It seems there are lots of questions in this Stack Exchange that are not fact based questions. If the higher reputation members have the ability to do such flagging, the evidence of it being exercised is not readily visible on the site.
An example of such a question might be "How can we trust xyz?". Something better left to a philosophy exchange than here. Many questions that start with Why... also fall into this category. I just looked at the top 10 most active posts and 6 of them start with "Why...".

The bias in certain questions might be hard for some to see, and there seems no mechanism (at least to newer members) to tag something as biased/opinion based/etc by some members so that other members might be alerted to such bias/opinion/etc.

To summarize my question: How can this exchange stay away from such questions and responses to stay a valuable forum for answering political science, etc, questions?

  • Can you give a few examples of specific questions you think should be closed?
    – Philipp Mod
    Apr 5, 2018 at 8:42
  • 1
    Someone should post an answer based on "Good subjective, bad subjective" rule.
    – user4012
    Apr 5, 2018 at 14:55

3 Answers 3


Not all "Why...?" questions are necessarily bad. Some of them can be answered in a useful way without having to resort to opinions and wild guessing.

But we have two close-reasons which can be used for those questions where this is not the case.

First, the good old "primarily opinion-based" reason:

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

This should be used for any question which requests or requires an answer more based on personal opinion than on facts.

But keep in mind that we do answer questions which ask for the opinions of specific politicans or political entities, if that question can be answered by quoting official statements they made.

And then we have the custom "request to mind-read" reason:

Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public.

This reason should be used for questions which can not be answered without reading the minds of people. Many "Why... ?"-questions fall into this category, like "Why doesn't the Arstotzkan government tell us the true reasons why they refuse immigrants from Kolechia?". When we can't answer this question without resorting to wild speculations about hidden motives and unfalsifiable conspiracy theories, then we shouldn't try at all.


The bias in certain questions might be hard for some to see, and there seems no mechanism (at least to newer members) to tag something as biased/opinion based/etc by some members so that other members might be alerted to such bias/opinion/etc.

The normal method for this is commenting. You would add a comment to the question illustrating the bias and then flag the question to be closed.

You get those privileges at

  • 15 reputation can flag posts
  • 50 reputation can comment anywhere

Before that, consider answering the question, noting the inherent bias of the question itself. That can be tricky though, as it sounds like you really want to comment but lack the reputation.

These are not exactly high thresholds. Each upvote on a question provides five points of reputation, and each upvote on an answer provides ten. So a single question or answer can reach the commenting threshold. Five well-received questions will almost certainly do so.


I think you have a misconception about politics; it is not science and it will never be. Facts are building blocks but they are not the completed building.

I try to give an example: Person A cries "I cannot swim", seemingly drowning in a lake, person B jumps into the water and pulls A on land. That is the fact and the only fact.

Person C observes this and concludes that B is a selfless hero and is happy that A is safe.

Person D observes this and is angry about A because being in a lake without being able to swim is extremely foolish. D would never have jumped into the lake for such an idiot.

Person E observes this and is angry about B because trying to rescue a drowning person is extremely risky: Those persons are pulling others down with extreme strength in their blind panic.

Are C,D or E wrong? Are facts the only important things or isn't it the interpretation which is important? Politics is about decision-making and beliefs/weltanschauung are as important or even more important than facts.

Even seemingly crazy opinions have their value. Let's say someone believes that the Western media is controlled by the reptiloids, but the Vatican can be trusted. If you follow their ravings, you can get a pretty good picture what those wackies believe what the Vatican is doing. Extreme left and extreme right, despite highly unlikely to be right, are still interesting to hear because it tells us what their fears and desires are.

  • 3
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_science What you are talking about are peoples opinions, C, D, and E aren't wro ng because you only identify their emotions or how they feel about the facts. If the only thing we learn from the Extreme left/right is what they fear or desire, it does not inform us of the facts in question. Perhaps you and I have a different understanding of what the purpose of this stack exchange is??
    – user20353
    Apr 5, 2018 at 3:35
  • 1
    Politics is not a science, but here we discuss politics, rather than engage in politics. Questions about politics can often be answered scientifically. Apr 27, 2018 at 20:46

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