‘Fat Head’ Targeted For Deletion By The Weenie At Wikipedia

Well, heck, I’m always proud to be included in the same company as Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.

Let’s review the chronology here: On December 3rd, Kendrick announced on his blog that he’d been slated for deletion from Wikipedia. (He’s since been deleted.) The editor who made that decision used the handle Sceptic From Britain. Lots of people were speculating that Spectic From Britain was a shill for Big Food.

Given who he had targeted – Kendrick, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, etc. – Big Food didn’t strike me as the likely culprit. In my December 13th post, I wrote this:

I have my own two-legged theory: 1) Skeptic from Britain is a disciple of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet, and 2) Wikipedia has been taken over by social-justice warriors.

And later in the post …

I’m sure the people who run Big Food aren’t fans of Kendrick, Ravnskov or Eenfeldt. But based on what I’ve witnessed on social media, the people who really can’t stand anyone who says saturated fats and cholesterol are good for you are the SJW/Plant-Based Diet crowd. By gosh, if you tell people meat and eggs are part of a healthy diet, you’re ruining the planet, promoting inequality, and possibly supporting the repressive imperial patriarchy or whatever.

Nailed it. Someone identified Sceptic From Britain. An online profile listed him as a naturalist and vegetarian. (He also appears to be about 12 years old.)

EDIT: Ignore that profile.  I’ve received emails from the person profiled, from someone else claiming to the real Sceptic From Britain, and from a third person claiming to have proof that yet another person is the real Sceptic From Britain.  Bottom line:  we’ve got a weird case of cyber revenge going on in this whole matter, and any name mentioned is likely to be false.

Kendrick wrote this in his latest blog post on the matter:

I wrote the book “Doctoring Data” to try and shine some light on the methods used to distort and manipulate data. I try, as best as I can, to follow the scientific method. That includes discussion and debate, to test ones ideas in the furnace of sustained attacks.

However, if you try to do this, the forces of darkness come after you, and they come hard. Especially if ever dare to suggest that animal fats, saturated fats, are not in the least harmful. At which point you waken the vegan beast, and this beast is not the least interested in science, or the scientific method, or discussion or debate.

It has one aim, and that is to silence anyone, anywhere, who dares to question the vegan philosophy.

Anyone with a half a brain can see that’s exactly what’s going on with this particular editor. And yet Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has insisted Kendrick’s deletion was all about the quality of the sourcing. Nothing to do with Kendrick’s positions on the lipid hypothesis, ya see. Same goes for Ravnskov and Eenfeldt. Absolutely nothing to do with the editor’s anti-meat zealotry, ya see. It’s all about the quality of the sourcing. Purely a coincidence that this particular editor keeps identifying sourcing problems with articles about people who say animal fats won’t kill you.

Wales is currently making a fool of himself on Twitter by continuing to argue that position, even after people have linked to Wikipedia articles about vegetarian doctors that aren’t tagged for deletion, despite no differences in that all-important quality of the sourcing.

It’s a perfect example of the phenomenon described in the wonderful book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): some people, after taking a public position, simply cannot change their minds no matter how obvious it becomes that they got it wrong. We have a clear case of a vegan-zealot editor creating a hit list, but Wales refuses to see it.

The smart move at this point would be to re-examine the editor’s decisions, then announce that upon further review, the editor was applying a personal bias, not a consistent standard.  But that would require a bit of humility.  I don’t pay attention to Mr. Wales, but according to people who do, humility is not a trait that afflicts him.  Based on his tweets regarding this issue, I’m inclined to agree.

But circling back to the chronology … I wrote my post on December 13th. By some strange coincidence, the Wikipedia entry for Fat Head was then tagged for deletion on December 17th. (It has to be a coincidence, because Jimmy Wales has assured us there’s no bias or targeting going on.)

Yes, after several years of Fat Head existing in the online pages of Wikipedia, an editor just happened to discover problems that are so severe, the entry needs to be deleted. Again, pure coincidence. No bias or targeting going on here, no siree. And we know it’s not bias, because the editor who tagged Fat Head for deletion isn’t Sceptic From Britain; it’s an editor whose handle is MatthewManchester1994.

Except … someone pointed me to a Wikipedia page that (at the time, anyway) displayed this text:

Goodness, how strange. I write a post criticizing Sceptic From Britain for deleting Kendrick, and a few days later, the same editor changes his handle and then targets Fat Head for deletion. But there’s no bias or targeting going on here. Just ask Jimmy Wales. He’ll explain it to you on Twitter.

The story gets stranger still. As of this writing, the user profile for MatthewManchester1994 tells us this:

15:07, 20 December 2018 Céréales Killer (talk | contribs) renamed user MatthewManchester1994 (4672 edits) to Vanisheduser3334743743i43i434 (per request)

The editor has requested his handle be renamed twice in five days. Perhaps he only feels comfortable tagging a dozen or so people and films for deletion using each handle.

As I’ve said before, I don’t give a hoot whether Fat Head is listed in Wikipedia or not. But I found the reasons for targeting it for deletion amusing. Here’s a quote from our completely unbiased editor, MatthewManchester1994 (back in the five-day stretch when he used that handle):

Fat Head is a non-notable fringe conspiracy theory documentary that doubts scientific evidence for the lipid hypothesis. I am not seeing any evidence this documentary is notable, it advertises itself as a science documentary but no scientists have reviewed it. Tom Naughton [1] directed the film but he is not notable either (he has not directed anything else), the article reads like a promotion piece.

The definition of “notable” can mean pretty much whatever Wikipedia decides it means, of course. I believe millions of views around the world (more than 760,000 on YouTube alone) should count for something, but unlike Wikipedia’s editor, I may be biased. Perhaps I’ll ask Jimmy Wales to define bias for me and clear things up.

As for being a “fringe conspiracy” documentary, well, that’s the excuse we’ve seen from Sceptic From Britain … I mean, MatthewManchester1994 … I mean, Vanisheduser3334743743i43i434 for all these deletions. He’s not bending Wikipedia to his vegan-zealot agenda, you understand. No, he’s just protecting the site from fringe conspiracies.

Funny thing, though … other vegan zealots have also called Fat Head a “conspiracy” film.  But not one of them has ever cited a fact I got wrong.  I showed news footage of the McGovern committee at work.  The advice put out by the USDA is a matter of public record.  I mentioned that nine out of 10 members of the Cholesterol Education Campaign committee had financial arrangements with statin-makers, which again is a matter of public record. I quoted a director of the Framingham study on how the results don’t support the lipid hypothesis — again, a matter of public record.  I named large studies in which the lipid hypothesis failed — all of them in the public record.

If I’d twisted facts and timelines around, Michael Moore style, I could see calling Fat Head a conspiracy film.  But since nobody has ever offered proof that I made statements that aren’t true or changed the chronology in which events happened, the definition of “conspiracy film” seems to be that I don’t agree with the vegan-zealot crowd that animal fats are deadly.

As proof that I promote “fringe conspiracies,” MatthewManchester1994 mentioned my post titled Another Big Fat (and old) Fail For The Lipid Hypothesis. This is where the absurdity of vegan (ahem) “logic” reaches a whole new level.

That particular post is about an old study conducted (but never published) by Ancel Keys. I quote from a Washington Post article, which in turn quotes from the British Medical Journal that examined the study data. Here’s what the Post wrote:

It was one of the largest, most rigorous experiments ever conducted on an important diet question: How do fatty foods affect our health? Yet it took more than 40 years — that is, until today — for a clear picture of the results to reach the public.

The story begins in the late 1960s and early ’70s, when researchers in Minnesota engaged thousands of institutionalized mental patients to compare the effects of two diets. One group of patients was fed a diet intended to lower blood cholesterol and reduce heart disease. It contained less saturated fat, less cholesterol and more vegetable oil. The other group was fed a more typical American diet.

Just as researchers expected, the special diet reduced blood cholesterol in patients.

Today, the principles of that special diet — less saturated fat, more vegetable oils — are recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s official diet advice book.

Yet the fuller accounting of the Minnesota data indicates that the advice is, at best, unsupported by the massive trial. In fact, it appears to show just the opposite: Patients who lowered their cholesterol, presumably because of the special diet, actually suffered more heart-related deaths than those who did not.

So to recap: The British Medical Journal finally publishes data from a large, rigorous trial in which the lipid hypothesis failed miserably – so miserably that people who switched to vegetable oils actually had more heart attacks, despite lowering their cholesterol. The Washington Post then reports on that study. So far, so good.

But when I write a post about the same study, quoting from the Washington Post, it’s proof that I promote fringe conspiracies … and therefore Fat Head should be deleted.

Kendrick put it perfectly: …you waken the vegan beast, and this beast is not the least interested in science, or the scientific method, or discussion or debate.

As if to prove the point, a vegan nut-job left this comment on Kendrick’s blog:

[Sceptic] is an absolute legend for deleting various low-carb cranks from Wikipedia, I fully support him and we will utilize other wikis to debunk LCHF nonsense.

Yes, if you delete information about people who disagree with you instead of debating them, that makes you a hero.

But there’s no bias or agenda going on here. It’s strictly about the quality of the sourcing. Just ask Jimmy Wales. He’ll explain it to you on Twitter.

And then you can laugh your ass off.

 

 

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59 thoughts on “‘Fat Head’ Targeted For Deletion By The Weenie At Wikipedia

  1. Barbara

    And then there is this: “A shocking admission by the editor of the world’s most respected medical journal, The Lancet, has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Dr. Richard Horton, Editorin-chief of the Lancet recently published a statement declaring that a shocking amount of published research is unreliable at best, if not completely false, as in, fraudulent.”

    Reply
  2. Michael Carrato

    Spot on. I spent years around the end of the last decade trying to fix similar problems on Wikipedia, and left in frustration. It’s rampant, across any topic that is remotely controversial. And Wales doesn’t care.

    I am now looking at alternatives to Wikipedia; Everipedia was started by Larry Sanger as a Wikipedia fork, and he apparently has more “inclusionist” views. For those who don’t know, inclusionism was the belief that all sides of an issue should be presented and sourced, properly qualified, even if the sources were not deemed “reliable”, and to let the READER decide.

    Inclusionism lost out to deletionism, with Wales’ blessing. Deletionism is basically censorship of everything but “reliable” views. But of course, as soon as you leave it up to a small group of people to decide what “reliable” means, bias creeps in. Sure enough, a decade later, Wikipedia is still on a deletion rampage, basically cleansing the site of all non-mainstream views. Of course, “reliable” can be quite pliable when they want it to be; what is “reliable” for a friendly viewpoint would be out of the question for an unfriendly viewpoint.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I lived this for several years. It’s a complete mess.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve noticed they’ll also delete entries about people and films if they’re not “notable.” Pretty sure “notable” is whatever the editor wants it to be.

      Reply
      1. Michael Carrato

        Oh absolutely. And notability is often tied to reliable sources… which themselves are fluidly interpreted according to editor (and particularly, ADMIN) bias.

        Reply
    2. JillOz

      It’s inevitable. Political hacks always want to change things to their way.
      They can’t just live their way, no, everyone else has to do it too.

      Reply
  3. Robert Simms

    I use Wikipedia to look up chemistry and historical facts and people, and mathematics stuff. Not for low-carb info per se though.
    I have also twice made small contributions to their fundraising drives.
    I will be sure to search for Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Fat Head Movie before doing so ever again.

    Reply
  4. Peter

    Sad. Went reading through the reasoning on the wikipedia page and it’s pretty sad. The reason to delete has absolutely nothing to do with what’s _on_ the page. You may think the movie itself is not leading to an accurate conclusion, but I suspect that’s likely true for other documentaries as well. I mean, I don’t agree w/ Michael Moore, but he made those films and they deserve to be listed because they’re films. If someone has a listing detailing his thoughts throughout, that would be accurate, whether people agree with them or not.

    Seems like you can ask to have the page restored after the fact, but also seems like this user is on a campaign to delete pages for things he disagrees with. The discussion and other links don’t look too promising for the page staying intact and I can’t really tell what the moderators use to decide whether a page should be kept or not – sure doesn’t seem like it would be outside research. :/

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I of course disagree with the vegetarian-advocate doctors out there, and Michael Moore’s twisting of facts and timelines in his films are well known and well documented. But I’d oppose deleting the vegetarian doctors and Moore’s films from Wikipedia. They exist. This Soviet-style attempt to simply erase people you don’t like from the record is the sign of a sick mind.

      Reply
      1. Michael Carrato

        EXACTLY! I oppose deletionism at every level. The very concept is diametrically opposed to what Wikipedia once stood for. I am intrigued by everipedia and the possibility of other forks of Wikipedia, hopefully some that better adhere to the inclusionist spirit which Wales abandoned.

        Reply
      2. JillOz

        This is a variation of no-platforming, If you don’t like it, you try to rationalise it by attempting a few erudite buzzwords and erase it.

        Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Thanks, but seriously, this isn’t causing me any pain whatsoever. They are indeed clowns, and I find them amusing. Perhaps the weenie editor thinks he’s somehow harming me with the deletion, but I’m 99.99% certain sales of the film have nothing whatsoever to do with being on Wikipedia.

      Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sad but true. However, the optimist in me says when they’re no longer useful, they’ll die off and be replaced.

      Reply
    2. MIke

      What makes centralized behemoths useful is that lots of people use them. Until someone comes up with a way to decentralize Facebook in such a way that I can get updates from a variety of people that I follow, both notable persons as well as friends and family who don’t have blogs, without having to check several sites, Facebook will continue to be useful. Facebook also has the problem that in order to be universal, it has to be free to the users, and that means that the users become the product.

      Wikipedia, on the other hand, by its nature is more suitable to life as a donation-funded entity. Unfortunately, it appears that quite a few of the people who volunteer to curate the thing have agendas. Tom, you may not care whether Fat Head is listed or not, but I care, because I use Wikipedia quite a bit, though not for stuff that is controversial.

      Reply
  5. Firebird7478

    “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
    ― Richard Feynman

    Reply
  6. Tom

    Quite disappointing. I had spent months researching food and why we were recommended to eat certain foods because despite following my doctors nutritionists instructions (starches with every meal, lots of ‘heart healthy’ grains, no red meat and preferably no animal fats or proteins) I kept gaining weight. I kept looking at the “data” and well realized that it was at best lucky to be correct. I used to run big studies for a living and most of the foundational nutrition studies were wrong before they got started. Anyhow without knowing anything about low carb or paleo or atkins or anything like that, I came up with a diet plan. An episode of Good Eats (“Live and let diet”) and Survivorman where the guy ate what the average hunter gatherer ate, which wasn’t pasta and bread, I came up with eating foods with a low glycemic value, drinking just water, and walking a few miles a day. Lost 95lbs without ever being hungry and my blood tests went from horrible to nearly perfect. I was pretty angry at all the years I ate vegetarian, fake butter in squirt bottles, fat free everything, etc.

    Then I saw your movie and thought “Now, this would have saved me all those months of finding out that modern nutritional advice is not only wrong, its creating and worsening the obesity/diabetes problems. Wish I’d seen this a year ago!”

    Whats hilarious is when doctors or dieticians start telling me I’m wrong about what I eat, I show them my weight loss curve (95lbs in 6 months) and my blood test results and they assure me that I’m one of a kind.

    Disappointing that any reference materials about your work are going to disappear because someone disagrees with it.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, it’s just a Wikipedia entry. Again, I don’t think having or not having the entry makes any difference on how many people see the film.

      Reply
    2. chris c

      Look at Rita Venter’s huge Banting group in South Africa and a similar one in Nigeria and you will realise you are but one of literally MILLIONS. Compare and contrast with the results of Conventional Wisdom, let alone veganism.

      By now there actually is a growing body of research

      https://phcuk.org/rcts/

      https://blog.virtahealth.com/low-carb-research-comprehensive-list/

      to name but a few.

      Wales is in a hole and needs to stop digging. Is he actually vegan himself? Maybe he is hunting for tubers.

      Reply
  7. Bret

    Hilarious to watch Wikipedia turning to the dark side of interference and manipulation, against its original stated goals. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Patreon have been guilty of the same.

    This model of gigantic information repositories with no price for use had to end some time, and this is the beginning of the end, as probably well intended social justice warriors stomp on the free market of information, woefully ignorant of their own human limitations and blind spots.

    Wonder where we’ll go from here.

    Reply
  8. Tricia

    I don’t understand what Wikipedia is attempting to accomplish here. The only time that I end up there (along with most people I know) is after a Google search indicates that there’s a Wikipedia page for a particular topic I’m searching for. Then I usually click it to see what’s on there. By deleting pages, all they are accomplishing is less website traffic and fewer opportunities for me to see that donate button.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I don’t pay much attention to Wikipedia, but from articles other people have linked, this is apparently a growing issue.

      Reply
    2. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat People

      I was about to say this. It’s not just going to hurt Wikipedia in terms of traffic and potential donations, it’s also an own-goal for the vegans.

      If they edit the “offending” pages to describe the subjects as “fringe theories” or “conspiracies” or “not supported”, then people coming to research will see that and possibly be swayed by the criticism. By removing the pages, anyone searching for terms that used to point to those articles will instead point to the sources that were referenced.

      I suspect you’re going to start getting more references from Google and fewer from Wikipedia, since Google still knows that your site was an authoritative source linked from Wikipedia. Would be interesting to track that in your analytics over the next month or so.

      Reply
  9. Sandi

    He’s 12 years old and running wikipedia?

    WTH is wrong with that place

    I quit bothering with wikipedia years ago when they started removing any positive information about animal fats, they promote only veg oils and veg fats as sources for fats in the diet

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I was of course kidding about him being 12. Early 20s is my guess, assuming the pictures are actually of him. We don’t know that for sure.

      Reply
  10. David Gillespie

    Then again, anyone who relies on Wikipedia for dietary advice deserves what they get. Wikipedia is a footnote in history rapidly being overtaken by the automatically created, google knowledge panel (which sometimes rely on Wikipedia but increasingly don’t).

    Reply
  11. Lori Miller

    Wikipedia already wasn’t generally allowed by teachers and professors as a source. This is just one more reason not to allow it. This is just another reason not to.

    The recreationally offended are taking their hobby to a new level of craptivisim. They saw campus speakers disinvited, Fakebook account deleted, etc., and thought, what a great idea to apply everywhere! Unfortunately for the rest of us, there are some network effects and switching costs (for creators) to overcome.

    Reply
    1. Audrey

      the “recreationally offended” is a brilliant phrase — I think I’ll use it instead of “people who are addicted to being mad” which is what I used to say. lol.

      I’m 47 and I worry that the “young people today” think that all “the truth” is on the Googlesphere without thinking about how it’s been manipulated. But then again, throughout history most people have just believed what they are told by their “leaders,” whether it’s a church, a king, a witch-doctor or the leader of the Cave Bear Clan, so I suppose it will all work out ok.

      Reply
  12. smgj

    I’ve sendt an email to donate@wikimedia.youknowwhat (I suppose that is an email red by humanoids since it’s a “problems with donating, let us help you”-email) with my take on this:

    Hi

    With changes like this and similar supported by Wikipedia I won’t be donating again (yes, I have done a couple of times earlier).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Head
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uffe_Ravnskov

    Citing that a branch of science is controversial is a valid stance, oppressing the knowledge what that controversial science is about is not if you want to be an encyclopedia.

    You’re turning onto a path full of bias and into something similar to a propaganda/political paper, that is not something that I’ll support, and I sincerely hope that you’ll rethink this.

    And let me clarify – it’s not only your take on LCHF science that have lead me to write this, but that is the tipping point.

    Regards,
    Selma, probably controversial.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I covered this in a post long ago. We hear “Americans are getting shorter” and are supposed to think my kids will be shorter than I am. The average height of Americans is declining because of changes in demographics. As a percentage of the population, we are becoming less Western European (taller) and more Asian and Central American (shorter).

      We’re heavier too, which is also at partly because of demographic changes, and partly because … well, we’re fatter.

      Reply
      1. Walter

        The immagrants being shorter is a first generation effect. Given the American diet the next generation is much taller, and fatter.

        Reply
  13. Orvan Taurus

    It is very telling when a ‘side’ wants to censor or de-platform someone or something.
    And equally telling that the targetted side is quite willing to let the first group keep on talking.

    Summed up:
    CENSORIUS: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
    TRUTHICUS: Keep right on digging. Need another shovel?

    Reply
  14. Jeanne Shepard

    I looked up Dave Aspry of Bulletproof, and he was still there, but it wasn’t pretty. Prominent dieticians claim his keto diet is “unscientific” and that’s all anyone needs to know. I’m sure his entry will disappear soon.

    Reply
  15. Annie

    I just purchased a blu-ray copy of Fat Head from amazon. I’ve seen it before but I want my own copy that can’t be altered, although hopefully copyright laws protect the content of digital content. Call me paranoid, but I worry that those protections could be circumvented by powerful groups with an agenda, Fahrenheit 451-style.

    Reply
  16. Mark B

    I was considering contributing to Wikipedia. I find it useful as a jumping off point since they are at the top of a lot of search results. But now they will never get a dime out of me. I have the utmost respect for you Tom. Even though in your early career you thought you were right you decided to see what was going on and were willing to change since the evidence sent you in that direction. Something that you still do today.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. KidPsych

    Some happy news to share amidst all of this garbage: One of my partners, a former pro athlete, has been struggling (at age 50) to lose weight. I mentioned my take on weight loss (low carb, fasting etc.) and he took it on recently. His recent text to me: More than the 20 pounds I lost, I just learned my BO is now 124/82! Last year it was 160/96. I can’t thank you enough for the advice and encouragement you’ve given me the last few months.”

    This is someone who started eating the tops of of pizzas and increasing his steak/cheese consumption, yet saw a huge drop in BP.

    I’d say the gratitude he feels extends to you and Malcolm Kendrick. Thanks!

    Reply
      1. KidPsych

        You and Mark Sisson, Jason Fung and Malcolm Kendrick and the rest have done the heavy lifting. I’m just along for the ride.

        Reply
  18. Dave Sill

    There’s quite of bit of misunderstanding here of what Wikipedia is and how it works. It’s crowd sourced and anyone can edit existing articles or create new articles. They don’t have a staff of paid editors who are targeting LCHF. No editor can delete an article: they can only suggest that an article be deleted, and there are guidelines for acceptable reasons for doing so. Of course it’s not a perfect process, but the overall result is a valuable, free resource. I use it regularly and I’m glad to support it with a monthly contribution.

    BTW, Jimmy Wales personally voted against deleting the Fat Head article.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      No, only The Anointed can edit articles. Everyone else who tries has their edits immediately reversed. There are about three low carb anti’s/vegans doing it. One may have left temporarily but he will be back I have no doubt. The other two are still there.

      Reply

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