tldr; -- We're doing an OK, but not great job policing things.
To be a skeptic is to, in some way, challenge a widely held belief. And not just of the "oh look at the stupid rubes" variety. Challenging AGW is skepticism. Challenging the tenets of Islam is skepticism. Challenging the divine nature of Jesus is skepticism. Challenging the idea that electric cars are environmentally good is skepticism (Kudos to Borror0 on answering that one). Asking something debunked on Mythbusters yesterday is not skepticism. Trying to justify a political viewpoint is likewise not skepticism.
Examples of IMO - not skepticism (some of mine as well)
How is this even on topic?
Thinly veiled political debate, 0 votes
Similarly problematic, 0 votes
My mistake, 13 votes
Just asking for scientific consensus is almost anti-skepticism
The word "consensus" appears under 7 questions, usually as part of a question, though occasionally even otherwise good posters answer with consensus as the answer. However there does not appear to be the problematic trend of people using this who are also getting upvotes for using it.
The word "majority" appears 12 times, with little direction (ie, used for other things besides claiming majority as an answer. Again no trend of upvotes for relying solely on "science says so"
Having now gone through this myself, while writing thing post, here is my conclusion.
- We get a lot more bad answers, which are usually not upvoted, except for hot political topics -- I see no way to avoid that on political topics where emotions will rule. Generally our community is working when it comes to upvoting good answers.
- We get some bad questions, which usually are not upvoted. -- Therefore community is working here.
- We are getting a lot of filler questions (i've been guilty of this), which really should be just closed because they are just not on topic. Of these, our biggest problem is the snopes/mythbuster variety of urban legends.