Stemming from this meta-exchange and also in view of some recent disputes on a q, is notability a sufficient (not just necessary) condition to ask a question here?

As defined

A claim is 'notable' when a significant number of people believe it is true. [...]

The main way of demonstrating notability is showing the claim being mentioned in the media. Examples include: books, newspapers, mainstream television, or widely-known web-sites including major blogs and Wikipedia. Claims put forward by a celebrity are also automatically considered notable. The idea here is that once a large number of people are exposed to the claim, it is of general interest to validate the claim and either confirm or refute it.

Basically, as an extreme example, can one pick any mainstream press article and ask dozens of (separate) questions from it here, e.g. one for every paragraph or sentence from the source, asking Skeptics SE to "double check" it, without providing any reason why the claims may be implausible?

  • 2
    I downvote dumb questions. I close vote off-topic questions. Sometimes a question is both. Good questions are neither and get an upvote.
    – user11643
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Some background:

I think this is a duplicate of a 9-year-old meta question: If a claim is commonly accepted, does questioning it require a notable counter-claim??

I think my answer here is still "good law". However, I am wary that community standards may change, so I don't want to close this question as a duplicate.

A similar question was raised in 2019: How notable must doubt be??

In 2012, I wrote:

We should continue to demand that evidence of notability should be provided for a claim that the OP is skeptical about.

If the OP, in good faith, claims that they do not believe a claim, we shouldn't demand that evidence that their view-point is notable, even if it flies in the face of scientific consensus. It is reasonable to (politely) question the reasons for their maverick point-of-view, to establish that good-faith.

As before, if the OP believes in the original claim, then the whole question doesn't belong on Skeptics.SE.

I saw some comments discussion before that suggested that this policy implies that you could ask if, for example, Paris was the capital of France, but not if it wasn't. Clearly that isn't sensible, if it were true.

But I don't believe it is true. I have commonly reversed the direction of a true/false question (before answers were posted) just to simplify the title.

If a meme went around saying "Paris is not really the capital of France. After WWII, the paperwork was filled in wrongly, so ancient law means Vichy is still the capital." then "Is Paris [not] the capital of France?" would be a legitimate question to address on this site.

But if a meme went around saying "Paris, the capital of France, is home to the Eiffel Tower" and someone asks "Is Paris [not] the capital of France?" it seems reasonable to try to ask what has triggered the doubt.

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