It seems there's been a lot of discussion and controversy lately over how moderators should (or should not) handle answers that stray from the question being asked.
Granted, I have not been active in the past year, but I have been here for some of the rather unfortunate incidents that have resulted in undesired drama, hurt feelings, and lost users over controversial issues.
For years, the accepted opinion was pretty clear about what was or was not "allowed":
- For disagreement is over an objective, verifiable fact:
it is best to use comments or editing to correct the questioner (politely!).
- For disagreement is over a subjective issue, such as a cultural difference, or over an issue of fact that remains controversial in the field that studies it:
it is best for the offended party to pass the question by.
- Most importantly, it is never appropriate to post an answer that does not directly answer the question asked.
That's all well and good, but what happens when people don't follow those guidelines? What, if anything, should mods do to address this?