Currently, the Back It Up! is a bit vague to me. The policy is:
Your answers (to subjective questions) must be based on either:
- Something that happened to you personally
- Something you can back up with a reference
It isn't clear to me to what extent something has to have happened to you personally, nor what kind of reference needs to be used. Sometimes it seems to me this policy is weaponized, used to disparage answers, or used as a form of gatekeeping.
Here is an example: What should I do about a religious player who refuses to accept the existence of multiple gods in D&D?
This question is highly subjective, but many people have had some kind of experience that may be relevant. This experience ranges from "perfectly relevant - I am the OP", "highly relevant - I have been in this exact situation", "relevant - the situation and context were different, but I have some insight".
The top answer says "I haven't encountered this explicit situation where a religious player is unwilling to adapt, but I've experienced plenty of other scenarios where people were resistant to the unknown, the unfamiliar, or something they believed was "wrong" for various reasons." and that's good enough for me. But what would the minimum look like? Having interacted with another human? Talking to someone about their dislikes?
I find the vagueness makes the policy easy to weaponize, especially against newer users who don't know better. Here is a comment on a now-deleted (for unrelated and extremely valid reasons, so I won't link it), please note that the original answer does not mention a balking religious player:
What was the outcome when you did this with your balking religious player? Did they adapt, or did they walk? Was it a smooth transition or was there some struggle? How did(n’t) it impact the group’s enjoyment of the first few sessions?
Clearly this is a far higher bar than we realistically need. The comment implies that this is needed for an answer to be valid. Ultimately the answer was deleted for unrelated reasons.
Here is a much better answer. They go over some things that most humans have experience with: having an honest talk and compromise. However, they are told "You've got some good ideas here, but they really do need to be backed up per our good subjective policy. While your ideas are good, we should not be upvoting answers that aren't backed up unless you can support them." To me this answer has the same level of experience as the top answer.
On the flip side, especially with 5e questions, we have a problem of over-quoting. Since everything can easily be referenced, often simple questions are answered with a half dozen rules quotes. I don't think it's as harmful as this problem, so that's a discussion for another time.
I am finding it difficult to understand where the line lies with regard to what experience is considered relevant. How can the vagueness of the policy be addressed in a way that does not risk problems with new users?