Debunking TED myths

As TED has grown, we've picked up a few misconceptions along the way — some more vexing than others. If you've heard a rumor and want to know the facts, or have your own questions about who the heck we are and how we operate, we have a few answers below.

Is TED for everyone

We curate our speaker lineups very carefully, and we also curate our in-person audiences to make sure we have a balanced, diverse group that can support our mission of bringing great ideas to the world for free. We actively seek out ideas from all over the world in multiple languages. We work to diversify both our lineup and our attendee roster, devoting time and budget to seeking out and supporting attendees who couldn't afford to come on their own but who'll be great contributors. We also devote significant time and money to bringing TED Talks to people who lack internet access or have other accessibility issues. And our talks are available for free to anyone in the world.

Does TED have a political leaning?

TED is nonpartisan and we do our best to post talks that will contribute to a productive conversation. TED is not a place for partisan slams and one-sided arguments.

Is TED full of pseudoscience?

As the global TEDx movement grows, some local events have been targeted by speakers who make unsupported claims about science and health — from perpetual motion to psychic healing. TEDx's science guidelines clearly state that science and health information shared from the stage must be supported by peer-reviewed research. If you have concerns about the content of a TEDx talk, please write to and let us know.

Does TED ban [insert topic]?

TED has no formal bans on any topic. If you notice we have not covered a topic of interest to you, please nominate a speakerwho can do it justice, and feel free to let us know we've been missing out! We are always looking for new ideas, topics and speakers.

Is TED rich?

TED is owned by a nonprofit. Our flagship conferences make a profit, as do partnerships with companies and foundations — but we spend it as soon as we get it on big projects that expand our mission. We pay fair salaries to our staff. No one at TED HQ is getting rich; every dime we make goes right back into supporting our work.