My answer to this question has been deleted by a moderator on the grounds of being based on original research. I read the guidelines here, and I can argue that the answer still fits on Skeptics. The problem is that I cannot comment on the deleted post, nor undelete it. I think I can only edit the post.

What can I do to get a chance to explain myself in a visible way? (I mean, not just having the deleter read my comments.)

At the moment, I have just put my arguments in an edit to the deleted post.

  • 1
    You can explain your reasoning as an edit to this post.
    – Zano
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:58
  • @Zano Should I also include a copy of the answer with the explanation? Who can see my edited deleted answer?
    – Tony
    Oct 2, 2016 at 22:24
  • Anyone with 10k or more reputation can view deleted posts. See here.
    – Brythan
    Oct 3, 2016 at 0:46

3 Answers 3


The problem is that I cannot comment on the deleted post

That's a shame. I think it would be better if you could - but perhaps that would lead to management problems. Maybe changing this should be a proposal on Meta.SE?

(I mean, not just having the deleter read my comments.)

FYI: By convention, if a moderator's decision is flagged, we leave it to one of the other moderators to evaluate it. There's no visibility to this, so unfortunately you can't be sure we are doing this. (I would rather we followed the aphorism "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.") If we are unsure of a decision, we will also ask other mods to weigh in with their opinion. I try hard not to close ranks without merit in these cases; that's a human bias that needs to be actively fought.

So, one technique would be to flag it for moderator attention.

How to discuss the deletion of my answer?

The ultimate answer to your question is that coming to Meta.Skeptics and posting your concern here is both public and appropriate.

Having looked again at my decision to delete, I think it is defensible in accordance with the community standards, so from my perspective the best outcome is for you to edit your answer to cite to outside experts doing an analysis and flag it for attention, rather than doing your own non-trivial processing of the images, your own psychological and sociological analysis of other drivers, and your own assertions about the physics of water droplets.

  • 1
    For the record: In my opinion, your answer is very likely right - that it is a burst pipe. (Doesn't look like a geyser to me.) I did not delete your answer because I thought it was wrong. However, my inexpert opinion and arguments about physical phenomena is almost worthless, as is yours. That's the whole point of Skeptics.SE demanding references.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Oct 3, 2016 at 2:44
  • Thanks for your reply. It makes me think that the original question would actually be better transfered to Physics SE. Since the OP is mainly asking about a specific video, the scope is quite limited and it is very unlikely it can get any answer that satifies the Skeptics requirements. On the Physics site, there would be physicists that could up- or downvote an answer such as mine, which would probably be good enough as a review of the answer, and good enough to satisfy the author of the question.
    – Tony
    Oct 3, 2016 at 7:55

As I recall, the problem with the answer was that it cited no sources and consisted entirely of original research. The name can be a bit confusing. We aren't so much skeptical as desirous of confirmation. Citation Needed was a potential name for the site at one time. Or to put it another way, we are at least as skeptical of an answer as of the question.

Anyway, the standard is that assertions of fact should be cited. If you can't cite your assertions, then they should be removed from the answer. If the answer is useless if you do that, then the answer itself should be deleted.

If you think that your answer should be undeleted, edit citations into it that confirm your assertions. Eventually a moderator or high-reputation user will see this meta question and go view them.


Adding a quick note to say that I also reviewed the deletion now. In my opinion it was legitimate according to our standards, although a bit quick. This does not mean that the answer is incorrect, but only that it offers insufficient evidence to be allowed here.

There are two guidelines that are applicable to your answer:

  • Your first, second and third bullet points are original research (e.g. "If you play the video and look carefully around what looks like the top, you can sometimes spot water going upward"). This kind of argument is disallowed because it is ultimately subjective, think about people who believe in alien UFOs or people hearing satanic messages on music played backwards, they use similar arguments to "prove" their false points.

  • Your fourth point is based solely on common sense and again we can't allow that because ultimately it does not prove anything either - we all know that the video is obviously not supernatural, however we want to see the evidence that proves it.

All in all, don't get discouraged. I think the answer can be salvaged with a little work.

  1. Lacking positive evidence that it is a broken pipe (e.g. a newspaper article mentioning it, or something like that), your answer can only suggest it could be a broken pipe, not assert it is. This is already the case and you should keep that.

  2. You need to remove your bullet points and your subsequent analysis as discussed above.

  3. You can use a different video or picture of a broken pipe, where it is certain that it is, to suggest that there's an alternative explanation.

For example, we used this technique on this answer.

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