Mapping Multiverse Alternative Facts In the Age of Post-truth

Team Members

  • Ivan Kisje
  • Kaspar Beelen
  • Derrek Xavier
  • Tommaso Elli
  • Felipe Escobar
  • Abraham Koshy
  • Jesper Hinze
  • Emillie V. de Keulenaar
  • Marc Tuters
  • Daniel de Zëuw
  • Giovanni Profeta
  • Nina Welt
  • Aurelio Amaral
  • Michele Mauri


Presentation slides

Summary of Key Findings

Briefly describe your most significant findings.

1. Introduction

Altpedias are (often) based on or forked from Wikipedia, but they rewrite, substantiate and use information within their ideological and cultural precepts. In this sense, they also become valuable sources of history about online sub-cultures, and arguably serve as object lessons for “post-truth” epistemology (as anticipated by Lyotard already in 1979).

2. Initial Data Sets

List and describe your data sets.

The following is the list of Altpedias under examination: Metapedia



To analyze RationalWiki several datasets were retrieved from the RationalWiki API. Two Python scripts were used to retrieve the most edited articles per category and to check the similarities between the articles in the different Altpedia (Fighting words script by Kaspar Beelen). Furthermore, the history of the RationalWiki homepage was retrieved from the Internet Archive.

Encyclopedia Dramatica

3. Research Questions

Clearly state your research questions and any hypotheses / expectations.

4. Methodology

Explain your methodology / approach.

5. Findings

Describe your findings. Consider any counter-intuitive findings.




Usage of references and images by article length.ref_img_comparison.png

Image comparison per article.




Word commonalities of other Altpedias with RationalWiki.




Category network per article.




Rationalwiki offers a large number of references in their articles - and a broad variety thereof compared to its competitors. But does the variety of sources contribute to debunk myths and conspiracy theories?

The ‘openness’ of Wikipedia can only go so far - until users with fundamental ideological disagreements shift to Altpedias, each with their own alt-facts and methods of validation.

The creation of alt-facts in Altpedias is usually due to users being banned for infringing upon these methods of validation.

If we want to understand the problem of so-called "post-truth", fact-checking is not enough! Rather, we need to understand the role of alt-facts in relation to the particular language games for the platforms which cultivate them.

Encyclopedia Dramatica

6. Discussion

Discuss and interpret the implications of your findings and make recommendations for future research and application, be it societal, academic or technical (or some combination).

7. Conclusions

Present a summary of what you have found, and its significance.

8. References

List your references in a standard academic bibliographic format.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
anti-vaccination_movement.pngpng anti-vaccination_movement.png manage 42 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:17 GiovanniProfeta  
anti-vaccination_movement_images.pngpng anti-vaccination_movement_images.png manage 469 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:18 GiovanniProfeta  
anti-vaccination_movement_net.pngpng anti-vaccination_movement_net.png manage 2 MB 01 Aug 2018 - 14:21 GiovanniProfeta  
gamergate.pngpng gamergate.png manage 37 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:07 GiovanniProfeta  
gamergate_images.pngpng gamergate_images.png manage 392 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:18 GiovanniProfeta  
gamergate_net.pngpng gamergate_net.png manage 3 MB 01 Aug 2018 - 14:22 GiovanniProfeta  
racialism.pngpng racialism.png manage 40 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:08 GiovanniProfeta  
racialism_images.pngpng racialism_images.png manage 479 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:19 GiovanniProfeta  
racialism_net.pngpng racialism_net.png manage 2 MB 01 Aug 2018 - 14:23 GiovanniProfeta  
ref_img_comparison.pngpng ref_img_comparison.png manage 19 K 01 Aug 2018 - 14:12 GiovanniProfeta  
Topic revision: r3 - 01 Aug 2018, GiovanniProfeta
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