Ask A Biologist aims to provide accurate information from experts to the general public. Since some subjects are complex and biology covers a staggering raft of variation in terms of the organisms (living and extinct) and all the cornucopia of different patters of evolution, development, ecology, behaviour, extinction etc. this seems understandable. Not everyone can know everything about everything (not, not even Darren). Relying on non-expert sources, for even simple things, can lead to very inaccurate answers turning up.
When AAB started up I was largely unaware of the various Q&A sources on the internet. The concept of asking the whole of the internet for an answer is great in theory, but of course it has problems. It can lead to accuracy through popularity with incorrect answers being assumed to be right because they are common knowledge, appear plausible or whatever. Since many of these systems have votes attached then what people perceive to be the right answer will get voted up or in other cases, only one answer is given.
I was searching for some pterosaur stuff online earlier and this came across this and this. The answers are profoundly inaccurate and misleading and give no indication at all of what they are based on, plus they completely contradict each other and one makes no attempt to correct the obvious problem that pterosaurs are not dinosaurs. I appreciate that people won’t necessarily realise they are asking questions that may not yield reliable answers, and certainly won’t necessarily gravitate to AAB or something like it for biological questions but this is a problem. I assume the the people providing these answers assumed that they were right, but their profound ignorance of what they are saying is quite worrying. I can only assume that they simply have no clue about pterosaurs and far to much confidence in their lack of knowledge.
All it really does of course is add yet more fallicies to the misinformation on pterosaurs and spreads ignorance. Not really the point of a Q&A set-up really.