Why did T'Pol act like a human woman with Trip?

The topic of the question seems fully within the boundaries of the site, but the actual content is a bit not-quite-family-friendly.

Is this within bounds? I don't think we have any established rules.

[ My personal opinion is that the question is right on the boundary of "decent enough for the site" but very close to stepping over it - any more risque and it'd need to be closed or censored ].

As an alternate solution, we could have a meta-tag "adult-content" to allow filtering out such questions.

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    "That's nothing more than you'd see in an average soap commercial." See this in a comment here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/124338/… – Baby Yoda Mar 3 '12 at 0:11
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    @SachinShekhar - you have very conviniently omitted the up-voted answer from a moderator: If you wouldn't want to have to explain to your boss why part of Jolene Blalock's bare ass is on your screen, you probably shouldn't post it. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 3 '12 at 1:58
  • Actually, I am waiting for his response. See my comment there.. – Baby Yoda Mar 3 '12 at 2:01
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    Crossposted on meta.SO – CodesInChaos Mar 4 '12 at 11:29

I don't see a problem with that question per se, and I'm fairly liberal about such things but I wouldn't want someone at work to look over my shoulder and see that picture on my screen. It seems to me this question was worded in a somewhat provocative way (perhaps not intentionally). I think if we change the title to be somewhat more work-appropriate and change the picture to a link it's just fine. Also, note none of the comments even hint it may be too adult for this site.

And when I asked a question along similar lines on outdoors meta, Robert Cartaino (the Director of Community Development for the Stack Exchange Network) had this to say:

When exploring the appropriateness of a question, there are a few bars the question should pass:

  • Is the question being asked in good faith, and not just an excuse to post a tantalizing title to "test the fence" of what would be allowed?
  • Is the question itself adding to the substance of the site (i.e. Is this an intriguing and challenging question about the subject of "The Great Outdoors")?
  • Are the experts here best-equipped to answer your question (or is your question just obliquely- or tangentially-related to the subject)?
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    "Provocative"? "Sexual interaction" is perhaps the least provocative term for sex I've ever heard. – user1030 Mar 2 '12 at 23:09
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    @Kevin If you are saying it Adult, what's the official standard/guideline you are following? How can you say its adult? Without official guidelines reference, middle-east buddies may demand to remove even mini-skirt images.. – Baby Yoda Mar 2 '12 at 23:38
  • @SachinShekhar - Say, PG13 or something like that. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 2 '12 at 23:50
  • If its PG13, there's no need to hide that image in a link.. – Baby Yoda Mar 3 '12 at 0:01
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    The FCC broadcast TV standards are stricter than PG-13. – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 0:02
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    @JoeWreschnig - I'll go with R. Harvey's standards, as they are similar to mine (from an answer on MSO): If you wouldn't want to have to explain to your boss why part of Jolene Blalock's bare ass is on your screen, you probably shouldn't post it. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 3 '12 at 1:59
  • @DVK "R. Harvey's standard"? What kind of official standard this is... Probably, its not compatible with "J. Wreschnig's standard". – Baby Yoda Mar 4 '12 at 8:42
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    You're a programmer/research assistant, according to your profile. Why are you looking at scifi.se at work anyway? This isn't SO/SF. – Tony Meyer Mar 5 '12 at 22:50
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    @tony Compiling of course. Also, running hundreds of thousands of simulations takes time. – Kevin Mar 5 '12 at 23:34

I think turning the image into a [NSFW] tagged link is a good compromise. That way people who don't want to view it can easily avoid it, while those who do are not hindered much. (I'd prefer spoiler tags, but the SE implementation of spoilers doesn't support spoilering images)

As a guideline for which images to spoiler I'd use: "Many users wouldn't be comfortable viewing that image in a public place, such as work."

I wouldn't base this this on TV guidelines, or explicitly forbid nudity or violence.

(Cross post from https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/124498/152255)


The image is from the episode, isn't it?

Is this site's policy actually going to be more limiting than the standards the FCC applies to primetime broadcast television?

A bare female back is hardly "adult content".

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    Some of us view the site in situations where primetime broadcast standards don't apply. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 2 '12 at 23:14
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    It is impossible for the site to cater to every arbitrary standard of decency. Whether or not it raises problems with your office or whatever, this is still not adult content. – user1030 Mar 2 '12 at 23:27
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    @DVK I -initially- agreed with Kevin's answer, but Joe has point. If you are saying it Adult, what's the standard/guideline you are following? How can you say its adult? Without official guidelines reference, middle-east buddies may demand to remove even mini-skirt images.. – Baby Yoda Mar 2 '12 at 23:37
  • Ever considered that may be people may want to read some of this site's content with children? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 2 '12 at 23:49
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    @DVK That image was broadcasted on family TV which was easily accessible by children. So, don't question FCC standard with personal perception.. – Baby Yoda Mar 2 '12 at 23:56
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    Did you know that every child in the world sees a body completely naked, several times a day, every day? Shocking. (Well, almost every.) – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 0:03
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    @DVK I actually don't see a problem exposing the picture in question to children, but I still don't think it would be appropriate for my boss/coworkers to see it on my monitor, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. – Kevin Mar 3 '12 at 2:34
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    @Kevin - depends on children's age. And yeah, the NSFW angle is important as well, but I didn't stress it as much mostly because I'm worried someone would pooh-pooh it away with "Well you shouldn't be opening SFF.SE at work". – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 3 '12 at 2:56
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    Well, maybe you shouldn't be opening SFF.SE at prudish work. – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 9:32
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    @DVK :) That's correct... You shouldn't be opening SFF.SE at work. – Baby Yoda Mar 4 '12 at 8:29
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    @JoeWreschnig - you mean any company in Western Hemisphere large enough to have an HR department that is unfortunate enough to be situauted in a country with a concept of "sexual harrassment" equivalent to that of the USA? (under any corporate standard, an image like that IS considered sexual harrassment). – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 4 '12 at 11:41

Since Sachin posted this question (or its derivative) on Meta.SO, I will take the liberty of re-posting the answer from MSO moderator Robert Harvey (sans a really nice pic):

If you wouldn't want to have to explain to your boss why part of Jolene Blalock's bare ass is on your screen, you probably shouldn't post it.

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    By this standard it's fine if some people post it. None of my bosses would give a crap. In fact I'm sure this exact image was shown to a group of dozens in our office at least once. – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 9:31
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    @JoeWreschnig - this site is not ALL about you. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 3 '12 at 14:30
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    That's true, but the standard you're proposing either requires me to read the mind of your boss, or make it about me. hammar nailed it when he said this was the level of a soap commercial. – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 15:43
  • @DVK That answer hasn't been resolved yet.. There's no reply to my latest comment there.. – Baby Yoda Mar 4 '12 at 8:32

I support the [NSFW] tag. Some considerations:

  • Workplaces have weird rules that we cannot change. A [NSFW] tag lets you know that you probably shouldn't open the link at the office.
  • Note that you probably shouldn't browse this site at the office anyway; do so at your own risk. I do read it on my lunch break, and I know the risks involved.
  • About the children argument: a lot of SF & Fantasy is for adults. This website is meant for adults, and children are not allowed. If you are so concerned that your kids might accidentally read it and be traumatized by the sight of a naked female back, then install an internet filter.
  • The image itself is very tame. Like they say, nothing you wouldn't see in a soap commercial.

Let's not turn this into a prudish website, people!

  • "This website is meant for adults, and children are not allowed." - is this actually stated somewhere official or just your opinion? Thx. Also, if you read my wording, I'm concerned about children reading it under my supervision. This NSFW tag as the best solution. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 4 '12 at 22:03
  • @DVK The terms and conditions of the site (stackexchange.com/legal) limit access to anyone 13 or older. Of course, nothing at all enforces this (I don't think it's even visible outside of the T&C) and given the nature of the Internet, the site, and the CC license, that's a fairly meaningless limit. – Tony Meyer Mar 5 '12 at 22:56

I'd say that if it's something that could be considered offensive, whether adult content, foul language, or blatant flamebait, it should be disallowed. I shouldn't have to worry about my wife or boss seeing offensive stuff on my screen or in server logs. Period.

I fail to see why this is even an issue. If you want to post NSFW stuff, use some other site. This is a professional, work oriented site. Not an NSFW site.

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    I don't believe this is a professional, work-oriented site. We aim for professional quality, and there are some people who work on scifi/fantasy professionally who use it, but for the most part it is enthusiasts, not professionals, and it's entertainment-oriented, not work-oriented. – Tony Meyer Mar 5 '12 at 22:51
  • It is a SE site, and as an SE site, it is by default professional. Regardless of one's personal perversions, other people in the community do not want to be exposed to them when they visit an SE site. Since it is offensive, it has no place here. That IS a SE rule. – Gabe Willard Mar 5 '12 at 23:19
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    "Professional" means relating to a paid occupation. There is no indication that scifi.se is intended to be professional or work-orientated. Note that there is a very important distinction between "professional" (or "work oriented") and professional quality. – Tony Meyer Mar 6 '12 at 3:21
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    I would point out that that is not the preferred meaning of the word. Definition 1 c (2) ranks significantly higher. – Gabe Willard Mar 6 '12 at 3:45
  • preferred by whom? You? It doesn't even get mentioned in many definitions (e.g. google.com/search?q=define:professional) – Tony Meyer Mar 8 '12 at 22:06
  • Preferred by the dictionary I linked to, clearly. The higher on the list it is, the more preferred it is. That's basic dictionary usage. I could argue pedantry with you all day. The point remains. Sexual content does not belong on this site. This is a community site. As such, the content must be acceptable for the community. Not to you, or to me, or to anyone, but to everyone. That's part of being professional. – Gabe Willard Mar 8 '12 at 22:16
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    The highest item on the dictionary you linked to is "of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession". There are many questions that refer to sex/reproduction on this site - it's part of a great many science fiction and fantasy works, which is what this site is about. It's not off-topic at parenting.se, so I don't see why it would be here. Even this meta question doesn't suggest that sexual content does not belong on this site at all (if you feel that is the case, it would be best to open a separate meta question specifically about that). – Tony Meyer Mar 9 '12 at 0:09

I dunno . . . I have always been far more concerned with my children seeing/watching gratuitous violence than I have them seeing sexual activity within reason. The image in question doesn't personally bother me and if my teens saw it, I don't think I'd be particularly fussed. I probably would have a problem with my supervisor seeing that at work. It would be considered highly inappropriate, even though we know it's fairly innocuous.

Would a NSFW tag hurt?

  • I like NSFW tag. And guess what, may be YOU personally don't see the harm in a 7-year-old (taking a random age when a child would be likely to see SFF.SE) seeing this. But what if someone with a grudge ratted you out to CPS? Would THEY agree with your assessment? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 3 '12 at 14:29
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    Actually, seven-year-olds are not allowed on SFF.SE. More meaningfully, seven-year-olds know what female backs and male chests look like and have seen them often. I remain honestly surprised anyone finds this image 'adult content'. – user1030 Mar 3 '12 at 15:46
  • @DVK - Well, as you know, my kids are considerably older than seven. As for CPS, it's been my experience that it takes a lot more than a kid accidentally seeing a picture of a partially-nude person to have CPS take even the remotest semblance of action. Of course this might vary state to state. CPS is also pretty good about determining "grudge" reporters, although they are required to investigate all complaints. But, I suspect I've gotten quite OT -- my apologies. :) – Slytherincess Mar 3 '12 at 19:33
  • Really, NSFW tag would be great, but after stumbling MSO, I found that this tag could easily be missed. But, the first question is: Is it really NSFW? – Baby Yoda Mar 4 '12 at 8:52
  • The NSFW tag sounds like a great idea, but how would that deal with titles/questions that are inappropriate for younger readers or NSFW. I wouldn't like "why is 7of9's b**bs bigger in her starfleet uniform than her Borg costume" popping up on my screen at work! – Jared Mar 5 '12 at 3:35
  • @Jared - I hear what you're saying and I can understand why you wouldn't want that popping up on your screen at work. Thing is, there's no perfect solution to this issue. A NSFW tag could possibly be useful; the mods would obviously take care of an inappropriate title. Has this happened to you a lot/before? What I mean to ask is this a huge ongoing problem? I've been a member of SE since last November and I can't recall seeing an inappropriate or NSFW title. . . ? :) – Slytherincess Mar 5 '12 at 5:09
  • @Slytherincess - ahh it has not : ), although I had a question (forgotten it now sorry) that could be labelled as "NSFW" and that title would have to be explicit. Its a catch 22 isn't it, I don't know how one could get around that to be honest. – Jared Mar 5 '12 at 20:10
  • @Slytherincess - I just had a threat from a school that some parent wanted to alert CPS because my child was not allowed outside and had to sit in the nurse's office when other kids were playing outside. Apparently, following a strict order from a doctor to be indoors all day when your child is severely allergic to tree pollen (as in, ER visit allergic) is now valid grounds to complaint to CPS. There are (rare) times where i hate this country. Anytime CPS is mentioned is one of them. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 9 '13 at 13:32

I don't see how work is at all relevant here, unless your work is specifically related to science fiction and fantasy (in which case, it seems likely to me that this image would be considered appropriate).

If my employees were meant to stick to working during their work times (i.e. the traditional viewpoint), then the background image for scifi.se immediately tells me, whatever question they are looking at, that they are goofing off. It doesn't matter what content is in the question and/or answer.

If I'm tolerant of my employees occasionally doing non-work-related things during their work times (i.e. the modern viewpoint), then a screenshot from a PG TV show is perfectly acceptable.

The terms and conditions of the site specify that you must be 13 or older to use it. It seems to me that posters (and editors) and use their own judgement as to whether content is appropriate for a 13-year-old (in particular, 13-year-olds that are likely to be using this site).

  • Tony - How did you manage to avoid lawsuits? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 6 '12 at 1:20
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    @DVK most countries don't share the US's love of lawsuits :) – Tony Meyer Mar 6 '12 at 3:22
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    guess you Zealanders did the smart thing and listened to Sheakspeare and drowned all the lawyers! :) But seriously, here in the USA that pic is nearly 100% assured to be grounds for a sexual harassment complaint, probably a successful one. A lot lesser things trigger them. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 6 '12 at 3:24
  • @DVK nice to not live in the US :) Here, sexual harassment is "unwelcome or offensive sexual behaviour that is repeated or significant enough to have a harmful effect on you", and even then if you can't resolve it with your employer, it goes to the Human Rights Commission, not a lawsuit (I've dealt with two of these over the years; not pleasant things at all). You'd have a harm time convincing most people in this country that a screenshot from a PG TV show that aired in prime time on a free-to-air channel was "significant". – Tony Meyer Mar 6 '12 at 3:34
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    According to the mandatory yearly sexual harassment training (Ha!), even things like making a compliment on nice looking cloths can be considered S.H. Or off-colour jokes. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 6 '12 at 3:37
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    @DVK: You seem to have missed the point of that training. It's supposed to be teaching you it's as much about context as content. Yeah, the image in question could definitely be used in a harassing way. But on this site, in that question, it's not. Moreover this question is about adult content, not potentially harassment-inducing content. – user1030 Mar 6 '12 at 9:43
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    @JoeWreschnig - And you seem to have missed the point of the larger point of that training. The purpose if it is to protect the company from lawsuits that say "you didn't train the people not to harrass me", and the context of the sexually suggestive content DOES NOT MATTER to sexual harrassment atmosphere at all. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 6 '12 at 11:54
  • And this is exactly the reasoning behind my post. @TonyMeyer, pedantry aside, this IS a problem for a LOT of SE users. As a community, we have to think of EVERYONE. :) – Gabe Willard Mar 9 '12 at 0:23

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