Wiki4CAM (Wiki for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) was a tiny Wiki, owned by Manish Bhatia, dedicated to protecting alternative medicine from the scientific method. While the website made it clear that skeptics need not apply, the site was predominantly a RationalWiki outpost, enjoying low to moderate use by only a few editors. The site was supported in part by Hpathy.com, a website dedicated to promoting homeopathy, which was supposedly also at work optimizing Wiki4CAM's search engine presence. Large amounts of the content also concern Ayurveda.
After 2011, there was very little activity on the site; the site was finally taken offline in May 2018.
About the owner
Wiki4CAM was owned by Dr. Manish Bhatia, aka "Dr. B", an Indian homeopathic practitioner and the owner of Hpathy.com and various other woo-promoting websites. He was also known to panic about the fact that (gasp) skeptics of homeopathy say it doesn't work (because it doesn't). As a result, he created sites like Wiki4CAM to protect homeopathy and alternative medicine in general from skepticism and the scientific method as these might get in the way of
profits his attempts to help people.
Differences from Wikipedia
Wiki4CAM was set up to counter perceived bias in Wikipedia. In this respect it is similar to dozens of other wikis out there on the Internet. Wiki4CAM stated that Wikipedia's open policies have led to it "gaining political views" and that editors have gone out of their way to "discredit and disrepute nearly all alternative medicine as unscientific." As Wikipedia must be A) neutral and B) verifiable, this is hardly surprising. Pseudoscience, by the site rules, cannot be written as if it was 100% verifiable and real. Wiki4CAM also claimed to be a "true knowledge base" for alternative medicine, whereas Wikipedia is biased due to "skeptical intervention."
Articles of note
While Wiki4CAM struggled with Poe's Law and deleted some real classics such as "tree therapy" and "flame detox," a few articles are starting to become worth mentioning, for all the wrong reasons:
|Urine Therapy||That's not lemonade, that's a space station! Although its "Criticism by mainstream medicine" (which was re-titled as "research" in September 2008) section is about as fair as you can get. See also urine therapy.|
|Space Therapy||The suspense is totally killing us. For some reason, a lot of Wiki4CAM seems to be like this…|
|Wand||"A wand is a thin rod used by a magician..." And here we thought it was — oh well, never mind.|
|Natural health||A good wiki article should always start with the title… and end with the title. And have the title in the middle, of course.|
|Copied almost wholesale from Wikipedia, including all of the evil criticism they complain about. By 2010 they had finally finished stripping the criticism.|
|Measles||If you want information on treating a dangerous disease like measles, but don't want the treatment to help, they've got your back.|
Amidst the Wikipedia copying and stub-fest are a few solid bastions of wacky CAM rhetoric. The Myths about homeopathy offers some great reading, including the fact that homeopathy is not just water but water that has been shaken just right.
Despite heroic attempts to the contrary, Wiki4CAM appears as if it died on arrival, being edited only about 10-430 of the total hours available in any given week (which means its potency is greatly enhanced). The only activity in May 2011 was a couple of site administrators puttering around once or twice a week. The one stop CAM shop of the future needed some serious injection of "caring," a caring for which no homeopathic remedy yet exists. Although it's not easy to tell when it happened, Wiki4CAM gave over a lot of its space to Google-ads based advertising. This could have been a last ditch effort to get the cash needed to host the site.
In 2011, account creation at Wiki4CAM was disabled, perhaps another sign that the Wiki is truly on the brink of extinction. Be sure to tell all your Reiki master and snake oil peddler friends about Wiki4CAM before it is too late!
The last substantive edit to the site was in November 2011, and the last edit was in February 2012. On 7 January 2014, an admin deleted two useless pages and turned one user that had made only one edit into a bureaucrat so he could mess everything up. But nobody will ever find out or care. In October 2015, the site became dysfunctional and went permanently offline later.
- Wiki4CAM: A note for skeptics. Archived from the original at wiki4cam.org.
- Why do we need Wiki4CAM? Archived from the original at wiki4cam.org.
- Diluting The Profits. skeptico.blogs.com, 2 December 2007.
- Close Minded Skeptics, deancameron.com.
- Naughty skeptics! Naughty, bad skeptics! scienceblogs.com, 14 August 2008.