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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133
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

I'm resigning as a moderator

As a moderator, I have to help this community thrive and also to represent it towards Stack Exchange. I am convinced that many of SE's recent choices: ads, CoC changes, license changes, are actively ...
44
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3answers
2k views

How to proceed when implicit and explicit claims diverge

I have seen a number of instances of the following pattern. Someone says something that absolutely explicitly states X and also clearly implies Y. Y, of course, is more outrageous than X. In typical ...
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3answers
3k views

FAQ: Must all questions be notable?

One of the key themes of Stack Exchange right from the start has been that you can't have a site about everything. Each SE site has a topic, users who are devoted to that topic, and who will ...
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4answers
648 views

Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?

This issue has been pointed out before--someone noted in a comment that any question can be made into a "skeptic's" question with the inclusion of "really". Right now, in the list of the 15 active ...
32
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1answer
2k views

What is a 'notable' claim?

Throughout the Skeptics.SE site, there are demands for claims to be 'notable'. For example: in Close Reasons, and in several places in the FAQ. 'Notable' isn't a common word and isn't always clear. ...
32
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3answers
472 views

How much trust can we put in an answer on a website where people vote on the answers?

For example, imagine Skeptics StackExchange existed 500 years ago and the question was asked: "Is the heliocentric model correct?" I'd imagine that the answer "No it's false (and here's my reasoning)...
32
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1answer
842 views

List of useful sources for Skeptics.SE

The goal of this post is to contain a long number of sources, sorted by topic, to help users find sources for their answers. It's Community Wiki so that everyone can edit add new sources.
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9answers
480 views

Do you guys think “Citation Needed” would be a great name for this site?

During private beta, many of us realized that Citation Needed would make a really awesome name for this site. It illustrates well out desire for evidence, our affinity with references, and it's a ...
29
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5answers
577 views

Site design updates are live!

Based on the recent design pitch and your feedback, site design updates are now live. Along with the new design, we've made other less apparent changes that allow us to: update the site's CSS to a ...
28
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3answers
1k views

Should off-the-cuff claims by Donald Trump be considered notable without evidence that people actually believe them?

At the risk of offending EVERYONE of all political spectrums, should we really accept tweets by Trump as "notable" without explicit evidence that people actually believe them and don't just treat them ...
28
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1answer
509 views

Diamond moderator closehammers should override the rest of the community only in exceptional circumstances

As much as possible, closing of questions should be done by the community in general contributing one closevote each, rather than diamond moderators using their closehammers. (When I say "closehammers"...
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0answers
337 views

Oddthinking has 100k reputation!

We've just reached a milestone: User Oddthinking has reached an incredible 100k reputation! I would like to congratulate Oddthinking with this major achievement and his unparalleled contribution to ...
24
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1answer
574 views

What is “No. 79378”?

The new site design1 has as part of the background image this: It appears just to the left of Questions, Tags, Users, etc., at least for me. It appears to be a hand-written case-number or something ...
23
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10answers
313 views

In the spirit of the holidays

I've noticed a few threads have become a little heated as of late. Since the days are getting shorter up here in the northern hemisphere in preparation for all the solstice themed holidays, and a few ...
22
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5answers
419 views

Do we want hats?

Last year around Christmas time arQAde had an awesome promotion in which they awarded hats for gravatars for completing basic tasks around the site. If you don't remember it, here is a link the promo ...
22
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4answers
1k views

How much can we trust peer reviewed scientific literature?

One of the distinguishing characteristics of skeptics.SE is that we expect answers to be referenced preferably to peer reviews scientific publications. But do we also need to differentiate among good ...
22
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2answers
358 views

Do we really want titles like this?

I'm getting tired of the clickbait titles when users ask questions about quotes from famous people. Current examples from the front page: Did Paul Offit, MD, write or say this exact quote? Did Martin ...
21
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8answers
559 views

Is “alt-facting” less defamatory than “lying”?

In a recent question, the questioner, the answerer and a commenter all used variants of a new coinage: "alternative fact-ing", "altfacting", "alt-facting". That posed a challenge. If they had said ...
21
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4answers
776 views

Non notable claims, made only on hate and or conspiracy sites, should be deleted

The question Did Benjamin Netanyahu say this about Christian Zionists? cites as the sources of the claim sites/blogs which are straight up from the darkest corners of the web. All those sites are ...
21
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1answer
254 views

Skeptics.SE now an unofficial URL Shortener

There is no doubt that them term skeptics.se, which stands shortly for Skeptics Stack Exchange (skeptics.stackexchange.com) is very commonly used on this site, many times I have typed skeptics.se on ...
21
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3answers
351 views

Is “stealing land” a question of fact? [closed]

There is a question about whether Israel "stole" land: Did Jews "take over" 73% of their land from Palestinians? I propose to close this question as off-topic, but (at the time of writing) ...
21
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3answers
618 views

Downvoting is good for you (and for the site)!

High quality answers are the life and blood of our site. If we continually produce high quality content, we'll attract more experts who will want to help fellow skeptics. On the other hand, if low ...
19
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2answers
472 views

Too much censorship in this community?

I was very excited with the quality content of the questions and answers when I first looked at this site, referred to me by a friend. I love the broad subjects discussed and the level of academia. ...
19
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6answers
1k views

Pseudo-answers are the enemy

From time to time, the best answer will be decent, but not outstanding. It answers the question, but the question could have been answered in much greater depth. That's alright. You can't win them all....
19
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10answers
753 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 ...
18
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9answers
819 views

Skeptics Brand Concept and Site design

my Name is Sean Gallagher and... I am the Art Director that works with Jin @ Stack Exchange, and I'm excited to announce the Skeptics brand and site design, done while quietly observing the community ...
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5answers
329 views

Skeptics — Top User Swag!

If you can find your name on the first two pages here (top 72 users, that is), I have some good news for you — this is not a hoax, believe me! Note: This page is completely unrelated to what you're ...
18
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3answers
1k views

If a claim is commonly accepted, does questioning it require a notable counter-claim?

When there is no doubt that a claim exists and is widely accepted/believed is it necessary to find an example of a notable counter-claim to question it? For example, it is widely accepted and ...
18
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5answers
382 views

Claims involving personal information about notable people

This is relevant to the question https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/31738/does-emma-watson-have-adhd I don't dispute that this is a claim made by an notable source, and that Emma Watson is ...
18
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6answers
445 views

Site design updates are on the way!

My name is Kurtis and I'm a product designer at Stack Exchange. Recently, as we prepared to convert the Skeptics site to a new LESS framework, we conducted a design review based on all of your ...
18
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1answer
272 views

New Skeptics.SE Podcast

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bi-weekly podcast in which to chat about this site and its great answers? It would be nice, indeed! Larian and I are creating a podcast for skeptics.se. It will be ...
17
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11answers
433 views

New Skeptics Design Has Launched!

Welcome to the new Skeptics site! I've had an awesome time learning and designing for you! Thanks for all of your feedback and communication. :) If you're still seeing the old favicons, please load ...
17
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1answer
342 views

Should doxxing be allowed here?

In the comments of this question, the poster gave what he seems to think is the real name of one of our moderators. Personally, I'm not terribly well hidden here, but pseudonyms are allowable, and ...
17
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3answers
5k views

Does MythBusters count as a credible scientific source?

I see several answers here use MythBusters as a reference, but Adam Savage himself has said: We will absolutely revisit when we think we screwed up the results. We won't stand by our results—you ...
17
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4answers
249 views

Is the “Citation Needed” name off the table?

We've had a discussion about the site name a long while ago, and the favorite of quite a few people was "Citation Needed" (see also Do you guys think "Citation Needed" would be a great name ...
17
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3answers
339 views

Can Stack Exchange do a better job of detecting sockpuppets in this site?

I have a strong suspicion that most if not all of the low-quality, bad-faith trolling questions about the Holocaust and Jews are done by the same person using multiple user accounts. A lot of ...
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5answers
2k views

How should unfalsifiable claims be handled?

Sometimes claims are made that are unfalsifiable. Evidence could conceivably produced to show the claim is true, but no meaningful test could be produced to show the claim is false. A silly example ...
16
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3answers
244 views

Can we have some moderation restraint, please?

When one down-votes or votes to close, you're supposed to offer a comment so people know why. Kind of a worthless request that people do so if the mods are just going to go and delete the comments ...
16
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1answer
238 views

2020 Moderator Election Results

Skeptics's third moderator election has come to a close, the votes have been tallied and the two new moderators are: They'll be joining the existing crew shortly—please thank them for volunteering, ...
16
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2answers
313 views

Are political comments a problem?

I live in Australia, not the USA. Party politics seem to be less divisive here than in the USA. I notice that there seems to be a tendency for questions related even tenuously to politics or ...
16
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1answer
1k views

FAQ: What constitutes original research?

Answers which are wholly based on "original research" are generally downvoted and may be deleted. What are the characteristics that (dis-)qualify an answer as original research? How should these ...
16
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3answers
680 views

Moderator Election - Community Interest Check

We had two moderators step down in 2019 (only one was publicly announced), which leaves us as a community running with just 2 moderators. For the most part, we run pretty much fine with two ...
15
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2answers
318 views

Permanently banning user/question?

Recently, we had a user who asked the same anti-semitic, off-topic, and frankly just absurd question multiple times (at least four or five that I have seen, but I would assume that I also missed ...
15
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4answers
356 views

2020 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as ...
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8answers
508 views

Where is the skepticism?

Skepticism is supposed to be about challenging truth and dogma. Applying a critical eye. Yet looking at the site I see. lots of snopes style questions. answers challenging dogma are ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Should we allow the Santa question?

The Santa question was closed without making the reason explicit in the comments: should the Santa question be allowed here? If not - why not?
15
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2answers
384 views

Does featuring a question regarding propaganda on HNQ help do its work?

There's a question featured on HNQ at the moment. The question asks if a headline from a website named Sputnik News is true. As soon as the premise is examined it quickly falls apart and is easily ...
15
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2answers
507 views

How notable does a claim have to be for questions about it to be considered on-topic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: FAQ: Must all questions be notable? I know there have been a bunch of Meta discussions about whether answers to questions need to be referenced, and how good the references ...
15
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1answer
146 views

2013 Community Moderator Election Results

Skeptics's second moderator election has come to a close, the votes have been tallied, and the three new moderators are: They'll be joining the existing crew shortly — please thank them for ...

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