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A couple of recent Q/A have answers, including one marked as Accepted, which are actually badly researched to put it mildly.

Their source material is from outright Neo-Nazi, far-right, white-power sites. From the phrasing and choice of words, I'd sadly also have to accuse the answer-giver as having sympathies and leanings in that direction. (why use those sources otherwise). But that's his or her own problem.

As far as I can tell, the best approach seems to flag the posts. Which is what I proceeded to do. Are there other approaches?

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    Excellent question; thank you for asking. I'm tempted to call out any unreliable source in comments, but I'm afraid that doing so will create a flame war (unreliable sources tend to be defended tenaciously). I hope someone has a better solution.
    – MCW Mod
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:56
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    Thanks, @MarkC.Wallace, it's the edit wars/flame wars that I was indeed worried about. I have zero inclination of getting into the same retreaded arguments with that ilk, not on SE anyway, but that doesn't mean it should just spread here through a sort of backdoor, i.e. the Acceptance.
    – Marakai
    Apr 29, 2016 at 0:21
  • Speaking of flags: how do I track and see the status of flags/flagged articles? Looking at my profile, I don't see anything about them or where they are in the peer review process.
    – Marakai
    Apr 29, 2016 at 0:24
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    @Marakai The only thing visible to you would be the final status of the flag which can either be pending, helpful, rejected or disputed. To view real time progress on flag's status, you need access to that review queue, which you will with enough rep. Even then you can view only the flags you have casted a vote on yourself.
    – NSNoob
    Apr 29, 2016 at 5:53
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    Thanks for that @NSNoob. There may not be a perfect solution. It's simply annoying every time I see that drivel and mess of half-truths and outright falsehoods accepted as correct answer. Being German of birth and with my own family having first hand experience of the post-war years (one side having being "ethnically cleansed", the other either fleeing the Russians or having to live under them decades), this just really galls.
    – Marakai
    Apr 29, 2016 at 6:16
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    Perhaps you could raise questions about specific sources in meta? THat at least contains the resulting flame wars? In the end, I'm more uncomfortable with doing nothing and permitting racism to pass unchallenged than I am with the inevitable argument.
    – MCW Mod
    Apr 29, 2016 at 8:46
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    I hope everyone would downvote and call out answers like this in the comments. I think it is important to inform passing readers of problems with an answer. Especially if it is an answer based on bigotry, I believe it should always be challenged whenever possible.
    – Semaphore
    Apr 29, 2016 at 13:06
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    May I suggest that you edit the title to refer refer to "irresponsible propaganda"? This issue isn't "right wing propaganda" or "left wing propaganda" - the issue is propaganda that ignores the responsibility to accurately describe reality.
    – MCW Mod
    May 3, 2016 at 12:21
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    A valid point, it's simply that I had a concrete case and didn't want to over-generalise the subject. Hence frequently lies a meandering discussion about "what constitutes propaganda". The thing about far right-wing (OK, let's call it what it is: Neonazi) propaganda is that it has legal implecations, as it's illegal in some European and other countries.
    – Marakai
    May 3, 2016 at 20:49
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    Related question: meta.history.stackexchange.com/questions/2192/… (tl;dr - flag hateful stuff such as holocaust denial, downvote low quality but non-hateful stuff such as humans not walking on the moon)
    – Golden Cuy
    May 5, 2016 at 9:00
  • @AndrewGrimm Honest question, but what makes holocaust denial hateful? I can understand considering Nazi-ism to be hateful, or pro-holocaust ideology, but isn't holocaust denial the belief that it didn't happen, not the belief that it was justified?
    – forest
    Apr 9, 2022 at 1:44
  • @forest politics.stackexchange.com/a/30392/270 has a description of the rationale for banning holocaust denial in Germany. That answer mentions that holocaust denial is hurtful to the minorities targeted by the holocaust.
    – Golden Cuy
    Apr 9, 2022 at 4:04
  • @AndrewGrimm I was just wondering why it counted as hateful, not hurtful. I can understand the latter.
    – forest
    Apr 9, 2022 at 16:52

2 Answers 2

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NOTICE - In the years since I wrote this answer, it had been made obsolete (by both events and site policy) and had to be rewritten. See the edit history if you're curious what it used to be.

This site, like all StackExchange sites, has to work within a Code of Conduct that prohibits engaging in or supporting bigotry.

As a natural extension of that, we do not now allow content sourced from websites that exist primarily to promote bigotry in our answers, nor do we allow links to such sites in our answers. Such material has more than enough internet hosts without us, and it does not benefit humanity to help such a site's pagerank scores.

This should not be a burden to any legitimate answer to a question about history, as any legitimate historical information should be available from legitimate historical sources.

In most cases users should have the ability to edit out obviously offending content without community moderator attention, but in cases where you don't, or more votes are required, feel free to flag the offending content.


As for questions, there are some circumstances where bigoted content might be OK (eg: in order to ask about the history of bigotry), but only if the question is worded very carefully to avoid promoting or encouraging the bigotry itself.

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  • Thanks for that, it's a good guideline so that I know how to phrase the flags moving forward. I'll see how the current moved through and may then just "re-flag" making sure I use your advice.
    – Marakai
    Apr 29, 2016 at 23:16
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    Ha - read the old version. It was a nice idea that you could just state the facts and expect people to be reasonable - but since then we've all experienced the relentless drumbeat of propaganda from the kinds of people the question is talking about. Agree that we need to be active on this issue.
    – Ne Mo
    Mar 31, 2022 at 14:30
  • @NeMo - We live; we learn.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Mar 31, 2022 at 14:32
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This is an important issue. We certainly do not want any Nazi (or any other) political propaganda on this cite. I did not notice the "accepted answers" we are discussing (I do not read all answers to all questions), and I would like to see them.

But I did notice several QUESTIONS which constitute Nazi propaganda. I cannot give an example because the questions of this sort that I know have been removed, but I can explain how a question can constitute a propaganda. A question may contain "implicit assumptions" (in fact many questions do). Examples (not from this site):

Are you still beating your wife?

Why is the Moon made of green cheese?

Such implicit assumptions may constitute propaganda. I hope everyone understands what I mean.

Now how should we fight this. First of all, by voting down. I suppose an accepted answer can be voted down. Is it reasonable to empower the administrators to remove some answers? Even those accepted? If there is a sufficient number of downvotes and tags. I think this is reasonable.

Administrators should not decide themselves what constitutes propaganda and what is not. We should be relying on votes and tags.

Now why should we single out Nazi propaganda/antisemitism? Or right-wing propaganda? I understand it is most obnoxious, because it is related to the hudge mass murder in the recent past. But left-wing propaganda can be also obnoxious. I do not want to give examples, (read political articles of people like Noam Chomsky yourself, if you want examples). And it can be neither left nor right. (Example: Russian state-sponsored "news" about the recent events in Ukraine which flood the media).

For these reasons I propose to introduce a reason for closing vote "political propaganda", and a corresponding tag for the answers. Questions and answers which collect certain number of these tags are closed and removed by the administrators. We can leave to the administrators to decide how many are needed in each case. This should apply even to the accepted answers.

EDIT. I react on the references in the comment of Marakai. The author of the "answer" in the first reference is the same whom I already mentioned. His two "propaganda questions" in the similar style were deleted. I already proposed to ban this user. And I repeat my proposal: after all, this is a third offence, and I hope the moderators have access to his deleted "questions". This "answer" is not accepted, and was downvoted many times. This case seems to be clear.

The case of the second reference is more complicated. Superficially it looks like a well researched answer, and has many up votes. But it actually contains a lot of incorrect statements, of course without citing any source, which are skilfully mixed with correct ones. In this case I expect some person with good knowledge of the subject to refute this answer.

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  • Thank you. I will give two concrete example. Fortunately one has already been downvoted to near oblivion Supposed quote from a US newspaper in 1945 about the Western allies murdering nearly 1 million German POWs. Another has an overall inflammatory tone with at least one statement that is unsourced and which I've debunked elsewhere Camera ownership in post-war Germany. This one is a borderline case, but with the OP of the answer then adding a very inflammatory comment, it raised my eyebrows.
    – Marakai
    Apr 30, 2016 at 22:49
  • There is another question open right now based on a neo-nazi source even though OP's intentions are valid as he is seeking to refute the claims made by the nazis.
    – NSNoob
    May 2, 2016 at 7:44
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    @Marakai - Oh wow. -6 and counting. I generally have to delete such posts, for the good of both the site and the poster's rep. Off I go with my mop....
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 2, 2016 at 13:40
  • @T.E.D.Does SE provide you with a grand white charger and shining armour?
    – Marakai
    May 2, 2016 at 22:55
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    Marakai - Oh my lord no. I have more than enough work without having to clean up after a horse too.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 3, 2016 at 12:56
  • @T.E.D. Meh, you get used to it. I speak from first hand experience. ;)
    – Marakai
    May 5, 2016 at 10:10
  • Oh, the irony that I managed to now get into it with someone who accuses me of Neonazi tendencies, apart from other insults. As that person (who uses his real name and I therefore know from Google searches as being a ... difficult <understatement alet> person, I just flag it an move on, but the vileness of the accusations leaves a bitter aftertaste. If anything, it made me make a resolution that I'll be careful with accusations myself, unless they are clearly using such sources. I don't want to follow a similar path of "anything I don't like or agree with is clearly right-wing propaganda".
    – Marakai
    May 6, 2016 at 0:23
  • Could the same person have returned? Or just the same problem history.stackexchange.com/a/30614/13123 history.stackexchange.com/a/30613/13123 history.stackexchange.com/q/30581/13123
    – user13123
    Jun 30, 2016 at 10:45

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