Posting Guidelines

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Mick West

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)
  5. To help people escape the rabbit hole, either directly, or by giving tools to their friends
The specific form of bunk focused 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 Link 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:
  5. Be Concise. Do not write long rambling posts with multiple asides. Focus on a single claim.
  6. Quote from Links. Links should not require clicking on in order to understand the post, so extract relevant excerpts and include them in your post. See:
  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.
  • The "Current Events" exemption - following a major incident such as a mass shooting, large plane crash, or terrorist attack, a current events 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.
  • The "Podcast" exemption - Threads in the "Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast" forum are more open to discussion of the various topics discussed in a specific podcast episode. But if it startes getting into specifics of a particular claim of evidence, then consider starting a new thread.

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. Link Policy.

And this handy reference:
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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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