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There is a very specific claim I want to run through skeptics. This claim is very common within an internet subculture. I would like to get a through and definitive answer to it, but I'm having trouble providing notability despite it being very notable.

My problem is that the subculture lacks a single person of sufficient importance for me to site, and I don't have a good way to prove that the claim is very common amongst every day individuals in the community. However, I think it's not only notable form my experience but quite important.

In this case I'm wondering how best I could build the question.

To give specifics for my case I want to ask a question about a rather unique group, known sperm donors. These are men who meet women and donate sperm to them in person, without going through a bank. They are a small group, but there is a very very common claim within that group.

Specifically when looking at these sperm donors about 1/3 to 1/4 of all donors will claim, directly or indirectly, that NI (natural insemination, basically sex) is more effective then AI (artificial insemination, done with fresh sperm at home). I have my own beliefs on what seems most likely here from my own research, but I want to get a third party site like this one to investigate it and give a good answer that can be referenced whenever this debate comes up, the closest thing to a definitive source.

Considering the frequency of the claim and degree of contention it can cause I consider it to be very notable, for anyone familiar with the known donor community, which is likely no one else on the site, it would be common enough to not even require a quote per site rules, but I can't prove that. I can provide dozens upon dozens of quotes of men making this claim, but since none of the individuals is well known no single quote I provide counts as notable. The community itself is so small that it doesn't really have anything like a celebrity of sufficient notability to be quoted at all.

Well, that isn't entirely true. One of the closest things to a 'celebrity' within the community is, unfortunately, a sperm donor who goes by the name JoeDonor (aka fatherofFour) who has made this claim many times. This individual has been on 20/20 twice and in a number of news weeks articles, and has even self-published 'books' which I know make the claim (https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Donor/e/B00J59W7BW). However, I don't have an exact quote from any of these books, because I refuse to pay even a cent for any of those supposed books, the individual writing them has been guilty of some pretty horrible things and I refuse to give him any support, financially or otherwise, if I can avoid it.

I can provide plenty of quotes outside of the book by this donor, but since no one but me knows who he is I don't know how to provide proof that he would count as 'notable' within the community.

Thus my question, what is the appropriate manner with which to go about proving notability to sufficient level for the question to qualify for this site?

  • If you could find references to JoeDonor's claims on this question (without buying his book), would that give you what you are looking for? Or is he notorious enough that the answers would likely be "he's a known scumbag, don't take anything he says seriously"? – BradC Feb 16 '17 at 19:03
  • @BradC he is a known scum bag to many, not all. but my concern is that people simply wouldn't credit him as being 'notable'. he isn't that big a figure in the community, it's just that there really aren't major 'notable' figures at all in the community. I mean the sad thing is I'm one of the more notable figures in it, and you don't exact know who I am lol. – dsollen Mar 3 '17 at 18:46
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There are several reasons for the requirement for notability.

  1. We don't want to waste our time on claims invented by a couple of drunk guys at a bar. "My buddy reckons a tiger could beat a hippopotamus in a fight."

    For that reason, we are looking for "notable" claims. Ideally, notable means believed by a significant number of people, but we also commonly use a short-cut. If you can find someone famous saying it, we assume that lots of people have heard it and a significant number believe it.

  2. We get many questions by people who haven't understood the claim properly. They have misunderstood it - perhaps failed to see that it was satire. We like to be able to confirm the claim is being seriously made, and it is as described, so we don't spend effort writing arguments against straw men.

  3. If we get bogged down in debates about definitions, having some context that we can use to root out what the original claimant meant by the claim can be helpful.

It sounds like you are getting caught up on the short-cut we use for the first reason. Rather than finding one celebrity, it is absolutely fine to quote a few non-celebrities. We don't have a hard and fast rule, but three or four should be plenty to convince people this is a common enough belief that it is worth the effort to resolve. The closer their claims are to each other, the easier it will be for us to not get bogged down into definitions and whether the claims are consistent.

  • How about the community size as a factor, according to OP that community is pretty small, how big should a community be for us to count their claim as notable, after all, if a community is only ~100 people is size, should their claims be regarded as notable (for claims that are notable only inside that community). – SIMEL Feb 15 '17 at 10:53
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    @IlyaMelamed: I think the definition of "significant number" has been deliberately left as vague. What we are debating is how much of our community members' time we are willing to spend on an answer that may be "too localised" and only help one person. There's no hard and fast answer there. I imagine the impact of a false belief is also a factor of how much effort people are willing to put in. (I care less than 100 people believe vinegar + bicarb can clean tiles than 100 people believe drinking bleach can cure cancer.) – Oddthinking Feb 15 '17 at 12:27
  • This should appear in the answer, I don't know how many known donors are there but when quoting claims (weather by celebrities or not) the amount of traffic/exposure they get should also be taken into account. – SIMEL Feb 15 '17 at 12:42
  • Good answer, I'm sure I've also seen questions along the lines of "My doctor told me [X]" or "At school my teacher told us that [Y]" and they were allowed, so long as the description of what the person said was clear and not muddy – user56reinstatemonica8 Feb 15 '17 at 14:23
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Searching finds this article which claims:

"natural insemination" is believed to be more than three times more effective than artificial insemination.

The same claim on the Daily Mail appears in a link from that article.

I would feel that the Daily Mail is notable enough for a claim, even if the first link is not.

Obviously, this doesn't answer the more general question of how to ask without a linked claim. But it seems like a solution to the immediate problem here.

I found that by searching on one of the book titles from your link.

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    In a way it does also answer the more general question. Notable claims should have many specimen on the internet. We don't ask users to post proof of this, but... – Sklivvz Feb 20 '17 at 0:00

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