As you certainly noticed, there is currently a war going on in Ukraine. As you know, the first victim in every war is the truth. Organized and unorganized actors will fight online to control the narrative of the conflict and try to convince the world to accept the narrative of the side they support.
This is very detrimental for a site like Politics Stack Exchange which is dedicated to providing neutral and factual information about politics and political processes.
We, the moderators, have consulted with the community team and decided to take a couple measures to prevent Politics Stack Exchange from becoming another battleground for online activists:
- Any questions about the conflict get preemptively protected. This means they can not be answered by new users (including new users who already have reputation from other SE sites). Those users who participated on the site before (at least 10 reputation) should not be affected by this.
- Questions will experience a lot more scrutiny. Questions which invite speculation or soapboxing, or contain soapboxing themselves, will get closed as "Promotes or discredits a political cause", "Speculative" or "Opinion-Based". As regular users of this site will be aware, this is not a new policy. Posts like that were never welcome on this website. But during this time we will put in additional effort to enforce it thoroughly.
- When questions about the conflict make it to the hot network question list, and we have the slightest expectation that they might attract propaganda answers, then we will take them off the HNQ list.
- We will keep a close eye on certain accounts which posted opinion-based content about the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the past and intervene if we spot them doing it again.
We would also like to ask you to support our efforts by responsibly using the community moderation tools available to you.
- Please use your upvotes and downvotes appropriately.
- Vote to close off-topic questions.
- Vote to delete answers which are clearly biased for one side or the other, even if it is the side you personally support
- Flag interactions that breach the Code of Conduct for our attention.
- Point out when users use questionable sources in their questions and answers which might be spreading misinformation. This includes any information that comes directly from the belligerents, from social media or from sources which have a reputation for spreading fake news about this conflict.
- Propose or perform edits to questions and answers which are useful, but contain unnecessary editorializing and rambling.
- Please also try to avoid engaging in long discussions in the comments of questions/answers - these may be deleted without notice. Instead, consider joining the dedicated chat room we created specifically for discussing the conflict.
We are aware that this approach to moderation might cause a couple conflicts and lead to individual site members feeling mistreated. In that case we would like to remind you that you always have the option to appeal individual decisions by moderators or by the community by posting here on meta, and to escalate matters to the Stack Exchange community team via this contact form.
Note that our goal is not to censor the conflict, downplay its importance or to sway the narrative in any particular way. You are still welcome to ask and answer questions about the war and the conflicts which triggered and result from it. But when you do so, remember what this site is about. We are a Q&A website, not a discussion forum. We host information, not opinion. We are a platform for learning and teaching about politics and political processes, not for political activism.