Short Version

The purpose of this post is to have a vote count of the community support/opposition of the recent HNQ block list proposal. If you don't want to read the long version of the post then please go directly to Aim of this post and vote accordingly.

Long Version

In the last couple of weeks there has been an effort from the mod team about a the creation of a possible list of words (or phrases) that will filter questions out of the HNQ list (see Autofilters for Hot Network Questions, Which words (if any) in the title of a question should prevent inclusion in the HNQ list? and Discussion around voting on what words should be on the HNQ block-list for more details). This list, heceforth, I will refer to as HNQ block list.

In the post Autofilters for Hot Network Questions, the response of the community has been very much mixed and no conclusion could be drawn about the support or opposition of the community regarding the creation of such a list. One reason for this, I believe, was that the central question was not precisely asked. To be more precise, we were not directly asked whether we really need a HNQ block list. For this purpose, I posted this answer. But I have been told,

This is ultimately unhelpful. We can change the list, it's not a one-off request. So the question should first be, is there a community support for a list. Then we start weeding things out of the proposed list in the post itself. – Asaf Karagila♦ Apr 7 at 18:04

@AsafKaragila: In that case I don't understand how this can be unhelpful. Can you be more specific? For example, you wrote, "So the question should first be, is there a community support for a list.". Why not edit the question to include only this and see how it goes? – user 170039 Apr 8 at 6:18

@user170039: Of the +9 voters, it is unclear, who is just in favour of a filter, and who is also in favour of the list, and who is in favour of some part of the list. Similarly for the -9 voters, are they against all filtration, or just the word "puzzle", or anything else? – Asaf Karagila♦ Apr 8 at 6:20

@AsafKaragila: Indeed. That's why a rewording is necessary. Otherwise, I don't see much value in this post. – user 170039 Apr 8 at 7:38

Furthermore, in the post Which words (if any) in the title of a question should prevent inclusion in the HNQ list?, suggestions for inclusion of words in the HNQ block list is asked. While this is definitely a welcome effort, I think, it is a bit rushed. I also metioned this in a comment,

I would say that this question already presumes that the community wants a list. Which was not really established. — user 170039 6 hours ago

Yes, I have heard that argument that there is already a list, it's just the case that the list is empty (see here). But to me it looks like pointless rhetoric and I am looking for a concrete way to measure the support of the community for the proposal of creation of a non-empty HNQ block list. Note that voting on the answers of the last linked question doesn't really show support/opposition for the creation/need of such a list. It implies that if such a list is going to be created then $n$ people agree with the proposal of including "[word]" in such a list.

So we are again back to the same question,

Do we need a HNQ block list?

Aim of this Post

It has been argued by the author of this post that the bold part of my text is false. Whereas I do not want to include myself into pointless rhetoric, note that I am not asking whether we want a list. I am asking whether we need a list or not. There is an important difference here (even though there is an effort to brush it off as "tangential").

Furthermore, the question which is stated to allow the community to decide if it wants a list via voting on words has an interesting feature. It seems to me that here that the above mentioned "decision procedure" has already been decided on behalf of the community, but I may of course be wrong. What is most puzzling to me in this whole episode is the following,

If you want to know whether the community wants/needs a HNQ block list or not, why not ask them directly and wait for their feedback instead of already presuming the process it to be "abstract"?

This poll here is to have a vote count just to get a clear picture of the voice of the community regarding this issue. I will be posting an answer. Please consider upvoting/downvoting it as you see fit. Please don't post any more answers.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ There is a list already. It is not empty. It includes the word $. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Mod Apr 15 '20 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ I fear with this post you are curtailing the process already underway. It is unfair to pose this as a "yes/no" wrt HNQ block-list. Very little in human live is black and white. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Apr 15 '20 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ Please check the body of the question. All the posts that you have linked are already included in the body of the question. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 15 '20 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ It is ultimately irrelevant if the "community wants a list" in abstract. That's especially true the other way than you frame it. What would be gained if we agree that we want a list, but then we cannot agree what to put on the list? Whatever one might think on the merits of the idea, I think it is better to establish first if there are some words which have support for inclusion. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 15 '20 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ Technically the poll procedure is very poor. "Please consider upvoting/downvoting them as you see fit. [...] please vote only on one answer. " That's not enforceable and not helpful. Usually one says nothing, or limits to considering votes in one direction. As is, if I am against the list, I can decide to either downvote yes or to upvote no? Of course I could do both and nobody could do much about it, which is why the poll is especially poor. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 15 '20 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ Tangentially the exact phrasing is also problematic. Why ask for "need" and not "want" the later is much more to the point. Taken literally I am not even sure I agree that we need such a list, we'd get by alright without one. But I want one, I think we should have one, etc. But "need" not really. For this and other reasons I boycott this vote. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 15 '20 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ I think that I will need to respond. There are several active posts on meta "discussing the pros and cons of the HNQ, a potential list of filter words, and how the HNQ should interact with MSE". True. Note however, that the existence of the first question can't by default make my post irrelevant, simply because the focus of the questions are different. Same argument for the third question. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 16 '20 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ See also this post. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 16 '20 at 5:40
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    $\begingroup$ Why are you directing my attention to a question I've edited on meta just 15 hours ago? In any case, my point is that when I was set to do this, I thought there was some agreement on what should or shouldn't be on the HNQ. Apparently I was gravely mistaken. So instead of fussing on should we have another poll, should it be clearer or more ambiguous, and should people actually vote or not. Maybe we should first figure out how we want to use this feature. Then we can decide how to implement an autofilter. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Apr 16 '20 at 6:40
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: As I said, it's a good idea indeed. But I would prefer to wait a bit more for some answers to the question I linked just now. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 16 '20 at 6:44
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    $\begingroup$ Your edit in bold is false and in direct contradiction what is written in that question. I added a note. You can change it as you see fit. But this must be addressed in some way. What you say is demonstrably false from the text of the other question. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 16 '20 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: I have removed it. If you have something to say, say in the comments or go to chat, I will try to respond if it doesn't take me into pointless rhetoric. I understand where you are coming from, but editing the post to include your objections is something that I didn't know was even possible and permissible. If that's permissible then I would also like to have the courtesy to edit your post. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 16 '20 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ You did not know it was possible? What did make you believe that your post was not editable like any other post or do you generally not know that posts can be edited with users with 2k+ points. You put clear misinformation in bold in a post. intelectual honesty would dictate that you keep at least the direct quote from the other question, which explains explicitly what is voted on. Do not twist reality to push your agenda. If you already want to object to something you can object to voting it in this way. What you cannot do, while being intelectually honest, is misrepresent the content. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 16 '20 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ There is an overwhelming support via votes for having a block-list that contains "urgent". You do not like that, fine. But that is fact. If you want to claim users did not understand what they are voting for, try to make that argument. But the vote as I initiated it is on this, and not the if-then scenario you claim. Instead the if-then is if there is support for words, then we will move forward with the idea to implement a list. By now it seems there is support for certain words. Thus, except if this changes drastically, we will move forward. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Apr 16 '20 at 14:48

Yes, I think that we, the community, need a HNQ block list.

  • $\begingroup$ I think that this poll answer, should be proposed once the final list is ready to 'implement', I mean, users are voting now for which words yes and which words no, and at some point there'll be the final list. Then you might ask again: "Implementing the list with this words or simply no?" $\endgroup$ – user486983 Apr 15 '20 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Regardless, I think this is a wonderful idea, because me thinks that there'll be a lot of disagreement once the final list is ready to 'implement' $\endgroup$ – user486983 Apr 15 '20 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Magic_Isa: In that scenario you would be assuming that the community wants a list. It's just not the one which has been "finalized". Why would you be assuming that? $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 15 '20 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Because for example, I think we all agree in removing: urgent, pls, ASAP. So yes, we want a list. And say, you don't fully agree but can tolerate another 5 more words. But what would happen if the final lists contains 15 words, which you don't agree with? Would you still want a list? $\endgroup$ – user486983 Apr 15 '20 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Magic_Isa Yes of course I would still want a list, you even explain this yourself earlier in the comment. I just don't want that list. $\endgroup$ – Servaes Apr 15 '20 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Magic_Isa: I fully agree with Servaes. $\endgroup$ – user170039 Apr 16 '20 at 3:20

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