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I have only been a member for a few months, but find the site both very good, and pretty fair. Not saying all is perfect, but enough good, imo. I looked to see if there was a similar question to the one posed, didn't find one, but I do think the topic has been discussed before. If so, just point me to it.

I have observed, and maybe a little more specifically in the last couple of weeks, a number of questions that are basically arguing that some known physics is false. I've seen it a few time for relativity and Einstein's work. But it seems to be more general, though that topic surfaces plenty. Some of the time the questions are put on hold and maybe later closed, but not always. Worse, I see that answers that attempt to answer the questions, which are often but not always pretty good, tend to get votes, as well as the questions. Sometimes the answers or comments are more of the same physics negation.

Those questions or comments seem to come from users without a significant reputation. [But to insure it is clear I am not impugning those members, sometimes new ones, most of low reputation members questions are actually very good, and of value to the whole community, imo]. So my question is, is there a kind of targeting of this site by some groups to introduce a kind of anti physics or some other intent that devalues the policies of this site?

If it is random I wouldn't be concerned, it just seems like a lot of nonsense sometimes.

The most recent example I saw was Does Einstein's derivation of the Lorentz transformation have a mathematical error?

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  • $\begingroup$ I too find the site both very good (objectively valuable), pretty fair (by an objective standard) though there is 'noise' which is to be expected. I don't know if targeting is the correct word though. There will always be noise. $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri Sep 4 '16 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ How are we supposed to tell if there's a targeted effort by such people unless we are part of a group of such people? Coincidence and a coordinated effort are pretty hard to tell apart from the outside, expecially when you go looking for such an effort. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Sep 4 '16 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ I really wouldn't say targeted. If you're expecting 100% perfectly on-topic questions, well, that's not going to happen. Are you asking about the supposed (I don't know if that's true or not) "uptick" in these types of questions? $\endgroup$ – heather Sep 4 '16 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, maybe an uptick. And I am not sure either, I have not run the statistics, but it should not be hard to do. $\endgroup$ – Bob Bee Sep 4 '16 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ As a matter of course every single person who might be judged in some way a member of the physics academy gets contacted by these folks pretty regularly. It's not unusual to get your first email from one of them within a month of starting grad school. These days mail filter trash a larger fraction of them, but I have to dispose of several by hand each month. Their presence on the site waxes and wanes. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Sep 5 '16 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Wasn't that way 25 years ago. Like a lot of other things. $\endgroup$ – Bob Bee Sep 5 '16 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ And the fall is when most universities (US and Europe) start up, and word gets around to new folk that there is this Physics site to answer questions. Brings lots of homework questions and the random noise referenced above... The general effect was much bigger 20 years ago when the internet was "new" (at least newer) and few people had home internet. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Oct 5 '16 at 2:13
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In my opinion, this question tried to validate a non-mainstream ideology theory. I think it could have a better place on the Skeptics SE, but it is border case in the PSE. In an ideal world, it had been migrated there. Actually, we can try to migrate it to there, although it needs a moderator intervention, and they will do it only after they have got the approval of the target site.

As far I know, there are no pseudoscience fans non-mainstram physics advocates here, although some questions relating the wormholes, white holes, and similar not yet observed GR things, are closed with surprising probability as non-mainstream.

There is also a single user advocating his non-mainstream theory, except that he is sad because they aren't accepted, he is being tolerated. And his theory is not so bad, only not really believable.

From no one I know from the unpopular members and ex-members of this community to be a non-mainstream theorist.

There are also debates about the policies of the site, for example, currently a significant part of the questions are unfairly closed as "homework" even if they clearly aren't, and they would be a nice content here. There are also other problems as well, but not from this side.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. It just seemed to me that it's more than 1. I do agree with you that sometimes questions are closed for being non-mainstream for discussing white holes and other not-observed GR things. I think those are valid questions, even if on the theoretical side - there certainly are papers on those around, though for sure nothing set and agreed to. Yes, the popular books on those far out GR effects like the multiverse and the ones you mentioned have tended to have more questions on those than merited, but they at least are not physics contrarians. Well, maybe some. $\endgroup$ – Bob Bee Sep 4 '16 at 23:53

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