Wikipedia founder calls alt-medicine practitioners "lunatic charlatans"Wales
to activists who want new rules for Wikipedia: "No, you have to be kidding

Ars contacted Sanger about the use of his name in this argument, and he
offered a more nuanced take on the petitioners' request:

"Wikipedia's neutrality policy, at least as I originally articulated it,
requires that CAM's practitioners be given an opportunity to explain their
views. At the same time, the policy also requires that *more* space be
given to mainstream views that are *critical* of CAM, precisely because
such critical views are held by most medical health professionals.
I am as big a defender of rationality, science, and objective reality as
you are likely to find. But I also think a public resource like Wikipedia
should be fully committed to intellectual tolerance and the free exchange
of ideas. That, together with an interest in providing a way to resolve
disputes, is just what drove me to advocate for and articulate the
Wikipedia's neutrality policy. I have confidence that if CAM's advocates
are given an opportunity to air their views fully and sympathetically--not
to say they should be allowed to make Wikipedia *assert* their views--and
skeptics are also given free rein to report their explanation of why they
think CAM is a load of crap, then a rational reader will be given the tools
he or she needs to take a reasonable position about the matter.

Putting all ideas on the table--but giving more space to the mainstream
views and putting less emphasis on the alternative views--might be
problematic in practice. Requiring that Wikipedia sources be based on
third-party, published, and often peer-reviewed work is an easy way to at
least make a passing effort at disseminating high-quality information. But
how would space be doled out to advocates of alternative theories, who are
just as certain about the rightness of their ideas as any scientist, if
that guideline became more flexible? Would they be allowed to present their
views in a set number of paragraphs? Or as a percentage of the number of
words written about mainstream theories? Such a setup might be a slippery
slope to what's been termed "false balance," a subject on which Ars has
written at length
In that scenario, views that have been ignored for a reason are given
undeserved light to create the illusion of an even playing field.

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