Another year has passed here at Debunking Denialism and it is time to celebrate the fourth anniversary since the creation of this website.
Since last year, a little over 50 new articles have been posted, discussing topics such as the pseudoscientific climate report published by the Heartland Institute, science and pseudoscience among law enforcement, anti-immigration advertisements, how race realists abuse heritability, Bosnian genocide denialism, the pitfalls of fMRI-based lie detection, Bayesian self-defense against paranormalist claims, spell casting against HIV/AIDS, pseudomathematical objections to genetically modified foods, fraudulent psychics brought to justice, extensive plagiarism in the renowned Genetics journal, homeopathic “treatments” for Ebola and how modern genomics crushed Bigfoot pseudoscience.
New sections started on Debunking Denialism during the past year includes cryptozoology and bad science journalism.
An explosion of page views
The activity here at Debunking Denialism has grown faster than ever could have been anticipated. The website passed 200k page views in early July, and recently passed 300k.
Spikes are primarily caused by being shared by famous skeptics and others, such as James Randi. However, I owe a lot of traffic from Facebook groups who continually share my content to their readers, particularly Skeptics; Atheists; Realists; Agnostics; Humanists, IFHP, Punk Rock Atheists and Skeptics, Natural Born Skeptic, ‘No Bullshit’ Policy and Skeptical Spectacles. Thank you for your support!
The Facebook page for Debunking Denialism recently hit 1000 likes and continues to climb every week.
Relationship to the larger skeptical community
During the past year, several controversies have caused massive shock-waves throughout the skeptical community. Although they touch on important topics that are worth serious consideration, Debunking Denialism decided to stay out of them, primarily because of their largely unproductive and infected nature, and continue to focus on core skeptical concepts and topics.
A tsunami of spam
Over time, Debunking Denialism has gotten more and more spam comments. In combination with Akismet being broke and marking all legitimate comments as spam, this had become a too heavy burden. Not wanting to stifle participation by requiring registration, Debunking Denialism now automatically close comments after 200 days since publication. This reduced the incoming spam to almost nothing.
Content is still king
In order to effectively spread skeptical knowledge and methods, content is still king. However, there has always been a conflict between depth and posting frequency here at Debunking Denialism. Writing detailed and solid treatments takes time and requires quite a lot of background reading. In contrast, getting a lot of attention require frequent and sensationalist posting which might risk quality (getting things wrong, missing nuance or too much link spam to other skeptical writings). Traditionally, this website has leaned towards in-depth and high quality content, but it should be possible to provide shorter treatments of issues without risking quality (one such attempt was the story about sequencing of alleged Bigfoot samples). Although in-depth treatments of pseudoscience and miscellaneous crankery will not go away, some of the future content will be shorter and posted at higher frequency than currently.