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I believe comments which help people to go against the Torah by providing links to websites which teach you how to do so should be censored. Such links are, form a Torah point of view, comparable to links to sites teaching you how to make bombs to blow up people.

  • as far as lifnaai iver is concerned which is what I am talking about there is no different which avaira – user2709 May 8 '13 at 15:38
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    @shulem, interesting point. I wonder if that's true halachically. Maybe I'll ask on-site. – msh210 May 8 '13 at 15:43
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    Not [yet] making an argument either way, but looking for precedents. Here's one: The AishDas Society, which openly promotes Torah-observance, maintains email discussion lists with rules and, apparently, a designated posek. These rules include one (#8) about censorship of links, and the categories of censorable links listed there does not include the one under consideration here. – Isaac Moses May 8 '13 at 16:25
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    Answers should address who decides and by what rules. Is a link to a blog that, 17 entries back, mentions going to a movie on Shabbat censorable, for example? If not, where's the line between that and a how-to manual for murder? – Monica Cellio May 8 '13 at 16:25
  • Is this about censoring comments or about censoring links? – Charles Koppelman May 8 '13 at 17:04
  • ^^ or is this about censoring the contents of answers and questions, too? – Charles Koppelman May 8 '13 at 17:32
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I think Mi Yodeya should not censor anything beyond off-topic, spam, and hate-baiting.

Why:

  1. It's an implementation nightmare

    • It would be logistically difficult to enforce this - especially since change history is preserved.
    • ANY page that is linked to offsite is liable to be edited (or set up as a redirect to pornography). Do we need to constantly monitor all links? And how would we put links back once the offending content is removed? That is a burden no one here wants.
  2. It's a bureaucratic nightmare

    • Who makes these decisions? We don't have a posek, and I'm sure we can't all agree on who that would be.
    • Who decides who makes the decisions? As a democratic community, we'd presumably have elections for this like everything else, but anyone with that power would be accused of abusing it.
    • What is the process for deciding to censor? Is it committee? Are these open to the public?
  3. It's unnecessary

    • There are already warnings throughout not to rely on anything here for halakhic advice.
    • We consider all people here to be adults capable of making their own decisions. This means they are responsible for their own actions.
    • Anything that is not worthwhile is already shut out in our current processes. (Anything blatantly offensive or off-topic should be removed.)
  4. It's a bad practice for this site

    • Ezeh hu chacham? - If we can learn some actual Torah from a site with instructions to build a bomb, or a site with an argument for not keeping the second day of Shavuot in galut, all the better.
    • This policy completely discourages newcomers from joining because they may be censored in a process they don't understand.
    • Having this policy creates more arguments and angry chat discussions than our current laissez-faire policy
    • It may be against StackExchange policy
    • Our site's target audience specifically includes "anyone interested in learning more". This includes non-Jews. A valid question may include links to sites that are specifically avodah zarah (e.g., "How does Judaism feel about neo-Baalism? Here are some differences between archaeo-Baalism and neo-Baalism..."). We should allow this sort of question and the website may be useful to flesh out the question.
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    Great. Now we all are going to go read about neo-Baalism. See, we don't even need links to have everyone reading about Avoda Zara! – Double AA May 8 '13 at 22:43
  • We talked (briefly) about Achav in a class tonight, but we didn't actually read the details of archaeo-baalism. Whew! – Monica Cellio May 9 '13 at 1:41

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