It’s a war on the internetz

This post was written by one of our supporters.

The other day I witnessed an interesting exchange in the comments section of a Juice Plus sponsored post.

A critic posted a link to the Juice Plus wikipedia page and a distributor responded with “Wikipedia is just a load of crap made up by anyone”.

I am not at all surprised she reacted like that because the Wikipedia page on Juice Plus is negative from start to finish.

Firstly it describes the product as a generic “fortified” dietary supplement.  Fortified means synthetic vitamins have been added.  The page even discloses which pharmaceutical company manufactures these added vitamins.  This goes against JP’s 100% natural whole food claim.

Then in exhaustive detail it shines a very negative light on the scientific research into Juice Plus.  This includes where relevant, the poor design, lack of controls, the small sample sizes, also the fact that most of the studies were conducted by the company themselves and not independently as is commonly claimed.

————

So why doesn’t the Juice Plus company just go and change the Wikipedia entry and put the record straight?

Well they tried.  They tried pretty damn hard actually.

Wikipedia has a system where page content is discussed in a separate page and any changes must be supported with good argument and the necessary evidence.  As you can guess, company representatives were straight away trying to edit the page to make it more favourable.

They had a Juice Plus “medical professional” come in to try to bring credibility to the product but his approach was questionable.

“I am willing to lend my considerable and respected expertise to cleaning up this site and, consequently, will remove this page’s flawed reasoning and present this product in a much better light”

Wikipedia responded…

“The Wikipedia community has no idea who you are in reality. You are entitled to post information regardless of your true identity, but it is no less likely to be edited simply because you claim to be an authority. I refer you to the following page regarding Appeal to Authority.”

And,

“Expert opinions are NOT brought forth with claims of notability, but citations of sources and clear, coherent, and neutral statements of what is true.”

Then other ‘possible’ company representatives appeared who tried to destroy the credibility of the article, the Wikipedia editors, and particularly the reputation of the sources who were against Juice Plus.  It’s difficult to summarise so much content (the archives are massive) but generally it was a lot of personal attacks and not much arguing against the page content.

The exchanges continued back and forth for months and it soon became obvious that there were only harsh critics on one side and JP distributors and other representatives arguing on the other side.  Not much was actually happening.

The critics had convincing arguments supported by solid evidence and the JP side seemed unable to dispute it.

Then a year later in 2007 something quite unusual happened.  NSA (the manufacturer of Juice Plus) got involved and made an official statement on the discussion page (Archive 6).  In this statement they attack the credibility of one of the main wikipedia contributors.

“We are convinced that this contributor is a detractor with competitive ties who is hiding behind the anonymity of Wikipedia in an effort to use the site for commercial advantage”

So here you have the actual manufacturer of Juice Plus making an accusation like this without providing ANY accompanying evidence.

The accused contributor responded with,

“I am extremely shocked that an official representative of the company that markets Juice Plus would include unwarranted personal attacks and libelous COI (conflict of interest) accusations in their debut on this page. I will remind this user that WP:NPA (no personal attacks) is a cardinal rule of Wikipedia”

A moderator added,

“I can understand your consternation for this blockable offense. If it occurs again, take it to the noticeboard”

NSA were quite simply shot down in flames.

In the following years and up to present day, the conflict seems to have died down.  Perhaps the company have given up trying to make the page more favourable and accept that everything on the Wikipedia page is proven undeniable fact.

All discussion archives can be found through this link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Juice_Plus

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