Do academic professors participate as equal respondents in Quora or, for example, do they call your ideas “popular etymology” & refuse to discuss it?

Quora wants academics to promote their bios, in order to enhance the credibility of their answers, and thence of Quora answers as a whole. So while they can participate as just another user, the intent is that not all answers are equal.

When it comes to popular opinion, of course, all answers are equal, because kitty cats get more upvotes than three page screeds.

By the same token, no question is owed an answer by anyone, whether the question is posed by “an original researcher” or a layperson or a crackpot. Anyone is allowed to dismiss questions for whatever reason, and an academic is allowed to dismiss questions which the discipline as a whole would dismiss as crackpot. (That, after all, was the real motivation behind the “original research” requirement in Wikipedia.) That’s not an equity matter, that’s a matter of people being free to choose how to engage with questions.

You can object that this is groupthink and inflexibility. But just at Wikipedia, this is not the forum where you get to persuade an entire discipline that they’ve got etymology all wrong.

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