Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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2022: a year in moderation

As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the preceding calendar year. As most of you here are aware, sites on the Stack Exchange ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
50 views

Ban Fact Checking Websites in Answers

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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
141 views

Is a claim that a public figure is transgender an acceptable claim?

I have recently encountered a claim that a certain well-known public figure/celebrity that has publicly denied being transgender is, in fact, transgender. The claim appears plausible and mentions some ...
2 votes
3 answers
82 views

Are statements by artificial intelligence constructs notable?

The Stack Exchange Network has been abuzz recently over the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chat bots such at ChatGPT to generate content suitable for posting as answers. Some sites, notably Stack ...
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

Can we ask a question that its claim can't be debunked or confirmed?

On two occasions we can't debunk or approve a claim: It's not mentioned in the sources. The claim is very new; so there are no sources about the matter. How can we deal with these questions here?
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Is asking about a controversial matter on-topic here?

For instance, think about the cause of death of a famous person. Some claim it was a suicide and some claim it was a murder. Can I ask about it? For example, "Did X commit suicide?" or "...
0 votes
1 answer
15 views

Is it a problem when the original claim has ambiguities?

I've seen this happen a few times on this site, most recently with my own question Are 20% of automobile drivers under the influence of marijuana? . Some users asked me about whether I expected an ...
3 votes
2 answers
100 views

Should we allow links to personal Google Docs?

I recently edited an answer where the OP had taken some data from a large site, simplified it, and presented it in a personal Google sheet. Should that be allowed? [I removed it pre-emptively, but I ...
  • 135k
-1 votes
3 answers
69 views

If it's a daft idea is the author no longer notable?

On Skeptics there is currently a question, whether the sun revolves round the earth. This idea was floated by someone I never heard of, who is, apparently, a "notable source". Perfectly good ...
  • 101
5 votes
1 answer
95 views

What kind of sources are acceptable to demonstrate the "existence" of a claim made on a History Chanel type program?

If I want to request input on a claim made on a television program for entertainment purposes rather than from a scientific source. For example, Ancient Aliens, Curse of Oak Island, etc., what kind of ...
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Should hype-train-riding pre-print articles be considered notable?

Inspired by a comment on this question. Some research basically re-examines some previous claim with slightly changed methods or in slightly changed conditions, acting on assumption that previous ...
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Is the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research a genuine peer review journal

Is the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research considers to be a peer review journal for the purposes of use and citation on this website. At link to it can be found here ...
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

How do I ask question about a potentially mislabelled video when the video does not contain contain any disputed content?

I have a link to a website containing the video. I am trying to ascertain if the description of the video on the website is accurate or not. I have had multiple people down voting\voting for the ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Why is the system asking me to wait a day before asking a question, and when does that day start?

Why is the system asking me to wait a day or more before asking another question?
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Claims about the existence of social media posts

We have some questions about claims that a particular prominent person or entity made a particular post to Twitter / Facebook / other social media. Not about whether the content of the post is ...
4 votes
1 answer
84 views

Questions about predictions in sacred texts

There have been several questions along the lines of “are values of important constants in the Bible”. Would it be within the spirit of the site to treat these as X Y problems in that the X (...
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1 vote
1 answer
83 views

Power user Edit(orializing) controversial questions to make them weaker?

I had a strange experience with having my question on a controversial topic edited by a power user. In some ways the question was improved by adding more details, but also subtly changed the meaning, ...
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

Add a "landfill" tag to the sites tags (withdrawn)

A user recently suggested in a comment that we have a "landfill" tag: I just think we also need to explicitly label unreliable sites as unreliable/conspiracy/etc. instead of letting people ...
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10 votes
2 answers
197 views

How to deal with re-surfaced old questions that don't meet today's standards?

I've noticed a number of old questions that have resurfaced as active due to edits either to the questions or to answers. Many of them don't meet the contemporary criteria for on-topic questions as ...
  • 9,122
0 votes
2 answers
228 views

Request to undelete mod-deleted "Transgender" question

@MadScientist deleted this question: "Do Trans people want to change "their biological sex"? Is that impossible?" He apparently also suspended the account for a day. While the &...
  • 18.9k
3 votes
1 answer
29 views

Are questions about product warnings on-topic?

We currently allow questions about product claims in advertisements. Would questions about claims made in product warnings be similarly acceptable if they are otherwise reasonably clear and notable? I ...
3 votes
2 answers
71 views

Should we have a tag for crazy law questions?

"Crazy laws" (also known as "stupid laws", weird laws", "unusual laws" or similar) are a pop culture phenomenon going back at least to the 1990's that consist of ...
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Deriving a well elaborated question on a delicate and difficult historical/actual topic

I've come across a thing/claim which is quite unpleasant but it comes from a blogger I have used to trust for a long time, he has also a considerable audience, and I've also double checked the ...
  • 757
-10 votes
1 answer
168 views

Transparency and proper procedure: why are moderators and their duties so mocked and tainted on SkepticsSE, leaving users clueless and powerless?

What's going on here? First a moderator gets just (re)-appointed, without any election? Note: this is not against the actual person getting that job then, but it is firmly against this example of ...
  • 43.7k
1 vote
0 answers
83 views

Standard for (not) closing Russia-Ukraine war questions [duplicate]

Right now it seems rather haphazard: Did a Turkish cargo ship get bombed in the Black Sea during the Russian invasion of Ukraine? NOT closed (also answered). Did a Ukrainian woman tell a Russian ...
  • 52.9k
1 vote
0 answers
86 views

Propaganda Questions

I noticed on Politics Meta that a recent post was made about protecting the site from propaganda questions related to current events surrounding Ukraine and was wondering if anything like that was ...
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9 votes
3 answers
295 views

How should we handle questions about the 2022 war in Ukraine?

There will doubtless be hundreds of questions from old and new users about claims about the war in Ukraine, and it might be good to discuss how to handle them before it gets out of hand. Personally I ...
  • 1,039
-3 votes
2 answers
170 views

Premature comment deletion on a non-answer exacerbating HNQ-badness; mods seem to refuse to act upon answer quality despite terrible content, again

Again we see the HNQ issues on a 'popular' Covid question without any proper answers. Is there an unusual distribution of adverse events by lot number for COVID-19 vaccines? And the comments under ...
  • 43.7k
4 votes
0 answers
58 views

2021: a year in moderation

As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the preceding calendar year. As most of you here are aware, sites on the Stack Exchange ...
  • 101
2 votes
1 answer
49 views

Improving the question regarding 'surgery results based on gender'

The question is not mine, yet something I find interesting: Are women 32% more likely to die if operated on by a male surgeon? The Question is closed due to being unfocused. As I see this: It has ...
  • 5,475
-1 votes
1 answer
131 views

Incorrectly and arbitrarily deleted answer for being alleged as "theoretical"

My answer to this question was arbitrarily deleted by a mod. It was sourced, and was not (despite the allegations) theoretical. I carefully read the definitions of "theoretical answers" and ...
  • 56.7k
1 vote
2 answers
135 views

We can't blame the British. How can we fix the Israeli cat question?

This recent question has been through a few edits (at the time of writing - I am hoping it gets some more). The original title was "Is Israel's stray cat problem due to the British?" I ...
  • 135k
10 votes
1 answer
171 views

What makes a UFO question a good UFO question?

"UFO" and "Unidentified" are unclearly defined The term UFO has two separate meanings. The more formal meaning is exemplified by Wikipedia's definition: An unidentified flying ...
  • 135k
2 votes
1 answer
96 views

Can notability be scientifically quantified?

There is a discussion about whether it is appropiate to source racist sources, see Antisemitic or Racist Sources. On one hand it may be problematic to indirectly promote hateful content and subject to ...
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7 votes
4 answers
369 views

Antisemitic or Racist Sources

I have never written a post like this before, because I generally do not care how StackOverflow is moderated or run. I apologize if this is overly wordy. There is an active question which asks about ...
  • 4,449
7 votes
4 answers
192 views

What to do with information that doesn't fully answer a question, but may help?

It sometimes happens that I start researching a question and find some information or source that is potentially useful, but doesn't by itself resolve the question completely. If I don't have the ...
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

Why would pointing out that there is no evidence offered in a claim considered "opinion"?

The question was "did X do this?" In my answer, I pointed out that the referenced claim offers no evidence of any kind of involvement by X. Answer was deleted by Oddthinking as opinion and ...
  • 9,439
0 votes
1 answer
108 views

Should there be a question about the collapse of the Twin Towers?

Such a question already exists. Is there anything inexplicable about how the WTC Twin Towers collapsed? However, this question is marked as a duplicate with the following note from the OP. NEXT DAY......
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1 vote
3 answers
210 views

Can statistics from this site be used to show that conservatives make a majority of fallacious and misleading claims?

I get most of my news from the Google newsfeed, figuring it's a pretty balanced place because the feed is a collection of news sources and I know their respective biases; Google, I assume, doesn't ...
  • 1,179
4 votes
1 answer
151 views

Should there be a question about the UAF WTC7 study?

As some of you might remember, I asked a question about the University of Alaska Fairbanks study on 7 World Trade Center, which claimed that fires did not bring it down. It was downvoted, and IIRC ...
  • 1,277
13 votes
3 answers
408 views

Unpinning the accepted answer

It seems that Stack Overflow is getting a change and is no longer going to pin the accepted answer at the top and will now default to sorting by post score alone. In the post announcing this they ...
  • 4,786
15 votes
1 answer
172 views

Reinstatement as a moderator

I recently asked SE to reinstate me as a moderator here on Skeptics and the request was approved. I was one of the original pro-tem moderators when the site was created and became an elected moderator ...
  • 42.9k
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

What's the probability that if a POTUS name appears in the question title, it will reach HNQ?

POTUS = President of the United States. HNQ = Hot Network Questions. I'm curious how much "clickbait" HNQ-"guarantee" does a US president's name confer to Skeptics SE questions. ...
  • 52.9k
12 votes
2 answers
110 views

Those edits from me flooding the feed

As some of you may have noticed, edits to this question is getting bumped to the top repeatedly. This is because, due to the unreliablility of the autosave feature, I was forced to post an aswer in ...
  • 1,277
4 votes
2 answers
72 views

Is there any policy about revisiting old questions?

Skeptics is already a pretty old site (by Internet standards), there are questions here that are over 10 years old. Science advances all the time and new research is conducted which can lead to ...
  • 309
-8 votes
1 answer
145 views

Why was my question downvoted?

I have a question about my Skeptics Stack Exchange post: Why did Biden make a strategic mistake and create a crisis by leaving Afghanistan? Why was it closed?
  • 1
-7 votes
1 answer
164 views

users down vote with bad faith

I have a question about my Skeptics Stack Exchange post: Linoy Ashram - Did she not miss the flag، and still win a gold medal at "the Olympic Games!"? Why do users vote negatively with bad ...
1 vote
2 answers
219 views

Are we ignoring quality problems blissfully if we see a chance to fight some strawmen from 'the other camp'?

We see a lot of substandard questions here. Some are more troublesome than others. Some good questions get deplatformed for being mistaken as "push" or whatever. This meta post is about ...
  • 43.7k
15 votes
0 answers
573 views

Some basic skepticism tips when reading the news, and applying this to answers

I've railed against politics questions on this site in the past. I ran for moderator partly on the promise to address the issues with politics specifically. Mostly, my ire is toward the answers, that ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
153 views

Has there ever been a notable claim that justifies a question that starts with "Has there ever been"?

I saw a Youtube video about Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, a convicted fraudster that happened to be transgender. The narrator in the video mentioned that Some People claim that people might ...
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