8

Generally, we expect all questions here to be written from the point-of-view of genuine curiosity, and we expect all answers to be genuine attempts to provide real information and analysis that directly addresses the question.

Last Purim, in the SE 1.0 incarnation of mi.yodeya, we broke these expectations a bit by indulging in a bit of Purim Torah - silly parodies of real Torah discussion. To make it clear which posts were not meant to be taken seriously, we tagged them all solely and exclusively with the tag.

There was some discussion, not long after this SE 2.0 site opened, of the particular meaning of this tag, and the question of whether to allow Purim Torah at all came up but was not formally put to the community as a full-fledged meta question. Now, with Purim about a month away, it's time to address this issue for real.

  • Should Purim Torah Q&A (questions or answers that are intended to be funny and not sincere) ever be allowed?

  • If so, should it be limited to a particular period? Purim day? Adar?

  • If so, should it be solely and exclusively tagged ?

  • If so, are there any other restrictions we should enact to keep it from getting out of hand?

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7

Purim torah in context can be not only fun but educational, as the best purim torah uses the same methods as discussions on more-serious topics.

When purim torah comes up on mailing lists, everybody knows what's going on because of the timing and there's no confusion. The challenge with purim torah on SE (or a blog for that matter) is that somebody might come across it six months later via Google and not notice the timing. A purim-torah tag helps, but may not be enough for people not accustomed to looking at tags. SE users grok tags; random Googlers might not notice.

So my suggestion is: permit purim torah for some span of time (not just the day of Purim, when many people will be busy), require the tag, and add a simple (one-line) disclaimer into the top of all the questions for the benefit of future browsers.

As for the timespan, all of Adar might be too much but just the day of Purim is too little. One to two weeks seems good to me. (If a week, we could make it the weekly topic for that week.) In the comments @msh210 suggests Adar (bet) 1-17, which seems fine to me.

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    Good point about the Googling, and good idea about editing in a disclaimer. Why not require the disclaimer when the question is first posted? – Isaac Moses Feb 7 '12 at 15:57
  • @IsaacMoses, yeah, we could edit it in at the beginning. I was thinking that it might get a little tedious for us if we have a bunch of them, but that's probably safer. – Monica Cellio Feb 7 '12 at 15:59
  • If we ever get customizable post notices, this would be a good use. – msh210 Feb 7 '12 at 17:52
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    +1: I agree with most of this, but think a week is too little. Maybe from the first of (second) Adar through the 17th (with the end delayed so as to give people a chance to post things they thought of on Purim)? – msh210 Feb 7 '12 at 17:54
  • @msh210, I edited your timing suggestion in. – Monica Cellio Feb 7 '12 at 18:13
  • -1 I strongly disagree with this analysis and think it goes against the SE policy rules. – avi Feb 14 '12 at 7:50
-5

I don't think Purim Torah should ever be allowed in the QA section, unless someone is asking about a piece of purim torah they heard and want to understand it.

A question which is itself "Purim Torah" is by it's nature 'Time based and localized" which goes against SE style questions.

It seems to me that a question that is only a valid question during certain times of the year, means that it's not a valid SE question.

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    The fact that the questions are not sincere is contrary to the normal SE standards. I don't buy the "localized" argument, though. The "Too Localized" close reason is for events that will never be relevant again, not for concepts that are relevant to entire communities on a periodic basis, such as specific holidays. – Isaac Moses Feb 14 '12 at 13:18
  • @IsaacMoses A question about a holiday is relevant all year round. A question that you are only allowed to ask during a holiday, is only relevant during the holiday you are allowed to ask it. – avi Feb 14 '12 at 13:37
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    If you want to argue that these questions are "Not a real question," fine, but as long as they'll be of interest to an open-ended community during an open-ended amount of time in the future, "Too Localized" does not apply. – Isaac Moses Feb 14 '12 at 14:53
  • They should be allowed all year round, or never allowed. If they are of interest today, they will be of interest tommorow. If something is only of interest for X amount of hours, then it's "too localized" – avi Feb 14 '12 at 14:55
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    The reason for the time restriction isn't that it won't be of interest after the specified period; it's to keep this exception to the rules from becoming a free-for-all. – Isaac Moses Feb 14 '12 at 15:01
  • That makes no sense. Why is it an exception to the rule? Cause for a limited time, is has some interest which it doesn't have after the specified time period. – avi Feb 14 '12 at 15:22

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