Hello I don't much care about philosophical misinformation, it's a distraction.

But when people ask sensitive ethical questions, and get the wrong / misinformed answer, that worries me.

On this thread asking about the moral permissibility of "not working", we had a popular and well known poster claiming [incorrectly] that Kantian philosophy states that we should punish people that don't work.

At this point it goes beyond a funny, confused game. Stackexchange-philosophy is the top hit for a lot of google searches, besides giving the questioner the wrong answer it has implications beyond that.

I feel that more has to be done to prevent "popular and well known" users from spreading misinformation on-line, at least about moral questions. What could be done?

1 Answer 1


If someone writes something in his answer which you believe is incorrect ...

  1. Leave a comment with what you think is wrong, ideally providing references to support your claim
  2. Downvote the answer so that other users see directly the answer is considered to have issues
  3. Don't edit the answer. Work the issue out in the comments. Such an edit would change the meaning of the post and should usually not be used.

Most moral questions are typically not a good fit for this site (since there is no right answer they should be closed as primarily opinion-based). However, this question states:

I dont' know whether this is an adequate question and whether there is an definite answer or not. Any guides to books or articles helpful is appreciated.

Which shows that the user a) is aware of this issue and b) does not ask for a definitive answer but rather for a discussion on different viewpoints. He will not accept the answer he likes most, but the answer that gives the best overview on different doctrines (at least, I think and hope he will). This makes this question fit on this site and most importantly, it makes this a question about ideas concerning morality, rather than a moral question. This is not a 'sensitive ethical question'.

When users coming here from search engines read in all this an answer to the ethical question, that's not our responsibility but theirs. We should be able to assume that readers are, well, able to read.

However, there may still be cases where answers or question are written in a way that they may cause some sort of damage to readers. In that case, the best is to ...

  1. Leave a comment with what is wrong, why this is bad, and how it could be improved
  2. (Suggest an) edit if you can fix the post yourself
  3. Downvote the post
  4. Flag the post for moderator attention if necessary

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