strains of creationist thought, should you wish to survey the rabbit hole before diving in head first.

As an encyclopedia, Conservapedia is not so useful. Whereas Wikipedia has a very broad coverage of virtually all subjects, due to having a large community of editors with diverse interests, Conservapedia operates with a small and dysfunctional community of editors, fixated with certain subjects and attitudes.

Most of the more active sysops are more interested in pursuing their various vendettas against atheism, homosexuality, the theory of evolution, the Democrats, public schools, and perceived liberal biases in the media, than in creating a diverse learning resource. There is a high turnover of new editors, many of whom are either banned or soon give up on the wiki, and there is a small number of devoted editors who tirelessly create detailed articles on their own individual interests.

This results in a disproportionate coverage of specialist subjects such as Japanese culture (thanks to JessicaT)[25] and Middle-earth (thanks to Tolkiendil),[26] a morbidly repetitive treatment of subjects such as atheism[27] and homosexuality[28] (largely the work of sysop Conservative), and many anti-liberal diatribes by Aschlafly himself.[29] Meanwhile coverage of more common and academic subjects is confined to either useless stub articles, or plagiarised text pasted from other source, along with a few articles or projects which have been started but obviously left unfinished and probably unnoticed.[30]

Accuracy of Conservapedia

Parody or conservapedian wisdom? You decide.

First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure

~ Mark Twain

Conservapedia, like any encyclopedia (especially those using the open-editing wiki format), is prone to errors. There is reason to believe that Conservapedia is actually far inferior to Wikipedia and that its articles are not to be trusted. Conservapedia's math and history articles have been criticized for a plethora of errors,[31] while a numerical comparison of Conservapedia articles with articles in Wikipedia have shown Conservapedia's articles to be lagging in quality.[32]

Interesting gaps in Conservapedia

Like the press of the now-defunct USSR, what Conservapedia doesn't say can be just as enlightening as what it does say. For example, for a long time various human bodily parts were banned from having entries on CP, leading to CP having thousands of words about why a woman shouldn't have an abortion, and not one word on the organs involved in getting her pregnant in the first place.[33] This would seem to be related to the fact that their primary audience is home-schooled children, whom they feel should be shielded from such knowledge.

Furthermore, they do not mention the liberal views held by many conservative politicians on certain issues. For example, Conservapedia's entry on Barry Goldwater, one of the most prominent champions of American Conservatism, does not mention that the long-time U.S. Senator (in many ways more a libertarian than conservative) was firmly pro-choice, nor that he was against the exclusion of gays from the military. Their article furthermore neither mentions that the Republican was good friends with Democratic U.S. Senator, and later President, John F. Kennedy, nor that at the end of his life, Barry Goldwater was becoming increasingly worried about the influence the Religious Right was gaining in the Republican Party. Although one might argue that these omissions might be because Conservapedia is pro-life, anti-gays in the military (and anti-gay in general), intent on defaming Kennedy (and any other "liberal"), and does not wish to be reminded of that one of their most beloved statesmen was in fierce disagreement with them on these issues, this explanation seems to go against their claimed goal of being unbiased, and even "trustworthy".

As of November 5th, there is no mention of Barack Obama's election victory on either the "US Presidential Election, 2008" page, or the "Barack Obama" page.

Conservapedia and fear of the unknown

As is common with very conservative groups throughout history, much of their fear stems from unfamiliarity with diverse, nuanced situations and a tendency to believe others are conspiring against them. The former creates fear in the ultra-conservative mind that their position in society is not secure; the latter defines their obsession with security issues.

In the case of Conservapedia, these fears are realized in deletion of user pages and the site as a whole spending an inordinate amount of time tracking down vandalism and protecting pages.

Though certainly not all will agree, this “fear of the unknown” is often used to explain so-called “blind faith.”

Conservapedia v. Wikipedia: A self-proclaimed jihad!

Conservapedia claims 16 differences with Wikipedia[34] that they assert make it far superior to what is often considered the best general resource on the web.[35] The differences range from:

  • Proveably false: Conservapedia claims Wikipedia is commercial because it is creating a for-profit search engine;[34] it is not.[36]
  • Unfounded: Conservapedia claims that Wikipedia allows gossip;[34] this is hard to prove or disprove.
  • Frivolous: Conservapedia claims that they keep the number of templates in their articles down.[34]

Teaching value

Conservapedia continually claims that Wikipedia is noneducational.

The real test of an "encyclopedia" is how clearly and concisely it explains something to an inquiring student or adult. Any objective evaluation of Wikipedia entries in terms of their ability to teach has to give Wikipedia an "F".
Aschlafly, [37]

While Wikipedia may not be the most authoritative reference site on the web it certainly does not deserve an "F". Studies have shown that Wikipedia is comparable or nearly as good as Encyclopædia Britannica[38] which is universally accepted as a good educational resource. Additionally, Andy's very premise is flawed. The real test of an encyclopedia is not "how clearly and concisely it explains something to an inquiring student or adult." Rather it is how broad, accurate, and complete its coverage is. "Concise" is one of Andy's favorite words, by which he means "brief". By that measurement, CP is an excellent site. Unless you're explaining the evils of homosexuality, evolution, or atheism, the general rule on CP seems to be that a few sentences will do. They hold to that pretty well. Britannica, for example, is far from concise, and often not particularly clear. Andy, one must suppose, would assert that CP is a superior encyclopedia, a laughable assertion on anyone's terms. In terms of coverage that is broad, accurate, or complete, CP gets at best a D-. Whatever one chooses to give Wikipedia, it's certainly much better than that.


Another common claim at Conservapedia is that Wikipedia is trafficking pornography to minors.

Wikipedia is feeding pornography to children.
Aschlafly, [39]

Although Wikipedia does have many articles on sexuality, and even child sexuality, calling those articles pornography is specious. What is considered pornographic imagery is a subjective judgement, and Conservapedia itself is not free from nude pictures.[40]

Justice in Conservapedia

The rule of law at Conservapedia is enforced by the sysops. There is a code of rules known as the Conservapedia Commandments but they are seldom followed. The sysops block arbitrarily, passing out bans upon any and all who disagree with them. The only function for the rules is that they are occasionally used to justify disciplinary action. Conservapedia sysops argued about who they think should and who should not get blocked. [41] The "system" remains arbitrary. Even this debate may be silenced in future.

One of the most commonly abused rules is an unofficial one not actually on the rule book[42] called the 90/10 rule which states that editors must not make around 90% of their edits in the talk pages and only 10% in articles. This is enforced arbitrarily by sysops when they come across an editor who brings up a point they disagree with (no matter how well sourced or logical). They can ban them, sometimes infinitely, and use the 90/10 as justification, although in some cases the editor in question has made fewer than ten edits and so cannot be assessed accurately against this criterion. See Conservapedia:An open letter from a disillusioned conservapedian

Commandment 1 says to not copy "from Wikipedia or elsewhere"[43], but most users and many of the more active sysops copy and paste regularly [44][45], but when an editor copies and pastes an article that they disagree with, they will delete it for plagiarism. The Conservapedia article Arguments for the existence of God was copied and pasted and the user who created it admitted it in the edit summary saying "(copied from / public domain)".[46] When an article was copied off RationalWiki (Which is under the same licensing as Theopedia) they deleted it because it was "copied from RationalWiki".

Hypocritically Schlafly and his protégé TK pretend that they accept liberal contributions in support of intellectual freedom. What does that mean? They won’t always ban you for writing anything liberal so long as you don’t put it back after they’ve taken it out.

Censorship in Conservapedia

Conservapedia promotes Free Speech!
Also deleted was a page called "Examples of Bias in Conservapedia." Although "Examples of Bias on Wikipedia" is alive and kicking, apparently THERE IS NO BIAS. Interestingly, one of the "Examples of Bias in Wikipedia is that virtually the exact same action was performed on Wikipedia.

Conservapedia is often guilty of one of their most common claims against Wikipedia, censorship. Conservapedia, for example, deleted a section of an article on persecution of Christians that pointed out Christians sometimes persecuted other religious sects, and in the article on the Intifada deleted an addition pointing out mildly that innocent Palestinians have also been killed.

Conservapedia has frequently been criticized for its long list of protected pages. Several controversial pages (Homosexuality[47], Theory of evolution[48], George W Bush[49], Goat[50], etc..) are listed as protected and locked (supposedly to prevent vandalism) When a page is protected, it can only be edited by certain Sysops, who are always promoted based on their staunch conservative viewpoint. Additionally, individual users can request unprotection to make a specific edit. However, many editors have complained that Sysops are quick to delete or change any comments they don't agree with and once the page is relocked, the original editor can no longer revert.

Another frequent complaint is that Conservapedia Sysops simply ban any members they don't agree with, frequently with no chance of recreation, leading many to claim that they censor in a roundabout way, by removing any opposing viewpoints.

Many pages are locked on a more or less permanent basis[51], at the behest of various Sysops.

RationalWiki censorship

Currently any references to RationalWiki in articles (e.g. "RationalWiki", "Rational Wiki". "" or links to RationalWiki are blocked by Conservapedia's spam filter. In addition, any entry that is created on RationalWiki at any of the above namespaces is quickly deleted with no more specific reason given than "inappropriate content", and users who recreate the entry are immediately blocked without warning.[52][53] Entries on RationalWiki are currently protected from recreation at two of the above namespaces.[54][55]

Banning users

Conservapedia's sysops generally seem to be inclined to ban (meaning five years to an infinite block from editing) editors as quickly as possible, for even the most frivolous of reasons.[56] Until recently, we thought that this was simply due to their massive tendencies towards paranoia and authoritarian abuse of power, but we now realize this serves a practical purpose as well. To maintain ideological purity and keep out their many imagined enemies, CP's sysops have to vet every individual edit. The more users they have, the less possible this becomes--it's possible they're near the limit now.

It is also possible that the threat of a capricious infinite ban which permanently hangs over all normal users, combined with the 90/10 rule which discourages lengthy talk page discussions,[57] has the effect of silencing any real debate and opposition to the the ideology of the site. You might note that, even now, those who remained fairly faithful to CP are being lumped in with those they consider "parodists" for the most trivial reasons, and banning or blocking seem to be a typical modus operandi. The effect being, they have become the very thing that they claim to hate so much over at WP.

TK is back with blocking power. The problem will get much worse. TK is also a coward who replys then blocks the person he replied to, because he can't handle logic.

Banning Christian users

For fundamentalist Christians who really believe in the site, being blocked may be quite traumatic. Christians are often indoctrinated with a strong sense of guilt, and ordinary human weaknesses are treated as massive sins. They are also taught to accept what Christians in positions of authority say without question. While Conservapedia blocks are frequently arbitrary, these unfortunate Christians will believe whatever reason is given for a block. It might hurt them deeply to be cut off from a community that matters to them, and to make matters worse, they will be inclined to blame themselves.

Ban evasion

Perhaps you have been banned from Conservapedia, and you think the block was unjust, and they also blocked your IP address so you can't simply create a new account. You might find yourself wanting to continue productively editing there. If so, take a peek at this useful information.

Speculation and theories

Two theories emerged so far.

Parody website

One theory which has emerged is that Conservapedia is not run by the Religious Right at all; that instead is an extreme parody of fringe loonbags, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, since it is hard to imagine such a large group of people being so loopdy loopder. Either way, though, it is undoubtedly true that if Conservapedia is written without irony, we should pity its authors rather than be angered by them.

It has also been speculated that Andy Schlafly is actually a closet liberal, but uses Conservapedia to hide this fact (primarily from his mother).

If you can't do teach

History & projected future of Conservapedia:- Unemployed lawyer worries about income ("What happens to my money when mommy shuffles off this mortal coil?");

Decides to become a teacher of kids with misguided parents. His momma's name will help him get suckers pupils

Gathers a few pupils & begins indoctrination teaching;

Realises that by using the internet, he can charge as much but reach more children of idiots like-minded people (and moreover he won't actually need to see them all that often);

Teacher schools using the internet;

Teacher thinks: "If I open the knowledge base to all comers then I'll have a truly great resource (and I'll get it all for free.";

Contributors begin to contribute;

Some contributors have the wrong ideas about some things;

Appoint officers;

Officers kick out wrong headed contributors;

Things go great (but ex contributors picket school);

The picket attracts unwanted attention;

Things get on top of teacher, so he instructs officers to clean up;

Officers kick out wrong headed contributors;

By now he realises that he's in over his head, so he embarks on the final solution;

Instructs officers to really clean up;


Officers do such a good job that soon they're the only ones contributing;

Teacher rubs hands with glee. His plan is working;

Teacher closes contributory aspect ("The world isn't ready for me!") and reverts to private internet school with one or two chosen assistants.

Impact of Conservapedia

The overall impact of Conservapedia is hard to judge, since it polarizes its readers:

1. Does the site encourage people to be Republican conservatives? Some kinds of homeschooled children up to the age of about 13 to 16 are quite likely to believe most or all of the stuff they read there. They are too young to see what’s wrong, and they haven’t been taught any other viewpoint. They only know right-wing Christian fundamentalism, and so to them what Conservapedia presents builds on what they already have been taught. Adults who have spent all their lives immersed in right-wing Christian fundamentalism are also likely to believe a great deal of what they read in Conservapedia - especially less educated adults with poorly developed analysis skills.

2. Is the site so extreme that it sets people against the conservative cause? Some conservative users fear that Conservapedia is harming their cause. [58] People outside the right-wing American Christian fundamentalist subculture usually just laugh at Conservapedia, and even edit it to insert parody. People outside the United States who are not Christian fundamentalists are likely to think badly of the United States -- perhaps to think badly of the whole of North America. We fear they might shake their heads and say things like, “Just look at those American Bible thumpers.”

Site statistics

Recent events in Conservapedia history and their effects on its rank. Actually the boycott started about a day later than what is marked., a website traffic ranking site, tracks visits by users of its Alexa Toolbar software, and offers one way to monitor the popularity of Conservapedia. In September 2007, the site received barely 5% the number of visits it received in March of 2007, when the blog frenzy brought it into the public eye.[59]

As of mid November 2008 Conservapedia's traffic is up since our boycott. Alexa currently estimates it being visited by only 0.00261% of the global Alexa userbase over a three month average - this is up 14% since the last period. Ranked as the 44,511th most visited site on the internet over a three month average, this figure is 4,647 places higher than its position three months ago. People aren't staying to read much, page views are down greatly, with visitors now viewing 2.74 pages on the site on average - this is down 39%, or people are looking at one and a half less page each, as of three months ago.

There has been quite a lot of movement in the last 6 months (see right). In late June 2008, around the 22nd, the traffic ranking had its second largest spike for this period. The reason for this is simple: this is when the Lenski affair went critical, with Lenski's second reply owning Andy. People have been flocking to Conservapedia - to laugh at him. Andy later backed this up with a letter to the editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences claiming a list of flaws he found in Lenski's paper which he drafted, online for all to edit, at Conservapedia - trolls and vandals had a field day. RationalWiki took a chunk out of its traffic with a boycott, either that or the first week of the Olympics was "must see television" and the second week was so dull that after a week of watching people run around everyone got bored and went back to trolling the intertubes. A huge frenzy occurred in October when Andy released the mid-term exam for his US History class which had a different number of boys and girls. This event has had little follow up coverage here at RationalWiki, but at one stage it was the 5th most viewed page overall at Conservapedia, with over half a million page views before Conservative got protective of his pet articles. He deleted and restored it to destroy its page view count. This was also the most voted WIGO entry ever, even more than the now infamous Lenski Affair. The second largest spike in the last year occurred on the 4th of November when Barak Obama won the US presidency, with people flocking to see how the foremost pro-Republican hate site handled the news.

Over 58% of their total traffic is estimated to come from the United States. For some reason third is Finland, where the site is inside the top 3,000. A possible explanation is that Finland contains no people and is entirely populated by ducks.[60] However given that this has tapered off recently after Karajou blocked a Finish proxy, previously being the second country and Conservapedia ranking in its top 2,000 websites, this may give an alternative explanation.

Andrew Schlafly routinely states that Conservapedia gets lots of page views, and thus believes that people are using it as the encyclopedia it pretends to be. Quantcast gives us some insight into who, in the US at least, is reading Conservapedia. As of mid-Novemeber 2008 it estimates that 166,000 US citizens visit Conservapedia monthly. It gives this description of its "average" visitor,

The site attracts a more educated, very slightly male biased audience. The typical visitor reads, visits, and listens to National Public Radio.

Interestingly enough Quantcast finds the top 5 searches for people who visit Conservapedia are;

  1. socialism
  2. communism
  3. william ayers
  4. philip berg
  5. obama birth certificate

It appears Conservapedia has been swept up in Obamania or its unique take on it.

To give you an idea of what these people are thinking, googling Conservapedia yields more than half a million hits, though many are quite dubious. Ignoring the first two hits (which are for the site itself) nearly all the top results on google criticize or mock Conservapedia, with the exception, ironically, on listing #3, Wikipedia, which gives it about as fair an entry as one could hope for.

What others have said about Conservapedia

  • "It is a detriment to conservative thought and movement." - TK, Conservapedia sysop[61] (one can only assume that the type of movement being referred to is a bowel movement)
  • "I've had bigger chunks'a corn in me crap." - Fat Bastard
  • I was banned and the reason given was, "I had some problems getting the page to load." - user "GoogleRonPaul"
  • "You'll have more a accurate history of the world in the pages of MAD Magazine, and twice as truthful too" - Scatterbrain66
  • "What else would you expect from the son of a woman who fights against everything she has?" -LordKira
  • "[A]s accurate as a catatonic drunkard’s line of urine" - Evan Maloney, Australian journalist[62]
  • "What a cheap, shameful, tawdry example of prejudice-dressed-up-as-truth this Conservapedia is."- Evan Maloney[63]

See also

External links

Historic blog posts about Conservapedia


  2. As a self-proclaimed pro-Christian site, anything they "don't like" is by default, "evil".
  3. As a self-proclaimed pro-American site, anything they "don't like" is by default, "anti-American" - in fact, since they fly the U.S. flag over every article in their logo, it can be derived by simple logic that anything Conservapedia criticizes is anti-American.
  5. 5.0 5.1 LA times
  6. Sun Journal
  7. Fundie Watch
  8. Wikipedia:Conservapedia
  9. CP:User:CPanel
  10. Conservapedia:Panel/Submit - history
  12. Conservapedia:User talk:Aschafly
  13. User Talk:Bohdan - History
  14. Conservapedia:Homosexuality
  15. Conservapedia:Abortion
  16. Johnswift blogspot
  17. Conservapedia:Global Warming
  18. Mars Hill
  20. Conservapedia:Gun Controll
  21. Smallpox and vaccination on Conservapedia
  23. CP:Homeschooling
  24. CP:United nations
  25. See CP:Category:Japan.
  26. See CP:Category:Middle-earth.
  27. See CP:Category:Atheism.
  28. See CP:Category:Homosexuality.
  29. Including virtually all of the "Conservapedia terms".
  30. See, for example, CP:Life in Medieval Times.
  31. Abstract Nonsense:Conservapedia
  33. There is no article for "penis" or "vagina". Currently they redirect to Human reproduction. Until September 2008, this article did not describe the sexual act, only the sperm and egg.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 CP:Differences with Wikipedia
  35. BestStuff
  36. Wikimedia press realese
  37. CP:talk:examples of bias in wikipedia - diff
  38. Reliability_of_Wikipedia#Comparative_studies
  39. CP:talk:examples of bias in wikipedia - diff
  40. For example, Olympia, The Source, Cupid, and the Creation of Adam.
  42. Conservapedia:User talk:Roopilots6
  43. Conservapedia:Commandments
  44. Conservapedia:Blatant Plagiarism
  45. Conservapedia:Article Creation Record Attempt (June 23)
  46. Conservapedia:Arguments for the existence of God - History
  47. Conservapedia:Homosexuality - Logs
  48. Conservapedia:Theory of evolution - Logs
  49. Conservapedia:George w. Bush - Logs
  50. Conservapedia:Goat - Logs
  51. CP: Long-protected pages
  56. Note, RationalWiki does just fine blocking vandals - real vandals - for a few hours. Then they get bored and go away.
  57. It should be noted that while the commandment itself actually warns against "unproductive activities such as 90% talk and 10% mainspace edits, many (including CP sysops) interpret it as meaning that anything less than 90% mainspace edits is worthy of a ban
  58. [
  59. They have since had two lesser peaks in visitors, in July[citation needed] due to the Los Angeles Times, and on their birthday in late November 2007 due to circulation on the innertubes of a screenshot showing their dubious fascination with "articles" on homosexuality.
  62. Quote-mined from the articles title.
  63. Yeah he already is quoted but he is spot on.