TIME

Wikipedia Founder Sticks It To ‘Lunatic’ Holistic Healers

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales gives a lecture in Hanover, Germany, March 14, 2014.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales gives a lecture in Hanover, Germany, March 14, 2014. Christoph Schmidt—Zumapress

Jimmy Wales rejected a Change.org petition calling for more information on holistic medicinal therapies. "Every single person who signed this petition needs to...think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful," he said

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales responded definitively to a Change.org petition from holistic healing supporters to “allow for true scientific discourse” on the online encyclopedia.

The petitioners say the representation of holistic healing on Wikipedia is biased, and they have not been allowed to amend the information. The petition, which has over 7,790 supporters, states:

“Wikipedia is widely used and trusted. Unfortunately, much of the information related to holistic approaches to healing is biased, misleading, out-of-date, or just plain wrong. For five years, repeated efforts to correct this misinformation have been blocked and the Wikipedia organization has not addressed these issues. As a result, people who are interested in the benefits of Energy Medicine, Energy Psychology, and specific approaches such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques, Thought Field Therapy and the Tapas Acupressure Technique, turn to your pages, trust what they read, and do not pursue getting help from these approaches which research has, in fact, proven to be of great benefit to many.”

Wales responded to the petition on Sunday, and was unapologetic for the way holistic medicine is covered on Wikipedia, saying it will only publish evidence rooted in science. He responds:

No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.

Wikipedia’s policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals – that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

What we won’t do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of “true scientific discourse”. It isn’t.

Now perhaps he’ll tell us how he really feels.

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