|The below content is licensed according to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License contrary to the public domain logo at the foot of the page. It originally appeared on http://en.wikipedia.org. The original article might still be accessible here. You may be able to find a list of the article's previous contributors on the talk page.|
|Slogan||The content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit</td></tr>|
|Type of site||Satirical wiki</td></tr>|
|Created by||Jonathan Huang and "Stillwaters"</td></tr>|
|Launched||January 5, 2005</td></tr>|
Uncyclopedia ("the content-free encyclopedia") is a satirical website that parodies Wikipedia. Founded in 2005 as an originally English-language wiki, the project currently spans over 75 languages. The English version has over 30,000 pages of content, second only to the Brazilian/Portuguese.
Various styles of humor and cursing are used as a vehicle for parody, from earnest attempts at sophisticated satire to straightforward uses of sarcasm, along with structured in-jokes and occasional non-sequiturs. Like Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia has guidelines regarding what is and is not acceptable content and these guidelines have become progressively stricter as the site expands over time. The site has garnered media attention for its articles on people and places.
Some of the articles on Uncyclopedia contain templates providing a link to the corresponding Wikipedia article. It generally uses the quotes "For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about (a link to the article)."
In 2011, Uncyclopedia changed its default skin to an imitation of the Vector scheme now used on Wikipedia. In the same year, it changed its logo significantly.
Uncyclopedia was launched on January 5, 2005, by Yash Atitkar's FACE, known online as "Chronarion", and a pseudonymous partner called "Stillwaters". 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 is 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.
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. 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 two main rules: "Be funny and not just stupid," and "Don't be a dick".
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 as in WP:blocking), but containing funnier-sounding formulations intended to parody the WP:rule process.
As well as housing many articles designed to satirize Wikipedia-style content, Uncyclopedia also 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, stating that Uncyclopedia and Bebo were "cyber bullying menace[s]". This was prompted by one Epsom Girls' Grammar School student's name and mobile phone number, along with an offensive message, being posted to Uncyclopedia without her knowledge. The individual in question stated that students commonly added full names and photographs to their own pages, drawing concern from several schooling establishments. The report contributed to the imposition and reworking of the website's vanity and cyberbullying policies, which were only loosely enforced beforehand. Uncyclopedia has also been criticised for racist humour and general hatefulness, but Huang said that racist articles are pulled.
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, the 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 has not, as of October 2011, removed said content.
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:
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" (literary translated: "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 listen 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 like 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 — Stupidedia
Stupidedia (from Stupid and encyclopedia) is a German-language 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, 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. In October 2011 Nonciclopedia was closed indefinitely 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 — Ansaikuropedia
Ansaikuropedia (Japanese: アンサイクロペディア), 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 30,000 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.
Notables such as Chilean folk singer 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.