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The Sciences

Pushing Skepticism

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApril 20, 2009 5:25 PM

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So you're poking around the web, and you find a skeptical article that simply rocks the casbah (yes, I'm old). You're dying to tell everyone you can about it, but how to get the word out? There are lots of options, actually. Skeptic KyleV just sent me a note saying that reddit.com has its own skepticism section! That's fantastic. Reddit is a social network site where people submit articles they like, and others can vote them up or down, and leave comments. As an article gets more votes, it rises in the list, and more people see it. In that sense it's much like Digg, too. A lot of people seem to prefer Reddit over Digg, and in fact while I am a big fan of Digg, they have taken a couple of weird turns lately... I'm specifically calling them out over their toolbar, for example. Anyway, submitting articles to these social networks is a great way to get the word out. When I have an article "front page" on Digg, for example -- meaning it rises up to a certain level and moves from the upcoming section to the actual main science or space section -- I might get tens or even hundreds of thousands of page views to that page. It's incredible. We skeptics have a hard time getting our word out. We don't have a lot of celebrities pretending to be skeptics (like Jenny McCarthy pretends to be a medical researcher) so it's tough for us, plus lot of the times people don't want to hear the truth. But it helps a lot if those of us in the trenches at least get to hear about news when it comes out, the Reddit skeptic section is a great way to raise the alarm when needed.

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