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1:33 PM
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun I believe this is the meta discussion? The question specifically asks about handling symptoms... but I share your concern about medical questions.
Perhaps something in the FAQ along the lines of "We welcome questions on topics like these: ... Pregnancy (excluding specific medical advice)"?
 
 
1 hour later…
2:49 PM
@Beofett How about the swollen ankles example Susan mentions? On topic, or off? Amy commented that the health of the mother is about raising children (and the comment has 2 upvotes). I think there's quite a difference between "health of the mother" and "parenting". If "health" is on-topic then, by inference, anything that relates to the parents is on-topic too. Slippery slope.
 
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun Susan's answer received very few votes, and Amy's comment seems to have as much support as Susan's. Unfortunately, I think the consensus answer is overly broad, but it has a clear consensus.
I'd say the appropriate approach would be to open a new meta to clarify, but I can't imagine anything in our meta getting 16 votes the way participation has been :(
 
3:23 PM
I fear one of our new users is a bit too hung up on semantics
Note the vote to delete on that answer... I'm inclined to agree, but I want to give the poster a(nother) chance to fix the answer
 
3:55 PM
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun Do you feel my comments are appropriate/could be improved here? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
@Beofett I think your comments are good. It's almost comical that the user bothers writes so much in defense of a 1-line answer, but I can see his underlying reason (though I support you in disagreeing with it). The user's profile page indicates that he's new on the network, although he seems to fare better on the 3 other sites.
I wouldn't wield any mod powers to close the answer, though. The post is not offensive (which would be a reason for me), just low quality. Let the community and the system do its work.
Actually, the answer is nearly spot on. The problem is the question... it asks "are there any?" and the answer just says "yes there are."
 
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun I want to avoid using my mod powers with this user, as I don't want him to feel like I'm persecuting him. However, this is exactly the kind of answer I tend to flag for moderator attention (and subsequent deletion) on other sites.
 
@Beofett if you suspect that he might feel persecuted by you, flag it and let other moderators (hah) make the next move.
I wonder if we should try to improve the question, rather than looking the answer.
 
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun I just added a bit to the question :)
 
 
2 hours later…
6:14 PM
The problem with your expectations on that particular question and answer are that you are in essence demanding that any answer provide quasi-scientific expertise that the answerer will almost certainly not possess. Is the poster better-served by access to the information desired, or a novella by balanced mama giving her uninformed, unscientific opinion on poisonous chemical concentrations in children's toys, and the medical effects?
 
@Iucounu Hi, @Iucounu, welcome to chat.
 
In fact, I question the legality of any expectation that answers by non-medical experts provide, or even suggest, medical opinions. Leave it to the medical experts.
 
If you use the format @*username*, the person you are addressing will receive notification that you are directing a comment/chat message to them. This works both here and in the main site
 
If you are comfortable providing medical advice, I'm not. Nor is anyone else, apparently-- hence the lack of other answers. The answer was wholly appropriate to the question.
 
@Iucounu You seem to be making some rather broad assumptions.
 
6:16 PM
Nope. I am trained not to make any unfounded assumptions.
 
The fact that answers should provide citations does not equate to "all answers should provide medical advice"
@Iucounu you seem to be assuming that there is no middle ground between "here's a bunch of research, read it for yourself" and "here's a research paper written by me, on the spot"
There are plenty of examples of answers on this site that provide multiple citations, without crossing the line into "providing medical advice" (which is not something we condone)
 
I don't feel qualified to promote certain medical and scientific studies on PVC plastic, and the effects thereof on kids, over others. Nor should you, absent specific expertise.
 
The question in this case is not asking "what medical treatments should I undertake", nor "please diagnose my symptoms". "What are the risks of x" is not what I would call "medical advice". Saying "studies show that smoking is linked to cancer", and then providing links to studies, along with quotations and summaries, is not what I'd normally categorize as 'dispensing medical advice'
@Iucounu Then you shouldn't answer
 
There are so many studies that plopping the abstracts of all of them on the (very broad) point would be a ridiculous proposition. But if I choose certain studies as more worthy than others, I am giving what's tantamount to a scientific and/or medical opinion.
... besides a worthless one.
I was the only one to answer, and the only one to help the OP. He said he hadn't done due diligence, and obviously isn't to the point where he can narrow down his question much. I helped him. You did not.
 
The fact is that we actually do have members with specific expertise that qualifies them to provide quality answers to some of these questions. We have at least one biologist who specializes in pollutants, iirc, for example
 
6:22 PM
The real problem, if any, is a too-broad question. It should be obvious to anyone looking at the Google Scholar results that a book (or many) could be written in answer to the question.
 
@Iucounu The question was posted less than a day ago. That's hardly sufficient time to say "no one else was going to help him"
 
But instead of suggesting the question be deleted, which I leave to others to do, I gave helpful info.
 
furthermore, this whole line of "you didn't provide an answer, so you should criticise anything I post" is not valid
 
What may happen? Someone with valid expertise may actually condense the literature for the OP. That's not likely.
A "balanced mama" type may try to be too helpful, and give her uninformed, though seemingly well informed, take on an area where she has no business doing so.
 
@Iucounu Again, if the question was too broad, the appropriate response is to edit the question to improve it, flag for moderator attention, vote to close (once you have sufficient rep), or downvote the question
 
6:23 PM
Instead, what I've done is give the OP the information he requested.
There is no possible problem with my answer. Any broadness or vagueness of it is really a complaint about the question itself, since no more specific answer may be given without writing a book and/or suggesting expertise a poster doesn't have.
 
This is becoming very circular. I've tried to explain to you why posting a link to a google search is not acceptable by the standards of this community, and you keep responding on saying why the community standards are wrong.
 
Perhaps I should in addition suggest that the answer be improved-- but I question the desire to jump on my helpful answer, by others providing no help and not downvoting the question itself.
 
@Iucounu See, this is the false assumption.
 
Incorrect, Beofett. It's not circular, and I'm not just suggesting the community standards are wrong. I've given plenty of reasons why your actions were inappropriate in this case.
 
You were provided suggestions as to how your answer could be improved. You term that as "providing no help"
 
6:26 PM
If you feel that the answer, which cannot be narrowed due to the broadness of the question, is too broad, then by your standards you should downvote the question or suggest it be deleted.
 
@Iucounu Which actions? All you've done is say why you're right. What have I done that was inappropriate? Is it inappropriate to say "this is the expectation"?
 
You didn't provide help to the OP, Beofett. Let's not dance around and pretend to misread plain English here.
 
@Iucounu The question has already been editted
@Iucounu I did (by editing the question to improve it)
 
It's still way too broad. A book could be written in answer, the OP hasn't done a significant search on his own prior to posting, and you are calling for non-experts to synthesize research results where they have no business doing so.
This is a parenting forum, not a scientific forum. No PVC poisoning expert will happen along here, ever, I'm guessing.
But that's not to say no one should broach the subject of plastics and poisons, just that the answers will by nature be non-scientific when posted by non-scientists, and non-medical when posted by non-doctors.
 
@Iucounu Then feel free to post a meta question suggesting that subjects like this should be off-topic, along with your reasoning why. That's how this site works: the rules are defined by the community, through discussion.
Our meta site is here: meta.parenting.stackexchange.com
 
6:29 PM
It boggles the mind that someone who lacked bias would see my response as non-helpful. I directly pointed the OP to scads of research for him to narrow his efforts in due diligence.
I may do that, when I have time. In the meantime I am spending my time defending an innocent attempt to help another poster in exactly the manner requested.
 
@Iucounu By that logic, every single question that involves a factual answer would get "www.google.com" as an answer.
 
If I were to go edit the question to remove a somewhat inappropriate request for other users to synthesize truly huge masses of research, I imagine that my edit will be removed.
No, Beofett, that's false.
Nice try, but there's no absurdity to reduce to here. It's only the overly broad questions that are overly broad; only the ones calling for scientific expertise that are scientific in nature. What's absurd is the suggestion that no question could possibly call for an overly broad answer, or scientific or medical expertise.
 
@Iucounu No, your claim is that "providing a huge list of unsorted, unfiltered data in the form of a google search is a valid, and helpful answer". The claim that the question is overly broad or requires scientific or medical expertise is a separate issue.
 
I didn't claim that. Please don't supply spurious quotes; it's dishonest.
I provided a list of research studies and expert commentary on them, which was clearly filtered. It was a valid and helpful answer in supplying the very research studies that were asked for.
 
@Iucounu Its a paraphrase. And you did say that you provided, and I quote: "plenty of useful info"
 
6:36 PM
Nope, it's not a valid paraphrasing at all, nor was it identified as such.
I did provide plenty of useful info, exactly the info that was called for. I question the usefulness of your edit, adding a call for non-experts to synthesize masses of research for an OP, essentially doing his due diligence for him and possibly presenting the wrong perspective on the information. There's just no way to spin non-experts posing as experts that's going to work well.
 
@iucounu I have attempted to explain why your answer received the response it did. I have tried to explain why providing a google link (whether "filtered" or not) is not an acceptable answer. I am not going to sit here and bandy further semantics. You can accept that explanation or not; it is entirely up to you.
 
Thank you for tacitly, though not honestly and openly, ceding the point on filtering. It's much appreciated-- in fact it is possibly the first bit of progress we've had in this discussion.
 
@Iucounu I have also provided you with information on the proper avenues for proceeding, since you have issues with the validity of the question itself (and my edits). Again, it is up to you whether you choose to take it.
 
My suggestion is that going forward, some discussion happens on just how much non-experts should be expected to usefully synthesize research studies for other non-experts. And that instead of slamming users with whom you've got a personal beef when they post the only answers to a broad quesion, and are actually providing useful information, that the main focus be on the question from now on.
 
@Iucounu If you say so.
 
6:40 PM
Notice that if my answer were deleted, the only help for the OP would be deleted.
If he hasn't been back to see the list yet, you'd deprive him of it.
 
@Iucounu I have no "personal beef" with you, nor did I "slam" you.
 
We have different perceptions.
 
@Iucounu clearly
This is not really making any progress, so I'll end with a few clarifying points:
 
I think you are a bit predisposed to dislike, based on our shared history. I'm not saying that I blame you for it; it's a free world. Nor do I particularly dislike you. I do think you're doing a very poor job of remaining unbiased.
All right, Beofett. I'll listne.
 
@Beofett TL, if you have a moment?
 
6:43 PM
A link to a google search is not an acceptable answer by our current standards. If you think it adequately answers the question, then please consider it a clear sign that the question needs (possibly drastic) improvement. That's not to say you can't post such an answer. Merely that you risk downvoting, or even deletion (and not necessarily from a moderator)
If you have questions or concerns about the appropriateness of questions/answers, we welcome discussion in our meta site
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun for some reason its not showing for me... could you please ping me?
 
All right, Beofett. I will check out the meta site.
 
@Beofett I did, same for me. Check your chat profile, i'm sure parenting is no longer the chat's parent site. fix it, wait 1 minute, try again.
 
@Iucounu finally, our community policies and rules can and do change, if there's a strong desire on the user base to make those changes. I honestly do welcome you to participate in meta to help define what you feel are potential problems, and/or what suggestions you may make for fixing these issues.
 
Will do!
 
6:59 PM
I suppose that in the short term, before I look into additions to the rules, I could add to the question to state why it's not possible to provide a synthesis of all the research, from size and appropriateness perspectives. That will add more to the answer, hopefully helping the OP's thought process. It's not extra help in the form of facts, but hopefully help nonetheless.
I meant "... add to the ANSWER to state...".
 
@Iucounu Not a bad idea, but take a look at the comments between the OP and the recent edits he made first. I'm hoping he comes back and works a little to fix the question some more. In a way, I feel his comments made the question worse
 
@Beofett All right, will do. I have to leave in a few minutes but will check back later, and will edit my answer before I go.
 
@Iucounu here's a helpful trick: in the text-entry field, press the up arrow key to get a chance to revise your most recent chat message. It works for a short while after posting it, for exactly this reason :-)
 
Okely dokely
Bye for now.
 
I see by the pencil icon that you've already tried it! Bye.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:20 PM
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun I seem to not be able to do anything right today :( The person who asked this question now seems upset with me (the original comment started with "don't have to be rude" before she edited).
The upvotes on my comment seem to indicate that people agree there isn't nearly enough info in the question, but the OP insists "all the details are there".
If you get a chance, would you mind responding? I'm starting to feel like everything I say comes across wrong lately
Nevermind, it seems unlikely she'll come back, so I tried by best to respond appropriately while she's still here.
 
9:04 PM
@Beofett you can't win them all.
 
10:02 PM
@Iucounu I have not offered any advice on PVC plastics. Other areas where I have offered advice or often either related to my profession and experience in it or in my own life experience as per the FAQs. I did not suggest you not use links or citations, I suggested that you summarized briefly what a couple of the studies you've encountered state - or, you could, as I did, not answer at all and wait for some one else who does know more about it to answer.
@Iucounu So flag the question as too broad.
Nice Try Beofett - on both accounts.
 
10:29 PM
Wish I could just second Torben's "You can't win them all."
 

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