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Encyclopedia Dramatica

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Encyclopædia Dramatica
200px
Official site logo
MottoIn lulz we trust
FormationDecember 10, 2004[1]
TypeSatirical wiki
HeadquartersUnknown
Official languagesEnglish
AuthorGirlvinyl (Sherrod DeGrippo)[1]
BudgetAdvertising and donations
WebsiteEncyclopediaDramatica.com
RemarksEncyclopædia Dramatica's front page on January 9, 2011
Commercial. Registration required to edit pages. alexa = 3994 (January 2011)[2]


Encyclopædia Dramatica is a satirical open wiki built on MediaWiki software.[3] Launched on December 10, 2004, it satirizes both encyclopedic topics and current events, especially those related to or relevant to internet culture. It is also associated with the internet subculture Anonymous. The site's "elaborate trolling culture",[4] chronicling of internet trolling, use of content with shock value, and criticism of other internet communities have all gained media coverage and commentary. Some of the content on Encyclopædia Dramatica has been called "flamingly racist and misogynist",[4] sexually explicit or otherwise disturbing, including uncensored material taken from shock sites.[5]

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Content[edit]

Encyclopædia Dramatica was founded in 2004 by Sherrod DeGrippo, also known as "Girlvinyl".[1][6] It characterizes itself as "[d]one in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary".[1] The New York Times has characterized the wiki as "an online compendium of troll humor and troll lore"[7] that it labeled a "troll archive".[7] C't, a European magazine for IT-professionals, noted the site's role in introducing newcomers to the culture of 4chan's /b/, a notorious Internet imageboard.[8] An author has said that it is a platform from which to initiate "exchange between the sensitive and the cruel" in order to achieve the "joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium" because it "intentionally disrupts online communities" whose members have an "emotional investment" in them.[7] Encyclopædia Dramatica defines trolling in terms of doing things "for the lulz" (for laughs),[9] a phrase that it qualifies as "a catchall explanation for any trolling you do."[9]

The targets of this trolling come from "every pocket of the Web",[10] to include not only the non-corporeal aspects of Internet phenomena, (e.g. online catchphrases, fan pages, forums, and viral phenomena), but also real people (e.g. amateur celebrities, identifiable internet drama participants and even Encyclopædia Dramatica's own forum members).[10][11] These are derided in a manner described variously as "coarse", "offensive", "obscene",[12][13] "irreverent, obtuse, politically incorrect",[14] "crude but hilarious",[10] and "crude and abusive".[15] The material is presented to appear comprehensive, with extensive use of shock-value prose, drawings, photographs, and the like. The emotional responses are then added to the articles, often in similarly derogatory or inflammatory manner, with the purpose of provoking further emotional response. Adherents of the practice assert that visitors to the website "shouldn't take anything said on Dramatica seriously."[14]

Articles at Encyclopædia Dramatica are notably critical of MySpace[12] as well as users on YouTube, LiveJournal, DeviantART, and Wikipedia. In The New York Times Magazine, journalist Jonathan Dee described it as a "snarky Wikipedia anti-fansite".[11] Shaun Davies of Australia's Nine Network has called it "Wikipedia's bastard child, a compendium of internet trends and culture which lampoons every subject it touches."[14] The site "is run like Wikipedia, but its style is the opposite; most of its information is biased and opinionated, not to mention racist, homophobic, and spiteful, but on the upside its snide attitude makes it spot-on about most Internet memes it covers."[16] This coverage of Internet jargon and memes has been acknowledged in the New Statesman,[17] on Language Log,[18] in C't magazine,[8] and in Wired magazine[10] - where it was described once as the wiki "where the vast parallel universe of Anonymous in-jokes, catchphrases, and obsessions is lovingly annotated."[4]

In 2006 a group of trolls emailed the website's creator, DeGrippo, demanding edits to the protected article describing them. After she refused to do so, the trolls ordered taxis, pizzas, escort services and sent death threats and threats of rape to DeGrippo's apartment.[6] In December 2008, the site claimed they needed donations as they were under attack and had lost its advertisers.[19]

Reception[edit]

In the media[edit]

The website received mainstream media attention after Jason Fortuny used Encyclopædia Dramatica to post photographs, e-mails and phone numbers from one hundred and seventy-six responses to a Craigslist advertisement he posted in 2006, in which he posed as a woman seeking sexual encounters with dominant men.[3][7] The incident led a blogger at Wired Magazine to suggest it may be the "world's lamest wiki".[20]

The website is known for serving as a platform for members of the group known as "Anonymous", making Encyclopædia Dramatica a "favourite target for critics, who accuse Anonymous of propagating hate."[14] Through its association with members of Anonymous, Encyclopædia Dramatica received incidental coverage when actions by members of the group led to the arrest of an alleged pedophile,[21] when they demonstrated against Scientology in London;[22][23] when a member of Anonymous broke into the e-mail account of former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin,[24] and when a member of Anonymous claimed credit for an attack on the virtual Second Life headquarters of former presidential candidate John Edwards.[25] The convergence of Encyclopædia Dramatica with the anti-Scientology campaign of Project Chanology was noted by technology journalist Julian Dibbell.[26]

In January 2010, the Encyclopædia Dramatica article Aboriginal was removed from the search engine results of Google Australia, following a complaint that its content was racist.[27][28][29] A search on terms related to the article will produce a message that one of the results has been removed after a legal request relating to Australia's Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).[30][31] In March 2010, it was reported that the Australian Human Rights Commission had notified the site by e-mail that according to Australian law, the article Aboriginal could be in breach of Sections 18C and 18D of its RDA.[32]

Awards[edit]

On December 16, 2008, Encyclopædia Dramatica won the People's Choice Winners category for favorite wiki in Mashable's 2nd Annual Open Web Awards, with wikiHow as the runner-up.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Encyclopedia Dramatica:About. Encyclopedia Dramatica. URL accessed on January 4, 2011.
  2. Encyclopediadramatica.com Site Info. Alexa. Alexa Internet, Inc.. URL accessed on January 4, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chonin, Neva (September 17, 2006). Sex and the City, 20. {{{publisher}}}. .
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dibbell, Julian (September 21, 2009). The Assclown Offensive: How to Enrage the Church of Scientology, . Wired Magazine. .
  5. Paget, Henri (13:30 AEST Tue Mar 9 2010). ""Interview: Encyclopedia Dramatica moderator"". ninemsn. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/1025127/interview-with-encyclopedia-dramatica-moderator. Retrieved 2010-03-10. </li>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Schwartz, Mattathias (3 August 2008). "Malwebolence". The New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2008-08-01. </li>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Schwartz, Mattathias (August 3, 2008). The Trolls Among Us, 24. {{{publisher}}}. .
  8. 8.0 8.1 Himmelein, Gerald (February 28, 2008). Das Trollparadies, 100. {{{publisher}}}. online copy.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tsotsis, Alexia (February 04, 2009). My Date With Anonymous: A Rare Interview With the Elusive Internet Troublemakers, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Dibbell, Julian (January 18, 2008). Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: Put the Blame on Griefers, the Sociopaths of the Virtual World, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dee, Jonathan (July 1, 2007). All the News That's Fit to Print Out, 5. {{{publisher}}}. .
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mitchell, John (May 20, 2006). Megabits and Pieces: The Latest Teen Hangout, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  13. Staff Writer, {{{first}}} (December 16, 2005). 2 Do: Monday, December 26, 2. {{{publisher}}}. .
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Davies, Shaun (August 5, 2008). Critics point finger at satirical website, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  15. Peckham, Charles H. (February 7, 2008). Encyclopedia Dramatica, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  16. Douglas, Nick (January 18, 2008). What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And 'b'?, . gawker.com. .
  17. Hogge, Betty (June 5, 2008). A lesson in hai culture, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  18. Zimmer, Benjamin (May 18, 2007). Language Log, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  19. Golson, Jordan (8 November 2008). "Briefly: Encyclopedia Dramatica threatens shutdown". The Industry Standard. http://www.thestandard.com/news/2008/08/11/briefly-encyclopedia-dramatica-threatens-shutdown. Retrieved August 17, 2009.Template:dead link </li>
  20. "Craigslist". Wired Magazine. 2006-09-08. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2006/09/craigslist/. </li>
  21. Kim, Gus (July 12, 2007). Anonymous operation leads to arrest of alleged pedophile, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  22. Whipple, Tom (June 20, 2008). Scientology: the Anonymous protestors, . {{{publisher}}}. .
  23. Lee, Joe (February 11, 2008). Anonymous Protests Outside Scientology Sites, . londonist.com. .
  24. Singel, Ryan (August 19, 2008). Palin Hacker Group's All-Time Greatest Hits, . blog.wired.com. .
  25. Cabron, Lou (August 3, 2007). John Edwards' Virtual Attackers Unmasked, . alternet.org. .
  26. Dibbell, Julian (2008). GLS Conference 4.0, . Games, Learning and Society Group. .
  27. , {{{first}}} (January 15, 2010). Google agrees to take down racist site, . Sydney Morning Herald. .
  28. , {{{first}}} ({{{date}}}). Stephen Hodder-Watt –v- Google Australia Pty Limited, . Indigenous Community News Network. .
  29. , {{{first}}} ({{{date}}}). Cyber racism, . Radio National. .
  30. Riley, Duncan ({{{date}}}). Aus Media Gets Encyclopedia Dramatica Story Wrong, Only Some Search Links Removed, . The Inquisitr. .
  31. , {{{first}}} ({{{date}}}). Australian Anti Discrimination Act Complaint, . Chilling Effects. .
  32. Paget, Henri ({{{date}}}). Dramatica owner could face charges, . ninemsn. .
  33. Cashmore, Pete (December 16, 2008). Open Web Awards Winners, . mashable.com. .
  34. </ol>

External links[edit]

Template:Anonymous and the InternetTemplate:PortalTemplate:Commons categorysimple:Encyclopedia Dramatica