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Suggestion Linking to crank or crackpot sites is prohibited. , discussion.

  1. Oct 25, 2013 #1
    "Linking to "crank" or "crackpot" sites is prohibited.", discussion.

    We have many rules for posting on PF and I believe they give a valuable working framework for keeping the forum on topic in order to provide good science to those who wish to learn it.

    The guideline listed above I believe to be one of many integral parts of our forum rules as it prevents the site from becoming over run with pseudo science, I do however disagree with this being enforced when the topic of a thread is about 'pseudo science' itself. If a link is provided to support a dialogue about this topic and not to support the 'link' itself then why is it not acceptable?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2013 #2


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    Because discussions about crackpottery lead to the same crap discussions as does crackpottery itself. The whole topic is not science.

    I DO understand you point, but I think the whole topic is a waste of time and I believe Greg and the moderators have come to the same conclusion.

    There are several web sites that give good definitions of, and sometimes discussion of, crackpots and crackpottery. I can't find the links to my two favorites, but here's one:

  4. Oct 25, 2013 #3


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    I'm no web-whizz, but isn't linking to crackpot sites giving them better ranking on google?
    Then there's extra hits on youtube or whatever, and you end up unwittingly supporting them, and promoting whatever snake oil they're selling.
  5. Oct 25, 2013 #4


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    We don't discuss or debunk pseudoscience or crackpottery here, which is the main reason we do not allow links to them, we aren't going to discuss them. I should have deleted/locked your entire thread, to be honest. I was overly nice.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  6. Oct 25, 2013 #5


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    As Evo says, we do not discuss or debunk pseudoscience here on the PF. Instead, if you look in the list of forbidden topics in the Rules link at the top of the page (under Site Info), there will be a list of links that folks can follow if they want to read such debunking materials. Providing those links is a way we can help folks get educated about pseudoscience, but not clutter up the PF and waste other people's time with the debunking discussions.
  7. Oct 25, 2013 #6
    I understand that point of view, I have a YT profile that gets bombarded with these guys, most times I can keep a cool head but sometimes it gets frustrating... There have been moments where efforts have been fruitful and I believe that makes it worth it. For those that are not so easily persuaded I simply send them a link to here :) (with my apologies to the forum)

    It is funny you posted this link, I happen Warren Siegel's website open on my browser, ha ha!
  8. Oct 25, 2013 #7
    I have thought about that. It is amazing how quickly Google can pick up on topics from the forum. The flip side is it would provide a link to a counter point of view as opposed to just that of the crackpots.

    I am usually inclined to agree with your posts however I can not align myself with this statement as discussion is paramount to understanding and working solutions.

    I can see how a person trying to promote 'crackpottery' on PF would clearly cause issues but that is no where near the point of that thread. Discussion of a controversial subject is not a waste of time.
  9. Oct 25, 2013 #8
    -The link would have caused discussion.
    -Discussion would have been about the 'crackpottery' in the link.
    -That discussion is NOT welcome.
    -The discussions should be limited to real empirical science and not psuedoscience.
    -Allowing discussions debunking (or promoting) psuedoscience paints a red target around the fora which all crackpots will attempt to hit.
    -Therefore best way is to remove the link.
    Anyway psuedoscience was not the issue of the thread- it was the rise of psuedoscience- and without the link it got better focus on the main topic.
  10. Oct 25, 2013 #9

    D H

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    No, it's not. You don't learn science by studying people who have intentionally ignored the science you are trying to learn. You learn science by learning the science. You are not going to learn one thing by looking to crackpots.

    The number one reason that we do not discuss crank science at this site is because the owner, administrators, mentors, science advisors, and most of our other members don't want to do so. We think that our rules that prohibit discussions of crackpottery and non-mainstream science dramatically improve the quality of the site.

    There are lots of other sites on the internet that do not have these rules. You are free to go there. Why do we have to be just like everyone else?
  11. Oct 25, 2013 #10
    Limiting discussion does not serve Science.

    We are not 'looking to crackpots' for ideas, we are having a discussion about them, their tactics, and how people are being influenced by them.

    I thought this was the one place where we could have open discussion of any topic so long as we adhere to reasoning, critical thinking and keep it to what is known, apparently I was wrong in my assessment. Most of you consider yourselves to be Scientists, as such I find many of your 'reactions' here startling.
  12. Oct 25, 2013 #11


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    If you had read our guidelines you would have known it was not acceptable.

    First part of our rules is very clear
    Our rules then go into more specifics. No where do our rules state that we discuss and/or debunk pseudoscience.

    The question in this thread has been answered, so thread closed.
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