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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
118
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
78
votes
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
votes
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 ...
43
votes
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 ...
35
votes
4answers
629 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
votes
3answers
461 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
votes
1answer
832 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.
31
votes
9answers
470 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 ...
30
votes
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. ...
29
votes
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
votes
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 ...
26
votes
1answer
406 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"...
26
votes
0answers
333 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
votes
1answer
528 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
votes
10answers
309 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
votes
5answers
415 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
253 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
votes
8answers
548 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
votes
4answers
747 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
votes
3answers
348 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
votes
3answers
616 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
816 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
471 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. ...
18
votes
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....
18
votes
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
votes
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
votes
9answers
659 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
votes
5answers
380 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
271 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
votes
11answers
426 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
votes
1answer
335 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
votes
3answers
4k 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
votes
4answers
248 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 ...
16
votes
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
votes
3answers
243 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
votes
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
309 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
votes
8answers
506 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
334 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
votes
2answers
495 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
votes
2answers
273 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
182 views

War on terrible questions

When I read Jeff's answer to this question today I had a minor brain tremor and quickly pulled out my trigger happy down voting finger to relieve the rage. Here's a quote: I think this site has ...
14
votes
14answers
848 views

The best posts of Skeptics!

It would be very useful to have a list of great posts to showcase our site to prominent skeptics. The idea is to get our site endorsed by influential skeptical bloggers and tweeters. Without ...
14
votes
4answers
469 views

Are religious questions on-topic?

At some point we will have to decide if religious questions are on-topic, and where exactly we will draw the line to off-topic questions. There is a significant overlap between the skeptic and atheist ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Is snopes a valid primary source?

Prompted by the difference between Skeptics and Snopes question. This question reminded me of our own Do you eat a certain number of spiders whilst you sleep?, where the accepted and heavily upvoted ...