The Wikipedia of the Alt-Right

Wired acknowledges the existence of Infogalactic:

Vox Day thinks that Wikipedia is the worst. But the things that bug him aren’t the typical complaints you’ll hear about the crowd-sourced encyclopedia—that it’s plagued by trolls, say, or that its pages on Pokémon lore are overly comprehensive.

Day is bothered because he believes that Wikipedia is a Democratic tool, run “by the left-wing thought police who administer it,” he tells me over email. Yet the millions of articles and stubs that make up the end product are used as fact. And that makes the science fiction writer and alt-right personality, who uses Vox Day as his pen name, angry.

So last fall, in the midst of a public debate about what, exactly, constitutes a fact, Day decided it was time to do something about the Wikipedia problem. He chose to launch his own version of it. He made a copy of the entire site and invited his followers to start rewriting its pages. “Wikipedia was the easiest and the most important of the social justice-converged social media giants to replace,” Day told me.

That site, Infogalactic, is made with Wikipedia’s MediaWiki software—so by design it looks a lot like Wikipedia. At first glance, so does its content. On the homepage is a featured article about peregrine falcons; a highlighted image of a Botticelli masterwork, housed in the Uffizi in Florence, is featured underneath.

But break into some of the more contentious topics and differences begin to emerge. On Infogalactic, Mike Cernovich is a respected bestselling author, “independent journalist,” “writer, attorney, and documentary filmmaker.” On Wikipedia, the Twitter pundit is a “social media personality, writer, and conspiracy theorist.”

The idea is that a stringent, Trump-supporting member of the alt-right shouldn’t have to read the same ideas as a Marxist, or a bleeding-heart college professor. (Day initially considered the tagline, “your universe, your view.”) But Infogalactic is only one of a number of crowdsourced encyclopedias tailored to various conservative factions….

On their own, none of these sites draws a huge audience. According to Alexa’s traffic rankings, Conservapedia is the 18,066th most popular site in the US. Infogalactic clocks in at 14,710. Wikipedia, by comparison, ranks fifth. But since last fall—just as the notion of alternative facts gained cultural primacy—such sites have seen a clear rise in traffic and interest.

Not bad, all things considered. I wouldn’t say the thought policing at Wikipedia makes me angry, but that’s pretty mild as the disqualify-and-discredit game goes. The reporter actually appears to recognize that there is a market for Infogalactic, he’s just not sure about the extent of its appeal; there are no gotchas or kill quotes, just an accurate presentation of the current facts. And while it would have been nice if they’d mentioned our perspective filters and other plans for Phase Two, we don’t have them up and running yet and so it’s entirely fair to leave them out.

I’m just pleased to be informed that in less than nine months, Infogalactic has already surpassed Conservapedia. And if you want to help Infogalactic continue to grow, please support it by joining the Burn Unit and signing up for a monthly donation.