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Dangerous or Incorrect instructables Answered

"Flag As" only supports Wrong Category, Inappropriate, Incompleted, and Spam.

How does one report something as "Dangerously Wrong"?  

Such as this one that was actually part of the "Featured" email that goes out from instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Power-Bank-1/




4 years ago

If you have specific concerns about the functionality or safety of a specific project, the most appropriate action is to make a constructive comment on that project.

You can also PM the author and suggest changes (like adding safety warnings).

Otherwise, if you think that the project should be removed (for any of dozens of reasons), a clever tactic is to make a comment saying why, then flag your own comment as "inappropriate". Staff will be alerted to your comment, then take the action they see fit (which may be "do nothing").


Reply 3 years ago

That is an interesting tactic, flagging your own comment!

I was also wanting something that would mostly make a "dangerous" instructable inegilible for promotion, or facebook shares from the Instructables facebook page...


Reply 3 years ago

The "dangerous instructable" conversation is one that happens on a regular basis, and is basically un-answerable.

You may want to filter out potentially-dangerous projects, but how do you define "dangerous". I myself am quite competent handling dangerous chemicals, explosives, high voltages, but last time I cut myself it was when I slipped with a screwdriver taking a cupboard door off. Should we ban all recipes with peanuts in case somebody is allergic? Ban all flashing lights in case they set off somebody's epilepsy? I'm pretty sure you know somebody who can't be trusted with scissors...

My eldest son loves to cook, but we often have to supervise because he is colour blind, and can't tell raw mince from "browned". Should we ban all mince-based recipes in case other colour blind people get food poisoning?

Or do we assume that people are generally aware of their own abilities, and capable of reading the instructions? Legally, this site, and it's users, have no responsibility for the health and safety of anybody who chooses to follow a project.

There's a similar problem with the legality of projects - some instructables are illegal to follow in some countries, but not others.


In the end, we tend to take a middle route. We assume that the majority of people are perfectly capable of following the majority of projects without problems, but if we spot an unusual hazard that isn't mentioned in the text, we'll highlight it in the comments, maybe send a PM to the author and suggest they edit it in. Likewise, if we spot something that would be actively dangerous if the instructions were followed as-written, then we do the same.

You may have noticed that we are a self-policing community - nothing has to wait in a moderation queue before publishing, and the "Be Nice" policy works wonders. Concerns such as yours help that attitude, and almost every safety reminder made on a project is made by concerned members such as you and I. As long as you make the comments in a constructive manner, and the author is able to take criticism in the spirit it is offered, everything is good and gets better.

So, this has been a long comment, but what I'm working up to is to thank you for being part of the community, caring about other folks' projects, and to encourage you to make such constructive safety suggestions as you deem necessary.


Reply 3 years ago

I understand the difficult balance you have to make.

There's a huge difference between "intentionally" dangerous (or intentional use of dangerous materials) vs poorly designed or implemented and portrayed as safe but where there is obvious consensus in the comments that this thing will unintentionally catch on fire / explode / etc


4 years ago

Where is the danger in this one?

Sure, high power batteries without a protection circuit are used but you get the same off Ebay when ordering from China.
You make a big rant here without specifying your concerns - not even leaving a corresponding posting in the Ible you complain about.
If you want to check dangerous Instructables, check those involving strong acids, rocket fuel or harmful chemicals....


Reply 4 years ago

It was simply
a) a site suggestion for an alternate "flagging" option
b) question why something so wrong would be in your "featured" weekly email

The poster has added text apologizing for "previous pictures its really dangerous".

I enjoy the weekly emails with your featured instructables. I was just surprised you'd feature one that was giving such bad advice. There were many comments below it about the dangers of blowing up a lithium-ion battery with the circuit as it was originally presented.

Presenting a way of doing something that is dangerously incorrect is very different than instructables that simply use dangerous materials.