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RationalWiki Main Page as of March 11, 2019[update]
Type of site
|Available in||English, Russian and more|
|Created by||Volunteer contributors|
|Alexa rank||16,629; 5,172: United States (January 2019[update])|
|Launched||May 22, 2007|
|Written in||MediaWiki software|
RationalWiki is a wiki whose stated aims are to critique and challenge pseudoscience and the anti-science movement[clarification needed], explore authoritarianism and fundamentalism and analyze how these subjects are handled in the media. It was created in 2007 to counter Conservapedia after an incident in which contributors attempting to edit Conservapedia were banned.
History[edit | edit source]
Origin[edit | edit source]
In April 2007, Peter Lipson, a doctor of internal medicine, attempted to edit Conservapedia's article on breast cancer to include evidence against Conservapedia's claim that abortion was linked to the disease. Conservapedia is an encyclopedia started by Andy Schlafly as an alternative to Wikipedia, which Schlafly perceived as suffering from liberal and atheist bias. He and Conservapedia administrators "questioned [Lipson's] credentials and shut down debate". After they were blocked, "Lipson and several other contributors quit trying to moderate the articles [on Conservapedia] and instead started their own website, RationalWiki".
RationalMedia Foundation[edit | edit source]
In 2010, Trent Toulouse incorporated a nonprofit organization, the RationalWiki Foundation Inc., to manage the affairs and pay the operational expenses of the website. In July 2013, the RationalWiki Foundation changed its name to the RationalMedia Foundation, stating that its aims extended beyond the RationalWiki site alone.
Content[edit | edit source]
RationalWiki differs in several ways from the philosophy of Wikipedia and some other informational wikis. It has a "snarky point of view" (SPOV) policy as opposed to Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. Many RationalWiki articles mockingly describe beliefs that RationalWiki opposes, especially when covering topics like alternative medicine or fundamentalist Christian leaders.
A significant fraction of activity on RationalWiki was critiquing and "monitor[ing] Conservapedia". RationalWiki contributors, many of whom are former Conservapedia contributors, are often highly critical of Conservapedia. Lester Haines of The Register stated: "Its entry entitled 'Conservapedia:Delusions' promptly mocks the claims that 'Homosexuality is a mental disorder', 'Atheists are sociopaths', and 'During the 6 days of creation G-d placed the Earth inside a black hole to slow down time so the light from distant stars had time to reach us'". According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times in 2007, RationalWiki members "by their own admission" vandalize Conservapedia.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Andrea Ballatore, a lecturer at University of California, Santa Barbara described RationalWiki as a debunking website, finding it to be the most visible debunking website of conspiracy theories in terms of Google and Bing search results, slightly more visible than rense.com and less visible than YouTube or Wikipedia. In Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, Johnathan Smith lists RationalWiki in an exercise on finding and identifying fallacies.
In Intelligent Systems 2014, Alexander Shvets stated that RationalWiki is one of the few online resources that "provide some information about pseudoscientific theories" and notes that it attempts to "organize and categorize knowledge about pseudoscientific theories, personalities, and organizations". Similarly, Keeler et al. stated that sites like RationalWiki can help to "sort out the complexities" that arise when "distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people". Benjamin Brojakowski of Bowling Green State University described RationalWiki as "a Wikipedia-style website aimed at educating individuals with unorthodox views".
Several magazines and op-eds have criticized specific RationalWiki articles. Paul Austin Murphy, of American Thinker magazine, criticized RationalWiki for calling American Thinker a "wingnut publication". George Selgin of the Cato Institute disagreed with RationalWiki's criticism of the stability of the gold standard. Franklin Einspruch of The Federalist criticized RationalWiki for claiming that "Cultural Marxism" is a conspiracy theory.
See also[edit | edit source]
Others articles of the Topic Information technology : Streaming media, Blockchain, Foundation Engine, RE Engine, eMix, Central processing unit, Digital currency
Others articles of the Topic Internet : Australia Cash, Salvatore Aranzulla, You Know Me Movement, Give Me My Remote, Yoga challenge, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Hospital Manager Online
Others articles of the Topic Journalism : Nikola Aćin, Joseph Barton Elam Jr., Guardian Monthly, OhChouette, Censorship, The Portland Mercury, Nelder Dawson
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References[edit | edit source]
- "RationalWiki:Languages - RationalWiki". rationalwiki.org. Archived from the original on October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- "About". RationalMedia Foundation. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- "General disclaimer". RationalWiki. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- "Rationalwiki.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "Timeline". RationalWiki. Archived from the original on August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "RationalWiki:Copyrights". RationalWiki. Archived from the original on November 5, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "RationalWiki - RationalWiki". rationalwiki.org. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Simon, Stephanie (June 22, 2007). "A conservative's answer to Wikipedia". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
- Haines, Lester (June 20, 2007). "Need hard facts? Try Conservapedia". The Register. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- "Introducing the new RationalMedia Foundation". RationalMedia Foundation blog. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "What is a RationalWiki article?". RationalWiki. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Ballatore, Andrea. "Google chemtrails: A methodology to analyze topic representation in search engine results". 20.7 (2015). First Monday. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- Smith, Jonathan C. Critical Thinking: Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. John Wiley & Sons, 2017, pp 77. 9781119029489
- Shvets, Alexander (October 2, 2014). Filev, D.; Jabłkowski, J.; Kacprzyk, J.; et al., eds. Intelligent Systems'2014: Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Conference Intelligent Systems IS’2014, September 24–26, 2014, Warsaw, Poland, Volume 2: Tools, Architectures, Systems, Applications. Series: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Vol. 323. Springer Publishing. A Method of Automatic Detection of Pseudoscientific Publications, page 533 et seq. ISBN 978-3-319-11310-4.
- Keeler, Mary; Johnson, Josh; Majumdar, Arun. "Crowdsourced Knowledge: Peril and Promise for Complex Knowledge Systems" (PDF). p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- Brojakowski, Benjamin (August 2017). "Digital Whiteness Imperialism: Redefining Caucasian Identity Post-Boston Bombing". Bowling Green State University (dissertation). Archived from the original on October 3, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- Murphy, Paul (November 19, 2014). "American Thinker is a Wingnut Publication". Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- Selgin, George (June 4, 2015). "Ten Things Every Economist Should Know about the Gold Standard". Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- Einspruch, Franklin (September 6, 2016). "Cultural Marxists Are Actually Pomofascists". The Federalist. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
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