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Old 09-13-2010, 06:58 PM
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Default Wikipedia’s Anti-Natural Health Slant..

September 7, 2010
Wikipedia is the largest and most popular reference site on the Internet. Yet the articles that are pro-health freedom or integrative medicine perspectives are consistently gutted, removed, or vandalized.

Wikipedia’s 16 million articles (over 3.3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. But it is also an open platform, one prone to sabotage or editing by people with a particular bias, and natural health entries are often the ones bashed the most. Consequently, millions of people who search for alternative medicine cannot find information that isn’t heavily biased toward conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

Here are a few cases in point:

* According to Dr. Ronald Klatz, president of American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), Wikipedia has repeatedly deleted his postings and those from other A4M doctors trying to provide positive information on anti-aging. In other words, they can’t get their perspectives posted even when writing about their own organization.

* Positive, science-based information in the article on Orthomolecular Medicine is repeatedly removed, leaving only critical opinions.

* The entry for Nutritionist states that ADA-registered dieticians are the food and nutrition experts, while mere nutritionists have different (and, it is implied, inferior) training and expertise. This ignores the fact that most dieticians have college degrees only, while many nutritionists have master’s and PhD degrees. The article has more information about dieticians than about nutritionists, who are supposed to be the subject of the article, and its “See Also” section links to the dietician page—though there is no reciprocity of links from the dietician page to this one.

* The article on Alternative Medicine has a lengthy section on how CAM is perceived by the scientific community, at one point quoting evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who defined alternative medicine as a “set of practices which cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests,” and said that “if a technique is demonstrated effective in properly performed trials, it ceases to be alternative and simply becomes medicine.” The article also includes inflammatory section headers like, “Danger Can Be Increased When Used as a Complement to Standard Medical Care.”

* The article on Dr. Julian Whitaker was flagged in December 2007 as lacking neutrality—yet the controversy has not been resolved to this date. Not only does the piece malign Dr. Whitaker, it contains false and certainly libelous information about ANH-USA under our former name: “The American Association for Health Freedom [is] an advocacy organisation that promotes allowing patients and physicians to receive insurance compensation for procedures not supported by scientific evidence.”

While anyone can edit an article, and one can challenge the decisions made by other editors, the debates can become mired in endless argument with little or no satisfactory resolution—and no recourse.

Larry Sanger, who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001, left the organization in because he was concerned about its integrity: “[There are] many problems afflicting Wikipedia, from serious management problems, to an often dysfunctional community, to frequently unreliable content, and to a whole series of scandals. While Wikipedia is still quite useful and an amazing phenomenon, I have come to the view that it is also broken beyond repair.” One example: in 2007 it was revealed that a prominent and long-standing Wikipedia contributor had lied about his identity, having claimed to be a tenured university professor when he was in fact a 24-year-old college drop-out.

Sanger notes that “In some fields and some topics, there are groups who ‘squat’ on articles and insist on making them reflect their own specific biases. There is no credible mechanism to approve versions of articles. Vandalism, once a minor annoyance, has become a major headache—made possible because the community allows anonymous contribution. Many experts have been driven away because know-nothings insist on ruining their articles.”

Despite these problems, Wikipedia remains a huge force on the internet, and supporters of natural health and integrative medicine cannot simply accept the current situation. If every one of our readers with internet and especially Wikipedia skills, took a hand in writing and editing articles, using verified scientific information with suitable citations, the situation could be improved radically.

So please consider this article another call to action, but of a different kind. Please get involved with Wikipedia and help save it from the one-sided critics (and, for all we know drug company ghost writers) who seem to control it now.

Before leaving this topic, we should also mention an alternative to Wikipedia called the “Wiki4CAM,” the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Encyclopedia. It was founded “to provide the Complementary and Alternative Medicine community its own space, where it can build its knowledge base….A wiki is all about community participation. Your active involvement can make this wiki the most exhaustive and authoritative source for complementary and alternative medicine.” We do not endorse this encyclopedia, which is a work in progress, but it too would benefit from some knowledgeable volunteers.

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:48 PM
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Another fine example of how Wikipedia treats health icons:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Null

Gary Null

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gary NullBorn1945Station(s)The Progressive Radio NetworkShowNatural Living with Gary NullChildrenShelly NullWebsitegarynull.comGary Michael Null (born in 1945) is an American talk radio host and author on alternative and complementary medicine and nutrition. He is also a critic of the medical and psychiatric communities.

Contents

Early life and education

Null was raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, with his two brothers. He holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey. He has a PhD in "Interdisciplinary Studies" from Union Institute & University, a private college that gives degrees by correspondence from Cincinnati, Ohio. According to Null, his thesis was titled, "A Study of Psychological and Physiological Effects of Caffeine on Human Health." Union Institute & University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, but its accreditation does not cover awarding of PhDs in the sciences, only in the humanities. Null is a New York State Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist.

Viewpoints

Null is best known as a promoter of natural and alternative remedies. He has written or produced more than seventy books, booklets, and audio CDs on the topics of health, wellness, nutrition, and alternative medicine.

Null says he sleeps only two hours a night, promotes vigorous exercise even for the elderly, and says that although "younger people may have enthusiasm...today what they share is a social psychosis. Ninety percent of the people in my support groups are whining all the time."

Gary Null has attacked many facets of mainstream medicine. He argues that physicians are not actively conspiring, but are just trained and conditioned to accept the premises of their profession. Null believes that physicians have an economic interest in sickness maintenance, not prevention. Null co-authored a series of articles on cancer research, new therapies, and political influence for Penthouse, beginning with one entitled "The Great Cancer Fraud". He accused the "medical community of suppressing alternative cancer treatments to protect the medical establishment's solid-gold cancer train." In 1999 Time wrote: "From a young reporter this is to be expected. But two decades later, Null, 54, is still warning of a variety of medical bogeymen out to gull a trusting public."

Gary Null is also a promoter of AIDS denialism, the belief that HIV is harmless or does not exist, and is not the cause of AIDS. Null sells self-produced films on his website that promote AIDS denialism.

Radio and video work

Null's syndicated radio talk show, Natural Living with Gary Null, earned eight Silver Microphone Awards (an award presented to radio commercials). The show, which has been on the air for more than 27 years, is the longest-running continuously airing health program in the United States. It broadcast first on WBAI, then on the VoiceAmerica Network and now broadcasts over the Internet on the Progressive Radio Network.

Null has made several self-funded and published documentary films on public policy issues, personal health, and personal development. Null's videos have been aired by PBS during pledge drives, but concern arose within PBS over the sensational claims they contained, with Ervin Duggan, the president of PBS, expressing concern with the network "open[ing] the door to quacks and charlatans." Null implied that his problems with PBS may have been an attempt to silence him, saying: "The guardians of the gates of orthodoxy at PBS... you don't know who their friends are."


Business interests

Null is the owner of the dietary supplement and media company Gary Null & Associates, Inc. He owns a health food store, Gary Null's Uptown Whole Foods Market, in New York City.

In 2010, Null filed suit against Triarco Industries, a company that manufactured a product called Gary Null's Ultimate Power Meal. Null's suit contends that flawed testing and manufacturing practices led to the inclusion of 1,000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin D, and that as a result he suffered kidney damage and intense pain.

Criticisms

Many of Null's viewpoints are controversial and he has attracted the attention of Stephen Barrett of the alternative medicine watchdog website, Quackwatch. Barrett criticizes the validity of Null's PhD thesis, his alternative health claims, and several of his commercial products.

The James Randi Educational Foundation, an organization that aims to promote critical thinking, has accused him, together with Wayne Dyer, of "dealing in nonsense", promoting the notion of eternal youth, and prescribing magnets and "other medieval tools" to prevent aging.

In 2009, Null was criticized for his remarks as a keynote speaker at a political rally against mandatory H1N1 influenza vaccination at the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York. New York State Health Commissioner Richard Daines said, "Like any number of things he’s wrong about, he’s wrong about that.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:08 PM
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If you changed the title of this thread to wikipedia biased if might bring more hits by people trying to find out the truth on the matter

thread titles are pretty important for pulling in people doing searches
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:54 PM
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Wikipedia and other similar information sites can and do contain some good information. They can be a good starting point for a search, but they should never be considered the finial word.

Depending on the search topic the sites owners have been known to allow their personal feelings to effect their objectivity.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:14 AM
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The majority believe in traditional medicine other than natural/alternative medicine, wiki editors are no exceptions.

You can write pro-natural health topics at our own health wiki.
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