If you spend any length of time perusing Conservapedia, you begin to realize that a good deal of the articles are either created or edited heavily by Ed Poor. My first and only encounter with Ed Poor consisted of him banning me for life from editing Conservapedia because I disagreed with him on a minor point about an obscure Japanese film whose very Conservapedia entry was later deleted. In short, he banned me for life because of something literally no one but him actually cared about. There wasn't even a warning. I was simply banned because I disagreed with Ed Poor.
I was gobsmacked. It made no sense. The more I pondered the irrational nature of his actions the more I realized the deep implications of what he had done. If he was willing to ban me for something that no one cared about, he was probably willing to ban other people for equally trivial reasons. I had been a minor contributor to Conservapedia. Most of my entries had amounted to nothing more than fixing a few typos or correcting some grammar. What about people who were trying to make major contributions? What about the people who were dedicating the time to grow Conservapedia in very real, substantial ways? Was Ed Poor attacking them with the same vigor?
I decided to do some digging.
The First Vanity Entry
If you search Conservapedia for the name "Ed Poor" you come to the entry for Edmund Ward Poor. It's not surprising if your response is "Who?" He was one of four early investors when Leroy Grumman started a small welding operation. While Leroy Grumman would grow this tiny business into the Grumman Aircraft Company, Edmund Ward Poor never achieved anything more substantial than having invested in Leroy Grumman.
According to Conservapedia's entry however, he was a co-founder of Grumman Aircraft Company, an organization that Conservapedia doesn't consider important enough to have an entry of its own. The entry goes on to point out that Edmund Ward Poor is the Grandfather of Conservapedia editor Ed Poor. Looking at the vanity article's history you find that Ed Poor created the article, such as it is, and was responsible for most of the edits. When challenged on the very existence of the article, Ed Poor responded with:
unlike Wikipedia, longtime contributors here are allowed to blow their own horns
In that comment, Ed Poor admits he's created an irrelevant vanity article for the sake of self aggrandizement.
The article however, is, to be kind, inaccurate. Edmund Ward Poor was NOT the co-founder of Grumman. He was one of four minor business partners when Leroy Grumman started a company that did nothing but weld aluminum frames for trucks in the late 1920's. Leroy Grumman doesn't have a Conservapedia entry, but a minor financier who didn't even have a say in day-to-day operations has an entry giving him the bulk of the credit for Leroy Grumman's business acumen and ambition. This would be like having no entry for Microsoft or Bill Gates, but having an article claiming a bank manager who approved an early loan to the company was the co-founder.
The very first thing I found on Conservapedia when looking up Ed Poor was a falsehood riddled vanity piece designed to paint an obscure ancestor of Ed Poor's in a far grander light than the man ever deserved.
My research will continue, but my hopes are not high. I fear I may discover that Conservapedia has decayed into nothing more than the Ed Poor vanity project.