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After some discussion, we have established as site policy the following:

Please respect that in the Jewish tradition certain questions, especially certain questions relating to sexuality, are discussed only in private. Such questions will be closed or deleted at the discretion of the moderators or community. (Source)

As a corollary, it would be nice — though perhaps not as important — to restrict also the ads seen on the site. Thus, ads for questions on other sites that deal with sexuality too explicitly (or whatever criteria we develop), or ads that do so themselves, would be banned. This question is meant both as a for the technical possibility and as a of the desirability of having such a feature and the extent of its scope.

As an example, should this mildly sexually explicit ad for an English.SE question, which appeared on our site, be banned therefrom? (Linked but not included on purpose, so those who wish to avoid it can do so.)

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While I would like to see some kind of technical solution implemented, I'm pretty sure that would be impossible. Especially text filtering. Our (formerly) very own Jeff Atwood wrote a fascinating article on the subject. (Warning: some non-tznius (though not vulgar) words are contained in the article. The comments are much worse.)

Another article on the futility of the matter. (Warning: no overt profanity, although some pretty strong not-tznius euphemism.)

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    One half-solution would be to give mods the ability to blacklist particular ads once they've noticed them anywhere on the network. – Isaac Moses Mar 13 '12 at 17:27
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I think this is of absolute importance. While we appreciate the fact that StackExchange does need money to survive, it is of utmost importance that the ads do not detract any potential users, and keep our current user base happy.

As for a technical implementation though, it is quite difficult but not impossible. The simplest way I can think of would be to have a meta question somewhere where the "answers" are suggestions by our current user base for reporting inappropriate ads. Each suggestion would then be voted upon, discussed, and ultimately acted upon (by some higher authority).

Something a little more technical but a lot more useful (and proactive) would be to have some central location on each site where "eligible ads" are listed sorted by when they are added to the rotation. All we would need to do is check in every once-in-a-while and see which ads need actions (if any).

As for the types of questions, I suppose it's the sort of thing that we would develop over time. Two types that currently come to mind are:

  • Questions about Christianity (or other religions)
  • Questions about immodest topics

While long-time users of our site may not mind such questions because they understand the nature of our site (and how we are part of a larger network), new users will definitely mind. Yes, the probability is small, but it's important and it needs a solution. And quite frankly, I am also turned-off when I see such content brazenly displayed on the right-hand side of our site.


Oh and finally, I think this is also something the advertisers would appreciate. After all, advertisers want to target audiences that have potential. They definitely don't want to offend anyone.

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  • The "advertisers" here, as you may know, are other Stack Exchange sites. – msh210 Mar 15 '12 at 0:07
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    @msh210 actually sometime down the road there will be real advertisers – yydl Mar 15 '12 at 1:55
  • yydl, Right, true. – msh210 Mar 15 '12 at 2:22
  • And what's wrong with questions about other religions? – TRiG Jun 16 '12 at 2:39
  • @TRiG They don't belong on this site. – yydl Jun 17 '12 at 2:45
  • @yydl. True, and I'm not saying they should be part of this site's content, but why would ads for them actually be offensive? – TRiG Jun 17 '12 at 18:29
  • @TRiG Because if people come here to learn about Judaism, the last thing they would want is to see an ad for another religion.. – yydl Jun 17 '12 at 20:27
  • @yydl. A Q&A site does not have the role of promoting a religion. I certainly hope my participation on Christianity SE does not "promote Christianity". – TRiG Jun 17 '12 at 20:32
  • @TRiG Well you may want to see this. Either way, perhaps I phrased it a bit wrong. What I'm trying to get at is that ads about Christianity are inappropriate for a Jewish-themed site, similar to the way Google Adsense "automatically filters out ads that would be inappropriate on a news page about a catastrophic event." People who come here don't want to see them (ask them...) and as such we don't wanna offend them. – yydl Jun 17 '12 at 20:39
  • @yydl. Learning more about the world is never a bad thing. And CSE is emphatically not a church. In fact, its policies for open participation by people with diverse views are far far better than the policies on this site. I hope any future religion sites follow the CSE model rather than the JSE model. – TRiG Jun 17 '12 at 20:48
  • @TRiG I never argued about anything in your comment. It doesn't make a difference: the core issue is offending the users of this site. By your logic, immodest ads should also be allowed! [after all, you're learning about the world...] – yydl Jun 17 '12 at 21:12
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Or perhaps, as in Can beta mods suggest questions to be advertised cross-network?, allow the site the ad links to to include something indicating that that question won't be advertised, and leave it up to the discretion of that site.

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    BTW, this (from your link) is intriguing. We should keep it in mind. – Isaac Moses Mar 13 '12 at 17:31
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    ... when it gets closer to Pesach, I think we ought to suggest judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9944/… or some other awesome passover or haggadah question. – Isaac Moses Mar 13 '12 at 21:15
  • I submitted judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13819/… last week, and I saw a link to it from SE on G+ yesterday. I saw it an hour or two after the post; at that time the view count was 181. It's just one data point, but it'll be interesting to see what happens. – Monica Cellio Mar 22 '12 at 16:45
  • @IsaacMoses, courtesy ping. BTW, at the same time I also submitted judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9146/…, so with luck we'll see that show up in the rotation. – Monica Cellio Mar 22 '12 at 16:54
  • @MonicaCellio, yeyasher kocheich! – Isaac Moses Mar 22 '12 at 16:58
  • @IsaacMoses, thanks (though I feel funny about that since I submitted the questions). I was trying to pick questions that would appeal to a braoder internet audience; we'll see how well I did. :-) – Monica Cellio Mar 22 '12 at 17:18
  • @IsaacMoses, it looks like the link on G+ was good for about a hundred views. I have no idea how that compares to links they publish from other sites. – Monica Cellio Mar 25 '12 at 2:11

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