There is a new Veritasium video, The Big Misconception About Electricity, which is prompting a bunch of nearly identical questions. Currently, although the questions are nearly identical most questions have not yet been closed as a duplicate, and it is unclear as to which of the many questions will eventually be the "primary" one that all of the others are duplicating.

Is there any way to automatically or retrospectively merge all of these questions? As it is, we are generating a lot of disconnected responses, which is not intended. But the usual paradigm assumes that questions on a specific topic trickle in, not as a flood.


More duplicates:

  • 17
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a Veritasium tag could help to manage the chaos. As I'm sure you recall, a similar thing happened after their one-way speed of light video. I proposed a one-way speed of light tag, but the idea wasn't popular physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/13424/123208 And now almost all new speed of light questions are about the one-way speed... $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Nov 21, 2021 at 16:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is there a natural candidate for the faq tag? $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Nov 25, 2021 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm admittedly new to contributing here, but I would think that any automated or even retrospective merging would result in subtle differences in questions being lost, and people losing reputation they have or would have gained. I have gained knowledge and insight from closed duplicate questions in the past, and I think there is something to be lost by reducing them to a single primary question, thought I agree that marking a post as a duplicate encourages new answers to be posted to another, original question. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2021 at 23:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Given the amount of confusion, or at worst, misinformation, coming out of Veritasium's channel, combined with the number of viewers he has, I wonder if there ought to be a formal 'Veritasium corrections' thread or link by the community which is regularly updated. Then new questions can all be marked as duplicate and people can be referred to those threads. $\endgroup$
    – Al Nejati
    Jan 7, 2022 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ Hah! I have one of the top comments on that video $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Jan 11, 2022 at 15:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlNejati I agree. I both love and hate him. Pushing physics to the people: good. The all too frequent use of misleading or incorrect information: bad. But at the end of the day, I still encourage people to watch those videos for the same reason I told them to watch mythbusters. If the option is that or nothing for them, I'd rather they pick that. And then if I could show them a "corrections" thread, that'd be gravy $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Jan 11, 2022 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim Is it really "all too frequent" though? $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2022 at 17:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BioPhysicist Yes. I may be more sensitive to this than others. But, to me, it is "too frequent" $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Jan 12, 2022 at 13:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To me also (although I guess that my opinion is obvious on the matter :) $\endgroup$
    – Dale
    Jan 12, 2022 at 15:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Veritasium made a follow-up video on 2022-04-29 to the mentioned video, How electricity actually works. Perhaps mention that as well? That may explain the renewed attention to the matter. $\endgroup$ May 8, 2022 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


Promoting this answer from a comment:

Merging questions that are not literally identical is technically possible but almost never a good idea since someone has to be the OP of the resulting question and the other authors - and the rep they got from their question - just vanish into the ether. In addition, several of the linked questions insist they are not duplicates of the others (though whether that's true or not is another matter). Just vote to close as duplicate as you see fit. – ACuriousMind

In addition to voting to close questions based on the most appropriate duplicate (or perhaps eventually a “canonical” question and answer), a person who was curating this situation might leave a comment like

There are [multiple questions about this video](https://physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/13917/44126)

on the new question, then follow the link back here and add the new question to the list.

The right way to group related-but-distinct questions is with a tag. But a tag like would be a meta tag which doesn’t by itself do anything to describe the physics content of the question. The questions might be grouped by something like or (though I haven’t checked to see whether those tags exist).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Admittedly, meta tags are discouraged across the network (and old ones are often burninated), but they can be useful, occasionally. OTOH, "Veritasium" is easy enough to include in a search as a plain word, it doesn't need to be a tag. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Nov 30, 2021 at 11:24

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