Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
Community Proposals
Community Proposals
tag:snake search within a tag
answers:0 unanswered questions
user:xxxx search by author id
score:0.5 posts with 0.5+ score
"snake oil" exact phrase
votes:4 posts with 4+ votes
created:<1w created < 1 week ago
post_type:xxxx type of post
Search help
Notifications
Mark all as read See all your notifications »
Meta

Welcome to the Judaism community on Codidact!

Will you help us build our community of learners? Drop into our study hall, ask questions, help others with answers to their questions, share a d'var torah if you're so inclined, invite your friends, and join us in building this community together. Not an ask-the-rabbi service, just people at all levels learning together.

Comments on What should be our Modesty Policy?

Parent

What should be our Modesty Policy?

+9
−0

Judaism Codidact is founded on being a site where people can turn to learn more about Judaism. While our heritage has what to say on intimate themes, it also emphasizes the importance of modesty.

While the prophet declares that the world only exists for the sake of procreation (Isaiah 45:18 with Gittin 41b.1 et. al.), his contemporary holds up modesty as being one of the foundations of the Torah (Micah 6:8 with Makkos 24a.25-26). At the same time that Rav Kahana declares regarding matters of intimacy that "it is Torah and I need to learn" (Berachos 62a.3), Rav Chanan bar Rava states that "Everyone knows why a bride enters under the wedding canopy, but whoever defiles his mouth, even a decree for seventy years of good is reversed upon him for bad" (Shabbos 33a.9).

How do we balance the need for modesty with the desire to learn?

  1. Mi Yodeya's policy is to outright ban any questions dealing with intimate themes in the name of modesty.
  2. Another option might be to allow any explicit themes, but all such questions need to be marked as such (i.e. preface the question title with something like [NSFW]) and avoid any explicit language in the question titles.
  3. Allow these types of questions, but require euphemistic or clinical language (perhaps in combination with #2).
  4. Perhaps a different solution.

Whichever solution you propose, consider that:

  • As young as 13-year-olds are allowed to participate by the ToS, and especially in our culture may not have been exposed to this type of material before.

  • Last week I posted this feature request on the main Meta for an NSFW filter. If that is implemented it may allow some more leeway for how such questions would be handled here.

  • Some questions may themselves be innocent enough and can trivially be formulated to avoid any references to explicit themes; however they may also invite answers which deal with such themes more explicitly. So one thing you might want to address in your answer is whether such questions should be subject to whatever stringencies you propose (if any) to pre-empt any answers over the line.

History
Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

1 comment thread

General comments (6 comments)
Post
+4
−1

Allow them, but require clinical (or at least euphemistic) language.

Allow them: These topics are as important as any others in halacha and rabbinic tradition, and anyway people will naturally encounter them in learning (or just hearing the weekly torah readings!) and will naturally have questions arising from that learning.

But require clinical language: Clinical language emphasizes the educational aspect over the prurient. Some non-clinical language used in broader culture is demeaning to some, and we should do better. I strongly suspect that if we allow slang or crude language we will drive away people who would have otherwise productively participated as members of our community. And one who is mature enough to be studying these topics can use, or learn to use,1 clinical language while doing so.

Or at least euphemistic language: Clinical language is usually more clear, which is why we should generally prefer it, but if it's clear what's meant, euphemism is fine too. People will have different views of what's clear, so edits to clarify euphemism should be welcomed just like other edits to improve posts. Sometimes the clarity (or lack of it) comes more from context than from actual word choice, so people should use their best judgement and be flexible.

  1. From edits, for example.

History
Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

1 comment thread

General comments (7 comments)
General comments
manassehkatz‭ wrote almost 4 years ago

While codidact is (like Mi Yodeya) not a substitute for a personal Rabbi, the reality is that these are often topics that people are often uncomfortable discussing with their Rabbi. Providing at least a research tool so that people only have to ask specific questions to their rabbi instead of having to go to their rabbi for background material can be a very useful thing.

Isaac Moses‭ wrote almost 4 years ago

This standard says that all questions in this domain are allowed, provided that they use the right language. So, that could include questions that are very explicit, albeit in technical language, such as "Is it permissible for ____ to bring ____ into contact with ____'s _____ for the purpose of _____?" Is that correct?

Monica Cellio‭ wrote almost 4 years ago

@IsaacMoses that's what I meant, yes. I am open to the possibility that there are subject areas that should be excluded and that, for those that are permitted, we would require certain language. (I just can't think of any that should be excluded no matter how they're asked and that would otherwise be on-topic -- probably a failure of imagination on my part.)

manassehkatz‭ wrote almost 4 years ago

The key is the often-used phrase "good intent". Someone can ask using the same basic (even euphemistic) language a question in the nature of trying to actually understand history, Halacha, etc. or someone can ask a similar question (which is why keyword filters are nearly useless here, as in spam filtering and many other domains as well) simply to get people worked up and/or to be anything but modest, etc. Context and implied intent are key.

Isaac Moses‭ wrote almost 4 years ago

@manassehkatz Are you proposing that our rule here include a filter for inferred intent? If so, I think that's distinct from this answer and deserves an answer of its own. At Mi Yodeya, I've seen multiple cases that my gut told me were in your latter category but that were written in technical-enough language that it would be very difficult to justify taking them down based on any clear style rule.

manassehkatz‭ wrote almost 4 years ago · edited almost 4 years ago

@IsaacMoses Not a filter. That really would do nobody any good. What I am really getting at is some serious moderation. It is one thing (and we've already seen some of this) if someone posts vague and/or controversial and/or just problematic for whatever reason questions deliberately to cause trouble. Those can either be caught and removed (and the perpetrators blocked in various ways) or ignored (annoying but not "bad", so let them sit unanswered, etc.). But when you add in these very

manassehkatz‭ wrote almost 4 years ago · edited almost 4 years ago

sensitive topics - which can cause a cascade of problems for a variety of reasons - then more serious attempts to take out the trash are arguably necessary if we want to allow those same topics from serious real people. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But I still want throw out the bathwater if it is bad - rather than say "no bath at all."