1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The goals of Metabunk are
    1. To find and expose bunk
    2. To prevent bunk from forming and spreading.
    3. To develop and promote efficient methods of finding, exposing, and preventing bunk
    4. To create re-usable debunkings (antibunk)
    The specific form of bunk focussed on at Metabunk is claims of evidence. i.e. individual points that are used to back up a broader theory. For example, the fact that high levels of aluminum are sometimes found in rainwater is used as evidence for the "chemtrails" theory.

    Claims of evidence can be debunked in one of two main ways
    1. Demonstrating that the evidence is incorrect (e.g. aluminum levels were high because the water was actually from a muddy pond)
    2. Demonstrating that the evidence does not support the theory (e.g. aluminum is expected in rainwater because of dust in the air).
    In some cases the "theory" might simply be "something really strange is going on". You can debunk that just by explaining possible normal explanations for the evidence.

    The following are firm guidelines, not absolute rules - there are always exceptions. But if in doubt, then stick to the following

    Guidelines for new threads
    1. Focus on individual claims of evidence, not broader theories, and with one claim of evidence per thread
    2. Title the thread with something that identifies that claim, preferably with an appropriate tag word/phrase describing what the first post does (e.g. "Claim:" , "Debunked:", "Fake:", "Need Debunking:" (only use descriptors that you can back up)
    3. Describe what the claim of evidence is, who made it, where they made it, what the known facts are, what are the disputed facts, and what is the broader theory that this claim is supporting.
    4. Link and Quote the claim. Use [EX]...[/EX] tags.
    5. Debunk it if possible. Explain what the problems with the claim are - both evidence and conclusions. Link to other sites that discuss the claim.
    6. Ask specific questions about what you don't know about the claim
    7. Videos must be accompanied by a description of the video, identifying the claim made in it, with time location if longer than 1 minute. See the No Click Policy.
    8. Links must be accompanied by an excerpt from the link, and/or a focussed description of what is being linked to. Not just a "this is interesting" line. See the No Click Policy.
    9. Don't just post something and say "what do you guys think?".
    General Guidelines (for new threads, and any other post)
    1. Don't Post Debunked Bunk - Check first to see if something has been debunked. Don't post it unless you can counter the debunks.
    2. Back it up - with links and quotes from reliable source.
    3. Be honest - Just go where the facts take you. Don't try to frame something towards a particular point of view.
    4. Be polite. This actually is a rule. See: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/politeness-policy.1224/
    5. Be Concise. Do not write long rambling posts with multiple asides. Focus on a single claim.
    6. No Click. Nothing in the post should require clicking on in order to understand the post. See: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/metabunks-no-click-policy.5158/
    7. Don't Paraphrase. If you want to say what someone said, then quote them exactly. Do not paraphrase what they said.
    8. Don't hint or give "clues". Speak plainly. Don't make people guess what you mean.
    9. Avoid Promoting Bunk. Don't post links to something unless it's being taken seriously by people open to reason. Very marginal claims are best ignored - don't give them traffic.
    10. Be sensitive. Don't post photos of dead, injured, or grieving people unless there's a good reason. Imagine they were your relative, how would you feel about their photo being posted in this context?
    11. Use English. This is an English language site. Do not use other languages unless needed while discussing the translation of something.
    12. Avoid Humor and Sarcasm. Everyone likes a chuckle, but not everyone recognizes humor. It gets in the way of communication. Just say what you mean.

    • The "Meta" exemption - threads and posts may be about a subject if they are not promoting or debunking any claims of evidence, but instead discussing it at a meta level - why people believe, why they are resistant to debunking, why bunk spreads, how best to address it, problems the bunk might cause. Metadebunking.
    • Regarding #1 (Focus), threads may be about a broader subject only if they discuss multiple specific claims of evidence regarding that subject. Threads based on hearsay or pure speculation will be deleted. It's about claims of evidence.
    • Major Incident Threads - following a major incident such as a mass shooting, large plane crash, or terrorist attack, a general discussion thread may be set up immediately after the incident to discuss it, and (optionally) to discuss conspiracy theories that spring up regarding the incident. Subsequent threads on the topic should conform to posting guidelines regarding specific claims of evidence.

    Examples of well focussed topics:
    Examples of poorly focussed topics
    The above does not strictly apply to threads in MetaDebunking, Site Feedback, and Chitchat, which need only have subject matter that pertains to those particular forums. There's also some more leeway in the Contrails and Chemtrails forum for "meta" discussion specific to the chemtrail theory, and just interesting contrail science.

    Guidelines for Responding
    Replying to a thread has less strict requirements. But you should try to stick to the following:
    1. Stay on topic - if there's a new claim of evidence, then it should go in a new thread.
    2. Focus on the claim of evidence, not the person making the claim

    The above are guidelines, but the moderators here will attempt to steer things in this direction by:

    1. Deleting Threads - If a thread is not about debunking, or about a specific claim of evidence, it may be deleted.
    2. Splitting threads - if a new topic arises, it will be moved into a new thread.
    3. Deleting Posts - if a post is off-topic, impolite, or does not contribute constructively, then it may be deleted.
    4. Editing Posts - Material in a post that does not contribute (such as personal characterizations, or observations on how little the government can be trusted) will be removed.
    5. Moving threads to "Rambles" - If a thread does not conform to these thread guidelines, or if it goes totally off track, then it may be moved to the less visible "Rambles" forum.
    6. Closing Threads - If inappropriate discussion continues in a thread, it may be closed

    Is this censorship?

    No it's not. There are thousands of other places you can go on the internet to state your opinion, or to release information. Nothing at all is stopping you from starting your own blog, or posting videos to YouTube. Nobody is restricting your freedom of expression. Nobody is suppressing information.

    If you choose to post here, then you agree that your work is subject to these guidelines, and to the enforcement of those guidelines.

    A free forum with no rules, guidelines, and enforcement is nothing special. Metabunk has these rules and guidelines, and this makes Metabunk a unique place where people come for specific reasons.

    See also:
    1. A Guide to Debunking
    2. Metabunk's Politeness Policy
    3. No Click Policy.

    And this handy reference:
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I've updated the above slightly to clarify what Metabunk is about. It's about finding bunk, and about debunking that bunk. It's also about discussing the topic of debunking.

    Metabunk is not a general discussion forum for speculative theories. It's about finding claims of evidence that are wrong, and then debunking them.

    So, posting new threads along the lines of "The Queen is a Lizard, watch this video" will result in the thread being deleted.

    Threads like "Do you think there will be a false flag attack at the Super Bowl?" will be deleted.

    Threads like "New evidence of Nuclear Demolition of the World Trade Center" will be deleted.

    Threads like "Satanic symbols in the Ikea catalog" will be deleted.

    If you can't identify a claim of evidence, or it's not about debunking, then do not post it.
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  3. SR1419

    SR1419 Senior Member

    Pardon the confusion but the thread of "new evidence of Nuclear Demolition..."...would fit the acceptable criteria- would it not?
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That depends what's in it. If it's just presenting evidence to back up a theory, then that's not really debunking a claim of evidence. It also depends on how focussed the first post is.

    You could posit any outlandish theory as a "debunk" of the official story. That does not mean it's an acceptable topic for a post. You would need to show what "official story" evidence is actually debunked by this.

    Metabunk is about debunking claims of evidence, not theories. So if you were actually debunking a claim about nuclear demolition, that would be fine.
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  5. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account


    Not just wow.

    How about an analysis overlay, where the progress of a thread is analyzed, and argued over a little, the better to create a new thread. There's a whole new language waiting to be born out there. Or is it praxis?
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Part of what I'm trying to do is to provide an alternative to the rest of the internet for people who share this particular focus. Unfortunately this might exclude some people who prefer arguing as a form of entertainment, or just want to spread their favorite thoeries, but then they have the rest of the internet to do that.
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  7. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    Arguing certainly is a form of entertainment for me (partly). But it is limited, because it is frequently derailed. We've had a lot of deluded derailers recently. They devalue every thread they occupy by endless repetition.

    I think that the progress of an argument can be argued over, in order to improve the argument. That happens to be more entertaining, but also happens to be more useful. Think about it.

    Either that. or you need to observe your own rules more closely than you have done so far. It isn't particularly fair, being so critical, as your site is streets ahead of what anyone else has been able to offer. But that is exactly why I'm trying to make the point.
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  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The process certainly can be argued over. But mostly what I'm trying here is to start things going in the right direction. If you don't start with focus, it's hard to achieve focus. You need that focused reference OP to anchor a productive discussion. Spin-offs will happen of course, and digressions and asides.

    What I'm also trying for here is debunking that is reusable. Mid thread debunking is not reusable, it needs to be at the start, or right next to the start.

    And there's the Metadebunking forum for discussions about discussions. Discussion about debunking.
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  9. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    I appreciate that it's more work for you when you have to continually marshal the thread. Yes.

    I couldn't agree more.

    I have not found that yet. Obviously. LOL.
  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  11. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

    My thought was to just delete the chitchat and rambles sections.
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Rambles is a good alternative to stop a thread from cluttering things up without the draconian measure of deleting it.

    Chitchat, I'm not so sure about. Occasionally it's good to talk about other things, but I don't want Metabunk to just become a social club either.
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  13. muttkat

    muttkat Banned Banned

    I would like to state for the record that I researched govt publications about atomic detonations, underground, atmospheric.... pictures, watched videos, researched Hiroshima, responders statements, debunk sites which don't address underground nuke explosions, and matched up the data as best to my ability even though it still needs work before I posted the nuclear theory. It all added up from what I have learned

    Its normal to be skeptical, especially on something like that, but I wasn't really debunked. I asked questions to others in which I got no reply. I was thrown into the rambles section instead. Lets just say for the sake of argument, that I'm right, it would throw a monkey wrench into other Metabunk 911 threads and apparently "we can't have that."
  14. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I'd love to have an actual monkey wrench of evidence. However your Nuclear demolition theory was moved because it is obviously wrong after only the briefest inspection.

    Unfortunately your increasingly off-topic posts were one of the reasons I had to update the posting guidelines. Since you have continually avoided these guidelines, and frequently veer off into nonsensical topics, I'm afraid I have to concluded this is not the forum for you. You may come back in one year.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
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  15. Gary Cook

    Gary Cook Active Member

    May we have a definition of the word bunk please? To save me wasting my or anybody else's time with unwanted posts.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  16. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member


    So 'bunk' is anything false asserted as true.
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  17. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    And more specifically, from the OP:

    The specific form of bunk focussed on at Metabunk is claims of evidence. i.e. individual points that are used to back up a broader theory. For example, the fact that high levels of aluminum are sometimes found in rainwater is used as evidence for the "chemtrails" theory.

    Claims of evidence can be debunked in one of two main ways
    1. Demonstrating that the evidence is incorrect (e.g. aluminum levels were high because the water was actually from a muddy pond)
    2. Demonstrating that the evidence does not support the theory (e.g. aluminum is expected in rainwater because of dust in the air).
    • Like Like x 1
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  18. c.eileen

    c.eileen Member

    Nothing to add but a thank you for existing. I have a sister who is scaring herself silly with chemtrail nonsense and I was looking for a site that could offer clear, well illustrated explanations that countered the chemtrail "evidence" she's seeing. Now I have something to show her. Thank you! You don't need to publicly post this—it's a personal thanks to those of you who founded the site.
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  19. cogmios

    cogmios New Member

    I just joined this week and although I have to read more on it, it seems to be a good site to permanently bookmark.

    In general when I read it, it reminds me of one thing:

    The skeptic organization sometimes gets critized of being "too narrow" and only focus on easily to be debunked weird stories from obviously people who are at the sides of society, enough stories as background: http://www.skepsis.nl/s-frames.html

    I've thought about it some time, and I think it is true:

    - we have anti hoax sites and groups who debunk hoaxes
    - we have skeptic organizations and sites who debunk everything that e.g. James Randi covers and more
    - we have a gazillion atheist groups, sites, books, club in all kinds of formats (e.g. Dawkins / Dennet) that debunk religious claims
    - we have customer "protection" tv shows and magazines that debunk commercial / marketing bullshit or false claims
    - we have tv programs that debunk stuff of frauds and hunt people that fraud
    - we have wikipedia...

    All of these people hunt for the truth because they have a natural urge for justice. I think what unites them is philosophy: a way to categorize reality as opposed to myths, legends and a lot more alternative ways to describe reality.

    And related, when I look at the goals stated I read:

    "To develop and promote efficient methods of finding, exposing, and preventing bunk"

    So I wonder, isn't this just philosophy? (with its leaves of the scientific method, etc...) as we would use the same as with all of these points above? Couldn't you just place "science" and "philosophy of science" here? To me it sounds like that should be the backbone.

    But... let me explore more of the site now :)
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  20. Lord Hexagon

    Lord Hexagon Member

    I think Mick's comments are refreshing. Yes, it's a narrow framework to work within (i.e. fact); but as Bill Clinton said "it depends upon what is, IS." I'm new here, but it also appears the site allows for some flexibility in members collaborating with a sound premise and only some supporting evidence of fact; so then the collective membership attempts/strives to bring the topic to a successful debunk status.

    I like it and sounds like a properly defined strategic agenda, which IS (i.e. like) based upon my factual (honest) feelings/thoughts towards this site, which can not be debunked by anyone but me.
  21. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    There is soon to be a presidential election.
    Where can we post discussions, where politicians may describe or believe in bunk ?
    I realize one pitfall is that such a topic can lead onto a trail of political debate, which can not be useful or pertinent, and derail the thread/topic.
    Any recommendations ?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    If it's about a very specific claim that can be investigated and/or debunked, just post it in General Discussion.

    If it's not, then don't post it.
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  23. the living man

    the living man New Member

    Interesting rules of engagement you have here, they seem somewhat tyrannical, but then again, if one agrees to tyranny, it can't actually be claimed to be tyranny can it? i entered your domain because i dis agree with the statement by Mick concerning a comment that was in fact derogatory and sarcastic claiming that if someone holds that chem trails are harming their solar energy production, or their crops then they are grasping for something to blame, and before anyone sublimates this comment into the milling stream of De - Bunked BUNK for not using Capitis Diminutio against myself and performing a Grammar error, i am a living and free man and i do not indicate deceit as in JANE or JOHN DOE, therefore Grammar shall not apply to myself, it has become nothing more than a programming tool used for the purpose of training slaves to be slaves.
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  24. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    rules of engagement? that sounds a little warlike?
    Are you interested in truth or did you just come here for an argument?

    It's very simple. Either a piece of evidence is real or it is bunk.
    It does not depend on the existence or otherwise of other evidence.

    For example, you mentioned Chemtrails.

    If the claim is that a particular soil sample is abnormally high in aluminium, it does not matter whether a visible trail appears to turn on and off, or a certain person got to talk in front of certain other people about their beliefs or someone proposed something or someone patented something.
    Either the soil sample is abnormally high or it isn't.
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  25. Spectrar Ghost

    Spectrar Ghost Senior Member

    I'd also recommend you post your disagreement in the appropriate thread (per posting guidelines).

    Freeman or not you've agreed to Mick's rules by signing up. They (generally) keep discussion civil, focused and grounded; while allowing those of different views to participate.

    For the other kind of discussion there's YouTube. ;)
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  26. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Following the Paris attacks I have added the following to clarify what generally happens following a major incident:

    Major Incident Threads - following a major incident such as a mass shooting, large plane crash, or terrorist attack, a general discussion thread may be set up immediately after the incident to discuss it, and (optionally) to discuss conspiracy theories that spring up regarding the incident. Subsequent threads on the topic should conform to posting guidelines regarding specific claims of evidence.
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  27. JohnJohnJFN

    JohnJohnJFN New Member

    I think the rules of posting here have been made quite clear. This site is for like minded people. If you don't agree with Mick then this is probably not the proper forum for you. If your post is contradictory to Mick or the official story your input will be welcomed in the conversation. You will most likely be banned and labeled as just another conspiracy theorists and therefore your ideas must be BUNK.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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  28. SR1419

    SR1419 Senior Member

    Can you clarify this statement. This does not seem to be an accurate representation of the facts.
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  29. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    Yeah, I have a little bit of a problem with this.

    You state outright that the site is for like-minded people. To the extent that I have seen a consensus regarding the value of claims based upon evidence, then I would agree.

    But you then infer that "like minded" means agreeing with Mick, which is flatly untrue. I have found an interesting diversity of expertise and perspective on this site.

    People don't get banned for being contradictory to Mick. They run into trouble when they depart from logic and make discourse into a personal conflict.

    Bunk is bunk. The facts determine the status of the statement.

    If you are interested in testing the waters with an idea and some supporting evidence, have at it.

    But please don't throw stones.
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  30. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  31. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Essentially yes. In the the US it basically down to the "Fair Use" provision of the copyright act. However it is something of a grey area, and best to err on the side of caution if there's a question.
  32. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  33. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Do you have a specific question/example you are wondering about?

    "for nonprofit" is a minimal consideration of copyright.

    PS. "comments" are not copyright protected. Copyright applies to "works". So for instance an OP debunk, or like Micks review of that book would be copyright protected. But what i'm saying here, now, is not.

    Now using comments with names attached etc could fall under libel or defamation if you post them maliciously and knowingly out of context.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  34. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Well, I was wondering about this for a couple of reasons.
    1) for use in a public forum like this.
    2) for my personal FB page, and to know the copyright rules if any.
    I try to default to....giving credit if the source is available.
    ....given a reasonable effort is made to disclose a source.
  35. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    it really depends on what you are doing with the "work". For ex photos can be (altered) used in parody or if you make a collage using multiple pics to express an idea that is considered "transformative".

    But on Metabunk a good rule of thumb is don't quote large chunks of someone else's work.
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