From Why do BLM protestors continue after all four police involved in the killing of George Floyd are facing charges? :

Might as well quote the whole thing:

Why do BLM protestors continue to riot after all four police involved in the killing of George Floyd are facing charges and police around the country are being held accountable (e.g. the 6 Atlanta officers who got arrested for police brutality)? I am wondering what tangible change is currently being asked for. Police departments around the country are already starting to take action against racism. What’s the next step?

Now, I imagine some people, judging from the downvotes, and the comments about the term riots, think the OP was trying to discredit BLM. They very well might be (although there was no tell-tall white lives matter added).

But it wasn't closed for that, but rather with the following reason:

Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public.

how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations seems a rather bizarre line of reasoning here. This isn't a few individuals who have kept their views to themselves and this is not a hypothetical situation either. BLM is a large movement, albeit one without much of a centralized leadership AFAIK, and I am sure there is plenty on the record as to what the motivation for their continued protests is.

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    No. it's not. I will admit I am a down voter of the original question. Why? Because the protests are not BLM protests. As in, they are not the only reason, nor the only supporters. Not now (6/5/2020) anyway. So the OP asked a question with a false premise, as far as I am concerned, showing (possibly) a desire to promote or discredit a organization or group.
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 5, 2020 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


Ignoring the actual question itself, it's still obvious why the question is inappropriate.

Asking "Why do … ?" is soliciting opinions.

Compare that form of question with "Have … given any explanation for why they … ?", which asks for reported facts, not opinions.

So yes, "asking about the motivations of large groups" is inappropriate.

But asking about their "documented opinions", is fine.

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    Like the protests vs riots remark, seems like a lot of semantics to me. you are yourself basically saying that with little vocab tweaks there is a workable question there. If someone wants to close it with the discredit tag, I find that at least honest, if a bit a bit lacking in conviction to defend one's ethical position against a question which is pretty darn weak in any justification that there is no reason to protest anymore. I mean, the OP leaves themself wide open. Jun 6, 2020 at 6:14
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica, to me, most SE sites should be treated like a library, staffed with unopinionated librarians, perhaps even AI robots. They can't answer questions like "Why did Nixon resign?", but they can answer "What reason did Nixon give for resigning?", or even "What do Nixon's biographers give as the reason for his resignation?". No one but Nixon himself could possibly answer the original question, and even if he could answer it himself he might not tell the truth. The other two forms of the question can be answered objectively: all answers will be in agreement. Jun 6, 2020 at 12:49
  • This seems kinda pointless of a rule to impose, that asking "Why does X do Y?" is bad, but "What document reasons are there for why X does Y?" Is that easy to understand for a new poster? It seems more appropriate to put one of those flags like they have on Skeptics to teach new people that. Jul 12, 2020 at 5:44

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