1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Posting source links to back up statements is a must on Metabunk. Statements made without a linked source, and especial statements that paraphrase a source, can be very misleading and will likely be deleted.

    But while links are very important, they must be treated as additional references and not stand-alone content, so any content in the link that you refer to must also be in your post, quoted using "ex" tags.

    If the information is visual, then screen grabs of relevant images must also be included in your comment.

    A brief explanation for why you feel the quote you are quoting is relevant is also required.

    The above also applies to video links. Timestamps (ie hour:minute:second), in text, are required also for
    video links even if you "copy url at current time" in a video.

    Do not paraphrase links unless you are commenting on something you have fully quoted in context.

    Do not quote more than is necessary, the more focussed you are then more likely it is that someone will read what is there, and the more useful your post will be.

    More details:


    The reader should not have to click on a link in order to understand what the post is about. When you link to something to back up something you are discussing then:
    Links themselves are not content, they are references.


    The reader should not have to watch the video in order to understand what is in it.
    • Describe what the video is about, explain how it is relevant.
    • Use time codes to precisely locate the relevant portions of the video (preferably wth the time encoded in a link).
    • Provide a transcript of any important speech or text in the video.
    • Use annotated screen grabs to convey the content.
    • If you can, create an animated looping GIF (under 2MB) of the most relevant part.


    Image attachments should be inserted into the post, not attached at the end where the reader has to click on them. Attachments such as PDF files should be treated as links, with an explanation of what the file contains, and if possible quote the relevant text and/or images.

    Use common sense. The degree to which the above applies will vary with the context.

    [Note: the link policy was formally known as the "no-click" policy, however people often interpreted that as a "no-links" policy. The renaming is intended to reinforce that links are very desirable, and often required]
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  2. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    This is one of the best bits of advice...and one that (embarrassingly) I am not yet good at.

    I realize there are easily "Googled" apps, or other sorts of programs to assist this function. I won't post them here, but merely encourage others to 'search' as necessary.
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  3. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    don't forget the "How to" forum. some useful tips there on uploading images and EX tags etc.
    (of course I always forget to check the How To ; )
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  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

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  5. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    i'm bumping this because of all the slacking lately.
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  6. Balance

    Balance Senior Member

    I have to own it. Relax everyone else, it's just me being me. I've asked for clarification and advice, hopefully I'll improve.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  7. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    trust me, its not just you. :)
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  8. culheath

    culheath New Member

    Excellent policy and should be common sense.
  9. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    If common sense were common, we wouldnt have a forum :p
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  10. fmosm

    fmosm Member

    "Links them selves are not content, they are references."

    I'm not sure I entirely agree with this, unless we're writing a professional paper for a university in which there are strict limitations. With some links that are not public property, all rights are reserved to the content creator, and to copy and use their content in a way that is against their wishes without permission, is a violation of the rights they hold.

    Thus, in order to do so in a professional manner one should get permission from the content creator, such as a photograph, to use it in a manner that is outside of their original platform and context.

    It's a sort of double standard to say that your posts containing links should be wrote in a professional university format, ie a reference, but then at the same time do it in an unprofessional manner by ignoring personal property rights and copyright.

    Additionally, some pieces of evidence such as video evidence are motion based; they need to be analysed in motion and presented in motion in order to be most accurately described and presented for the sake of the argument. To make a gif just for the sake of convenience of not clicking on the link is ignoring everything in the above.

    So to disagree, links absolutely are content, they belong to people, those people have rights, and often are best portrayed as the original creator intended. After all, this is how fact and evidence gets misconstrued in the first place, by misrepresenting a piece of evidence.

    And for someone who is interested in officially debunking, they absolutely should check the facts them selves, that includes looking at all of the references, otherwise you're accepting a concept by simply glossing over everything that an individual poster has said.

    I could create a gif and purposely omit every second frame, but per your rules you would be none the wiser, because as you said nobody should have to click on a link to understand the basis of a debunk.

    But how do you know its even a debunk if you don't check the facts your self? If a link is not content then the original source material has no meaning, it's just there as a reference. Are you going to count every frame of a gif? Are you going to cross check it with the source material? Who here is an official fact checker?


    I'm not saying I'm going to ignore your rules as a member here, this is your forum and your format so it is what it is. But I definitely do not agree with that statement, nor believe that this is the most thurough way of presenting something which ultimately is supposed to be uncontestible evidence disproving real world arguments.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's why you should only use a relevant excerpt, as allowed under fair-use laws.

    I've been doing this for ten years, I've only had maybe five requests in that time to take something down.

    Everyone is free to click on the link to read more, and to check your excerpt is valid. But the reality is that most people do not click on links, and even those that do do not want to read a long article just to find one piece of information. So to get the information across you have to excerpt it from the link and put it in your post.

    Which of these is better?

    They don't think it was space junk, see: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...ased-from-chilean_us_586d37bce4b014e7c72ee56b


    They don't think it was space junk, see:
  12. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    and that is fine. But you can't link a video and say "watch this 5 minute video, this guy debunks it."
    You need to define what data he is using, a general outline of what he does with that data and the results of that data. and... "He debunked it" is not what I mean by the results of the data.