Wikipedia Position Statement
Due to the public response of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, to over 8000 signatures on a petition asking him to allow the Wikipedia page on Homeopathy to be edited in a more neutral and objective way we distance ourselves from the information presented therein. We find Jimmy Wales’ comments about homeopathy and his blatant prejudice against complementary and alternative medicine to be unjustified.
Wikipedia entries for many complementary and alternative therapies are based on the core assumption that all alternative medicine is ineffective pseudoscience not founded on evidence: this assumption is prejudiced, erroneous and insupportable. Irrespective of Jimmy Wales’ personal opinion on alternative medicine and the opinions of the self-appointed individuals who edit Wikipedia’s pages, patients have a right to make an informed choice based on correct and fair information and Wikipedia is denying patients that right.
The central policy behind Wikipedia is to portray information in a neutral and objective way: the Wikipedia page on Homeopathy is neither neutral nor objective.
We acknowledge that the scientific evidence in support of Homeopathy remains inconclusive, but it is by no means definitively negative and there is in fact an active and growing field of research worldwide. We acknowledge that the mechanism of action of homeopathic remedies is unknown – as it is for some conventional medicines – but this does not preclude their usage in clinical situations. We welcome honest and open-minded debate about Homeopathy and fully support the call for high quality, appropriately designed research studies into the effectiveness of homeopathy as it is practised by both medical and professional homeopaths.
It is our position that patients, prospective patients and other interested parties view the Wikipedia page on homeopathy to be inaccurate and heavily biased: it is not currently a credible source of information.
Specifically, the Wikipedia page on Homeopathy is:
- Inaccurate and wilfully mis-represents the facts about homeopathy.
- Inappropriately derisory in tone.
- Dismissive and disrespectful to scientists and clinicians who research homeopathy in reputable universities worldwide.
- Limited in scope as it does not consider the global position of homeopathy and its successful integration into the training of medical practitioners in many countries.
- Disallows any balanced commentary or dissent from the biased sources cited.
- Selectively omits or misrepresents reputable information that is in support of homeopathy.
- Relies on a disproportionate number of anti-homeopathy sources without considering accurately representing pro-homeopathy sources for balance.
- Fails to present an adequate critique of the scientific debate around Homeopathy and selectively presents negative interpretations of data and theory.
Together, we believe these points highlight a significant failing in the editorial and collaborative community-based spirit of Wikipedia page creation. Until the blatantly prejudicial editorial process behind the Wikipedia page on Homeopathy has been investigated and amended Wikipedia is failing its user base and failing to implement its central policy, in particular ensuring that significant minority positions also be presented.
This position is held by:
Alliance of Registered Homeopaths
British Homeopathic Association
British Association of Homoeopathic Manufacturers
British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons
Faculty of Homeopathy
Friends of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine
Homeopathy Action Trust
Homeopathic Course Providers Forum
Homeopathy Research Institute
Society of Homeopaths