One of the reasons I believe the current unconfirmed issues should be closed (deleted) ASAP is that answer to such questions are so weird and it helps to promote propaganda quickly instead of clarify the issue. Users that ask for such current unresolved issues likely want to be sure that the claim is true if there is another source.

Here are some patterns users used in their answers (E.g. Were babies found with their heads decapitated in Israel after the Hamas attack?):

X said Yes we have seen that with my own eyes. (with link but no Image and no video).

Y said I was there. (with link but no Image and no video).

Z said my foamily was there. (with link but no Image and no video).

W said I was there in that day and that was horrible. (with link but no Image and no video).

But now all we know that, that claim was totally wrong and baseless.

I don't see what the usage of the above-like answers is. An answer should be valid almost forever (think about 50 years latter). This answer(s) is no longer valid. But if you ask someone why they hate people A, they don't know why but actually the reason is psychological. This horrible fake image remains in their brain and their brain (conscious) will never forget it.

But what is important is not the correctness of the claim anymore. The propaganda has done its job very well. Emotional users just read the answer, accept and upvote it. (and this may cause more anger and hatred). IMO Skeptic should not allow to promote such propagandas.

I was surprised that some users responded to such claims with more than 20-30 lines of writing, full of quotes, links, tweets, etc. But Now most of them known to be false. Providing such huge amount of evidence (that convince most of all users) but in the end it turns out that the claim was wrong. This is really problematic.

  • Is this not just a duplicate of the other meta-question you asked?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 13:25
  • This is similar to that one. But No in general. This is about impact of such posts that really needs the moderator intervention (for future posts).
    – C.F.G
    Nov 17, 2023 at 13:28
  • In fact, this meta post should be a rule for similar forums e.g. Politics. Some users are misusing from current issues and its result is calling each other/groups Terrorist, Killer, Racist, justifying Terror, etc. This makes it difficult for mods and takes their time. Spreads hates etc.
    – C.F.G
    Nov 17, 2023 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


I am largely ignoring the specifics of the question here - that is addressed in (IMO) There are inconsistencies between Skeptic On-topic criteria and some existing questions

I am ignoring the unreferenced claims about the psychological effects of posts.

I am going to address: "Should false propaganda claims be allowed to remain?"

I will argue yes, for a number of reasons.

  1. Saying a claim should be deleted because it is false is begging the question. Until the question is answered, we don't know if it is false.

  2. Saying a claim is propaganda (I use the dictionary definition of propaganda; "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view." - so propaganda may be true) is a claim about the OP or claimant's motivations, and we can't know them, we can only guess.

  3. We have faced professional propagandists before; our rules are tuned to help defend against it. Our demand for empirical evidence is the strongest defence.

    While you point out a question that could have gone better, it is worth noting that, by the end, it DID get better.

  4. If we don't allow challenges to propaganda, then fewer people who see the propaganda and seek to find the truth behind it will succeed.

We have discussed here several times that the risk of repeating false claims and challenging them may reinforce them. There was a lot of pop-science warning against a "backfire" effect of fact-checking. A 2016 study suggested it may happen, but later studies have suggested it doesn't - that could make a good Skeptics.SE question.

  • 1. "Until the question is answered" what is the exact time? after all media confirmed that the claim is false or not? So isn't this fall into unresolved current events and issues currently under investigation? (I agree that post should not be deleted to avoid duplicate posts [not other reason] but it should be closed or locked until the final result of the claim.)
    – C.F.G
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:07
  • 2. It is really clear that in wars, emotional news are more likely propaganda. Anyway, why some of the users don't allow others to express their argument and they flag their answers/comments immediately. This is not fair. They can answer to the question with full of wrong data (that latter found to be wrong) but other side cannot.
    – C.F.G
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:13
  • 3. I meant answers mostly. 4. You are right but this should not to allow to empower the claim (propaganda). Users mostly read the upvoted answers. For example can you tell what you conclude from the answer to the linked post? An usual user (that has zero political knowledge) conclude that Palestinians deserve to die.
    – C.F.G
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:20
  • 1) I am saying we can't have a rule that false claims in questions get deleted. Let me turn your question back onto you. When CAN we decide a question contains a false claim?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:33
  • 2) This isn't about "fairness" and "sides"; it is about the evidence. There is no imbalance to the tools available.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:36
  • If there is an answer concluding that anyone deserves to die, please flag it for moderator attention. Be specific.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:37
  • It is not my job to moderate the Politics site. They have different standards to here.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:38
  • 1
    I just re-reviewed your flag. The flag not claim that someone said Palestinians deserve to die, and I found no sign that the flagged post made that claim.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:43

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