This question was closed immediately as not satisfying the site criteria. The single closer (Hi Joel!) expressed the thought that this might be spam, and I certainly considered that too. I think that's unlikely, given that the questioner made no encouraging statements about the product at all. But even if that was the case, the question is a legitimate one that a real person might ask.

The site is supposed to be for "challenging a belief or truth". Because that belief or truth is expressed in an advert I don't see that makes challenging it any less valid. Why shouldn't we answer this?

EDIT:What changes would I need to make to the question to make it NOT spam? Obviously the link is still necessary, and a summary of the page's claims. What else would I have to do to not get the question deleted?

  • 1
    FYI, 5 users with closing privileges (>500 reputation) can reopen a closed question.
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 20:26
  • I deleted the question because it's basically an ad.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 21:10
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    @Sklivvz: No, my post is not an ad for any product. What makes my post become an ad for the products? By the way, why can't I make a comment?
    – Jessica
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 21:12
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    @Jessica: Posting the text of an ad, including pricing, plus the link to a product, followed by "is it true?" is tantamount to an ad to a product. Furthermore, if you want to challenge the claim that a wrinkle cream works, why that specific one? Feel free to write a new question which does not advertise a product needlessly and I will certainly not close it. I didn't close it in the first place.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 21:33
  • I'm sorry I cannot build my own picture of that question. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 4:16
  • @user: They not only closed Jessica's post, but also deleted it and killed her account, which makes DJClayworth's question pointless.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 5:39
  • 2
    Not if you think of possible, similar cases in the future. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 5:44

3 Answers 3


To answer the original question... you shouldn't answer this because the site is going to fill up with garbage if you don't pick up the garbage you do get.

If the original question had been asked even remotely in good faith, it wouldn't have URLs, it wouldn't be by a new, unknown, anonymous user, it wouldn't have quoted the full text of the ad, and the question itself might have shown a modicum of skepticism.

  • We require URLs for each claim in a question. But otherwise you are right and in hindsight I shouldn’t have answered the question. On the other hand, I don’t believe it was an advertisement. Why post it on a skeptics site where the enterprise could be sure that their scam product would be ripped apart? Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 17:16
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    just because scammers are incompetent doesn't mean they're not trying to scam you. In particular, this particular scam is a multi-level marketing scam, in which relatively clueless rubes have been tricked into buying a lot of worthless, overpriced face cream and are now trying everything they can to find someone to sell it to. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 18:41
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    Sorry Joel, I have to disagree. If I wanted an answer to that question (and didn't already realize it was a scam) that's exactly the form I would pose the question in. As for being a newbie - everyone has to have a first question. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 19:44

Let me make this clear: challenging specific ads is on-topic.

The problem with that question is that it read like spam. It quoted the whole content of an ad and linked to the kind horrible web page spammers like to link to. That's why it was closed (and then deleted). Maybe it wasn't spam, but it was close enough to being spam to warrant those actions.

We will need to establish guidelines of how to discuss such questions so to not leave ourselves open to spammers, but, just to repeat myself again, challenging specific ads is on-topic.

  • 1
    This is true also of viral marketing videos. They may not be blatantly ads, but we need to be careful with them to not appear to be shilling for them. I could see this site as a GREAT jumping point for a viral video campaign. Create a video, create a source blog, create some other evidence of whatever is shown, and then someone asks about the video (linking to it), and another answers showing the evidence. Up-voting commences.
    – Ustice
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 17:45
  1. DJClayworth, I agree with your opinion. Everyone has different level of judgement. Something that is clear to you may not be clear to some others, especially when facing some webpage that have been disguised. Jessica had the right to ask her question and express her doubt, because her post did not advertize the products but was to cast her doubt on them. Closing and deleting her post is not fair, not even to say closing her account.
  2. I feel sorry about this site. It is supposed to be for scepticism, but ironically, it forbids some to express their valid doubts, while allow others to say whatever they want to claim to be true. Talking on an account and her post that have been forced to disappear, one can just safely say anything.

    If the original question had been asked even remotely in good faith, it wouldn't have URLs,

    it wouldn't have quoted the full text of the ad, and the question itself might have shown a modicum of skepticism.


    • Question about "can we trust ..." will risk being understood as not scepticism, but some conspiracy, hiding the intention of promoting it!
    • Links and quotation to websites under doubt will risk being judged as not being in good faith. Partial quotation will be said to be same as an entire one.

    it wouldn't be by a new, unknown, anonymous user,

    • Hey, does this site have attitude towards new users?
    • Her account had a name "Jessica", but can one just say it is anonymous?
    • Of course, virtually everyone is unknown to everyone else here, in the sense that we are just a bunch of i.d.'s. Underneath we don't know what kinds of person the others are.

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