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In a recent discussion, the possibility of adding a custom post notice for use by Christianity.SE mods came up. (For those that don't know a post notice is a special comment that moderators can add to a post to inform the OP of its deficiencies.) After learning this is possible if a site requests it, I decided to go ahead and request one for C.SE.

On this site, we have a common problem of people not realizing that our questions/answers are (usually) scoped to a single denomination or tradition. This is understandable - many Christians are used to thinking all Christians are (nearly) just like themselves and thus don't realize their perspective may not represent the view the original questioner wanted. This creates a pretty common problem, specific to C.SE, where someone answers a question without specifying the viewpoint they answer from. A custom post notice to inform the answer and readers of this deficiency would be very useful.

After talking with Nathaniel, TRiG, Lee Woofenden, and curiousdannii in chat, here is the suggested wording for this custom notice:

This post does not clearly state which perspective it presents (e.g., denomination, tradition, etc.). Answers must come from the requested perspective when the question specifies one. Please edit to clearly identify this answer's perspective. Answers with unclear or unsolicited perspectives may be deleted.

Naturally, suggestions for wording tweaks are welcome.

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I'm not too sure that I like the idea of a custom mod notice for this, based on the answer given as to whether or not custom post notices are possible. Particularly:

However, please keep in mind: these are not canned comments. They require a moderator to add them, and a moderator to remove them, they can't be replied to or edited to suit the specific nature of a given post. They are, at least in a sense, a public badge of shame - so think good and hard about whether or not public shaming is really what you want to be going for.

Getting this site is hard enough. Most offenders are newcomers. I'm not so sure a public badge of shame is what I'd like to go for. I remember it taking me several months to "get it", and public shaming of newcomers just doesn't feel right.

We have a group of very active users that are doing an excellent job of catching, commenting on, and flagging non-answers. In that regard, I think we're actually better off than some other SE sites. I think you all are doing a great job as it is, and I believe that the moderators are handling the flags consistently. You all post the right comment, and the moderators back that up.

Not everybody sees it (You have to have 10,000 rep to see other people's deleted posts), but often, when we delete a question or answer, we include a link on how to improve the question/answer, along with a note to "Flag this to be un-deleted after editing it to be within site guidelines". The user still sees it, gets the message, it's more private. and problematic content is removed, which is better for the site than leaving it around.

I'd just as soon stick with that pattern because, while it does keep coming up, it is working. we have very few repeat offenders.

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    The alternative to a notice is straight-up deletion. I fail to see how that is more friendly. (My intention with the request is to reduce the number of deletions necessary.) – ThaddeusB Sep 20 '15 at 1:04
  • @ThaddeusB - Not everybody sees it (You have to have 10,000 rep to see other people's deleted posts), but often, when we delete a question or answer, we include a link on how to improve the question/answer, along with a note to "Flag this to be un-deleted after editing it to be within site guidelines". The user still sees it, gets the message, it's more private. and problematic content is removed, which is better for the site than leaving it around. – David Stratton Sep 20 '15 at 11:03
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Answers to this question must represent the perspective (denomination, tradition, etc.) specified by the question. This answer does not clearly identify which perspective it presents, so please [edit] it to clarify. Answers with unclear or unsolicited perspectives are likely to be deleted.

A bit more concise, and I think setting the expectation before the problem is clearer.

  • Feel free to revert my edit. I also prefer the Thaddeus's wording with respect to your version's "with unclear or from unsolicited": if you are tied to that I still prefer the original. – Nathaniel Sep 20 '15 at 3:47
  • @Nathaniel How's this look? – curiousdannii Sep 20 '15 at 5:42
  • Looks good; I'm fine with either version. – Nathaniel Sep 20 '15 at 15:56
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A post notice is not necessarily a custom badge of shame, as one of the post notices on ELU (where I'm a moderator) is

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

That's probably intended to be added to answers. But it works really well on questions.

In the case in the question here, the suggested notice...

This post does not clearly state which perspective it presents (e.g., denomination, tradition, etc.). Answers must come from the requested perspective when the question specifies one. Please edit to clearly identify this answer's perspective. Answers with unclear or unsolicited perspectives may be deleted.

...applies to the question it's added to.

Frankly, I don't think that's a good idea.

Since the question needs to be put on hold anyway in order that the tradition can be specified, just do that: the "unclear" reason fits. Add a comment — which can be a canned comment, there are such tools available — to say what needs to be addressed.

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    I'm not sure if you misunerstand me, or I misunderstand you, but the idea is to apply the notice to answers with do not specify the doctrinal position. That is, cases where the question asks for a specific perspective and someone answers, but it is not clear if they represent the requested position or not. – ThaddeusB Oct 9 '15 at 21:55
  • Yep, this proposed notice would be for answers on questions which do clearly specify a position. – curiousdannii Oct 10 '15 at 0:13
  • @ThaddeusB No, I don't think we misunderstand each other. I think that post notices work better when they are placed on questions to direct answerers to providing what's required in a good answer to that question, rather than place answers in the stocks to have rotten fruit thrown at them. Thus I agree with David, and propose a different model. – Andrew Leach Oct 10 '15 at 5:43

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