How are the verbal attacks toward Trump on Quora not in violation of BNBR?

I draw your attention to:

Quora Moderation — Election Season PSA by Marc Bodnick on The Quora Moderation Blog

Disrespectful insults and attacks are not allowed against:

  • Democrats or Republicans generally
  • Any of the presidential candidates
  • Any other politician

No attacks / insults in comments, answers, or questions. No rhetorical questions making political attacks.

I also draw your attention to the baffled responses from many commenters; e.g.


Is it a new policy or an interpretation of an existing one (which one)? Is it an extension of BNBR to public figures? Or is it an extension of the TOS clause that prohibits libel?

Is it an exception specific to US Politics and “election season”, or should people in other continents also take heed? Should Europeans talking about Merkel and Tsipras, or Indians discussing Modi and Kerjiwal take heed? What about Putin?

And what do you define as an “attack”? Criticism of the political stance of public figures ,no matter how harsh, is in the essence of democratic discourse. So is ridicule (parody, political cartoons, etc). Are you referring to ad-hominem attacks? If I say: “Candidate X is a crony of big business.” or “Candidate Y is corrupt.” or “Candidate Z is an idiot running on his daddy’s name.”, will I be running afoul? But what if these are exactly my arguments about why people should not vote for them?

And what have you seen that makes you feel the need to post this, especially since this isn’t the first election that Quora has gone through since 2010?

And Bodnick’s responses

No change in policy. We insist on civility so that people of all political persuasions feel that the environment is safe. I’ve posted many times along these lines.

Nope. We’ve talked about this many times in the past. The point is less about “BNBR applies to politicians” and more, we want people of all political persuasions to feel safe writing on Quora and attacky/insulting content often has a chilling effect on people whose views are similar to the target’s.

Assuming that Bodnick, who was still a Quora employee at that time, was speaking as one: BNBR does not apply just to other members but to anyone on the planet, and “attacky/insulting content” violates BNBR. Whether or not Trump is a member of Quora is irrelevant.

Of course this interpretation of BNBR has not been consistently applied on this site. I’d go further and say, I don’t think applying this interpretation of BNBR consistently is even feasible.

I did get a BNBR for calling ex-Prime Minister Abbott of Australia an idiot. At least, I *think* that’s what I got it for; it might have been for saying Wahhabism led to the destruction of archaeological sites by ISIS instead. It’s very hard to tell what you get a BNBR for.