I've been getting warnings on my post for "lack of references".

No, I don't have any. I just thought I'd post this because it was (1) relevant, and (2) research I'd done myself, with (what I believe) to be accurate data, and (3) in support of the question/answer.

It's not like I have anything to gain by this answer (aside from the rep points, I guess...) so I'm not going to spend hours/days/weeks looking for corroborating research just to keep it on the site (why should I?) and so, frankly, as sad as I would be to see it go, I couldn't care less if moderators deleted it.

Not to mention that I think I already did my part by going through the trouble of finding my research from many years ago from my backups (which I had actually made in 5th grade, believe it or not...).

So I wonder: What would anyone gain from deleting my post?

It seems to me that the warning:

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

seems to be saying, rather,

Your unsourced material will be removed without a challenge.

because really, I don't see anyone "challenging" my post, and yet I keep on getting this (quite annoying, to be honest) warning.

So, do we really need to auto-challenge every post without a reference, even though there is no real reason to? Or could the warnings be made so as they would only pop up when someone actually challenges a post?

  • 1
    What is that you are trying to ask here? We decided that we only want referenced posts, what should we do if you disagree and ignore us? – Sklivvz Mar 26 '12 at 9:33
  • @Sklivvz: I'm asking if the quote "may be challenged" is really intended to mean "is automatically challenged". If so, then should we change it, and then get my post deleted already? And if not, then why is my post automatically "challenged" without anyone claiming that it is wrong? – Mehrdad Mar 26 '12 at 9:40
  • @Mehrdad - It is a challenge itself. You may also be challenged in comments. Or they could just flag your post where you would get no notification. – Chad Mar 26 '12 at 13:44

The notice has obviously a general text because it must be used in many places, on any post and on any SE site.

You are free to open a thread on Meta.SO if you can think of a better wording - I've done so myself for different reasons!

However, the comments on your post are much more specific than the generic blurb:

@LarianLeQuella: Does original research count? – Mehrdad Jan 13 at 21:20

Only if it was published and peer reviewed. :) – Larian LeQuella Jan 13 at 21:22


There is a discussion on meta that talks about the type of references that are required here. – Larian LeQuella Jan 13 at 21:28

@LarianLeQuella: Never seen the discussion, but I didn't see anything like that in the FAQ or anything. I'll remove it once it becomes a rule. :) – Mehrdad Jan 13 at 21:30

The rule has been extensively debated on skeptics:

To answer your question more explicitly:

The challenge is not automatically implied. Challenges are manual (and on specific points). In practice it means that someone may call you on any unreferenced points. It's a warning that this may happen.

Your material may be challenged in a comment, in another post, on meta, as a flag, in chat...

It is also a warning giving you fair notice that your post may be deleted by a moderator or the community if it is not referenced.

  • A few notes... (1) I never saw the welcome post (hadn't even logged in since the beginning of March...); that was two months later than the comments above; (2) You seemed to cherry-pick my old comments in support of your answer without ever noting that, after I received the warning, I went and looked for my "research" to back up my answer (to avoid deleting my answer), so at least it's supported, if only by my own evidence. (I don't plan on removing it myself anymore.) (3) Most important: You still avoided answering my question of whether the "challenge" is automatic or manual. – Mehrdad Mar 26 '12 at 10:16
  • @Mehrdad done. Is it OK? – Sklivvz Mar 26 '12 at 10:21
  • +1 much better now, thanks. So just to clarify: it's more like Wikipedia's [Citation needed] tag (i.e. informative), rather than a warning-we're-about-to-remove-your-post-unless-you-can-save-it-soon (i.e. a warning of a definite action planned to come)? ( In the latter case, I'll probably ignore it, since I don't have anything to add...) – Mehrdad Mar 26 '12 at 10:30
  • As I said, it's a warning. The post may be deleted in the future. Ignore it at your own risk. :-) – Sklivvz Mar 26 '12 at 10:50
  • Okay thanks for the info. :) I'm not the one losing anything here if it gets deleted so I think I'm gonna ignore it. – Mehrdad Mar 26 '12 at 11:38

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