11

We have this close reason:

The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes as defined in the help center.

By way of shorthand I'll call that "closed for being partisan".

We have quite a few topics on Meta about questions closed under this reason. It would be helpful to have a meta question where we can point people for advice about having these kinds of questions edited and re-opened.

So the question: how do we improve and re-open questions closed for being partisan?

  • 3
    In practice, they usually are reopened after some time. It takes only 5 votes for reopening - and there will be enough partisans visiting the page over time to gather those 5 votes - while additional votes to close will not be recorded. By the time those 5 votes have been gathered, most people have moved on and new votes to close won't be added anymore. – Sjoerd Jan 10 at 21:44
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    @Sjoerd I'm hoping this question can be a valuable resource for people whose questions have been closed. If you think that is valuable advice for them, would you consider posting it as an answer? – indigochild Jan 10 at 21:47
  • It's a cynical observation, and therefore not a good answer. I upvoted your question because I think it's a very valid question and a good answer would benefit this site. – Sjoerd Jan 10 at 21:52
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    There are salvagable questions and unsalvagable. Looks like taking depersonalised examples of the first kind for illustration in answers here is the way to go? Pattern: "Don't do this [quote] / Try this [improved version] …? Hopefully there are few generalisable posts to be found? – LangLangC Jan 11 at 14:50
  • A canned close reason implies that are indeed 'many' Qs of this kind to be xpected, but going through the first 10 page of Qs only gave me 1 example. And promptly, that one leaves me just head-scratching. Can you give other examples, of those that should be somehow salvageable? – LangLangC Jan 12 at 14:50
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    Comments removed. This is not the appropriate place to discuss individual questions. Open a new meta question instead. – yannis Jan 16 at 3:38
  • @yannis This user has noted that the same reason at this meta question is given for multiple question from this user, no matter the subject matter or topic. Do you suggest opening a separate meta question for each one of those questions, listing the users who cited the same reason for each question? – guest271314 Jan 16 at 3:54
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    @guest If you absolutely must discuss individual questions, then opening separate meta discussions is preferable to posting comments here. If you wish to discuss a pattern of actions against your posts, then a single meta question would do. Word of advice, you should allow for the possibility that the fact people respond the same way to your posts is because you keep repeating the same mistakes. Tons of superfluous information, for example. In any case, no need to list any user. It is unnecessary, all moderation actions are public. Just provide links to the questions you wish to discuss. – yannis Jan 16 at 4:16
  • @yannis "because you keep repeating the same mistakes. Tons of superfluous information" You exaggerate and intentionally make untruthful statements against this user. This users' questions and answer contain facts: primary and secondary sources, which you cannot refute. You are obviously biased against this user. Shameful conduct by a user labelled as a "moderator". You have absolutely no credibility as a moderator from perspective here. – guest271314 Jan 17 at 6:28
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If you make a genuine attempt to steelman an opposing side's argument in the premise of your question, it may make it seem less biased. It may also help you to dis-invest your ego from your political position and open your mind to learn from the perspectives you haven't considered.

4

Remove Unnecessary Information

Questions closed as partisan often contain unnecessary background information. While this information is at time useful, including too much of it can focus away from your question and place it on the quality of your background info. Try editing out this information to focus attention where it should be - on the question.

Additionally, it's easy to slip into providing our own opinions or perspective in background information. Removing this opinion-based material can help get your question re-opened.

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    I think the latest incident the OP mentions in the comments probably got a few close votes because of this reason. There's a line between "setting up a really nice question" and "creating a distracting wall of text". – zibadawa timmy Jan 15 at 22:38
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    And what is "unnecessary"? Obviously, opinions on that differ, and most OPs think it 'better' to include background/illustration etc. Could you provide an example (real or made-up) to show before/after? – LangLangC Jan 16 at 11:49
4

I think that this designation is being used when the question is framed in a more rhetorical than inquisitive manner, not just for being partisan. If a question is framed with a host of not-necessarily-so assumptions that only lead to a single conclusion (sometimes followed by the OP posting their desired answer and then selecting it as best answer). We've all seen this in action in other forums and formats - when the question isn't an actual inquiry, but a vehicle for informing us of OP's opinions on the matter.

  • What can be done to improve and eventually reopen one of these rhetorical questions? – indigochild Jan 18 at 6:42
  • @indigochild - If it's being closed for not being in the spirit and within the rules of the SE, nothing. "Ask an actual, honestly offered question" would be the solution, but that's not improving the closed question, that's framing a different question, entirely. – PoloHoleSet Jan 21 at 16:32
-14

That allegation is impossible to prove. Stop using it altogether. It is a wild accusation.

If the goal is genuinely for apolitical questions and answer that is not a realistic goal given that the subject matter is politics.

Consider the question (paraphrased from a media broadcast):

Illegal immigrants in the U.S. disproportionately commit more murder and rape than anyone else and the Democrats do not want to do anything about it.

Does evidence support the allegation that Democrats really not want to do anything about illegal immigration?

Not sure if the question would be "well-received" at Politics SE. But that is not the point.

Within the scope of U.S. politics consider the converse question

Illegal immigrants in the U.S. disproportionately commit more murder and rape than anyone else and the Republicans do not want to do anything about it.

Does evidence support the allegation that Republicans really not want to do anything about illegal immigration?

In either case the evidence can be posted or not to substantiate or refute the actual substance of the question. It does not matter what the motives of the user who posted the question are. Post the relevant facts at your answer.

There is no way for you to prove the motivation for a question. If five people cite that as the reason it does not make that wild accusation true and correct.

In fact, that wild accusation can be used in a partisan manner to stifle what they view as the other party.

Three proposed solutions:

  1. First ask the user if their intent is to perform the allegation that is being made.
  2. Post a community answer to the question which includes that language and cast your upvote for that answer.
  3. Do not use that description at all. You cannot prove it.
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    Your example assumes facts not in evidence: Do illegal immigrants disproportionally commit more murder and rape? Most studies say no, so stating as a fact that they do is an "attempt to discredit". It's irrelevant which party is being asked about. But adding a reference to a party which is actively being attacked on the issue further moves it from "honest curiosity" towards "lets just bash Democrats and illegal immigrants". – Bobson Jan 14 at 4:18
  • @Bobson Why did you stop at the first example? Which was language used on an actual media broadcast. The point of including the second example as to Rep. is that evidence is required in either case. Am neither a Dem. nor Rep. Each party is equally suspected of lying from the outset. The environment is politics. Do not agree at with the idea of "attempt to discredit" in politics with no shortage of U.S. politicians convicted of crimes: none are credible. Neither you nor any other user can prove such a wild accusation. That is a ridiculous label applied to questions. Simply use the other reasons – guest271314 Jan 14 at 4:24
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    The close reason is "does not appear to be". You're entirely right that no one can prove what another person is thinking, but if it has the appearance of bad faith, then that matches the close reason. The actual questions in both of your examples ("Does evidence support...") are reasonable questions, and can probably stand on their own. What does the first paragraph add to either question? Including an incendiary statement that isn't necessary to the question is a good example of what looks like bad faith. – Bobson Jan 14 at 4:30
  • @Bobson Disagree with the concept of "bad faith" at Politics SE as well. The preposition phrase does not change that no user who makes such wild accusation can prove any of their allegations. In that vein their activity is even worse than any question which challenges conventional orthodoxy. They are making a claim that they have absolutely no way to prove. They rely solely on their opinion. If the question is clear it should stand. An unsubstantiated claim against a user using their question is repugnant; rooted in users' own emotions, insecurities, promotion of their own political agenda. – guest271314 Jan 14 at 4:33
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    I feel like we've had this discussion before, and I don't really want to rehash it any further. You're welcome to your opinion on it - I'm not going to change your mind any more than you're going to change mine. I am open to a suggestion for rewording it that which would fill a similar role but be less objectionable, if you have one. – Bobson Jan 14 at 4:39
  • @Bobson We probably have had a similar discussion previously. The reason should be deleted all together. It is not useful. It is fraudulent in nature and substance. Incapable of being proven. Just use "unclear", "too broad", etc. Or, as suggested, if "community" really feels that way, post a community wiki answer with that message and "upvote" that. Currently the usage is non-neutral. Users have actually suggested that this user opposed the current "Administration" under the guise of "discredit". They could not be more wrong. Could not care less about what either D or R or any admin. does. – guest271314 Jan 14 at 4:43
  • @Bobson Further, even if the accusation could be proven, which it cannot, the opinion of the user who asks or reads the question is absolutely irrelevant. The only thing that matters are the facts; evidence, as your first comment presents. The facts are what matter. Was just reading your answer at the EIC question and am still prepared to accept it if the content following TL;DR is adjusted to not preclude additional evidence being unearthed. That is all we have: primary and secondary sources, or "we do not know". Some facts are irrefutable. Others can be challenged. Opinions are just that. – guest271314 Jan 14 at 4:54

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