Why are most questions whose subject is what The President presumably said or did always treated with distrust on this site? Ending up inevitably on hold, closed, deleted etc.

Is it an invitation to avoid to mention what, for some reason, should never be mentioned?

  • Is this about Trump questions in general or just your question?
    – Laurel
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 19:09
  • @Laurel In general, mine are just an exemple: skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4255/…
    – user
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 19:25
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    Because many of the Trump questions here are obvious attempts to push partisan taking points. And many more seem to just be very low quality. There are plenty of good Trump questions too, but they're are just so many bad ones.
    – PhillS
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 23:44
  • @PhillS - I see, so user should avoid posting what you call “partisan” questions while, I suppose, they would be most welcome if they posted questions that support The President.
    – user
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 6:13
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    @user Actually, no. Questions pushing a pro-Trump agenda are just as likely (if not more likely, in my experience) to be shut down than questions pushing an anti-Trump agenda.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 20:03
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    @F1Krazy If anything, bad reception for Trump questions seems to be more along the lines of "He says a lot of absolute nonsense, and we don't want to spend our time debunking each word out of his mouth". I definitely haven't noticed much if any pro-Trump behaviour here.
    – JMac
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 16:15
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    @JMac There's more of it on Politics.SE, and it's generally more obviously partisan.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 18:14
  • Second what @F1Krazy says. We're pretty tired of "politician said dumb thing" questions. I've been spending a lot of thought to narrow our "notability" scope such that most of these questions would be considered not notable, but it's a tricky thing. On the one hand, notable people say dumb things all the time and sometimes way outside of their domain. On the other hand, he is the president and his words can sometimes have far reaching consequences.
    – user11643
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 23:09
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    @fredsbend perhaps there should be cooperation with Politics SE so such questions which are undesirable here but are relevant to the "Conflicting Egos" scope of Politics.SE are migrated there? Politics.SE has almost three times as many questions tagged [Trump] than this site and they're often quite informative. Some tend to receive partisan responses, but I think the useful responses still outnumber the partisan ones by a healthy margin. So by cooperating answerers here are relieved of some load whereas askers still get useful responses.
    – JJJ
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 4:23
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    You would need an entire SE to track and verify every questionable statement made by the current POTUS. Something like projects.thestar.com/donald-trump-fact-check Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


To add on to Oddthinking's answer, here is a question that was fine for the site based off Trump actions : Did the United States reject an offer by North Korea to freeze their nuclear missile development?

This question was notable and required some digging to resolve the answer to the question. It wasn't trivially verifiable and required digging into news articles dating back to 1993 in order to resolve.

Consider the counterpoint of a hypothetical Skeptics question : "Did Donald Trump compare the impeachment inquiry to a lynching?"

This question is very trivially verifiable (it's in his twitter timeline and has been linked to by dozens of news organizations) and the question itself appears to be nothing more than taking a pot shot at the President.

Question 1 is a legitimate question about actions taken by the Trump organization. Question 2 is "hey everyone look at the stupid thing the president said". Questions of format 2 aren't adding anything of value to the site. I'd like to think we try to keep everything as non-partisan as possible, and although that isn't true 100% of the time, questions like number 2 are obvious closures for mods.

This isn't just a Trump thing either. For the same reasons, a question that asked : "Did Obama say there were 57 states in the union?" would be closed for similar reasons - trivially verifiable and appears to only exist to take pot shots at Obama.

  • 1
    I understand the frustration, but "the question itself consists of nothing more than taking a pot shot at the President" is a big assumption and presumes bad faith. Many such questions are asked in good faith by people from outside the US who don't follow American politics particularly closely, then see something about what the president of the USA is said to have said, and find it genuinely hard to believe. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:44
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    @user568458 (1/2) it's all about how trivial it is to verify. Look back at the two examples of bad questions that I provided. People can verify the truthfulness of those questions using a basic google search. The hypothetical lynching question can be verified by going to any major news site, which would provide links to the twitter post. We have an expectation of users to at least do some basic research on the question before asking it here. And it's entirely possible that the question was asked in good faith, but you have to remember that Skeptics.SE isn't just for you.
    – DenisS
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 14:01
  • @user568458 (2/2) People come here to this site from other places in the network and from the Internet. If you look at Skeptics.SE in a similar view to something like any of the dozens of fact checking sites on the internet, you'll notice those sites don't bother to look into claims of "did the president say X?" because they're so easy to verify. By having these easy to verify questions on the site, they look like they're pot shots, even if they weren't intended to. We try to be civil here, but questions like that don't encourage them, even if you were asking in good faith.
    – DenisS
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 14:04
  • @user568458 I've edited the answer because I was hasty to assume that the questions may have been asked in bad faith. But my point still holds that even if someone is asking the question in good faith, not everyone would see it that way.
    – DenisS
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 14:09

Google's dictionary:

diffidence; modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence.

I don't think that is the right word at all.

There are many questions here about Trump and also about what he has said or done. It isn't a taboo topic.

Sometimes we get questions that aren't genuine searches for information, but just taking potshots at politicians and/or their opponents. This topic in general is addressed here: Sorry, but we don't care about your political opinions

We had similar problems of political potshots during the Obama administration. I haven't done the stats to see if it was at a commensurate rate, but it certainly existed.

Related: The often gets invoked for questions that aren't about Trump himself, but are about something that his administration has claimed. The tag should be removed, but the question can remain.

  • 1
    Isn't another reason that often those Qs are "current events"? Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 8:05

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