A general record of my ongoing battle with all forms of nonsense.

Monday 15 June 2009

"Colic" vanishes from 245 web pages

I wrote in my last post how I wrote a program to look for the word colic on chiropractor web sites. Well the great thing about a computer program is that once it's written, it can easily be run again.

Last night, I asked it to re-download all of the same web pages as before (in total, 6149 pages). When I first ran the program on the 23rd May, it found 664 pages containing the word colic. When I ran it last night (14th June) it only found 419.

The word colic appears to have been removed from 245 separate web pages. These 245 web pages were on the web sites of 35 different BCA members.

I should note that this isn't intelligent data, it's simply a word count. Chiropractors who change their web site to say "we don't treat colic" won't effect the data. Chiropractors who simply moved the pages to somewhere else will look as if they've removed the word.

Out of the 84 chiropractors I reported to Trading Standards with individual letters, 14 (17%) have now removed the word from all the web pages I found.

Out of the 55 chiropractors I reported to the GCC with individual letters, 13 (24%) have removed the word from all the web pages I found.

Even Chiropractic Life has removed their page about treating swine flu.

It is only 3 weeks after I sent the first round of complaints to Trading Standards. I'll give it a bit longer so we can see which Trading Standards offices did not respond, then target those offices with another campaign.

Perhaps with more than just 3 people writing letters this time.


Ziztur said...

Excellent! I hope that other bloggers out there can see that from your actions that one person can cause change in the alt-med community.

Of course, I wonder if these practitioners will continue to treat colic - without claiming such on their site. I am sure they will.

Le Canard Noir said...

The next phase may want to target Yellow Pages...


Anonymous said...

Fantastic work! And great to see such positive results from a well-targeted set of complaints.

Zeno said...

Good work, Simon!

Simon said...

I'm sure you're part of the cause too Zeno.

Dale Williams said...

Found two near me - one of which had the colic bumf on their website so I wrote to Derbyshire trading standards. Got a letter back today saying that "enquiries will be made", so we shall see what, if anything, comes of it.

Simon said...

Nice work Dale. You might want to sign up to the letter referenced on my most recent post. Looking to get a lost of people signing it.

Simon said...

@Le Canard Noir. Yes, though I've also got my eye on a directory of applied kinesiologists.

Anonymous said...


Out of interest, how many children do you have yourself?

Simon said...


I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the question.