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hypervalent_iodine

A notice to people asking questions related to the synthesis of dangerous or illicit substances

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I've noticed a trend over the past few months in some of the newer members posting here and in some of the other board, which is that they appear to think that they have the right to information without anyone questioning what they plan to do with it. So I thought I would post this thread, which more or less reiterates some of the T&C as well as various member posts.

 

Many of the people who answer questions in this forum are professionals, students at university/college/etc., or well informed hobbyists. As such, when people ask questions here, we have a responsibility to ensure we are not providing them information that could potentially lead to the production of illicit substances or the production of goods (be they chemicals or otherwise) that may cause harm. Thus, if you plan on posting such a question in these forums, you should be wary of the following:

 

1.) This is the internet and as such, we do not automatically know who you are, your level of expertise or what kind of equipment you have access to. Do not get frustrated at members who are asking for more information on these points if what you are asking fits into the above category. We need to know that you know what you are doing, especially when it comes to synthesising chemicals. A lot of synthetic protocol seem a lot easier than they appear on paper and making them can involve some serious risks. If you are not practised enough, or do not have the right glassware, etc. at hand, this will almost certainly lead to an accident and you could potentially get quite hurt.

 

2.) This leads me to my next point, which is simply an extension of 1.) - if you are asking members here to provide with information on how to synthesise compound X, and compound X is in some way dangerous or could be used to make illicit substances, we will ask you why you want the information. If you want your question to be answered, you have to tell us why you are asking it in the first place or we will not provide you with any information. This does not, however, mean that you can haze over the details with a blanket statement such as, 'I'm doing this to cure cancer.' Firstly, it does not address the issue of exactly what you are doing with the chemical you want synthesised and secondly, comments like that will attract a lot of questioning and suspicion.

 

3.) On that note, in some cases we will make other suggestions that could better solve your problem. Not answering the queries of members and then getting frustrated at them for not answering your initial question only serves to make a long and unnecessarily bitter thread.

 

4.) Lying to us about who you are, or only providing half the truth is not the way to get help. More often than not, these sorts of lies will be caught and you will be treated with suspicion. We have a number of backyard chemists who frequent this site, and I for one am always happy to help them when they have questions. My point is that we don't provide answers exclusively for people with PhD's or what have you, so lying about having one to get an answer is pointless.

 

5.) As mentioned, many of the people who frequent this site are trained professionals. These people can spot questions relating to the production of illicit substances a mile away, no matter how you dress the post. My point is, don't kid yourself into thinking that you can fool these people into giving you this sort of information. They will not and you will likely get yourself a ban.

 

With all that said, we are always happy to answer questions here. Just be aware of the above points if the question you are asking is for the production of certain chemicals, etc. and everyone will get along fine. Happy posting!

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Well said. This is now pinned and will be always visible to any poster on the forum. Feel free to link back to it as needed, too.

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hypervalent_iodine already addressed this but I thought I would say it again in a different way to further get the point across:

 

We already know how to make the illicit substances you might be trying to make! Trying to disguise your project as something else will not get past us. We had a poster not too long ago who was clearly to trying to gain the necessary knowledge to synthesis crystal methamphetamine [a stimulant that is illegal in the US, most of Europe, and many other places]. Before that post could receive any helpful response, myself and the other other regular chemistry "instructors" around here jumped on it.

 

All this to say. Don't even try if your intentions are dubious, illicit, or shady. You can't fool us.

 

Feel free to ask for legitimate help any time though, just be on the up and up about it. Science can be a dangerous hobby. :P

Edited by mississippichem

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i had to analyse compound x before... it turned out to be iron chloride :D

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Super valid post. Especially with all the craziness going on the world these days.

Edited by FrankP

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