We require questions here on Skeptics to be about notable claims. This restriction is necessary to keep the site somewhat focused, despite the fact that we essentially accept questions about pretty much any topic imaginable.

The enforcement of this rule has proven to be contentious on occasion, and it wasn't always consistent while we were still figuring out how this site should work.

The goals of these guidelines should be to make sure that the questions on this site are relevant and not just random idle thoughts. But we also need to keep in mind the effect this rule has on the impression of new users.

How should we enforce that claims are notable?


1 Answer 1


When is a claim notable?

The definition of notable claims is provided by another FAQ answer.

How should we enforce notability?

The easiest way to demonstrate notability is to explicitly cite a notable source containing the claim, e.g. a newspaper article. It is not required to have an explicit cite for a claim in questions, though it is very helpful if the notability of the claim is questioned.

If you suspect that a claim is not notable, you should perform a minimum amount of research before acting. Performing a quick google search using search terms taken from the question is a good idea. If you don't find any evidence of notability that way, you should comment on the question and vote to close or flag as inappropriate. When closing a question, a comment should be left explaining our notability rule and how the user or community can get the question reopened after demonstrating notability.

  • 3
    Notable sources debunking the claim do not make a claim notable. The sources need to sustain the claim positively.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 18:11
  • 4
    @Sklivvz several sources debunking a claim is, imo, sufficient evidence that the claim is common enough to warrant people attempting to debunk it. Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 23:27
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    @SonnyOrdell "A claim is notable when a significant number of people currently believe this claim to be true." - finding exclusively people intent on debunking it means exactly the opposite. We don't have that many people complaining that they can't find a good enough claim.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 23:45
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    @Sklivvz I don't think it is so clear cut. What about if say a show like Mythbusters debunked something where there was not evidence that people believed it to be true. Surely that would constitute a notable claim by virtue of being addressed on a prominent TV show? Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 3:39
  • Can you clarifiy what you mean when you say a google search showing that a few people believe something to be true is enough? Specifically, what is the minimum? Is evidence of 5 different people on different websites believing something enough? Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 2:42

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