I suspect that many of the questions asked in the physics stack exchange are based on misconception.

While I don't necessarily support down voting or eliminating such questions (assuming it's not really far-fetched like "turtles on turtles backs"), it would be helpful if we had a misconception tag.

Users that aren't sure could immediately add the tag if they are not sure their question is based in misconception, or the tag could be added after it's determined to be a misconception.


1 Answer 1



That would be a meta tag - it has nothing to do with the actual topic of the question, it doesn't help to define its scope, all it tells you is either "this question is based on a misconception" or "this user thinks they are confused". The former is entirely useless information, the latter is pretty much par for the course if you're asking a question.

And there's really not much of a problem with questions that have a misconception somewhere in them - they certainly don't need to be closed or downvoted in general. Good answers correct the misconceptions in a question.

The problematic questions are those where the question is of the form "Given that X, how about Y?", where X is just false, and Y really has nothing to do with X. One can't really answer them because one is not answering the question about Y when one says "X is false", and they are not going to be useful to anyone else than persons with that specific misconceptions. I'm not really sure what to do with those in general, but I think unclear what you're asking is a perfectly valid close reason for most of those.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'd like to hear from the downvoters what purpose they think such a tag would serve. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Feb 20, 2016 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ Might be disagreement with the last paragraph? $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Feb 20, 2016 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos: Yeah, might be, I'd still like to hear what else to do with them. (I can see wanting to answer them, but is the main question is: Would something that only clears up the misconception about X or that about Y be a sufficient answer? My reason for closing those would be again that I can't really decide what a good answer would be.) $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Feb 20, 2016 at 23:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That could be another Meta question that ought to be asked. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Feb 20, 2016 at 23:23

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