Wikipedia

Wikipedia currently is the area in which dogmatic skeptics are most successful and influential. One of these activist groups is called Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, founded by Susan Gerbic. Another leader of the online skeptical movement is Tim Farley, who runs the website Skeptical Software Tools.

The situation is particularly bad in any areas to do with parapsychology, alternative and complementary medicine, and on the biography pages of scientists involved in investigating these areas.

The Wikipedia skeptics work in teams (contrary to Wikipedia rules) and most are well trained. They generally operate under pseudonyms. It is not necessary to have any particular skill or expertise to become an editor. Anyone can edit. But it is necessary to understand the complex rules of Wikipedia. The skeptical activists are well versed in the rules, and are able to bully and outwit editors who are trying to ensure that articles are balanced and fair. When fair-minded editors oppose the skeptic teams, they are accused of defying the skeptical consensus, and warned that they will be banned from editing. If they persist they are indeed banned. Many such editors have been driven away, to the detriment of Wikipedia and its users. For a detailed case study, see Wikipedia, We Have a Problem.

Although Wikipedia’s official policy is that articles should represent a neutral point of view, skeptics have infiltrated the administration of Wikipedia and have managed to get parapsychology defined as a pseudoscience, along with many aspects of alternative and complementary medicine. The skeptic teams then claim that any editor opposing them is contravening the neutral point of view policy, because these subjects are defined as pseudoscience. These teams are committed to a kind of scientific fundamentalism, and take an extremely narrow view of science, even narrower than that of more mainstream skeptical organizations. Even the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry does not dismiss all parapsychology as pseudoscience: indeed some leading skeptics, like Professor Chris French, have explicitly stated that they regard it as a real science (French, C. C., & Stone, A. Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Unfortunately, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, is a supporter of the skeptical extremists. In response to the systematic distortion to Wikipedia entries on holistic medicine, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) organized on online petition to Jimmy Wales through change.org asking for a balanced and scientific approach to these subjects. There were 7,000 signatures.

In response, Wales called practitioners of alternative medicine “lunatic charlatans.” He resisted calls for change by saying that Wikipedia’s policies are “exactly spot-on and correct.”

So beware! Until Wikipedia can be reformed or replaced, it is essential to treat its skeptic-infested pages with skepticism.

On This Website

Wikipedia: Our New Technological McCarthyism, Part One

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, May 3, 2018 © Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null See part two Today, the internet, often thought of as our world's "final frontier" for free thinkers and the flow and exchange of ideas and information, is seriously ill. It has been systemically infected by ideological viruses, memes...

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Wikipedia: Our New Technological McCarthyism, Part Two

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, May 10, 2018 © Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null In Part One, we discussed the threats social media technology poses to a healthy and educated populace, the scientist cult of Skepticism and its extremist medical wing, and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as a leading promulgator for Skepticism's...

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Can We Trust Wikipedia and Its Medical Skepticism?

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, August 2, 2018 © Richard Gale and Dr Gary Null It is not skepticism that is at fault for science's lack of movement into the future... It is fear, conservatism, and dogmatism. It is pseudoskepticism which clings to a scientifically disproved belief system, a triumvirate of ancient philosophies:...

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Wikipedia Embraces the Dark Side

Originally published on the Progressive Radio Network, August 2, 2018 By Helen Buyniski Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website on the internet. It presents itself as a “people's encyclopedia,” a neutral utopia in which anyone can edit an article in their area of expertise, adding and correcting facts to enhance the sum total of...

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Wikipedians in Disrepute: “Vzaak / Manul”

"Vzaak" / "Manul" The Original Disreputarian According to the website Wikipedia, We Have a Problem, behavioral data suggests that "Vzaak", who in 2015 changed his Wikipedia account name to "Manul", may be skeptic-activist Tim Farley or working within a network directed by Tim Farley and Jerry Coyne. Evidence indicates that Manul's Wikipedia account began as...

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Rampant Harassment on Wikipedia

For several years now Rome Viharo has been documenting his disturbing Wikipedia experiences on his website Wikipedia, We Have a Problem. His latest post is an excellent case study on the harassment, libel and slander routinely practiced by some editors of the king of encyclopedias. There is a disturbing pattern of behaviors evolving across Wikipedia...

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Wikipedians in Disrepute: “Barney the Barney Barney”

  "Barney the Barney Barney" Skepticism or Vendetta? by the Editors     "Barney the Barney Barney" is a member of a Wikipedia "skeptic" community self-named the Fringe Noticeboard. Barney wrote the defamatory Wikipedia essay "Why it isn't cool to describe Rupert Sheldrake as a biologist"; a false assertion as Sheldrake's Cambridge Ph.D. is in...

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Wikipedians in Disrepute: “Guy (JzG)”

  "Guy (JzG)" A Bully by the Editors     Although Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, supports the scientifically-uninformed party line, Wikipedia as an entity is promoted to the public as scientifically sound. Unfortunately, it is not. "Guy", a self-described "skeptical" blogger with a moderate following, has "Administrator" status on Wikipedia, a step above the usual...

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"When collaborative editing devolves into mob mentality it is not just the individual being abused who suffers, it is everyone who trusts in the integrity of Wikipedia.... The body of editors who are dominating Deepak Chopra's biography page are a dozen or so skeptics who are so extreme in their views that they resort to online activism, many of whom consider the concept of spirituality or a mind-body connection to be a threat to human intelligence. ...These editors are no more empowered than any other volunteer editor, but their ideological zeal and willingness to viciously attack any opposing editor has driven off most impartial editors. ...Behind this radical contrast lies the online battle between those who want to publish a neutral perspective and those who want to publish their own perspective."


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