Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation – then surely there must be a valid reason?
Wikipedia, is the online encyclopedia compiled by a distributed network of volunteers, and has often come under attack by academics as being shoddy and full of inaccuracies.
Even Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, says he wants to get the message out to college students that they shouldn’t use it for class projects or serious research.
But use it they do, and ‘cite it’ they will – at the expense of both annoying their lecturer’s and risking a possible ‘f’ in their assignments.
You might make allowances for young students who possibly (when starting out) know no better than to use and cite an article from an online source – which has no credibility. You would never accept it was an inadvertent error from a more mature and responsible person would you?
And yet Wiki, even though it claims no particular bias, and claims to be both informed and reliable in the information it publishes – for our non academic research and perusal – is becoming more and more UNRELIABLE, irresponsible and biased.
The main argument against the Internet’s most popular information database is that anyone can edit or write an article, anyone. This concept of an open-source reference guide leaves the site prone to vandalism and unintentional incorrectness.
Furthermore, the certainty of biases, vulnerability to massive plagiarism, questionable appropriateness of articles, and comprehensibility are just some of the many accusations Wikipedia receives.
According to Michael Shapiro:
On the issue of vandalism, which Wikipedia may appear highly susceptible to, the reality is that it never gets out of hand. Though virtually anyone can edit an article, a larger number of editors attempt to astutely assess any problematic articles or changes. In 2003, IBM researched this concept and concluded that “vandalism is usually repaired extremely quickly—so quickly that most users will never see its effects” and that Wikipedia has “surprisingly effective self-healing capabilities”.
However the Editors of the Orthomolecular News Service have been showing us for weeks, that articles pertaining to Alternative, Healthy lifestyles and Orthomolecular (mega vitamin therapy, is a form of complementary and alternative medicine that seeks to prevent or treat diseases – according to the Wiki definition) Medicine, are regularly altered and or deleted on Wikipedia.
On April 26, 2010 they informed us: The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service has received complaints from readers who have tried, and failed, to correct what they think are a number of strongly biased declarations at the Wikipedia page on Orthomolecular Medicine.
The problem, according to our sources, is that when interested people have tried to correct biased or even derogatory Wikipedia statements, their contributions and edits have been immediately eliminated and overwritten. (see references for link)
On May 3rd, 2010 they presented a report of what readers had to say about the bias shown at Wikipedia. (see references for link)
On May 11th, 2010 the following was presented, and in and of itself is extremely condemning of Wikipedia:
The Hidden Wikipedia: How to Find Deleted Material about Nutritional Medicine
There is nothing quite like a paper trail, and Wikipedia has one. Consequently, you can read for yourself all the material that has been added, and then deleted.For example:
Wikipedia’s page about Max Gerson, M.D., is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Gerson . The doctor is widely known for the nutritional cancer therapy that bears his name. Gerson’s principal biographer is his grandson, Howard Straus http://www.doctoryourself.com/gersonbio.htm . Mr. Straus tells the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service of some interesting experiences he has had with Wikipedia bias:
“Some years ago, on seeing that the pages for Dr. Max Gerson and the Gerson Therapy were only stubs (short place-holders with little information on them), I took it upon myself to flesh out the pages. I thought Wikipedia was fairly neutral on balance, so I put in all the information that I could, and kept it factual with references, citations, and literature links.
“Within a month, the following had happened:
“The information was labeled as “biased” and “unreliable” because I am Dr. Gerson’s grandson and biographer. There appeared a big red flag at the top of the article labeling the articles neutrality “dubious.” The photograph I posted was removed. Provable, referenced facts, with dates and places, all suddenly became “claims,” even quotes from no less than Nobel Laureate Albert Schweitzer, M.D., who famously said: “I see in Dr. Max Gerson one of the most eminent geniuses in medical history.” Dr. Schweitzer and his wife were patients of Dr. Gerson, making this a first-hand account from a rather reliable source.
“All my links, references and citations were removed. They were replaced by links to the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute, which offer only criticism of the Gerson Therapy. Even quotations from published scientific papers were removed. Attempts to rectify these actions were immediately overwritten.
“It’s easy enough to show the progression of the pages, since Wikipedia displays former edits on request, dated and documented. One can verify this by clicking on the “History” tab at the top of the Max Gerson page, and looking at 2005 and before. My editing is archived at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/188.8.131.52 and also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Howard_Straus“A second Wikipedia page, specific to the Gerson Therapy, has been completely removed. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gerson_therapy&redirect=no .
To see something of what happened, you can click the “History” tab here as well.
“The OMNS adds just one other intriguing statement about Dr. Gerson’s work that is probably too “unreliable” to be seen on Wikipedia:
“I know of one patient who turned to Gerson Therapy having been told she was suffering from terminal cancer and would not survive another course of chemotherapy. Happily, seven years later, she is alive and well. So it is vital that, rather than dismissing such experiences, we should further investigate the beneficial nature of these treatments.” (H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales)
Max Gerson is not the only nutritionally-oriented physician whose work is slanted or censored at Wikipedia. Others include Matthias Rath, M.D., and Robert F. Cathcart III, M.D. Matthias Rath, M.D.Dr. Rath coauthored a number of papers with Linus Pauling. (1-8) They discussed high-dose vitamin therapy for cardiovascular disease. To see what is going on at Wikipedia concerning him:
Paul Anthony Taylor, a supporter of Dr. Rath, comments: “Instead of providing free access to the sum of all human knowledge, as is its supposed aim, Wikipedia would appear to be just another way of supporting the scientific, political and social status quo. In a sense, however, the game is already up for Wikipedia.
The official exams watchdog in the UK, Ofqual, recently stated that schoolchildren should avoid it as it is not “authoritative or accurate” and in some cases “may be completely untrue” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/6943325/Schoolchildren-told-to-avoid-Wikipedia.html
Believe it or not, one of Wikipedia’s contributors is the CIA, and they are not just updating their own entries, either. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/16/2007049.htm When it comes to nutritional therapies, you won’t currently find much of it on Wikipedia.
“Robert F. Cathcart, M.D.The Wikipedia page for this physician has been deleted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Robert_Cathcart Why? Because Dr. Cathcart “does not meet notability criteria per WP:BIO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BIO ” and “a quick google search shows up no reliable hits for this subject.”
Indeed? It appears that someone was not looking. Orthopedic surgeon Robert F. Cathcart III is the inventor of the Cathcart Elliptical Orthocentric Endoprosthesis, a replacement hip-ball joint still in widespread use today after 37 years.
http://www.orthomed.com/pros.pdf Some physicians report it to be superior to other similar devices. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2661497 That alone qualifies him as notable, and invalidates the deletion of his page at Wikipedia.
In addition, Linus Pauling personally singled out Dr. Cathcart for recognition for his nutritional knowledge as early as 1978. (9) Possibly, just possibly, the real reason Dr. Cathcart is deleted from Wikipedia has much more to do with his outspoken advocacy of very high doses of vitamin C to treat viral illnesses.
Here is all the deleted material on Dr. Cathcart: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Robert_Cathcart&action=history
Take a look and decide for yourself.
JUST MY COMMENT: If Wikipedia is doing this with Orthomolecular Information, what other topics are they modifying to suit their own and/or others agenda?
Please check the references below, and be warned – be wary, and learn to check other sources for vital information which is unbiased.
Wikipedia Warning from founder
Wikipedia: Reliable Source or Fallible Scam?
What is going on at Wikipedia?
Readers Report Suppression of Nutritional Medicine
The Hidden Wikipedia: How to Find Deleted Material about Nutritional Medicine