Do you believe it hurts Quora’s intellectual credibility when it bans questions on IQ and race?

I agree with Konstantinos Konstantinides that the question is leading and poorly worded, so not a good springboard for honest discussion. (Whether it’s BNBR is slightly contestable, but that it comes across as insincere isn’t.) I disagree that the poor word choice is different; it’s the should be acknowledged that’s the problem. It loads the question in one direction, and defies the reader to provide counterproof.

I agree with Sophie Dockx that banning questions on controversial topics can be infantilising. But as others (e.g. Carlos Matias La Borde) have argued, that’s not what’s going on here. Banning leading questions OTOH is not infantilising, it’s refusing to indulge poor answers (as Konstantinos argued.)

Sophie argues further that bigots or the clueless should be given the rope to hang themselves, or the opportunity to be cluesticked, by having bigoted questions stand. I think learning opportunities can still arise if questions are reworded to be neutral; they enable the possibility of civil debate and refutation, rather than predisposing everyone to an angry rebuttal.

(And I dislike questions where dozens of users queue up to register their indignation at a controversial or offensive premiss. Indignation isn’t instructive. Argument is instructive. But a loaded question is unlikelier to invite civil argument.)

Of course, people who find the questions offensive can and should be able to tune out those questions. They can even deride them as Sealioning. (That makes me immediately think less of them, though that’s my issue, not theirs.) That doesn’t mean that that there isn’t a space for refutation on this forum, though.

That said, Michaelis Maus has just spoken of the Sam Morningstar effect: Michaelis Maus’ answer to What topics do you love but find difficult to get into on Quora? There’s only so long a single user can keep on administering the same cluestick to the same questions, over and over again, before they burn out. Several African-American Quorans have reported the same fatigue. And they should be permitted to opt out of being Explainers In Chief.

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