Sunday, 15 November 2015

Magnetic products store versus Wikipedia

A recent post on the blog of Magnetic Products Store challenged the obvious bias of the Wikipedia article on Magnet Therapy. The post points out that attempts to add balance to the Wikipedia article were rebuffed (i.e. deleted) by the owner of the blog. Below is an extract:

It was pointed out a few months ago, in an addition to the Wikipedia entry, that one of the articles cited as evidence that magnetic therapy doesn't work, in fact contains the sentence: “For osteoarthritis, the evidence is insufficient to exclude a clinically important benefit, which creates an opportunity for further investigation.” (Emphasis added)
Unfortunately, this attempt to give balance to the Wikipedia article, was unceremoniously rebuffed. The qualifying sentence was removed from the Wikipedia entry by the person who controls the entry – even though the added sentence was only quoting from the same article that the main author of the Wikipedia entry had already cited! This too was pointed out, but the gatekeeper remained unmoved. There followed an amicable exchange in the discussion page in which the gatekeeper sought to bolster their case by citing a 2012 study on magnetic therapy in osteoarthritis.
However, if one looks carefully at the phraseology of the Wikipedia entry, it states that the articles cited found “insufficient evidence to conclude that magnet therapy is effective for pain relief.” (Emphasis added) And one of the reasons that the source articles cited for rejecting even the most stringent double-blind studies that supported the case for magnetic therapy was “difficulty with allocation concealment.” In layman's terms: the test subjects could themselves test to see whether they have a magnet or a placebo by holding it to an iron object or surface. 
Now it is certainly true that the test subjects could do this. But how many actually do or would?

The post continues to demolish the flawed, biased, one-sided Wikipedia article. Indeed even the 2012 study - which the article owner added to bolster their cases - actually stated that the magnetic therapy had not been either proven or disproven. In other words, the most one could say was that the jury was till out.
Why then did the Wikipedia article call magnetic therapy "pseudoscientific"? Why indeed?

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