Problems with first post not meeting posting guidelines

This thread is for any first time poster to (optionally) post an introductory "hi everyone" post, which will also get you "verified" (meaning you can post without anti-spam restrictions) once that post, and a few posts in another sub-forum, have been approved.

Let's try this again. . .

This is my 2nd attempt to join Metabunk. I'm clearly doing something wrong, but have no idea what it is. If someone can help, it would be much appreciated. Here's what happened. Where did I go wrong?

I read Mick West's book, Escaping the Rabbit Hole, and loved it. I decided to join Metabunk to learn more. I registered (under the name Paul Smith). Then I attempted to post my first thread.

I decided to ask about a claim of election fraud I've seen on social media that I would like help debunking. I found the relevant category called "Election 2020" and searched to see if anyone has already discussed this particular claim. I didn't find it, so I started a new thread called, "Claim: Mathematician shows exactly 5.55555556% percent of votes for Trump across multiple precincts in Penn."

In the post, I described the claim in more detail, including a link to a video where the claim is explained in full from the original source. And I asked if anyone has been able to debunk this claim.

I then received a message from moderator Landru that my thread was not posted because it violated Metabunk's posting guidelines. I then read all of the guidelines but it was still unclear to me which guideline I had violated, and his email did not specify.

So, I wanted to ask the moderator for help. But the email indicated I could not simply reply to the email, I had to reply in the original post. But the original post was never actually posted because it didn't meet the guidelines. So, it's literally not there for me to reply to. Catch-22.

So, then I tried to send a private message to the moderator, assuming that's a feature on Metabunk. I found his profile. But there is no "email Landru" or "chat with Landru" or "send Landru a message" button. Perhaps because my membership is not fully validated yet?

So, then I went to the Welcome Thread and tried to post a message (like this) to ask for help. But I wasn't allowed to make a post there either (again, I'm assuming I'm just locked out of all posting because my first post violated the guidelines?).

So, then I went to the "Contact us" page on Metabunk to seek help, and again, there is not any way to actually contact anyone under the contact us page. Again, perhaps others have access, but I did not?

It was just one maddening, frustrating dead end after another. "Thanks for joining, but you can't post here, we won't tell you why, and you can't contact anyone to ask why." Ugh.

So, here I am registering under a different name to try again. But I'm afraid to post anything until I understand what I did wrong and how to contact other human beings on this site for help. Can someone please explain all this to me? Thanks!

Mick West

Staff member
The forum has had problems with spam bots that join and post spam, or join and send spam private messages to many people. So the first three posts need to be approved, and you can't sent a private message until at least one post has been approved.

Your first post was:

A friend posted this video of Mathematician Edward Solomon seeming to show that Trump won exactly 5.55555556% percent of the votes in multiple different precincts in Pennsylvania during several reporting periods, suggesting that is probabilistically nearly impossible. If true, that does seem to be strange and concerning. Has anyone looked into this to debunk it? I'm at a loss for how to respond. Thanks!

However, we also have (historically) had problems with people just dropping links to videos or articles and asking "what do you guys think" without explaining the evidence in the article. So posting guidelines have evolved to require people to focus on a specific claim of evidence and to extract and display that claim of evidence in their post. There's also a prohibition on asking "what do you guys think" whout doing any work yourself.

including a link to a video where the claim is explained in full from the original source.

Videos and links should be there as references, but people should not have to click on them to see what is being claimed as evidence, In this case, you would need to show a few examples of the figures that lead to the 5.555555556% share-of-the-vote result, and show where he got those figures. (This number is 1/18)

There is no contact form, but the "Contract us" link takes you to a page that display the email address:

I recognize this situation is somewhat intimidating and confusing for new users. I've wondered for a while if there's a need for a mechanism where people can simply ask questions along those lines. This claim, after all, does need addressing.

Mick West

Staff member
So, I'm going to merge your accounts, and we can go back to your original thread, undelete it, and look at the numbers.


Senior Member.
I've wondered for a while if there's a need for a mechanism where people can simply ask questions along those lines. This claim, after all, does need addressing.
Maybe we could have a catchall thread with "suggestions", with the rule that somebody has to make a proper thread if they want to discuss it in-depth?

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
I haven't been particularly active on here for quite a few years, for reasons that have nowt to do with the site. However, I still encounter tons of people sharing conspiracy theories, and occasionally I deal with people who are genuinely interested in the truth. And I send them here, most recently my nephew who doesn't believe tower 7 came down naturally.

Whenever I describe this site, I tell people that it doesn't deal so much with the conspiracy theory, but with the evidence for that theory. And I find that approach to be a stroke of genius. The whole of social media is flooded with assertions, with statements of 'fact', and nobody seems to be bothered with the evidence. I ended up here because of Contrail Science, because I'd watched the WITWATS video and thought that seems a bit mad, can it be true?

Around the same time I'd discovered Alex Jones and Prison Planet, and was quite intrigued by the whole Bohemia Grove thing. And then came Zeitgeist on the heels on 911, weaving just about all the nonsense into one spectacular tapestry. I went down that rabbit hole, to my shame.

Fortunately, from Contrail Science came Metabunk. And here there was a new approach, at least it seemed to me. The claim being made was not so important, not compared to the evidence being made to support the claim. With 911, that distinction was crucial.

So, perhaps that distinction should be made clear again to all new members who are not bots.


Senior Member.
Sorry it was frustrating.

Hope you hang in there.

The info and tone on the site is worth it.


Senior Member.
So, I wanted to ask the moderator for help. But the email indicated I could not simply reply to the email, I had to reply in the original post.
when you logged back on to Metabunk, there wasnt a message from Landru in your "inbox"? (the little envelope next to your name at top of MB page). i think that's what the email means by "original post"

Mick West

Staff member
I've updated things a bit to try to alleviate problems like this. People should now be able to reply to the warning message even if they have no posts approved. You can now send new messages about an hour after your first post is approved.

I've also added the contact email to all warning messages.
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