|Web address||Several; see text|
|Slogan||The content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit|
|Type of site||Satirical wiki|
|Owner||Works are owned by their authors (English-language version)|
|Created by||Jonathan Huang and "Stillwaters"|
|Launched||5 January 2005 (fork launched on 5 January 2013)|
Uncyclopedia is a satirical website that parodies Wikipedia. Its logo, a hollow potato, serves as a parody of Wikipedia's globe logo, and it styles itself "the content-free encyclopedia", which is a parody of Wikipedia's "the free encyclopedia". Originally founded in 2005 as an English-language wiki, the project currently spans over 75 languages. The English version has approximately 30,000 pages of content, second only to the Portuguese.
Various styles of humor are used as a vehicle for parody, from sophisticated satire to simple sarcasm, along with structured in-jokes and frequent non sequiturs. The site has garnered media attention for its articles on people and places.
Most of the articles on Uncyclopedia contain templates providing a link to the corresponding Wikipedia article. It generally uses the text "For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about (a link to the article)."
The original Uncyclopedia, at
uncyclopedia.org was later purchased by Wikia and ported to
uncyclopedia.wikia.com, where it is hosted by Wikia, Inc. Like Wikipedia, this site has guidelines regarding acceptable content. During 2012, Wikia enforced a ban on pornographic photography and placed a content warning on the site.
On 5 January 2013, many site administrators and editors of the English-language Uncyclopedia executed a fork, prompted by the above restrictions and by Wikia's constraints on page layout and its use of advertisements, to an alternate site at
en.uncyclopedia.co . The fork site, styled "Free Uncyclopedia," began with a copy of the database on that date. The fork site's ownership and management is not disclosed. Both sites are regularly viewed, and actively edited.
There is also a mirror site at
mirror.uncyc.org. As it is updated manually it does not reflect the current content of either site. However it includes versions of articles that have been previously deleted.
- 1 History
- 2 Content
- 3 Press coverage
- 4 Criticism and controversy
- 5 Uncyclopedia in other languages
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Uncyclopedia was first launched on January 5, 2005, by Jonathan Huang, known online as "Chronarion," and a pseudonymous partner called "Stillwaters" or "Euniana". Both of the founders were previously editors at Wikipedia. Though it started as an independent project, Uncyclopedia quickly outgrew its original webhost, leading Huang to search for a new host. On May 26, 2005, Angela Beesley, Vice President of Wikia, Inc., announced that Wikia would host Uncyclopedia. On July 10, 2006, Huang transferred ownership of the Uncyclopedia.org domain name to Wikia. The majority of Uncyclopedia-related projects in other languages remain hosted under their own localised names, either as fully independent domains or as subdomains of Wikia.com.
25% (or 20 out of 79) of the Uncyclopedia collection was hosted by Wikia; there are also six dedicated non-Wikia servers which host "Uncyclopedia Babel" project content in various languages. To coordinate these projects (collectively, the "Uncyclomedia Babble Project") an Un-Meta wiki was created in 2006.
On January 18, 2012, as a parody of Wikipedia's black-out protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), Uncyclopedia blacked-out their site with a protest satirically in support of the bills. The "protest" was in protest of Wikipedia's protest, because they claimed that such a thing could destroy SOPA forever. In fact, searching SOPA on Uncyclopedia still redirects to the prank.
On January 5, 2013, a fork was made, as many Uncyclopedia administrators and editors left Wikia in protest of some of Wikia's policies and actions regarding Uncyclopedia, including censorship of uploaded images and placement of a disclaimer (content warning) on the site, requiring consent by first-time and anonymous users. A new URL,
en.uncyclopedia.co, was created to host the site independently from Wikia. Wikia has maintained its version of the site at the original address,
uncyclopedia.wikia.com, and some administrators and editors remain there. Wikia discontinued the content warning on August 8, 2013.
A fork was also made by the Russian-language Uncyclopedia, Absurdopedia, in October 2010; it is now
Uncyclopedia's content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license. As with other Wikia sites, the full article database is freely available for online download. As of 2010, the English-language Uncyclopedia contains over 25,000 articles, making it one of the largest Wikia-hosted wikis. It also has the most active users of any Wikia wiki as of February 2008, with over 200 more users than FFXIclopedia, the runner-up. Uncyclopedia's article about Wikipedia claims that Wikipedia is a parody of Uncyclopedia, not the reverse.
Uncyclopedia's stated goal is to "provide the world's misinformation in the least redeeming and most searingly sarcastic and humorous way possible, through satire". Its articles contain information which is parodied, fabricated or ridiculed to such an extent that very little, if any, factual accuracy remains, and information often contradicts itself. Often the article leads off into a story of some sorts. Ambiguous as this may sound, Uncyclopedia explicitly states that satire is at its best when it is close to, or represents, the truth. In a manner similar to Wikipedia's "Five pillars", Uncyclopedia has a core set of rules called the "Five pliers", including "Satirical point of view". Despite all the policy pages that parody those of Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia has three main rules: "Be funny and not just stupid", "Don't be a dick", and "Dance like you've never danced before!".
The wiki has a system for reviewing articles to ensure that they comply with the defined standards of proper humour, grammar, spelling, use of images, and overall presentation, named Pee Review to parody Wikipedia's article review service Peer Review. Writers post their articles on the Pee Review project page for review by other Uncyclopedians. Similarly, a reference desk exists as the "Reefer Desk" to offer review of humorous user-edited images.
One feature of Uncyclopedia's articles is the use of quotations, usually misquoted, fictitiously attributed or entirely fabricated. Among the most recurrent themes is the invention of quotes that are attributed to Oscar Wilde, a phenomenon which began with an article stating that inventing Wilde quotes was the "national sport of England". Themes such as "kitten huffing" (the inhalation of the souls of cats as a form of drug abuse) recur frequently.
Uncyclopedia administrators often have to double as censors and critics as they are continually confronted by a steady flow of articles that do not meet Uncyclopedia's standards. Much like Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia has policies concerning vanity articles, which are articles written by an individual associated with the subject of the page. Originally, vanity articles were welcomed as long as they were humorous. However, many of these articles degenerated into flame wars, and creation of vanity pages was therefore disallowed. Uncyclopedia's warning policy is also a play on Wikipedia with mostly the same rules (for example, two warnings before a temporary block similar to Wikipedia's blocking policy), but containing funnier-sounding formulations intended to parody the Wikipedia rule process.
|Uncyclomedia project||Object of parody|
|Un-Games||Choose your own adventure books|
As well as housing many articles designed to satirize Wikipedia-style content, Uncyclopedia contains several secondary projects (known as "UnProjects"). As of November 2007, there were 12 such projects, each of which specializes in satire of a different information style. Many of these are directly analogous to Wikipedia's sister projects.
Uncyclopedia has been referenced in several well-known news publications from around the world, in addition to numerous local and regional newspapers and periodicals. In 2005, the Flying Spaghetti Monster entry from Uncyclopedia was mentioned in a New York Times column reporting the spread of so-called "Pastafarianism", the religion that worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The column was then reprinted in other newspapers, including the Taipei Times. The magazine .net featured an interview with Huang about Uncyclopedia in May 2007. A number of other articles have been centred on specific entries on Uncyclopedia—most notably the article in the Arizona Daily Star, which focused on the Tucson, Arizona parody, and the article in the Cyprus Mail, which focused on the Cyprus article.
In addition to articles about specific entries on the wiki, several papers speak of the website in general—usually in a section devoted to technology or the Internet. This was the case when Uncyclopedia was referenced in the Boston Herald and The Guardian. Although most articles mentioning Uncyclopedia are specific to the site, there are other articles about Wikia or Wikipedia that just mention its name briefly. These include the editorial in The Register discussing the Seigenthaler incident, in which Uncyclopedia was named only once. It has also been listed as one of the "Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites" in PC Magazine, as well as among the "101 most useful websites" on the internet by The Sunday Telegraph. Seattle Post-Intelligencer considers Uncyclopedia to be The Onion of wiki sites.
Criticism and controversy
In May 2006, The New Zealand Herald reported that school officials, including the headmaster of King's College, stated that Uncyclopedia and Bebo were "cyber bullying menace[s]". This was prompted by one 14 year-old Epsom Girls' Grammar School student's name and mobile phone number, along with an "offer of sex" message, being posted to Uncyclopedia without her knowledge. Other information in Uncyclopedia included death wishes and sexual abuse accusations against specific, named teachers, as well as threats and vicious name-calling against named students. The report contributed to the debate among editors on reworking of the website's vanity and cyberbullying policies, which were only loosely enforced. Some editors favored changes, while others favored a policy where "anyone who uses the term 'cyber-bullying' ought to be banned/castrated/shot/killed/etc. Some people take everything too seriously." Uncyclopedia has also been criticised for racist humour and general hatefulness.
The article on The Lake District was criticised in June 2007 as being offensive by councillors and tourism bosses, who called for stricter regulations on the site. The story was reported in British local newspaper the North-West Evening Mail, but no policy changes were made as a result of this. In fact, the publicity generated by the issue prompted the Lake District article to be featured on Uncyclopedia's main page. In a similar incident in November 2007, Uncyclopedia's article on Northern Ireland was criticised by Northern Irish politician James McCarry who branded the site "disgraceful" and vowed to, along with help from Moyle Council, "get it removed". The article is still on the site. Ardoyne councillor Conor Maskey and Portadown News creator Newton Emerson opposed McCarry, saying people should be more relaxed about the website. This story was reported in The Belfast Telegraph.
A similar incident occurred in April 2008, when civic leaders of Telford, Shropshire, UK lashed out at an article calling the town "a world leader in the production and reproduction and re-reproduction of Chavs". Another article, this time about the Shropshire county town of Shrewsbury, says the town is only famous for being the birthplace of Charles Darwin, and includes insults towards the residents describing them as monkeys who have evolved into sheep. Uncyclopedia has also been mentioned in the Sioux City Journal for its article on Sioux City, Iowa, Hawke's Bay Today for its article on Flaxmere, and Lochaber News for its article on Fort William, Scotland.
In January 2008, the Malaysian Internal Security Ministry issued a directive alerting newspaper editors not to trust Uncyclopedia. It said the article concerning Malaysia contained "untruths, insults and ridicule" and was demeaning to the country. Uncyclopedia's users found this statement more humorous than serious, and subsequently parodied the directive in an UnNews article. As of February 2010, Uncyclopedia is blocked from the People's Republic of China.
In December 2008, Video Professor made claims of defamation and trademark abuse against Uncyclopedia, demanding that all content relating to the Video Professor be removed within 48 hours. Uncyclopedia did not remove said content. Instead, the Video Professor article was rewritten, then later was changed to redirect to a page ridiculing John Scherer.
The site uses a layout not unlike that of Wikipedia, which may cause confusion to inexperienced users who misinterpret the content as factual. In 2012, Wikia added a content warning to Uncyclopedia that must be viewed before entering the site for the first time, and periodically thereafter, the time frame depending whether one is logged into the site or not. This content warning states that the contents of Uncyclopedia could be considered offensive, and that Wikia does not endorse the contents, and that Uncyclopedia is a collaborative parody site.
In November 2012, the satirical page "HowTo:Commit suicide" in Russian Uncyclopedia (Absurdopedia) was legally prohibited by the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), which demanded to delete the article under the threat of blocking access to Absurdopedia for all visitors from Russia. The Absurdopedia administrator Edward Chernenko later sued them from a position of writer, referring to the violation of his right to science and culture guaranteed by Russian Constitution, but unsuccessfully (the court of Obninsk refused to cancel the censorship). During the proceedings, the government representative and her experts claimed that Absurdopedia is intentionally trying to increase the number of child suicides and that children can take its contents not as jokes but as real instructions to be followed. After the court, Gennadiy Onishchenko declared that suing his department is a malicious activity to prevent the protection of children from harmful information. He also published a press release later, stating that some of those malicious sites dare to disguise this information as "satirical" and even claim that it is literature. The expert conclusions were heavily criticised due to multiple discrepancies (for example, an image of crossed tools, which is a logo of HowTo subproject and exists in all 400 of its articles, was classified as "by the idea of page authors, represents the instruments for killing oneself") and dubious statements like "[Absurdopedia authors] overestimate their creative abilities and demonstrate the lack of moral and ethical standards". Edward Chernenko intends to appeal the judgment in higher courts.
Uncyclopedia in other languages
The Uncyclopedia concept has been adapted to wikis in more than fifty other languages. The UnNews project has similarly been replicated, under various localised names, in eighteen other languages. The websites also invoke various parody languages such as "Portuñol" and "English But Louder". The first Uncyclopedias in languages other than English were created in June 2005, beginning with a French language version. On February 20, 2008, the 50th language, Welsh, was added to the Uncyclopedia series.
Each language wiki is free to establish its own unique community identity, but most of the logos and names in use retain some semblance to those of the English-language version. For instance, as an "un-" encyclopedia, the encyclopedia is named "Uncyclopedia" in both English and German. In some other languages it is:
- Arabic: بيضيبيديا (beidipedia), where beid is the Arabic word for egg.
- Chinese: 偽基百科 (wěijībǎikē, literally "fake-(Wiki)pedia"), which is derived from 維基百科 (wéijībǎikē, Wikipedia) by changing the first character to 伪, meaning "fake".
- Czech: Necyklopedie
- Danish: Spademanns Leksikon does not include the English word "encyclopedia" in its name; Spademanns Leksikon is a parody of Lademanns Leksikon, a respected Danish encyclopedia, combining its name with the word spade (slang for "retard").
- Dutch: an exact translation: Oncyclopedia Neerlandica, only they include the name of their language in the name, Neerlandica is a dignified name for Nederlands, which is the Dutch word for Dutch. This is also a reference to Encyclopædia Britannica. Oncy is derived from the Dutch word onzin, which means "nonsense".
- Finnish: Hikipedia would literally translate to "Sweat-pedia," but hiki is more expressive when used as a prefix in spoken language and could mean for example, "barely-pedia," "lousy-pedia" or even "hard work-pedia," while obviously being a pun on "Wikipedia."
- French: dÉsencyclopédie in French: means "dis-encyclopedia." Dés also means dice, which appear in the site logo as part of a theme of randomness based on the infinite monkey theorem. The site claims that an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters will eventually write every book in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Its users claim to be monkeys (French: des singes) with their contributions as gifts to science (French: dons à la science); a writer of the month is awarded a virtual cup of bananas along with recognition as "Uncle Darwin's favourite".
- Georgian: ანციკლოპედია (Anciklopedia).
- Greek: Φρικηπαίδεια in Greek: means "horror-pedia" or "freak-out-pedia."
- Hebrew: איןציקלופדיה (Eincylopedia), consisting of אין (ein), which means literally "there isn't," so together means "Nocyclopedia".
- Indonesian: Tolololpedia. Tololol comes from the word tolol, "silly."
- Italian: Nonciclopedia, constructed from the negation non- and the word enciclopedia (encyclopedia).
- Malaysian: Bodohpedia, from the word bodoh, which means "stupid" in the Malay language.
- Korean: 백괴사전 (Baekgoesajeon; 백괴事典). The name is derived from the Korean word "백과사전" (baekgwasajeon; 百科事典), a translation of "encyclopedia", by changing the character 과 (gwa; 科) into 괴 (goe; 怪), which means "strange". Therefore, "백괴사전" means "the encyclopedia of all strange knowledge."
- Latvian: Neciklopedia. The word necik may come from the word for "short supply", so possibly the translation is "Short supply-pedia".
- Mirandese: Çciclopedia.
- Norwegian: Ikkepedia (Not-pedia).
- Persian: نانشنامه (Naneshnameh, literally "Uncyclopedia"), which is derived from "دانشنامه" (Daneshnameh, literally "Encyclopedia") by changing two first characters to نا (Na) which has the same meaning of Un.
- Polish: Nonsensopedia.
- Portuguese: Desciclopédia: means "dis-encyclopedia."
- Russian: Absurdopedia (Абсурдопедия) from the word "absurd" and "encyclopedia."
- Slovak: Necyklopédia, applies the negation "in-" (Slovak: ne-) to "encyclopedia" (Slovak: encyklopédia)
- Spanish: Inciclopedia: applies the negation "in-" to "encyclopedia" (Spanish: enciclopedia).
- Swedish: Psyklopedin (Psychlopedia).
- Tagalog: Pekepedia, which is based on the word for "fake" (peke).
- Thai: ไร้สาระนุกรม (RTGS: Rai Saranukrom), is a play on the word for encyclopedia, สารานุกรม (saranukrom), which is combined with the word for nonsensical, ไร้สาระ (rai sara). Rai Saranukrom means "nonsense-opedia".
- Turkish: Yansiklopedi from the words yan meaning "awry" in Turkish, and ansiklopedi meaning encyclopedia in Turkish.
- Ukrainian: Інциклопедія applies the negation "in-" to "encyclopedia" (Ukrainian: Енциклопедія).
- Welsh: Celwyddoniadur is derived from the words celwydd (meaning "lie" ("untruth")) and gwyddoniadur (meaning "encyclopedia").
Some of the largest Uncyclopedias available in other languages are listed below.
Dutch — Oncyclopedia
The Dutch version started in June 2006. In half a year the number of articles grew to about 350. Though the number of pages in March 2007 was around 500, 150 short articles moved to the new daughter project, the "OnWoordenboek der Nederlandse Taal" (literally, "UnDictionary of the Dutch Language"), so the number of new contributions almost doubled in three months (350 - 150 + 300 = 500). In February 2007, a second project started: OnNieuws (UnNews), a news paper full of nonsense. This can be either fictional news or real news told in a funny way. Around March 15, 2007 the decision was made to change the name.  The Onziclopedie was renamed to Oncyclopedia (Neerlandica). Later more projects started: OnZinnen (Unquotable) , OnBoeken (UnBooks)  and the Oncycloversiteit (Uncycloversity). Oncyclopedia also has its own fictional radio station (OnRadio)   which is only available to hear on the weblog of the Oncyclopedia. The Oncy has become well known mostly because of the articles about Emo, Tokio Hotel and suicide. These articles have gotten a lot of criticism in the past, but the admins mostly didn't do anything with it, because as they say, it is mostly destructive commentary. Sometimes blocks follow, although this only happens in the case of swearing.  At the end of May 2011, the Oncyclopedia had more than 2,150 articles.
Finally there is the "Oncyclopolis Project".  This gives the Oncyclopedia a fictional city-state, Oncyclopolis and its own ranking system (based on number of articles, user rights and user duty) comparable with the system of the Uncyclopedia.
German — Kamelopedia
Kamelopedia (from camel and encyclopedia) is a German-language satirical wiki characterized by a running gag of addressing users as camels and including camels in many contexts. Established in 2004 as an independent wiki, it shares inter-language links with the other Uncyclopedias and, like the others, is considered a parody of Wikipedia,
Individual subprojects, modelled on the various Wikimedia Foundation projects, include Kamelionary (free dictionary), KameloNews (free news source), Kamelomedia Commons (free usable media files) and Kamelobooks (a library of humorous books).
German — Stupidedia
Stupidedia (from stupid and encyclopedia) is an Austrian wiki featuring satirically themed and humorous articles. It was created on December 17, 2004, by David Sowka, making it the first known humor wiki. In 2010 it joined the Uncyclopedia family, becoming one of the site's German language wikis. Stupidedia is the largest German language wiki of this kind with over 19,200 articles as of May 2011[update]. Its slogan is "Wissen Sie Bescheid? Nein? Wir auch nicht! (English: Do you know the score? No? Neither do we!)
Italian — Nonciclopedia
Nonciclopedia, the Italian language version, was founded on November 3, 2005 and features over 10,000 articles. Like Uncyclopedia, it has many secondary projects, like Manuali, a collection of fake or humorous tutorials about strange arguments (like How to conquer England in 4 steps), the Horroscopo, a fake horoscope, NonNotizie, a parody of WikiNews and the Walk of Shame, a parody of the "Walk of Fame", which collects the best articles. Like most of the other languages' editions there is a space for the Article of the Week and some pages have related audio files containing a vocal narration of the page's content. Typical subjects of humour are Wikipedia, Chuck Norris, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Silvio Berlusconi, Emo subculture, Nietzsche, Germano Mosconi, the fictional state of Svervegia (literally Swederway) and people who vandalize Nonciclopedia in response to being offended by an article. Since Chuck Norris, Svervegia and Emo topics were abused, especially by newbie writers, they are not used anymore, if not in very rare occasions. In October 2011 Nonciclopedia was closed for a short while by the administrators after legal threats were issued by Vasco Rossi This has generated a strong protest movement on Facebook and other social networks.
Japanese — Uncyclopedia
Uncyclopedia (Japanese: アンサイクロペディア Ansaikuropedeĭa), fourth-largest with just over ten thousand pages, takes its name from the katakana transliteration of the word Uncyclopedia. It was founded in December 2005. Its "UnNews" section is known for posting stories that closely resemble real news stories, which has caused rumors and angry reactions on Twitter.
Portuguese — Desciclopédia
Desciclopédia, the Portuguese language version with over 40,000 pages, is the largest Uncyclopedia. Founded in August 2005, it purports to be the brainchild of the largely fictional Doutor Roberto (Portuguese for "Doctor Robert") a satire upon the late powerful owner of TV Globo, Roberto Marinho. This humour routinely targets regional Brazilian notables such as centenarian comedy actress Dercy Gonçalves, depicted as a cover model posed for a Playboy-like magazine Playold. Actress Cláudia Raia is portrayed as a stingray (Portuguese: raia). Political leaders such as Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva (Portuguese: lula - "squid") also often fall victim to Desciclopédia's parodies, along with singers, athletes and other public figures.
Desciclopédia uses various domain hacks for individual secondary projects, which include Desnoticias ("noticias" is "news"), Descionário (with "dicionário" meaning "dictionary"), Deslivros (for books, "biblioteca" means "library"), and Desentrevistas ("entrevistas" meaning "interviews"). These would correspond to "UnNews", "UnDictionary", "UnBooks" and the exclusive-to-Desciclopédia "UnInterviews".
Spanish — Inciclopedia
The Spanish Inciclopedia was established in February 2006 to accommodate content displaced by the closure of Spanish humour wiki Frikipedia. Frikipedia was shut down by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, a Spanish organization for copyright who were angered by Frikipedia's entry on them. Frikipedia was eventually relaunched. As October 2013 Inciclopedia has more than 10000 articles.
Notables such as Chilean folk singer El Monteaguilino and Senator Pedro Muñoz have expressed their discontent with Inciclopedia and the site's mockery of the Chilean flag and national symbols. Noche Hache, a television program on Spain's TV Cuatro, also mentioned Inciclopedia among supporters of Eva Hache's joke candidacy to the presidency of Spain.
Danish — Spademanns Leksikon
Spademanns Leksikon was established in 2006 by the user Lhademmor. Apart from the name which differs from the usual pedia-nomenclature, the logo has no jigsaw-globe but it seems to be very alike to the logo of the largest newspaper in Denmark, Ekstrabladet.
The uncyclopedia in 2012 contains more than 6000 articles and together with the Norwegian Ikkepedia it underlines that Swedes have no sense of humor because of their poor uncyclopedia. According to the tradition Chuck Norris is a cult-hero and writing in Hans Christian Andersen-style is very popular. Only here his homosexuality is fully documented.
Fictitious figures as Omboo Hankvald, Hermod Spademann, Gubernichte Hankvald (Omboos mother) and Troels Hartmann are essential to the understanding of the mythology of the spademen. Their image of God is very close to Barry White.
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