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If one has asked a very positive and good faith question about a subject concerning issues which may be problematic for roleplayers... That is, which touch on subjects to do with religion, past trauma, the relationship between fact and fiction etc in a way which has been shown to be distressing and/or triggering for members of the forum, should such questions be removed from the site, or is it acceptable just to have them heavily downvoted and left where they are?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This could be made more clear by including examples of the kinds of questions you're talking about. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 18 '16 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ "in a way which has been shown to be distressing and/or triggering for members of the forum" - has it? I just found your question completely incomprehensible, not distressing or triggering in any way. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '16 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not about me. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 11:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ If someone asked a very positive and good faith question about a triggering subject, it will not trigger anyone - because its triggering potential will be instantly recognised by looking at the title alone and the wording of the question body will treat the matter with care and respect. I find the "downvote-or-burninate" dilemma applicable more to bad faith questions. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr May 18 '16 at 11:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @eimyr I've edited the question to no longer present a "downvote or destroy" dilemma, but simply ask if downvoting or so on are among the appropriate courses of action. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 18 '16 at 11:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen If it's not about your question, what question is it about? Is this just a random hypothetical, or what? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '16 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not about a specific question; though of course this question is a specific aspect of the broader question. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 11:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Peter, one of the best ways to understand what a good question is for a Stack Exchange (and this one in particular) is ask yourself "what problem does this question want to solve?" With that in mind, what problem are you trying to solve in asking this question? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 18 '16 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have restored dopple's edit as being more helpful and correct. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 18 '16 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have rolled it back again because the edit directly altered the meaning of my question in a way that conflicted with the original intent of the author, which is against SE rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 13:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then closing as opinion-based, since you are clearly just trying to passively-aggressively grind some axe instead of honestly engaging with the community. You plead "good faith" in your question title but are clearly not showing any. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 18 '16 at 13:29
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RPG.SE accepts difficult subjects like that; we've already got a number of them, including:

We even have posts explaining tools for handling this kind of thing in a game.

Of course, such questions should follow all the usual RPG.SE guidelines for asking about subjective issues in a specific, actionable way. That's especially important for these topics, and it also helps us recognise them as good faith questions. Occasionally we've closed and downvoted a good-faith question by accident, but after some comment discussion our mistake is usually quickly realised and --after judicious clarity edits-- reversed.

Most of the site is very mature about this sort of thing. So long as everyone remembers the importance of edits that don't change the nature of a post but might mitigate an extreme reception, we can deal with difficult topics quite well.

When these questions do attract unfortunate attention (and they do, it's sadly inevitable on the Internet), the site mechanics of protection and flags are there to deal with it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose it depends on when it strikes a nerve. I've seen people say things like "maybe the players just weren't ready for that yet." So while I can see people thinking RPG.SE might be immune my concern is for the new people coming into a group fresh with few ideas of what things might be like. People who might know about the group, but not know the particulars of what occurs and the way in which role play and related fictions may psychologically impact on their real life fears and concerns. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 11:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you're explaining. Are you saying that newcomers to the Stack might react less even-handedly? That's quite possible, but it's what the Protected feature is for. You asked if the subject is allowed: it is. If folks react immaturely or mean-spiritedly about it, they should get flagged and dealt with. People who don't want to deal with the subject matter at all can just scroll on past. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW May 18 '16 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ You feel the long-term denizens are more even-handed than newcomers, and more objective due to their long tenure and roots in the RPG.SE community? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 11:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, a major premise behind the stack is that those with more rep get more site powers because they can be trusted to curate the community more. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 18 '16 at 11:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you heard of The Stanford Prison Experiment: prisonexp.org/the-story? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter David Carter May 18 '16 at 11:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Peter Mate, this comment discussion seems to be going off the rails compared to "are touchy topics ok". It sounds like the answer of "yes, they're fine" doesn't satisfy you, and like you have other issues to discuss and specific cases in mind. If so, you should be asking a question specifically about that, providing those examples, enunciating the issues burning on your mind. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 18 '16 at 11:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was actually asking if that's what you were trying to say; I don't understand your first comment. Nobody's saying RPG.SE is immune to anything, and I don't know what "new people coming into a group" means in this context if it's not relating to the Stack Exchange. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW May 18 '16 at 11:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't be a dink. In another note, it's important that the questions above have been asked in a way that makes them not purely opinion-based; it is very important when generating questions on touchy subjects that it not become a ground for everyone arguing their opinion, but for specifically handling something in a game. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 18 '16 at 11:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen If my answer isn't addressing the concerns which led you to ask your question, please edit your question to make your concerns more clear. You might also find it useful to study the Help Center and Privileges pages, to get a better sense of how the site is structured and curated. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW May 18 '16 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen The purpose of comments is not extended discussion, and by what I saw they had no relevance to the question at hand. As has been said, if you're not satisfied with something in this answer, you should ask a new question about that specific problem it fails to address. \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri May 18 '16 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen Don't worry, you're not "triggering" anything. People are downvoting because it's becoming increasingly clear that you're trolling. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '16 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen Every time anyone asks you for clarification, you mention the experiment as if that somehow answers the question. Instead of accusing the community of abusing you (or at least I think that's what you're doing), try actually clarifying your question. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '16 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are welcome to ask a real question challenging moderator activity. Use specifics - "I think this question should not be closed because of X" - but random belligerence in comment threads is unlikely to help anything. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk May 18 '16 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen, if you have a problem with moderation, create a separate post about it. Don't vent it out here, in an unrelated question. But do note that you were repeatedly asked to adhere to the behavior expected of the site users, which you didn't - I suggest you make your case a bit better than repeatedly spam unrelated comments. \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri May 18 '16 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterDavidCarter-Poulsen Using the Socratic method to convey an intentional insult is not an effective way to dodge responsibility for it. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 18 '16 at 18:45

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