37

Yes, answers should be backed up. However, I think that absolutely requiring references for all answers, as Skeptics does, is not suitable for our site. On the one hand, always requiring references is too much. There is a key difference between us and Skeptics. On Skeptics, every question probably has one and only one answer that can be backed up up with ...


17

When it comes to identifying the "argument from authority" fallacy, then there is one thing one needs to pay attention to: Is the author using the authority as a source for a fact or for an opinion? For example, let's take these two statements: According to this article from DailyDogMagazine, cats are the worst pets of all. According to this article from ...


14

If nothing that has been tried has worked, how can we know what the best way is? Questions that aren't 100% fact-oriented aren't necessarily bad, but you should be able to look at a list of answers and say "that one's probably right". I could post the answer "I think that requiring donations in multiples of $7 would decrease corruption", and there's nothing ...


12

One important property of a good answer is that people have reason to be confident in its correctness. We need a reason to believe that the answerer's premises and reasoning are valid, and references are a good way of validating the premises and reasoning in an answer. Most people here seem to agree that references should be required for an answer, but I ...


11

Basically, flags should be used to signal moderators about severe problems that, indeed, require the moderator's intrusion — usually, by deletion the offending post. So your question turns into "is it appropriate to delete answers with unbacked (bold) statements or claims?" IMHO, the answer is — in most cases, no, since such posts do not violate the SE ...


10

I mostly agree, this will also encourage the community to close questions that can't be answered with solid references. If a question is asking for pure speculation or opinion, it's probably not a constructive fit for the site. In fact, this may resolve some our current discussions regarding what should and should not be asked. With that being said, I don't ...


8

Does stackexchange have any guidelines regarding acceptable sources? Not really. politics.SE doesn't even have a strict requirement to use any sources in answers, though they are recommended (see here and here). However, politics.SE is bound to the Code of Conduct of stackexchange, which forbids bigotry. If an answer uses white supremacist sources, I ...


7

References help avoid needless disputes, and are appropriate whenever users are relaying facts, findings, and ideas which did not originate with them. References are very useful, since a user might be misquoting something, or have misunderstood what it means; or it might be an authoritative reference that leaves little in doubt, or at least less doubt than ...


6

I didn't delete it, but let's see what was wrong in the answer: First, look at your so-called "citations" (which, except for one, were links and not citations): A SciAm opinion article, that suffers from theee flaws: First, it's OPINION. Quoting an opinion article is not what people in science, usually consider "citation". Second, while it tries as hard ...


5

In a subsequent comment to your question, you mention this other question, saying: The problem is worsening. [...] not only the question is incoherent but the answers aren't much better either To be clear, I agree the question isn't great. But however incoherent it may seem to you, and however laughably trivial it might be to those who might be both ...


5

Disclaimer: I was involved in the quoted discussion, this particular comment was addressed to me. I agree with Philipp's answer: such answers/comments should be downvoted. I would like to add that I think it's useful to expose the contradictions that such fallacies entail, in order to make it clear that it's not the opinion which is downvoted, it's the ...


5

Yes please. This is the only way to avoid overly opinionated answers. I like the approach on Skeptics where answers without references are just not allowed.


4

I think the workplace method works well there and would help improve answers here. Saying what the answer is is not enough. You must explain why your answer is right. It eliminates one line and me too answers and helps to improve answers as a whole. That said good questions beget good answers. Bad questions beget bad answers. If you ask a ...


4

I usually advocate the following standard on Science Fiction and Fantasy (surely, if it's not too onerous for that site, it can not be a burden here) for backing up answers that amount to "no", "no information", "don't know": Explain how you searched canonical info. In the context of Politics.SE that means: Did you search the text of laws (and how/which)? ...


4

We should consider what someone will do with information that they walk away with after visiting our site. I'll venture to say that a significant number of users will be looking for evidence to support or discredit an argument. Sure, all of the needed references could be found in Wikipedia and other resources, but that's not a well crafted answer that ...


4

Yes, "Just the facts" does hurt the site, since hard facts are in short supply regarding politics. I personally hope we can find a way to list and weigh (via votes) Theories, but not mere opinions. Many important and interesting political questions have only theories and little or no science (yet). Ideally, this site could become a seedbed to inspire or ...


4

Ideally, we rely on gamification to encourage people to use good sources. If your sources are bad, then people (should) downvote. If your sources are good, people (should) upvote. Moderators are here in case things get out of hand, but it shouldn't be our job to be the deciders of which sources are good and which are bad. If you think a source is not ...


3

Thanks for joining us on Meta! Why we reference All stacks have an on-going concern with providing high-quality answers to users. Accordingly, every Stack I've seen uses the back-it up principle. Each site tailors this principle to its own environment. Here, one of the chief concerns is that there is a very low entry to barrier. Most people don't believe ...


2

What we want for your question, is for a google searcher to stumble upon it and feel that their question is resolved, Or at the very least we want them to find the answer to be more useful than the opinion of some guy on the internet. Stack Exchange is not a discussion board. If you want that, try http://www.discourse.org/


2

To avoid debates/discussions, I try to follow some rules of thumb, they are useful most of the time: Questions If your question seems like it's asking for opinions, try narrowing it down, make it as unambiguous as possible, accept proposals to improve it and be polite. If you're asking, it's very likely that you are not looking for opinions, you want a "...


2

The problem is that to fit the site around this would take away from the Q&A format and move towards a discussion, something which is not the purpose of SE. If a discussion is what you're after, you'd be better off finding a politics forum or maybe even using chat once we're out of private beta and we have more activity.


2

I'm personally not of the mind that references are an absolute necessity in the first place. Sources can be handy if you're trying to use the answer as an authoritative source, but if you're just trying to understand the subject matter for yourself, they're really not that crucial.


2

Based on the feedback I've received on my own answers, I've started thinking of it like this: If something is cited, then the poster is merely passing on information. They are responsible only for the decision to pass it on or not. Downvote people for passing on poor-quality information; upvote people for passing on good-quality information. If something is ...


1

Neither. Enter a custom reason. If you pick anything else, the flag's reviewer will look at the merit of the answer and base their review on that only.


1

On the English Language SE Meta site the highest-voted question is a large list of sources (community-wiki). Perhaps we could make a similar post for sources that can be used here. If we do this, we should decide on a number of categories (e.g. facts & statistics, News outlets, Voting records) and make a CW answer for each category. Alternatively, each ...


1

I think we're better served by simply down-voting a question if you believe it to be wrong, otherwise this site is little more than a mechanical Turk for research. You really only need an authoritative search in you answer if the question calls for one(maybe they're in a political discussion elsewhere, and need to bring sources with them) But if someone'...


1

In my experience, SE sites are best when they aren't seeking "truth" so much as describing what many people believe as true. For example, in Why is there concern about the growing income gap, and is there an ideal level? there is a difference between the "answer" and what answers are commonly given. I'm going to posit that my answer to ...


1

Yes: If you want Stackexchange to be a place that means all answers are links to research, or specific interpretations of referenced research. No: If you want Stackexchange to be a source of primary research or opinion. I think Yes: is not enforceable and encourages lazy researchers to hijack the volunteerism of Stackexchange participants. I think No: ...


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