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See this question: Do Phiten necklaces have any beneficial properties (titanium necklaces pitchers wear). Here is a summary of Phiten technology.

Note these similar ones:

My question is at -1, while the others sit between 3 and 14 upvotes as of 8/23/2011. Until requested, no one left any comments about the reason for downvotes. Slivvz speculated:

I think it's because the claim is so bogus that it isn't very interesting... Just a guess...

And Brightblades commented:

It's basically a repeat of the same BS question of the same BS claim...

I was surprised by the downvotes, and thought it was a good opportunity for a meta question. How different does a question need to be to provide a good reason for not posting one that is similar?

I really like this site and hope it becomes more of a "scientific Snopes" for others who are looking into things. The answers are [hopefully] more referenced, the discussion is open for comments and alternative answers, etc. Great things.

So, at least one point I could bring up would be someone coming here and searching for Phiten and not finding anything. At what point should we hope that they just connect the dots and realizing that Phiten is the same, in principle, to ion bracelets and holograms and such? Or that they will run into those questions when searching for Phiten?

  • Interestingly, the question was downvoted but not voted to close... maybe people simply didn't find the topic interesting? – Sklivvz Aug 24 '11 at 16:01
  • @Slivvz: good point. Hadn't considered that. – Hendy Aug 26 '11 at 15:16
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I think that reaction is at least understandable. As explained in the Stack Overflow blog, it is expected that the community gets tired of answering the same question:

Have you ever noticed how certain questions come up again and again on Stack Overflow sites?

Oh look, my PC is freezing. Should I use SELECT *? Oh, and, how can I host a server from home?

Really, people, do you want to be answering these same questions ten years from now? How about when you’re 65? That doesn’t sound so appealing now, does it?

We predicted this problem, even before we launched Stack Overflow. Why? Because the same thing happened on Usenet, where:

  1. Most users could only see a few days or, at best, one month of archives for any given newsgroup. It was literally impossible to search the archives. I know that’s hard to imagine for you youngun’s, but this was before the web was even invented(!), and every Usenet site had to store their own copy of every newsgroup they were interested in reading, so there just wasn’t enough room for archives.
  2. As a result, newbies would frequently ask the same beginner questions.
  3. Ye Olde Timers got Ye Olde Tired of this.

What happened next depended on the newsgroup.

  • If the old timers were feeling generous, someone would write a FAQ, and re-post it every week or two. This was supposed to prevent simple questions getting asked again and again. These FAQs evolved into one of the early, great reference sources on the Internet before the WWW was invented.
  • Otherwise, the basic questions would just get asked again and again, and the old timers would grow bored and leave. The quality of the newsgroup would then deteriorate to approximately the level you would expect if seventh-graders were left to themselves, in other words, Lord of the Flies.

However, as the blog goes on to explain, we have the close as duplicate for that exact reason.

If the question doesn't qualify as a duplicate, and this one doesn't in my opinion, then we shouldn't downvote it simply because it's obviously a scam. I don't think it's healthy for us to dismiss claims like that, especially those like this one that are quite notable.

If it is a scam, then we only have to explain why it is. We can even quote relevant answers from other questions if that makes our lives easier, but I don't think downvoting is the proper action here.

Now, maybe this is a sign we need a meta-question?

If you keep seeing the same form of questions, whether it’s mod_rewrite rules on Server Fault, freezing computers on Super User, or how to use regular expressions to parse HTML, write a great, canonical answer, once and for all. Make it community wiki so that as many other people as possible can make it great. Work really hard on writing something that is clear, concise, and understandable by as wide an audience as possible.

However, if it is, that should be the topic of another meta question.

  • Thanks for the answer. I could definitely see a conglomerate wiki-like answer that handled all of the known amulets, trinkets, gizmos, and bracelets that exist. And I agree that this is not an exact duplicate. Part of my surprise was simply to find that MLB pitchers were so into this. I couldn't believe some "aqua-Titanium" had managed to bring about the support of so many... though maybe they're paid to wear them -- what could be a bigger endorsement than having a pitcher (on camera constantly) wear your product? – Hendy Aug 26 '11 at 15:59
  • @Hendy: Wouldn't they be legally required to declare that, though? – Borror0 Aug 26 '11 at 16:35

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