There's a question featured on HNQ at the moment.

The question asks if a headline from a website named Sputnik News is true.

As soon as the premise is examined it quickly falls apart and is easily proven false.

I asked in a comment beneath that question:

Given that this question is related to blatant propaganda, propaganda that relies on its headline message being spread far and wide, propaganda that doesn't hold up the second you scratch the surface; is it really a good idea that this question is in HNQ? Putting it in HNQ seems to be an act that works for the propaganda rather than against it (because more people will see the headline in passing and not read further, leaving them with the message implanted in their minds). Or, rather, does being in HNQ actually encourage deeper inspection? (as it has for me)

What do you think? I'm not questioning the question's right to exist, only its right to exist on HNQ.

  • 1
    By the way, if you want a question removed from HNQ, you need to flag it for mod attention. Posting here on meta might do the trick as well, but probably not as fast. Nov 23, 2019 at 23:14
  • Just checking: I assume you’re more worried about Russian propaganda about immigrants than a question about Russia’s economic management: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/45463/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 25, 2019 at 1:02
  • 1
    My concern is quite simply that any piece of propaganda that relies on its headline message being spread probably shouldn't be in HNQ with its headline verbatim in the title. The effectiveness of the question I linked was lessened when its title was changed to not include the quoted headline.
    – Aaron F
    Nov 25, 2019 at 8:23
  • 2
    So you think there's a problem if debunking propaganda gets a viewership boost? Because that's what skeptics does, debunks nonsense like propaganda. I think it's unequivocally a good thing.
    – user11643
    Mar 23, 2020 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


I don't see the problem here. Keep in mind that Skeptics has a lot of google juice, so the question, with the rebutting answers will now most likely pop alongside the Sputnik disinformation. Which is surely better than just the latter being up in google.

In comparison to google searches, HNQ probably hits a much smaller amount of people... and they get to see the Skeptics version. Also, all Skeptics questions are likely to have their controversial claim in the title, so, I'm not seeing how this question is different in that respect.

In retrospect, I see now that one of my questions that probably just as iffy (involving race relations) was actually removed from HNQ... but only after a couple of days. So maybe there are different (mod) opinions on this one too. [Update:] And the same mod has now removed this latter/propaganda question from HNQ as well (after approximately three days this time).

  • 4
    Well, it very much depends on how good the actual answers are. HNQ can be quite the bane: quite substandard answers rising to the top, or at least getting way too many, many more upvotes than deserved. HNQ rewards quickness, not quality. Nov 23, 2019 at 22:29
  • @LаngLаngС: mods can remove questions from HNQ should that occur, but I don't see that (bad answers) being a problem in this case. Let's not turn this discussion into a generic one about HNQ's merits/existence. Nov 23, 2019 at 22:33
  • This metaQ reads like a generic one? Coincidentally, I'd welcome more users flagging Qs for HNQ removal… Mods doin that always unilaterally is not really ideal. That is IMO the central point: HNQ optimising for speed alone, and if we're lucky, quality matches. Only if! Nov 23, 2019 at 22:52
  • 2
    But some people might only read the question, which would be bad. Nov 24, 2019 at 18:10
  • Maybe there's a waiting period before mods can remove a question from hnq? Would Jamiec have removed them sooner if he could?
    – user11643
    Mar 23, 2020 at 16:28
  • @fredsbend: I don't think there is one. It was probably courtesy so the asker can get his "gold badge" for a 10K-view question. Mar 23, 2020 at 16:47

Given infinite developer hours, could this be fixed or at least improved by adding a line underneath saying “Spoiler alert: No, it gets the numbers and what the numbers represent wrong, and it’s a Russian propaganda outlet amplifying a racist Swedish fringe site, click here to find out more”?

  • Why link at all then? The point of links is so they get clicked.
    – user11643
    Mar 23, 2020 at 16:29

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