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If you've been following the situation in Ukraine, you may have noticed that there are two competing narratives -- essentially the Russian/Putin narrative and the Western/NATO narrative. Each side claims that the other is lying, and it seems that the respective residents of each country believe their own leaders/media sources.

One way or another, somebody is waging a massive propaganda campaign to present their own story. Should we take this on?

If so, there will be a whole slew of questions that I could bring up (Were Russian speakers fleeing Ukraine? Were neo-Nazis running rampant? Were the "little green men" actually Russian soldiers?)

Before getting into this, I wanted to run it by the community. My instinct is to go ahead, but I see the following problems that may arise:

  • This is a somewhat current event. But there has been time for the dust to settle, and we can handle current events.
  • This is a heated issue and could attract professional propagandists, or even cyberattacks (but we probably aren't high profile enough)
  • Much of the relevant information will be secret or suppressed.
  • The dispute extends to the legitimacy of different news sources.

Is this too big, or should we be ambitious?

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My view as a moderator:

  • The community has happily tackled politically-charged issues and current events in the past. They aren't "off-topic".
  • We have tackled professional propagandists in the past. Our demands for references and peer-review-by-other-users are practically designed to defend against them.
  • I know little about the security systems in place at Stack Exchange, but I've never seem them scared. I perceive their position has always been "You don't need to worry about that. We will take care of it." It is worth noting that a DDOS did briefly affect them at least once.

My view as just another user:

Current event questions tend to get left unanswered, because we don't have a cadre of journalists who can interview the people involved, photograph the remains, demand answers from officials, etc. We don't have investigators who can run the test and go out in the field.

So asking, for example, where MH370 is (at the time of writing, missing) would be pointless. It would just invite conjectural answers, that would be downvoted, until the plane is found, at which time news sources and Wikipedia will all be updated.

  • As it turns out, this kinds of questions is not left unanswered, but answered poorly. – Sklivvz Aug 18 '14 at 10:29
  • " we don't have a cadre of journalists who can interview the people involved, photograph the remains, demand answers from officials, etc." - and even if you did, it's original research, not appropriate for this site, if I understand correctly. – John Dvorak Oct 11 '15 at 10:54

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