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This question about the reliability of RationalWiki was closed as primarily opinion based. If a similar question were asked about Wikipedia, I think that question could have a definite fact-based answer. There is a wealth of published scientific literature and other things answering that question. Many of these studies created a metric to study the reliability of Wikipedia and then rigorously applied it. Reliability of Wikipedia is a broad question, but thanks to those studies, it is a question with a decent (if slightly muddy) answer.

In my view, the question about RationalWiki was closed because of a reasonable belief that the data to answer the question simply does not exist. I can imagine those same metrics used to examine RationalWiki. However, I bet that no one took the time and effort to do it.

I have been surprised in the past by the ability of Skeptics.SE writers to find data that I did not expect to exist. Is there some guideline for distinguishing between a question that probably cannot have a fact based answer and should be closed, and a question that has the good possibility of a fact based answer.

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    Although RationalWiki appears to have a structure visually similar to Wikipedia, it's mostly a collection of people who think they are rational and funny. Just take a look at this sentence from Creationist views on goats: "God made goats out of leftover cow parts, on the sixth day of Creation. This is similar to the process still used for making hot dogs". Very "funny" and "reliable" indeed. – Jordy Sep 13 '17 at 12:59
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If a similar question were asked about Wikipedia, I think that question could have a definite fact-based answer.

The question has been asked on Skeptics.SE.

  • Is Wikipedia reliable?

    This question was asked in the first couple of months on Skeptics being created, before the community standards had been established.

    The top upvoted answer has a string of comments arguing that the metrics they used were misleading. Precisely what I would expect because the claim is unclear and choosing the right metric is opinion-based.

    The rest of the answers to that question are terrible. We've come a long way in quality since the early beta.

    The reliability of Wikipedia remains unclear.

  • Is there any evidence of systemic bias on Wikipedia? [Link requires >10K rep to follow]

    This question was asked in 2015, when we had firm community standards. It was closed in under two hours.

I can imagine those same metrics used to examine RationalWiki. However, I bet that no one took the time and effort to do it.

I am confused. If you think no-one did the analysis, there is no answer to give. If you think someone did do the analysis, great. But there is still no notable claim, so it is still off-topic here.

No-one thinks RationalWiki is unbiased - not even RationalWiki - so there is no point us spending time debunking that idea.

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