Questions tagged [asking-questions]

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133
votes
2answers
8k views

Sorry, but we don't care about your political opinions

This is a reminder of an issue that has come up before - around the last US election: Are political comments a problem? If your comment is little more than tribal markings to indicate the US ...
19
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10answers
757 views

Handling news questions about current events

We keep on getting asked questions on ISIS. I have no problem with the subject, but most of these questions are about current news, have little-to-no evidence and are all around receiving weak or ...
13
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6answers
754 views

FAQ: On the use of a non-metric system

This answer was down voted because of the choice of units. The answer was giving a calculation in imperial units, rather than SI units. Can we get a consensus on the use of units of measurement, ...
13
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3answers
349 views

What is the difference between Skeptics and Snopes?

If this is a duplicate, let me know but I looked around Meta and couldn't quite find this exact question. When I first dropped into this site, I was unsure of what it was. Then I started reading some ...
13
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8answers
2k views

Politics, beliefs and motivations questions should not be allowed here.

These questions should be made off-topic because they are not answerable based on available evidence. In other words, there is nothing scientific in the investigation of the evidence. Also, they may ...
13
votes
2answers
180 views

My friend says…

We appear to be getting a splurge of skeptics questions in the form of "My friend says...", "I heard...", etc. where the only evidence that a claim has been made is the person saying they heard it. ...
12
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5answers
434 views

“Untruthable” Questions

I have noticed a number of questions of the following basic form:   What evidence is there that this [insert reasonable claim] is false? (A recent example of such a question could have ...
11
votes
3answers
249 views

How can we get users to write more elaborate questions?

We have a large amount of low quality, one paragraph questions: Will the comet Elenin cause significant disruption to life on Earth? Why was Andrew Wakefield's Paper retracted by The Lancet? Crystal ...
10
votes
1answer
131 views

Should I ask a question if I am already highly suspicious of the source?

Someone linked this article on facebook today. Looking at it I think it is very likely bunk (also called woo, apparently?), and not just because it links the Daily Mail as its one-and-only source. ...
10
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1answer
199 views

Should “actually” and “really” be blacklisted in titles?

See also "Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?" for the reasons why using these two adverbs is not good for this site. I periodically ...
9
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5answers
207 views

How does the StackExchange model work for Skeptical Analysis?

I feel like there might be a fundamental issue with the format of this website. Overview The StackExchange model works well for subjects where the question is posed for the purpose of helping the ...
8
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7answers
2k views

FAQ: What are the attributes of a good question?

What does a good Skeptics.SE question look like? What are the qualities that a perfect Skeptics.SE question would have? Ground rules for answering this meta-question: One quality per answer Provide ...
8
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6answers
832 views

Topic of the Week - Discontinued

Discontinued :-) Thank you all for participating. We did succeed in raising the questions per day over 5, so the "topic of the week" was useful! The data is fake. I made it up. Original ...
8
votes
3answers
113 views

Asking questions about things everyone has heard but there are no studies for

So my first question was put on-hold because it didn't fit site guidelines about there needing to be a published study making the claim I'm asking about. The mod is right--there aren't a lot of ...
8
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3answers
299 views

Is humor and satire acceptable for notable claims?

This question - Can science explain how bicycles work? - was based off of a claim made by Cracked.com a site for satire and humor. To me I would think it obvious that sites like Cracked and The Onion ...
8
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1answer
682 views

Should suicide be a taboo topic?

To date, we don't have any taboo topics - subjects that may not be freely raised and discussed. (Sure, we have rules about how the questions are asked and answered, we expect questions to be asked ...
8
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1answer
182 views

Why was the recent question about Democrats inciting riots put on-hold WITH comments disabled?

So this question: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/35561/21907 ...was asked over in Politics SE and migrated here, but the migration was rejected, and it was put on-hold, but the comments were ...
7
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1answer
343 views

FAQ: My question was has been 'closed', what does it mean?

Why are some questions closed? Is it like deletion?
7
votes
2answers
112 views

How can we personalize our How to Ask page?

This is a follow up to How can we get users to write more elaborate questions? Each Stack Exchange site has its own How to Ask page which is displayed to every new users. The page was written for ...
7
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0answers
80 views

Change the “How to ask” section

If you ask a question there is a section on how to ask in the sidebar, currently this looks like the following: How To Ask Is your question about scientific skepticism? We prefer questions ...
6
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4answers
139 views

Warning message if post (question or answer) contains no hyperlink

The problem: On Skeptics, the absence of hyperlinks in a post is a good indicator of a low quality question or answer: If the post is a question, then linking to examples of people actually arguing ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How much research do we expect before someone asks a question?

How much research should we expect before someone asks a question? Originally, the early consensus for StackOverflow was almost none: There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to "easy" questions ...
6
votes
2answers
79 views

Is it time to do another topic of the week?

Before we graduated, I proposed a "topic of the week" to focus the community on specific topics to increase the number of questions on the site. Asking questions is always healthy but I think we ...
5
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3answers
226 views

What is “unSkeptical” about certain topics or questions?

Namely, this one? "Is democracy the most superior form of government in all countries?" This is the response of the moderator to the initial question: Welcome to Skeptics! This is not a forum; ...
5
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8answers
224 views

What kind of questions should receive upvotes?

This is similar to THIS, "Vote early, vote often." I'd like to ask something a bit different. What, exactly, are the criteria for upvoting questions? The FAQ doesn't specify. Hovering over voting ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

What if I don't have an online or easily accessible reference?

I have a question about something I'm skeptical about, and being a SE user, I naturally immediately checked the Help Center and FAQ. I found this FAQ post, and I'd like a bit of clarification for my ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Should questions about “motivation” of organizations, rather than individuals, be considered OT?

I've just had my question Was Aeroflot SU2074 intended target in MH17 shooting? closed with reason "This question is about motivations, as such, it's off topic.". This of course refers to Politics, ...
4
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3answers
266 views

Should we close questions challenging specific ads?

This question was closed immediately as not satisfying the site criteria. The single closer (Hi Joel!) expressed the thought that this might be spam, and I certainly considered that too. I think that'...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

FAQ: Should I ask if something is “authentic”?

There are many questions (as of now) using the words "authentic" to ask a question, however I was told that my question is unclear because of it. What is the correct usage of the word "authentic"?
4
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5answers
60 views

What are our “words to watch”?

Our questions and answers should strive to be relatively neutral, non-leading and answerable. There are some words of phrases that are highly correlated with bad form and possibly bad content. For ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

Give me specificity, or give me breadth!

I limited my question regarding "male enhancement" techniques to just those of the "magic pill" variety not because I wasn't interested in how well the other techniques worked, but because I thought ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Should I ask a question about a notable myth that I already know the answer to?

I encountered the myth about the space pen and NASA spending million dollars on its research while the USSR just used pencils: I wanted to check if it was true, so I checked it, and apparently that ...
4
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2answers
228 views

FAQ: Should questions be asked with an impartial tone?

Wikipedia has a very precise policy on tone: Impartial tone Wikipedia describes disputes. Wikipedia does not engage in disputes. A neutral characterization of disputes requires presenting viewpoints ...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

How can I improve my question to make it acceptable?

After receiving two upvotes and one interesting answer, my question, Are states fundamentally violent?, has been closed. I would like to know how I can improve it to make it acceptable. Here is my ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Is a highly upvoted question discussed and answered on another SE enough to show notability?

This question is related to this question. Is a question asked on any other SE site that has generated upvotes and an accepted answer with upvotes enough for notability? Sometimes it can be hard (...
4
votes
1answer
337 views

FAQ: What makes an answer good on Skeptics.SE?

What does a good Skeptics.stackexchange.com answer look like? What are the qualities that a perfect Skeptics.SE answer would have?
3
votes
6answers
193 views

How to bring up the “questions per day” metric?

According to Area51, the number of questions per day for Skeptics is 3.9. The comment says it all: Needs Work – 15 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs ...
3
votes
6answers
311 views

How do you skeptically investigate Hitler's religion?

I ran across the following question on main: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1821/hitlers-religion On one hand, the question is formally a skeptical question, on the other how can one ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Help writing good, on-topic questions

I have problems with writing good, on-topic questions and would like to know what went wrong with some of my questions and how to improve them. If something is clearly obvious to you, it might not ...
3
votes
3answers
130 views

The “Ask question” page should make it easy to write sensible questions for newbies!

At the moment, when asking a question, users are confronted with a relatively complex UI, full of relatively unimportant details but completely lacking features that benefit Skeptics.SE. This impacts ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Was my question good?

I've had some pretty hit-and-miss questions, and have been doubting myself when it comes time to post a new question. I know some SE sites, if not all, require that some research be done before ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

How are we supposed to use tags associated with a person?

The description for the "donald-trump" tag is: for questions where the claim is about Donald Trump. Do not use this tag for questions about stuff Trump claims. When I posted the question Did a ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

What did I miss when asking this question? Is it actually inappropriate to ask “Why?”

The question is here: Did the US ban the Volkswagen XL1 for being too fuel efficient? More than one person has commented on it saying that asking about motivation is off topic. That's fine, my actual ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Are stereotypes and tropes notable claims?

There's been more than one question asking about whether a stereotype or a trope correspond to reality. Example imaginary questions: Do African Americans speak in gangsta lingo? Do nerds wear black ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Do claims need to be current?

When it comes to notability, how old is too old for a claim to be considered notable? I ask because I had a claim from 1943 considered somewhat unsuitable, on the basis that people who believed the ...
3
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2answers
551 views

Do claims have to be written or verbal?

Sometimes I will see TV advertisements or warnings or some other media which makes a claim visually, rather than explicitly with words. If there is no ambiguity or differing interpretations about ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Asking a question that was asked on another stackexchange site?

Is it acceptable to ask a question on skeptics.SE if the same question was asked on another stackexchange site? I'm thinking about this question. There is an accepted answer, but it makes a few ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Topic of the week: Discontinued

As proposed by Sklivvz in this question we are going to be running a topic of the week. The main aim of this is three-fold To focus the community on specific topics to increase the number of ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Request support with this question: Do US vaccines increase the risk of cancer?

I asked this question: Do US vaccines increase the risk of cancer? It was put on hold by Oddthinking with a request that I focus on one claim at a time. That's a clear and reasonable request, so ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Can the About page be improved?

New user comments say, "this site's on/off-topic definition is kind of confusing compared to other SE sites", and, "I took the tour". The "tour" must be a reference to the About page (because the ...