How can I create a parody Wikipedia page?
January 18, 2017 12:04 PM   Subscribe

How can I create a parody Wikipedia page? I want it to look like an authentic page - something that I can share privately with friends or post on my own website.

Ideally this would function as a Wiki, but that's not a prerequisite. A template with instructions would be ideal. It's just a gag.
posted by sixpack to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Install MediaWiki on a webserver and adjust the theme a bit.
posted by destructive cactus at 12:13 PM on January 18, 2017

Yepp, exactly that. Many hosters have an automated installation thingy, so it's not that hard. I've personally done it on Dreamhost, but I guess there are other options that are just as good.
posted by dominik at 12:35 PM on January 18, 2017

TiddlyWiki may be easier to get started with than a full MediaWiki installation.

Wikipedia has a nice comparison of wiki hosting services, which is another route to go.

Finally, if you just want to make a one-off page and take a screenshot, you could get an account on wikipedia and make the parody page in your user sandbox. This is strictly speaking not recommended, but all kinds of people can and do keep notes and essays in their sandbox. Basically nobody enforces sandbox rules or cares about minor rule-bending there, but you will get in trouble if you start directing lots of traffic there or dropping lots of big files there. If you go this route, it would be polite to keep it small and remove after usage.

(I know you didn't suggest this, but please don't try to put parody content on actual wikipedia, that is vandalism ;)
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:35 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

The problem with using Wikipedia as SaltySalticid suggests is that the title will give the game away, as it will be something like "User:sixpack/ParodyObject" instead of "ParodyObject". The only way to avoid this is to put the article in main space, which, as SaltySalticid points out, is considered vandalism, and what's more, is likely to be detected and dealt with so quickly that your friends won't be able to see it. You would definitely be better off on your own Wiki.
posted by ubiquity at 1:24 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

For clarity, the user sandbox is guaranteed to look 100% like Wikipedia (because it is!) and will by far the be least effort. But we don't know OP's specific goals.

Importantly, we don't know how important the fakery is. When my friends send me links to The Onion, I still laugh, even though I know going in that I'll be reading a parody, and not an actual newspaper. But some joke/parody ideas may well depend on misleading the reader as to the actual origin of the content.

Also, plenty of people post and share "real" content on WP sandboxes, for example here or here, but I suppose that's not common knowledge outside of Wikipedia wonks.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:39 PM on January 18, 2017

If you are just going the screenshot route, you can also pop open Google Chrome's inspector and just edit the text willy-nilly. Just don't refresh the page, and everything will look as it does in your edit. You could combine that with the user sandbox idea above to remove any mention of it being a user sandbox.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:37 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

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