My post seemed clear and appropriate to me, does group bias exist, and what are the agreed quantitative limits associated with calling a group biased. Borror didn't think it met the skeptic criteria, and posted a comment as such. I explained further, and invited them to clarify what they didn't understand. Instead, they told me that if the question needed to be explained, it should be reworded. I think the question is totally valid and answerable by someone with knowledge of polling and statistics. I didn't feel that the question needed to be explained, just explained to borro. At what point should moderators let questions through without interfering. Also, don't they have an obligation to help improve the question, if it really is unclear?

  • 3
    FYI, none of the people commenting on the question are moderators, as we don't have our own moderators yet. You can recognize a moderator by the ♦ next to their names. Questions can be closed and reopened by the community, you just need 5 people with more than 500 reputation
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Mar 11, 2011 at 18:54
  • Ah I didn't realize. Still, as an experienced poster then.
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


First and foremost, we don't currently have moderators. We'll probably get some by the end of the month, and their role will be of human exception handlers.

Most of the moderation is handled by the community itself. As an user earns more reputation, he or she earns more privileges such as the ability to vote to close questions and the ability to edit any post. In other words, I'm just an user like you; it's just that I am more trusted (i.e. I have higher reputation) so I have the ability to close questions. I don't have any obligation to improve your question.

In fact, it is frowned upon to completely rewrite a question. Those are your words and, while I could transform your question into a valid question, I would consider completely rewriting your question without your request an abuse of the editing privilege.

As to your question itself, and its many forms, there are many problems with it:

  1. It's off-topic. As per the FAQ, this site is about applied skepticism. What are you being skeptical about here? I don't have the impression that you're questioning anything. It look like a pure sociology or psychology question. As such, it's off-topic.

  2. It lacks context. If you're being skeptical about something you've heard, then cite the claim. First of all, it will avoid the misrepresentation of the point you're asking. Secondly, the position will be better argued than if you summarize it.

  3. It's argumentative. You're talking about bias. It makes it sound like you're trying to make a point, asking whether a certain group isn't behaving rationally. We don't allow argumentative questions: we want questions asked in a neutral language. We uphold an high standard for our questions. We see that as a necessary step to high quality answers, which are the bread and butter of the site.

  4. You might be using the wrong terms. Each time I read the question, I end up being confused. I wonder if you understand what bias mean. A bias means that you're systematically favoring some things over others. Is that really what you're asking? A strong disagreement between two clans isn't enough for a bias. It has to be systematic, erroneous. If that's not what you mean, I would suggest using a different term so to avoid confusion.

  5. It's not a very good question. Humans can fall prey to confirmation bias. No group is immune. The question is thus, "Is this group's belief leading them biased in this instance?" While that can be investigated, it'd be far more interesting to question each group's arguments to see if their belief is solidly grounded in reality or if it's all wishful thinking.

  • To a dress your points:
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:24
  • @Dogmarog: I know, but #1 and #3 are both reasons to close the question. We have five different close reasons: exact duplicate, off-topic, too localized, not a real question, and subjective or argumentative. Your question qualifies for for "off-topic" and "subjective or argumentative."
    – Borror0
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:26
  • 1
    To address your points: 1) are you saying sociology and psychology aren't practicle sciences, and that I can't be skeptical about them. That is not clearly defined in the FAQ, and if true, should be clarified. 2) I added two polls to the question as citation. 3 and 4). I am using bias as defined on wiki, which does NOT state that bias is irrational. If presented with two equally compelling items, bias is what makes the choice. I am not arguing that bias is good or bad, it specifically states I am looking for a quantifiable point at which, statistically, a group can be considered bias.
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:30
  • If you were to answer "there is no statistical point at which any groups responses indicate a group bias" that's fine, but to say the question - which is looking for a value or percentage - is argumentative or invalid seems flawed.
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:36
  • 1
    @Dogmarog: 1) Social sciences are on-topic. It's that you're not being skeptical. If you are, what statement are you questioning? I don't see it. 3 and 4) As I said, use another term. As a general rule, avoid terms that might cause confusion. In this context, this is one. It doesn't matter if your definition is correct: it's causing confusion, so your question would be improved by using a less confusing term.
    – Borror0
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:38
  • Not believing the popularly held opinion that groups are biased isn't skeptical? Or are you saying that is not a popular belief?
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 19:57
  • 1
    @Dogmarog: I'm ayiong that your question is not about questioning "the popularly held opinion that groups are biased". You might think that's what you are asking but that is not what you're asking. Oh, and, if that's what you're asking, the members of both American political parties are biased to accept whatever is proposed by their party.
    – Borror0
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:06
  • I changed the question to: "Is there quantative criteria for determing the popularly held belief that groups can be biased?". Is that clearer?
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:11
  • @Dogmarog: Still off-topic. You're still not questioning anything. "Are we really using 10% of our brain?" is questioning the belief that we use 10% of our brain. If you want to question the belief that "groups are biased" then you should ask "Are groups really biased?" or whatever. You're currently asking how you should proceed to measure a group's bias. That's not skepticism. That's psychology or sociology.
    – Borror0
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:20
  • Not true, I'm asking for the quantitative point at which a group bias considered valid for a population, see my comment about right handed bias. Like i say there, is it a bias at 60%? 70%? Undefined? we know the bias exists, but at what percentage can I actually call it a bias?
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:29
  • @Dogmarog: Off-topic.
    – Borror0
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:38
  • Mind detective answered the bias question and rusty the nuke one. I really don't want to argue with you, I just don't think we agree on this. Others seemed able to answer the questions with factual answers. Maybe you just should ignore my questions, you seemed to be biased against them, waka waka. No, but seriously, we just don't seem to see eye to eye, but I'm good with the responses from others. I do actually appreciate the time you took to outline your objections, even if I don't agree. In the long run, it will likely help me refine my questions.
    – Dogmafrog
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:51
  • @Dogmafrog I read your responses/clarifications here, and with those in mind, it seems to be at best a question about the semantics of the word "bias", which I too would call off-topic. Thank you, though, for having the maturity and civility to start a constructive discussion in meta about your question. :) Mar 12, 2011 at 22:35

You must log in to answer this question.