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Can we have a policy on hide (use of >!) content, when posting disgusting pictures?, in which OP is always seeking personal medical advice on a disease or something like that.

I've encountered this situation, for the second time in this site, a really disgusting picture, asking for personal advice.

I mean, one clicks on the question, and how one is suppose to know that one was going to find such picture?

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Sure, we could make such a policy, but we already have a very strong policy prohibiting medical advice questions. It's so strong that it's spelled out in bold in the very first sentence of the disclaimer box on the site's main page, and also in bold again in the help section. And yet we close several such questions every single day. Some days it can be a half dozen or more. The problem is that people often land here from web searches, and they don't read anything before they ask, even if it's in bold text. So I give the odds of such a policy having any effect as close to zero.

Also, keep in mind that this is a medical forum, so it's entirely possible -- even likely -- that some people may encounter pictures they find objectionable even in perfectly valid questions. It would be nice if the OP used the hide feature, but I don't believe that should be enforced. You won't find such a policy in medical journals or college-level classrooms because sometimes medicine is just plain gross and it needs to be shown to be understood. That's the level of discourse we're trying to achieve here.

If a valid question contains a photo that some might find objectionable, the criteria I'll apply are: 1) Is it inappropriate to be seen by teens as young as 13? 2) Is it unnecessary to understand the question? 3) Is it overtly prurient? 4) Is it so emotionally disturbing that even medical professionals will recoil? If the answer is yes to any of those, I'll edit to hide the photo, redact the photo, or delete the question, whichever seems more appropriate.

But redacting something from a post requires at least one other mod to approve it, so it's not something that can happen instantly. It could easily take 24 hours or more, during which time you might see it. The only thing a mod can do that will be instant is deleting the question, and that's something we rarely do. There's a good reason for that: the OP needs to see why their question was rejected, and if we delete it they won't.

All that said, that was not a valid question and I closed it 3 minutes after it was posted. I understand that you can still see closed questions, but for the reasons explained above, there's not much we can do about that.

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  • Mod Carey I understand that this is a medical forum and that perhaps some of you don't mind that much with such pictures. As you said, in college-level classrooms they might see such pictures, but the differences lies in they are previously warned, so they might prepare themselves for that. In this case, is different. 1) Some users are by no means medical students or related. 2) We are not warned before for seeing such pictures, one just clicks on the question and ...! Hence a policy, me thinks would be appropriate here. May 13 '20 at 1:12
  • Could there be a policy saying "If you are going to include a picture, showing your own disease, please use the hide feature >!, thank you."? May 13 '20 at 1:13
  • @America If they're showing a picture of their own disease, then it's going to be closed as soon as a mod sees it or someone flags it. I don't think a policy will change anything. Oh, and BTW, I just edited the question to hide the photo.
    – Carey Gregory Mod
    May 13 '20 at 1:15
  • hmm well I'm sorry, you had to look at the pic twice :/ .As you say, the policy might not work as intended, but I think it's better than no policy at all. May 13 '20 at 1:25
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    And also, I really appreciate the measures that you already take on this: hide the photo, redact the photo, or delete the question, whichever seems more appropriate. Thank you. May 13 '20 at 1:27
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If a question asks "what is this STD?" there's a pretty good hint that you could encounter a picture involving genitalia if you click on it.

Medicine deals with the urogenital tract like any other organ system, as well as all manner of skin lesions, blood, internal growths like tumors, fat-encased organs, traumatic injuries, necrotic tissue, etc, and first-responders, medical examiners, etc are going to encounter bodies in all stages of decay from all causes.

We're on a medical site here, so visitors should be aware of where they are.

I think it's reasonable for moderators to consider removing such images from posts they close (and other users from closed posts), and considering deleting rather than closing posts that seem intended to show off an image rather than being a true misguided attempt for information. I don't think it is reasonable for users to consider that part of mods' or other users' job, however.

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  • "If a question asks "what is this STD?" there's a pretty good hint that you could encounter a picture involving genitalia if you click on it." no, not necessarily. One could just find their descriptions, problems, etc i.e. text only. Of course that, after this situation, I better not click again when the title mentions STD or has std tags. As I said, it is not common for me to find such gross pics in this site, so I was not aware. May 14 '20 at 0:26
  • "and considering deleting rather than closing posts that seem intended to show off an image rather than being a true misguided attempt for information." I totally agree with this. +1 for this May 14 '20 at 0:28
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    @America I didn't say you would necessarily find one, I said it's a hint that you could encounter it. May 14 '20 at 0:38
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How can "disgusting" be defined objectively? What's disgusting to you might be normal to me, and vice versa

For instance, I'd consider a detailed image of someone being slowly tortured to death while suffering excruciating agony to be disgusting, but it's a common image among many Christian groups, who often flagrantly display it for the general public, including small children, to see.

It would be reasonable for me to ask that it be banned, but it would also be unreasonable of me to expect that it would be.

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  • I think this should not go that far, like considering bans. I understand this is a medical site and sometimes they need to show their pictures. And perhaps there are users that don't mind about it, no matter how gross could be, and they're willing to help such users with their diseases. So where one could draw the line then? One possible is the use of this >!, always. That way, everybody can read, edit, etc. freely. Me thinks. May 14 '20 at 0:34

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