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>Discussing the political situation in Haiti is an acceptable subject of conversation. Involving "average IQ" of Haitians and referencing the "sh*thole" controversy, however, is bound to cause an effect of goading or baiting.
Why would discussing the average IQ of Haitians have the effect of baiting?  It seems to me that it would be very relevant to the discussion.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a discussion of Haiti's problems would be majorly incomplete without it.  


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The IQ statement, the "sh*thole" comment, and the tone of the post makes it so that the post is politically dramatic.

Do you believe the thread, phrased as it is, would be received without disruption to the site, anon?

Take note of the example in our policy brief:

"The thread brings up political points, presents a weighted political view point, and contains a controversial or inflammatory perspective that will goad users into participating in a toxic posting environment. Regardless of initial intentions of the user, these threads will be treated as Political Drama."


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Okay, I admit I fucked up by saying "shithole", since that has the potential to be needlessly inflammatory given the orange one's recent reported remarks.  But other than that, I don't see how it qualifies as shitposting even under the heightened scrutiny given to political drama posts.  Other than the "shithole" remark, I think my post was free of inflammatory opinions and was anchored to well-established facts.  I don't think discussion of Haiti's average IQ in relation to its problems would bait anybody reasonable.  Are certain whole topics of conversation off-limits now?  That certainly wasn't my understanding of the new guidelines.


> I don't think discussion of Haiti's average IQ in relation to its problems would bait anybody reasonable.
Not everyone posting here is so reasonable, ya know. It is now your responsibility as OP to make sure you don't draw out unreasonable responses with your thread topic. You can still post about Haiti, but you have to be mindful about how you do it.


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The decision made as to your thread considers not only the impact of each word, but the post as an aggregate, anon.

You are more than welcome to discuss certain topics of conversation, the proposition even has examples of the same topic being discussed, albeit one following the rules and the other being political drama.

i'd like to think we're all being reasonable. It would not be unreasonable for, say, a Haitian poster to feel deeply upset by that thread. In fact, it would be pretty reasonable.

To use the OP anon's words, we should try to avoid threads or posts that are needlessly inflammatory, and these posts will be considered in their whole, and in their aggregate, as opposed to being considered, say, word by word, or post by post.


I think an example of a post that is political drama but not rule-breaking would be helpful to me.  The following part of the new policy suggests that such posts exist:
>Political Drama Post -> Heightened Scrutiny -> Is it Rule Breaking?
>    Yes? Moderator action.
>    No? Post is left alone
However, based on the feedback I've gotten on my Haiti post, I'm uncertain about what such a post would be like.

E.g., would the following post be political drama, and if so, would it be rule-breaking?

Subject: Genetically modified food

I've been looking into the controversy surrounding genetically modified food.  My conclusion is that (1) there is nothing inherently wrong with applying genetic engineering to plants or animals that end up as food, but (2) existing incentives provide reason to worry about the healthfulness of such foods.  

To elaborate on point 2: In most engineering efforts, there are trade-offs, and if a corporation finds a genetic modification that would increase its profits, there is insufficient incentive for the corporation to adequately study whether this modification would negatively affect the food's nutrient profile or other healthful properties.


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The subject of whether genetically modified food is safe or not is not comparable in controversy to the political situation in the so-called "sh*thole" Haiti, relative to the alleged average IQ of its populace.

Note the example provided in the Proposition Document, as to the difference between what is political drama, and what is not.

Politically Dramatic content is content which presents a weighted political perspective that contains a controversial or inflammatory perspective, such that it will have the effect of goading users into participating in a toxic posting environment.

Thus, when you look at your Genetically Modified Food OP, ask yourself a few simple questions:

Am I about to make a political thread?

Is that political thread weighted with political perspectives that skew heavily to one side of an argument?

Would that discussion topic itself generally be considered a controversial topic to discuss as to the reasonable, general public?

If yes to the all of the above, consider then: is my post going to make for a productive discussion, or have i created content which fosters a toxic environment?

These are the questions i'd ask myself, when thinking about making a political thread - this is not some rulemaking standard.

More simply, if you feel a post is on the fence of violating the policy, tone it back. Each of these policy enforcements will be a judgment call from the staff -> there is no boiler-plate yes or no, nor should there be.

My thoughts on your GMO food example is that i think it'd be allowed. GMO food is not really a controversial subject.

i'm not even sure i'd consider that a political conversation, in as much as it is a scientific one.

Even then, there are unsupported conclusions and weighted perspectives such that the thread is just not conducive to balanced discussion. It encourages defensive behavior from those who disagree from the outset, and that is not a good way to begin a dialogue.

i wouldn't intervene, as the subject seems scientific to me. But consider a political question of the same sort, where people have a genuine stake in being right such that it effects their identity, or their wellbeing.

If the subject became, say, eugenics, and the discussion started off "I've been looking into the controversy surrounding genetically superior humans. My conclusion is that ..."

Then, naturally, we should say this is Political Drama, worthy of heightened scrutiny and, likely in that case, a subsequent staff reaction.

My example is an extreme one, and the lines will not always be that clear. Yet, there is a time and place for everything. Ponyville strives to be a lot of things, but the community has decided that Ponyville is just not the place for bloodsport, gladiatorial politics.


If it is not out of line to comment on the subject of the thread being discussed, I found it illuminating when I checked and confirmed that not only is the OP's stated IQ actually what is considered correct, but that the world's impoverished areas have similarly deficient intelligence.  While I suspect that the test itself may be biased in some way to arrive at those results, I find it at least probable that the deficiency in the numbers has to do with nutrition and education and I am absolutely astounded at just how drastic the end result actually is.

I find that to be most eye-opening and while I agree that dismissing Haiti as a "shithole" may be inflammatory, the picture in the OP definitely presents a strong example that such a statement might be accurate.

What a messed up place to be born into, and if discussion can be civilized and in some way improve awareness that we ponies may be able to convert into some kind of social change for such people, I think it could be worth the cost of discussion and I encourage the OP to consider carefully what has been stated by staff and perhaps try again with a more carefully crafted attempt, perhaps expanding the topic to the rest of the world too and perhaps some kind of information on what sort of action we might participate in that can actually help the situation, such that we might better understand what even can be done and how.

It's just awful and I think such topics presented from a perspective of philanthropy benefits us all.

Then again, it's not my place to tell people what to do so I might take a whack at it myself and see if I can stay out of trouble while doing so.


The way it was worded seems rather close to the way people on less scrupulous parts of the internet segue into suggestions that the population should be "cleansed" in some fashion. I don't think bringing IQ into the discussion is the problem intrinsically (barring its debatable veracity as a means of measuring intelligence), but it's a topic that is somewhat taboo for good reason -- 95 times out of 100, it's used "for evil", for lack of a better way of putting it.

That's not to say it can't be discussed constructively -- lostpony's thread is a good example.

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