I have seen a couple of answers/questions that raise political viewpoints instead-of / in-addition-to regular Q/A, or try to slide that political view underneath an answer.

This problem happens when the subject is near or touches for example, abortion, vaccines, toy guns, and other subjects.

How should we deal with that content, and what is our position regarding pushing political propaganda on this site?

  • Should we edit the content to remove the politically conflitcting parts?
  • Should we flag it for review?
  • Should we comment (and maybe violate internet rule #14)?
  • Should we downvote the content that is pushing the political viewpoint?

It is a very delicate issue, because people with strong beliefs have also a strong confirmation bias, and they are prone to react badly when confronted.

  • Thanks for the link to rule 14th. It is very important at all times. Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 14:29
  • I have to admit I had to look it up.
    – user420
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


There are a couple of previous discussions that are relevant to this question:

The key takeaways are:

  • If you disagree with a fundamental premise of the question that is a subjective issue, such as a cultural difference, or over an issue of fact that remains controversial in the field that studies it, don't answer, don't comment, and just pass the question by.
  • If you disagree with a fundamental premise of the question that is an objective, verifiable fact, use (polite!) comments or edits to fix the error.
  • It is never appropriate to post an answer that does not directly answer the question asked.

If you see answers (or questions) that violate these rules, flag for moderator attention and/or downvote. If you feel a topic or specific answer is borderline, post a new question about it here in meta.

  • Don't vote if an answer seems safe and sound, but doesn't agree with your parenting style.
  • Downvote when you strongly disagree, and add a polite comment explaining so, or even better, provide an alternate answer that describes your perspective.
  • Flag offensive contributions (including comments) and let the moderators sort it out.
  • This, exactly. Upvote things you agree with, downvote things you think are actively harmful, don't vote either way on things you neither really agree or disagree with, or wouldn't do but don't think are actively harmful. Flag for attention answers that are not answers or clearly don't understand StackExchange, but if it's just someone answering "Spank your child because it's the right thing to do", voting is how you deal with that.
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 20:48

I agree with Beofett's approach on how to handle these questions, I just want to additionally point out that whether a point of view is "political" or not depends highly on the context. A post advising someone on an individual parenting decision in their own home is apolitical. The same post advising a law be passed that forces that same decision on everyone is political by definition.

For example, whether or not to vaccinate your own child is a parenting decision. Whether or not all public school children should be required to be vaccinated is a political decision. Yes, the arguments overlap, but the intent and context makes a huge difference. The personal parenting advice of someone you disagree with can be ignored. A law you disagree with cannot. The latter merits a much stronger rebuttal than the former.

By all means, downvote answers you strongly disagree with. Correct facts that are wrong. However, the best response to what you consider bad advice is to post your own better answer.

  • "However, the best response to what you consider bad advice is to post your own better answer." That's an excellent point that is worth repeating. In fact, its one of the fundamental ideas of the SE platform.
    – user420
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 2:47
  • This is a good answer with the exception of the line you draw on vaccination -- it can get quite a bit more complicated when you're looking at vaccinations required by law but which you can get out of based on religious or other beliefs and their consequences. I know that's not the can of worms you wanted to open, but it is more specific than the previous generalization and the greater the specifics, the greater the detail. :) Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 3:02

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