I'm huge fan of Skeptics@SE, and although I am far from having tremendous reputation level (because I rarely contribute), I frequently visit the site and believe to have good knowledge of what an acceptable answer is.

My answer was deleted by a moderator with the following comment:

This answer is based on a theoretical model, but fails to show that the model is appropriate to the context and/or does not base the model on factual evidence. More in general, answers that contain original research are generally not considered good answers on Skeptics. I am deleting it for these reasons and according to our policy.

First of all, I fail to understand how a context is required for electronics and physics, as those are applicable to any context. In addition, my answer is not based on original research, but is instead an explanation of how antennas work and why the answer to the original requester's question is no. Furthermore, if the answer is not considered as good answer (but is acceptable because it is heavily sourced), for what reasons should a moderator delete the answer instead of letting the community decide whether the answer is good or not. Finally, I have read over the articles Why was my answer deleted and How to answer and don't understand why my answer does not meet these criteria.

Nevertheless, I have edited my answer to add additional information, and would like it to be reviewed again, hopefully by another moderator to have another opinion.

For what reasons was my answer deleted in the first place? How can I go about requesting my now edited answer to be reviewed again?



An answer like yours is a model of how the system works. That means: if the model is applicable, then the answer is correct. What is missing is proof that the model is applicable with any generality.

In order to prove that one could... go and measure the emitted radiation -- which is all that is needed to answer the question, coincidentally.

Of course I am not suggesting that answerers do so themselves, but I am sure that there are standards and certifications applied to such devices that can be used as reference.

Even then I am not quite sure what the model you present proves. All that is needed to have a telephone emit less or more radiation is to have it turn on its radio to a lower or higher wattage or less or more often than when not plugged in. This has nothing to do with the physics of the system or its physical design.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to judge whether the answer is correct, but I am trying to provide an example of how a theoretical model can go terribly wrong even when the physics in it are perfect!

This is to say: we are not a community of electronics experts and do not have the expertise. as a community to upvote or downvote theoretical answers based on their merits (i.e. whether the model is correct and applies to the question).

What we do, instead, is evaluate the quality of any sources that support the applicability of the model presented. Of course, how do we prevent the community from voting the unvotable until it's fixed?

Since long, theoretical answers represent a significant investment of time from the author they tend to generate a lot of pushback when marked as unreferenced.

Because of that, and because we need to avoid that a community of non-experts votes on expert-level answers, then the action we take is hide the answer until it is fixed. This is why the answer was deleted.

We've tried mere commenting in the past and the result is quite uniformly much worse feedback from the authors, than deletion. Deleted answers can be seen by high-rep community members and other moderators, which can flag it or undelete it when it is fixed.

  • 2
    I can understand the remark, I'm just still very surprised that answer was just purely deleted. Two days ago an unsourced answer was provided. It's still available and voted minus 1. For what reasons should an unreferenced answer be kept on the website and one such as mine be deleted within 27 minutes? Sounds very illogical to me. (Also haven't had the time to edit my answer again yet.) – ChrisR Apr 15 '14 at 12:53
  • @ChrisR it is apparently illogical, and way more mod work btw, but fundamentally the facts are that a lot of users from the network are not acquainted with our rules and tend not to notice the lack of references in theoretical answers, so they upvote. Waiting a week for an answer to be fixed while it gets massive upvotes and only then having to delete that doesn't make the OP happy because of the rep hit. As you noticed, the unreferenced answer sits at -1, so if we give it some time and only eventually delete it, it's still ok. We are not "delete-crazy" and [cont] – Sklivvz Apr 15 '14 at 12:59
  • we try to keep on site as much as possible, including stuff which is wrong or we don't agree with. The underlying problem is that this particular site is not a 100% fit for the software we run it on -- the site is meant to be much more moderated than other sites since its inception. – Sklivvz Apr 15 '14 at 13:01

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