Sunday, September 9, 2007

Link bias

A couple different blogs in my stream have pointed me to the Conservapedia. The blog posts make for some fun reading; the consensus seems to be that the Conservapedia is real -- i.e., the whole thing isn't a hoax -- but that many of its entries have been, er... spanked. And some... well it's hard to tell. As you might expect, the articles on the Republic Party and Christianity fair better than those on Democrats and evolution.

None of which I really care about, as it's pretty much what you'd expect, including the hoaxing and vanadlism. Just another day on teh Intranets.

What I found interesting, though, was that, in bouncing around a couple of the political entries, it's clear that Democrats are bracketed by Republican links, but not the other way around. For example,Bill Clinton's entry says:

William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (August 19, 1946 - present) served as the 42nd President of the United States of America from 1993-2000, following George H. W. Bush and preceding George W. Bush.

With links to George HW and W in the text accordingly. But George HW's intro says:

George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924-present) is a World War II veteran who served as the 41st President of the United States of America, serving January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993.

Links to Clinton only in the standard reference box. Same with Dan Quayle...

James Danforth "Dan" Quayle (1947 - ) was the Vice President under  George H. W. Bush. Prior to being elected Vice President, he was a member of Congress. Quayle is a loyal conservative Republican and advocate for traditional values. Quayle was the first chairman of the National Space Council and the head of the Council on Competitiveness.

vs. Al Gore:

Albert "Al" A. Gore, Jr. was the 45th Vice President of the United States (1993-2001) succeeding Dan Quayle and succeeded by Dick Cheney, following service in the House of Representatives and the Senate, spanning 1977-85 and 1985-93, respectively.

Now, obviously the text is going to have a conservative bias; it's called the Conservapedia, for the love of Mike (Dukakis). But it's a testament to how real and important linking has become that our little <a href>s must also bend to the prejudice of our views.

Not a big deal. Just another data point. 

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