Trlkly comments:

Politics Stack Exchange does not exist to promote one person's or one side's political ideas.

This was a comment on TheLeopard's lengthy answer, which was deleted at the time I read it. I agree with Trlkly that TheLeopard's answer was quite opinionated, but even though I'm not pro-Mexican-wall I voted to undelete it because:

  • It contains several relevant points that the other "let's weigh both sides" answers do not.

  • The more thorough answers for a politically polarized topic will tend to be more polarized themselves.

  • If one side is correct, (and the other is mistaken), it's impossible for there to be a correct answer that doesn't "promote one person's or one side's political ideas."

For questions that are polarizing, perhaps tolerating contrary polarized answers is a necessary prior step before it's even possible to construct a good synthesis. Waffling can be done without much thought, but weighing things takes time. In this sense, encouraging a too early crop of "balanced" answers is like harvesting produce before it's ripe.

Note: polarized answers that are rude or insulting are a different story -- those should be edited or deleted.

  • 3
    Is it just me, or does that answer have a really racist tone to it? In particular the way it tries to paint undocumented immigrants as violent criminals while the evidence suggests the inverse corelation. Feb 20, 2019 at 3:09
  • @CrackpotCrocodile, TheLeopard's answer is a mixed bag. Some of the items in the bag are not good, and of what remains some aren't unique, and after that, like Sturgeon's Law maybe there's a few useful bits. But the question it answers is about polarization, or conflict, and some of the world's conflicts are over nothing much that's factual, and in that respect the parts of that answer that aren't generally useful, are still useful as examples of the sort of things people who don't know any better will fight over.
    – agc
    Feb 20, 2019 at 5:42
  • 7
    @CrackpotCrocodile It's not just you. That's one of the reasons I voted to delete it. It uses far-right sources which are closely aligned with white supremacism, and it paints all immigrants with a broad brush, stereotyping them as murderers and rapists. It's also conspiracy-laden with it's references to "powerful political interests" who have "great influence over the media". IMHO, the answer is in violation of the code of conduct. As the answer is poor even aside from this, I don't see a reason not to delete it.
    – tim
    Feb 20, 2019 at 9:35
  • 1
    @agc Wouldn't it be much better to use the few useful bits and incorporate them into a new answer, instead of keeping an answer which is poorly written and arguably in violation of the code of conduct? I think stackexchange should be here to document the conflict (if it's approprivate given the question), not to actually fight it out (that's what reddit or 4chan can be used for).
    – tim
    Feb 20, 2019 at 9:42
  • 1
    @tim I'm not sure about that approach. His points seem pretty much in-step with the views of Donald Trump. If users can't describe mainstream views without being deleted, I'm worried about how useful this site can be at describing the political landscape.
    – lazarusL
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:19
  • 9
    @lazarusL If Donald Trump were a member here, he would probably be banned (not just for the racism, but also for personal insults). Mainstream or not, the CoC still does not allow bigotry; antisemitism, racism, and sexism are mainstream in a lot of societies, it's still not OK here. And we can describe all sorts of views. But there's a difference between "Person/Group X thinks immigrants are all rapists and murderers" [+ contextualization] and saying "[Americans] are sick of being raped, murdered, and victimized by [immigrants]." The first is descriptive, the second is directly bigoted.
    – tim
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:27
  • @tim, Re "the few useful bits": of course that's better. But again, that takes time and consideration, since distinguishing the useful bits is not always easy or obvious for a neutral 3rd party. Polarized answers can be scaffolding upon which we construct more neutral but satisfactory syntheses and summaries -- after which, the scaffolding may be removed as obsolete or left to erode by downvotes.
    – agc
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:32
  • @tim, On reddit and 4chan acting as organs of filtration: not that that's a bad idea, but relatively few users here employ those sites that way, as they are so seldom referenced.
    – agc
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:36
  • @tim, Put another way synthesis is analogous to digestion, and digestion has an optimal duration. One way to better insure such a duration, and avoid much of what might be called "the fog of controversy", is if Politics.SE were to employ something like, say, a one year moratorium on all current events question. Perhaps ten years for military questions. I'm not advocating for that, but it seems as though it might be more consistent with your stated aims than the present SE system.
    – agc
    Feb 20, 2019 at 18:51
  • @tim thanks for the specific example. I was reading that quote (expanded slightly) as "[some] Americans and even immigrants, legal and illegal, are sick of being raped, murdered, and victimized by" [ms13 and other gangs in their communities and thus want to take any action to try to curb their growth]. I'm probably being too charitable.
    – lazarusL
    Feb 20, 2019 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


When do opposing biased answers balance better than overviews?

In my opinion, never. The premise is already wrong; we are not here to fair and balance topics.

politics.SE should be used to answer questions based on good sources, not on personal opinion.

There is a big difference between actively promoting one point of view, and answering a question based on facts which are supported by proper sources.

Regarding the specific question, see here. IMHO, it was not in line with stackexchange guidelines and should be removed.

  • 1
    Presumably you'd be no fan of the Opposing Viewpoints series. Re "proper sources": lawyers are meticulous about facts and proper sources, but use these to promote contraries, by way of a shrewd selectiveness.
    – agc
    Feb 20, 2019 at 6:09
  • 2
    @agc I think such a format can have it's place, but I also think stackexchange isn't that place.
    – tim
    Feb 20, 2019 at 9:43

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