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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3
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1answer
108 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 ...
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2answers
103 views

Are down-votes being misused?

I'm amazed about the mood on this StackExchange site. Where people are so nervous and use down-votes as a gun. I wonder if some tuning shouldn't be made to the logic of down-votes.
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2answers
77 views

How can I help as a developer?

I'm a Java developer. I want to help the community pro bono, please point me in the direction of a relevant project or people.
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2answers
41 views

Must references be available online?

jwenting said: I've had more than a few answers deleted and downvoted for referencing printed books, complete with page numbers, ISBN (if available), etc. because "it's not online so we can't ...
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2answers
330 views

Can we ban 9/11 conspiracy stuff?

Seriously. Questions about alien visitations on earth have more credibility than this stuff. It would darned near require a conspiracy of every person on earth other than the conspiracy believers to ...
0
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3answers
113 views

Should question titles be bowdlerised?

Over on English Language & Usage, the policy is that questions about offensive language are of course on topic, but that such language should be excised from question titles, on the basis that ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Is downvoting answers for not addressing the point left unspecified/vague by the question a good idea?

Specific example: Does US Intelligence have built-in interfaces in major social networking sites that allow them to browse personal information at will? Sklivvz objected to the answer (and someone - ...
-1
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1answer
102 views

What is the stance on biased answers?

What is the stance of this website and community concerning answers that are 1. accepted and 2. biased? If the answer has no credible sources to confirm a claim then it is by definition a bias ...
-5
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4answers
295 views

Is this question brutally gratuitous and therefore intolerable?

Research (background reading) for the question Are rape vans real? is unpleasant. I found evidence for an answer in the affirmative: Snopes and Wikipedia identifying (and/or narrating) a criminal ...
-6
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1answer
189 views

I believe a moderator on this SE site (“Oddthinking”) is overstepping their authority as a mod on the site [closed]

I hate posting meta things like this because I honestly doubt it changes much, but I just want to bring Oddthinking’s behavior on a question I posted nothing short of bullying behavior on a part of a ...
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2answers
304 views

Why was my answer on the Israel/Palestine question deleted?

Could someone please explain why this answer was deleted? Is it merely because my answer was critical of Israel -- a country that myself and others demonstrated kills children? So one mod deleted it ...
22
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5answers
417 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 ...
18
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5answers
381 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 ...
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3answers
317 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 ...
14
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0answers
174 views

Too many links in a first timer's answer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Remove number of links restriction for new users So my wife likes to debunk the whole Roswell UFO non-sense, and she tried to make an answer. When she hit submit, the site ...
12
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2answers
176 views

The Amazing Meeting 2013 - Sponsorship Proposal

The Amazing Meeting (TAM) is coming on Jul 11-14, 2013. Based on my experience with NECSS and what I learned there, I'd like to promote the Skeptical community at the largest skeptical conference in ...
11
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1answer
126 views

Another Moderator Pro Tempore fresh from the fryer

Throughout the beta, we need members from the site whose focus is to engage the community, both in community-building issues and site management. That's why we select a few members from each community ...
11
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7answers
504 views

I am disappointed by the hostility of this community

As a novice I asked a question - “E Numbers” list - is the bad reputation justified? - and I was answered with hostility. I have largely edited the question after the first wave of criticism and I ...
11
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1answer
204 views

Should we stop adding [fluoride]?

Should we get rid of one of fluoride and fluoridation, and if so, which one? fluoridation has a tag wiki and has 20 questions, while fluoride lacks a wiki, and has 6 questions. Of the six questions ...
10
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1answer
163 views

Answering unanswered questions

Recently, we've been doing outstanding. The traffic is stellar, the quality of questions is impressive and increasing day by day, bad posts are being marginalized, etc. There is however one place ...
10
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4answers
210 views

Promoting Skeptics.SE

After the public beta begins, we should promote this site to increase our number of experts and get some more traffic. A good starting point would be to promote the site to skeptical bloggers and on ...
10
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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. ...
9
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5answers
143 views

Are political questions on-topic?

We just got the question "Is Obama going to shutdown the internet?" and despite the title there is a more or less objective question in there, namely if there are any plans to create a "kill-switch" ...
9
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3answers
335 views

Is writing code to parse data original research and therefore inappropriate as an answer?

This answer includes a Python script to parse data. The data source itself is linked. The answer is getting upvoted, presumably because people view it as a helpful contribution. The relevant help ...
9
votes
1answer
159 views

Skeptics.SE Facebook page

As requested during the Skeptics election, we now have a Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/skeptics.se The page is maintained by the community, and is not officially endorsed by StackExchange....
8
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1answer
121 views

Who are our experts?

I have been noticing more and more of a split between what the target audience of Skeptics.SE is. I am under the impression that Stack Exchange sites are built around the idea of attracting experts on ...
8
votes
1answer
63 views

May we use non-English languages on this site?

English is not the only language of the Internet, and it certainly isn't the only language of our users. How should we deal with questions, answers, claims and references that are not in English?
8
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4answers
155 views

Improve the Answer box by explaining what an “Answer” is.

I've been a little bit disappointed by some behavioral patterns I've seen among users posting answers on this site. We all know that gaining dedicated users is one of the primary metrics for ...
8
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1answer
103 views

Should translated quotes be bilingual?

In this question I quoted several paragraphs of French, and translated it. Is it always better to quote the original as well as giving the translation? Even if the passage being quoted is quite long (...
8
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4answers
287 views

If a question is challenging high-school level facts, are references required to support them?

In the frequently referenced FAQ question, Must All Answers Be Referenced there is an exemption: There are some types of questions that we can safely answer without needing references, however, ...
7
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1answer
108 views

Vote Early, Vote Often

From the TeX meta: Every Stack Exchange site will eventually end up with a different "base level" of voting --- that is, the expected number of upvotes for a question of a given level of excellence....
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4answers
181 views

How about some minimal effort when asking a question?

I encountered this question: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16758/does-deutronomy-2213-21-say-that-non-virgin-wives-will-be-executed. The claim is that Deuteronomy 22, 13-21 claims that ...
7
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0answers
89 views

2018: a year in moderation

It's New Year's Day in Stack Exchange land... A distinguishing characteristic of these sites is how they are moderated: We designed the Stack Exchange network engine to be mostly self-regulating, ...
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3answers
1k views

What is, and isn't, a meme?

Every now and again, someone posts a viral image containing a claim - generally a photo with some white text written on it, and someone refers to it as a meme, and then a whole argument ensues about ...
7
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3answers
149 views

Can we please discourage drawing absolute conclusions from single studies?

I've noticed a lot of answers tend to cite a single study, and from this draw an absolute conclusion that something is or is not true. I will update this question with examples as I come across them. ...
7
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1answer
229 views

How is photographic evidence “theoretical” and not “empirical”?

I was very surprised to have a popular answer unilaterally deleted by a moderator. This is an answer based purely on a theoretical model. We expect answers to be based on empirical evidence rather ...
7
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10answers
288 views

Why aren't you running in the Community Moderator election? [closed]

To all-users-with-more-than-300-rep-who-care-about-our-community: We have enough candidates to fill all the moderator positions, but, at the time of writing, we don't have enough for a robust ...
6
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2answers
149 views

Pros & Cons of SE system for TRICKY skeptical questions?

Up front, imo the SE system is better for skeptical questions than whatever i saw on the web. There are some obvious PROS, that i will not describe further... BUT reading here for a while, there are ...
6
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7answers
116 views

Community Promotion Ads - 2016

It's 2016 now, and we've made some changes to the sidebar size. As such, we can now restart the Community Promotion Ads for 2016! Keep in mind, we have updated some of the guidelines compared to ...
6
votes
1answer
113 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
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1answer
270 views

What should be done with answers that commit the “obvious maths” fallacy - should they get a “sources needed” banner?

From What constitutes non-trivial analysis of available data? The "obvious maths" fallacy The discriminating factor is certainly not the level of mathematics, but the level of expertise needed ...
6
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1answer
108 views

Redirecting SkepticExchange.org traffic

I own the domain SkepticExchange.org (and .com). This was the original SEv1.0. I'd like to redirect any traffic to http://skeptics.stackexchange.com when it goes public. I was able to do this ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

Is “Is this foodstuff harmful?” harmful?

I saw a question about a specific claim that a particular food is harmful (or unhealthy or worse than another food). It seems to have received a negative reaction from the community, and hasn't been ...
6
votes
0answers
94 views

The Amazing Meeting 2014 - Sponsorship Proposal

The Amazing Meeting (TAM) is coming on Jul 10-13, 2014. Based on my experience with NECSS and what I learned there, I'd like to promote the Skeptical community at the largest skeptical conference in ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

For what reasons was my fully referenced answer deleted?

I'm huge fan of Skeptics@SE, and although I am far from having tremendous reputation level (because I rarely contribute), I frequently visit the site and believe to have good knowledge of what an ...
6
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3answers
124 views

Should a claim of “consensus” require evidence?

We seem to throw around "consensus" more and more as time goes on with skeptics. However it also seems that a claim of "consensus" is the one claim that does not require a reference. Should a claim ...
6
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4answers
165 views

Template of email for contacting notable Skeptics

I am working on contacting notable Skeptics to ask them to support our site. Can you please review the email template and suggest enhancements? Skeptics http://sstatic.net/skeptics/img/logo.png ...
6
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5answers
175 views

Moderator nominations [closed]

And now for the last question from The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta, who should our Pro Tempore moderators be? The issue of holding fair elections is largely technical. The long-term ...
6
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2answers
116 views

Unreferenced answers in comments

In my question about Asbestos in Chinese manufactured goods a user posted the following unreferenced claims in a comment: Not only is there not one "asbestos" but several (at least 4) different ...
6
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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 ...

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