19

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 ...


12

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


6

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 ...


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

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

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

One option that LangLangC also suggested is to leave a comment to clarify the flag reason, then flag it to the low-quality queue. Whether you flag it NAA, LQ, or RA depends on the case. If the reason is so complicated that it cannot be solved by other users or it has passed the normal queues already but you still think action is needed, then you can use a ...


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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