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This site should not simply be a conduit for Snopes or FactCheck.

Why not?

I am a skeptic, and it simply irritates me.

Why does it irritate you?

Snopes, and these other fact checking websites, do not subject themselves to criticism. There is no commenting section. There is no reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere that could ever satisfy the skeptics they are addressing, and its like that on purpose because these sites are politically invested in forming a solid irrefutable narrative. Free and open discussion undermines that.

How do you know that they are politically invested?

Because they act like they are politically invested, and they lack any sort of reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere that would satisfy their skeptics they are addressing.

The reason you are complaining is that facts often have a liberal bias, and that it frustrates you to see these fact checking websites undermine either your preconceived notions, hysteria, or conspiracy theories with calm, level handed analysis of scientific data which are all fully sourced and backed up. It just so happens to be bent towards Liberal sympathies, but that in itself is not a reasonable argument for protest.

Its not about that. Its about the lack of any sort of reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere that would satisfy their skeptics which they are addressing.

So? Why should we care? There is free and open discussion here. We can link snopes and argue about it here.

Because answers should not be a conduit for sites which undermine a reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere. It should be rather strive to be a conduit for honest skeptics who are open and ready and actively do subject themselves to criticism.

Thanks.

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  • 6
    "There is free and open discussion here." No there isn't, or at least, there shouldn't be. Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum. Can you clarify what a "reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere" is, and why it would "satisfy the skeptics which they are addressing"? You repeat this phrase over and over without actually explaining what you mean by it.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 10:07
  • @F1Krazy No there isn't, or at least, there shouldn't be. We have comments, and a chat room system that facilitates moderately free and open discussion; At least enough to address any underlying concerns to a question or answer. clarify what a "reasonably open Red Team Blue Team atmosphere" Where propositions are publicly subject to formal scrutiny, free from content moderation, and free from controlled opposition. Why this satisfies skeptics they are addressing Because a skeptic could then speak up or elect an opponent to speak upon their behalf, and feel themselves fairly represented.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 10:35
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because this question appears to be pushing for the banning of a category of websites because the OP doesn't like them.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:32
  • @JoeW Its highly unlikely that this is the reason that you are voting the close. I made it clear ad nauseum that the sites in question do not subject themselves to any sort of scrutiny or facilitate any sort of skepticism with even an open comment section. You said there was no proof, which is laughable: You can go to snopes right now and observe the holistic absense of any parrallel comment section to their "fact checking".
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:39
  • And as I have stated in my answer, if you have evidence that a site is providing misleading information or lies you should ask a question about that site and provide the evidence. There is no reason at all that we should ban an entire category of sites just because you don't like the fact that they don't let users comment on them.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:47
  • @JoeW if you have evidence that a site is providing misleading information or lies That has nothing to do with my question. Drop it. Its a blatant strawman that I guarantee you has no relevance to my proposition. There is no reason at all to ban [fact checking] sites that don't let users comment on them. That is just a contradiction. You can not claim that there is no reason at all, and then state some of my reasons.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 19:05
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    You are asking to ban an entire category of websites for no apparent reason other then you don't like them and you can't comment on them. There is no evidence presented that fact checking websites are not doing their job. If you want to ban a website you need to have good reason such as misinformation and lies and be able to prove that they are doing it. There is nothing wrong with preventing users from commenting on things.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 19:30
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    We don't just ban things. Such censorship tactics would be extraordinary measures, inappropriate for general use and only to be considered in extreme cases. For example, we might ban Snopes if Snopes were under an active-attack where visitors are targeted by a zero-day exploit that would compromise their computer's security.
    – Nat
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 6:33
  • @Nat Besides ChatGTP, are there any sites which have been banned for answers? Say, Infowars, The Daily Stormer, Kiwifarms, or something to do with vaccine skepticism?
    – Anon
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 8:29
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    @Anon: I'm not aware of any sites being banned outside of common-sense, e.g. obviously shouldn't link a site that attempts to infect visitors with a virus or host illegal content.
    – Nat
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 17:54

2 Answers 2

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No, we should not ban any website based on what type of website it is. It doesn't matter if it is a fact checking, left leaning, right leaning or any other type of site. All that matters is that it is a reputable website that has accurate information and it not known for spreading misinformation.

We don't care if it is a fact checking website nor should we as that is what we are doing here. If a fact checking website already has all the information that is needed all the better.

And it should be noted that there is absolutely no reason to ban or suggest a website is bad because they don't allow users to comment on content. There is no way to show that a users comment is factual or correct and they should all be ignored.

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  • Therefore, we should ban websites who are "known(?)" to spread misinformation?
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 14:34
  • @Anon what websites are you accusing of spreading misinformation? If that is your goal you should ask that question instead of asking to ban fact checking sites.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 14:37
  • None. You misunderstood. All I care about is whether a fact checking website subjects themselves to scrutiny. -- You said, We should not ban any website ... All that matters is that it is a reputable website that has accurate information and it not known for spreading misinformation. -- This implies that you believe that we should ban websites who are known to spread misinformation.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 16:22
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    @Anon What is there to misunderstand about your blanket statement about fact checking websites. If you feel that there are issues with a given fact checking website you should post a question to address that fact checking website. As it stands it appears you have some issue with fact checking websites in general and want to impose a blanket ban without providing any evidence of anything wrong with them.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:21
  • Do not change the subject. You implied that we should ban websites who are known to spread misinformation. Address what you mean by that.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:33
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    @Anon Exactly what I said, if there is a website that is shown to have lies or misleading information it can be addressed. As it is you are suggesting we remove an entire category of websites because you don't like them. You have provided zero evidence that there is anything wrong with them.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:35
  • The problem with this, is that known to spread misinformation is a rhetorical truism actively employed to attack, quell, censor, and diminish skeptics apriori. For example, skeptics who claimed the vaccine was unsafe early on were banned from various websites for "Misinformation". Your principle would in effect support banning vaccine skepticism on this Stack Exchange.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:51
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    @Anon That is false, if you can provide evidence that shows a site should not be used you should ask a new question and include that information. As it is now you are asking to ban sites because you don't like them and you are providing no evidence of what they are doing wrong.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:01
  • Please don't change the subject. Address the point about vaccine skeptics being banned under the auspices of Spreading misinformation.
    – Anon
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:02
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    @Anon Quit accusing me of changing the subject when I am just pointing out that you can't ban websites because you don't like them. You need to provide evidence of what a website is doing wrong that would justify banning it from skeptics. That is normally when they provide misleading information or lies. Not once have I gone into any detail about what type of information that might be about. If you have evidence that a fact checking site is providing misinformation or lies post a new question about that site and provide the evidence.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:11
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    @Anon Again, please stop with the false accusations. I have asked you repeatedly to show evidence of what those sites are doing wrong such as spreading lies or misinformation. If you have evidence that a site is doing this you should create a new question and post that evidence.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:31
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    @Anon I am not addressing anything that has or hasn't been banned. I am simply stating that if you think a website should be banned you need to provide evidence of what it is doing to deserve such a ban and not try to do a blanket ban. The fact that a site does not allow for users to comment on content is not justification to ban them. Typically the reason to ban something would be because they provide misinformation or lies and you would need to provide evidence of a site doing that and not try to accuse a type of site of doing it.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:57
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    @Anon I mean exactly what it says, if there is a site that is spreading misinformation and lies and you have evidence to prove it the site can be reviewed in this meta. You are asking to ban an entire group of sites with no evidence of them doing anything wrong. You just don't seem to like them or the fact that you can't comment on the stuff they post. We should never ban an entire category of website and we should only ban induvial websites when presented with evidence to support it.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 19:29
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    @Anon I am ignoring your attempt to switch this topic away from the main point and attempt to drag it off onto some tangent that you want to go on that wasn't even part of your question. If you have evidence that there is a site spreading lies and misinformation you should address that in a question while presenting your evidence. There is no reason to ban a site because it doesn't allow users to comment on them and you seem to dislike it.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 2:23
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    @Anon: This answer includes "All that matters is that it is a reputable website that has accurate information and it not known for spreading misinformation", which argues that certain websites shouldn't be banned. This quote does not, as you suggest, imply that other sites should be banned; it merely doesn't offer a defense of such sites.
    – Nat
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 6:03
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This question contains a number of false premises.

  • Scientific Skepticism does not require an adversarial system, although one may be used.

  • More specifically, Scientific Skepticism does not require the particular adversarial system used in Cyber Security.

  • More specifically again, Scientific Skepticism does not require an open comment system on a web-page.

Internet trolls playing Devil's Advocate are not the only way to the truth, and they haven't been automatically given a forum for most of science's history.

  • We should not and do not treat Snopes pages as an authority.

Perhaps the strongest advocate of that is Snopes themselves, who host deliberately false information to discourage treating any site as an authority. What those false pages have in common is that they don't provide references with evidence to show how that conclusion was reached.

[This is where I am going to differ from @JoeW's answer: I don't think it is about the reference sites "reputation". It is about how the referenced page demonstrates the claim is true.]

We have no requirement for the referenced site to support Internet comments. Nor should we have.

We have no sites (to my memory) that have been banned as reference sites. [I have no doubt that, with the right trolling, we might find some, but it simply hasn't been an issue for over a decade.]

On the other hand, there are plenty of unreliable sites [even those with comments on!] that, if you were to try to use them as a reference, you would find your answer heavily downvoted by the community.

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