Homeopathy: How Can Wikipedia Get It So Wrong?
By Richard Gale, Gary Null PhD., Amy Mitura, Esq. and Neal Greenfield, Esq.
In 2014, Dana Ullman, who is regarded as America’s leading advocate for homeopathy and an author and publisher of over 35 books about this alternative medical system, bumped into Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales in Vancouver. Over the years, Wales is on record for showing animosity against homeopathy and has publicly put his support behind efforts to discredit it. After a verbal exchange over Ullman’s concerns about the online encyclopedia’s unwarranted bias and misinformation under its homeopathy entry, Ullman published an article entitled Dysfunction at Wikipedia on Homeopathic Medicine as a response to Mr. Wales.
At the time of the article was written Wikipedia described homeopathy as “a pseudoscience and its remedies have been found to be no more effective than placebos.” Ullman wrote, “It is more than a tad ironic that this first paragraph in the Wikipedia article on homeopathy references only one article that was published in a peer-review medical journal.” In particular he takes issue with a referenced study by Shang, et.al and informs Wales that it “has been thoroughly discredited.” Ullman cites an article published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, which found that the Shang analysis failed to review “higher quality” medical trials; if it had done so, the analysis would have had a positive conclusion confirming homeopathy’s efficacy in treating certain illnesses. Consequently, the review concluded that the Shang study was biased by “arbitrarily defin[ing] one subset” and deemed the “entire review as ‘falsely negative.’”