Skeptics.SE regularly receives on-topic questions of the form "Did Person X say Quote Y?"

The answers fall into a few categories:

  • Yes, they said it at Event Z.
  • No, Person A said it, at Event Z.
  • There's no evidence Person X said it.

That last one has an obvious follow-up question: "Who said Quote Y?" or more precisely "Has anyone of note ever asserted Quote Y?" (as opposed to using it as a joke or aspersion).

Is this question on-topic here?

  • 1
    There's the nuance that perhaps not every quote is notable for challenge here. skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4333/11643 talks about this a bit. I may flesh it out more here later.
    – user11643
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 19:34
  • @fredsbend it sounds like you're implying "Yes, if the quote is notable enough".
    – Foo Bar
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 12:07
  • 1
    Yes, if it's remarkable that someone would say something, I think that's usually notable.
    – user11643
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Your example question on the main site makes the answer here much clearer.

The sequence was:

  • Q: Did Goebbels advocate that you should do [unethical thing] with this quote?
  • A: No, Goebbel said the enemy did [unethical thing]. He did not advocate it.
  • This meta question asking if quote-hunting is permitted.
  • The main site question which asks whether anyone advocated doing [unethical thing].

But, our scope - our raison d'etre - is to tackle widely-believed claims.

No-one has claimed that anyone else has advocated [unethical thing], except Goebbels, and we already have a question about that. There is no claim here to support or debunk, so it is off-topic.

Wikiquote seems like a better place for this sort of hunt than here.

  • Thanks for the explanation.
    – Foo Bar
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 13:17

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