In this question, I paste a graphic which has this text-content

That one time I went to a mortuary and some cute mortician girls gave me a butt plug. Seriously. This is to prevent post mortem leakage. Personally I find it somewhat satisfying to know that every homophobe who has been buried in the last few decades is spending eternity with a butt plug firmly screwed into their ass. I mean LITERALLY, look a this fucker, it's got fucking threads on it!!!

This content is used to substantiate the underlying question and claim,

Are cadavers normally embalmed with “butt plugs” before burial?

A moderator of the site, modified the above transcription and truncated it only reproducing the first part,

That one time I went to a mortuary and some cute mortician girls gave me a butt plug. Seriously. This is to prevent post mortem [anal] leakage.

My objection to this is that,

  • It's ablest. The purpose of providing a transcription while maintaining the text is merely to make the graphic more accessible. By truncating the transcription you're passing a moral judgement that will only affect those that are using a screen reader. That seems unfair.
  • It hurts indexing where obscene parts of the text seem likely to be used in search. Any thing in an image not in text is not indexable on StackExchange or Google.
  • While not pertinent here, I think oftentimes the offensive part of the text can be used in the answer to address the inherent bias in the claim.

The original outline of the site called for,

Quote from it (a direct quote, not just a paraphrase)

I would argue that cutting memes apart is what is meant by paraphrasing here, and likely to remove context.

  • An image description (text placed between [ and ]) is explicitly limited to 100 characters Writing things in block quotes under the image is how StackExhchange works around this within the markdown limitations.

What stance should the community take on this matter?

  • I see. So when there's a content dispute you've decided to repeat the whole thing here on meta now.
    – fredsbend
    Dec 17, 2020 at 15:37
  • @fredsbend yes, we're having a conversation about the disputed content -- specifically truncating it. How are we going to do that without reproducing the disputed content and showing the truncation. Dec 17, 2020 at 16:29
  • It's in the edit revisions, and you know that.
    – fredsbend
    Dec 17, 2020 at 16:31
  • @fredsbendso so you want me to link to the edit revisions and force people that want to engage in this conversation to have to visit them? What does that accomplish? Dec 17, 2020 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Your bona fides are in doubt, since your original post contained similar inflammatory language, and your reputation for pushing the limits doesn't help. Putting that aside, some of your complaints may be valid, albeit contrived.

If we don't talk like that here to each other, then we're not going to quote people like that here unless we absolutely need to. We strive far more than most other places to be professional level content. Skeptics SE evaluates notable claims. The removed text is not part of the claim, therefore it's not needed on this site. If we were a site that evaluates words, motive, or bias then it would be on topic.

Your claim it hurts indexing is dubious. SE has some of the best indexing optimization this side of the Internet. Also, the first portion of the quote remains intact, so it's hard to imagine people searching for the last non-claim half while not searching for the claim half. To top it off, the question is on the hot list, so it's already gotten far more views than typical.

You're ablest accusation makes no sense. If you feel the need to use graphic imagery in your depiction for the sake of vision impaired persons, then it belongs in the image description. But you've already added an image description: punk with alleged butt plug. It's true, blind people accessing the site with a screen reader aren't getting that content. It's also true that if it were easy to remove it from the image itself, I would. In fact, finding the same claim not dependent on that image with that text seems doable. I may do that.

  • I've addressed your indexing problem and your suggestion for using the image-description in my last update. Both of which you're just wrong for technical reasons. As for how we use this site, I don't have to talk like Hitler or Trump to be skeptical of their claims. In order to engage the community here, I have to reproduce those claims regardless of how I would otherwise address people. Dec 17, 2020 at 16:46
  • BTW, I find it interesting that your whole take is we need to be nice to others and you feel the need to attack me in the second sentence here by name. I explicitly did not even name you when I started the topic. "You're well known, Evan, always pushing up to the line. But, putting that aside ..." Consider if I'm "well known" here it's because I have twice the reputation and over 3 times the gold badges (on this site), and in addition this is like my forth most ranked StackExchange site? IE, that I contribute a lot more to the network. ;) Dec 17, 2020 at 16:49
  • 4
    @EvanCarroll You attack yourself when you do this stuff. I've merely pointed it out. You, personally, Evan Carroll, have been called out by name on many occasions as less than contributory. That's the reputation you've built here. You could have made this a question that didn't zero in on "homophobes", that didn't insist on quoting the part that expresses pleasure in some sexual victim irony, that didn't push the flamebait to the top of the mind rather than the actual claim. But you did do that ... again.
    – fredsbend
    Dec 17, 2020 at 17:25
  • There is a reason why we have a reputation indicator and provide badges. It's to provide a quantifiable measurement of our relative standings in the community. You may not like me. But the facts remain and the numbers speak for themselves: You, Me Dec 17, 2020 at 17:38
  • 5
    @EvanCarroll I don't think raw reputation numbers are a good way of saying you're behavior has a higher standing in the community than another user. Just using the upvote/downvote ratio from this Date Explorer query as an example, you get ~7 upvotes per downvote, whereas fredsbend gets ~14 upvotes per downvote, so by this (admittedly pretty naive) measure you have half as much community support as fredsbend. If nothing else, just saying you're more important is rarely a good response to criticism.
    – Giter
    Dec 18, 2020 at 4:39
  • @Giter I didn't just state I was more important: I quantified it with the metrics that StackExchange has chosen for specifically this purpose. The measurement is even named "reputation". If the criticism is a vacuous allegation that only serves to impugn character, I don't see how to refute that without using the quantifiable measure of standing in the community that we're all afforded. Dec 18, 2020 at 5:22
  • 7
    Oh my. This made me look at @EvanCarroll's answer history and I hadn't realised how rampant the Dorothy Dixers were. 31 of 36 answers (and all accepted answers) are self-answers. Perhaps time to revisit this.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Dec 18, 2020 at 13:02
  • I probably have a thousand self-answered questions on this network. You lucky kids got 31 of them and that's all it took to get into top-25. ;) But I'm mostly here because most of this ops on this Skeptics are pretty reasonable and the StackExchange format works well for me. Dec 18, 2020 at 18:24
  • 1
    @evancarroll rep doesn't mean "more important", it means "more privileges". You are mixing things up.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 18, 2020 at 20:20
  • Btw, @EvanCarroll - you complaining about ableism (i.e.: the act of giving someone less value as a person if they have disabilities) while claiming you are somehow better than others because of your rep and badges is incredibly ironic and, honestly, hilarious. You are not more important than any other user, period.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 18, 2020 at 21:05
  • @T.Sar why is that ironic? If I claimed that, it would be because I earned more rep. It's a result of my work. Not because I was born that way. Dec 21, 2020 at 6:35
  • It is the same as claiming you are worth more as a person because you have more money
    – T. Sar
    Dec 21, 2020 at 10:10
  • @EvanCarroll Consider if I'm "well known" here it's because I have twice the reputation and over 3 times the gold badges (on this site), and in addition this is like my forth most ranked StackExchange site? IE, that I contribute a lot more to the network. ;) you're also well known for the high number of suspensions earned across network. But I think you have played by the rules where SO is concerned. As for reputation being equal to worth, may I ask how often you have nominated yourself to be moderator on any of the 26 sites you participate in, and if you have, how often you were elected?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 21, 2020 at 13:12
  • That's correct, not just do I have more reputation but I'm a law-abiding member of the community. I have some disagreements with moderators, as seen here, but I'm usually right and that's why I just get short-term suspensions on specific sites. Moderators get to run the sites like tyrants. But that has no objective bearing on my stunning and network renowned reputation. Also, in the past 10 years none of my nominations have been voted on, so your answer is 0 (unless you're going back more than a decade). Dec 21, 2020 at 16:42
  • 1
    @EvanCarroll "law-abiding member of the community" but not on Meta SE. Your suspension there says it's for "rule violations" but it will be lifted in 6 hours' time. I have no idea how long the suspension was, if it was just for one day, one week, one month or one year. Impossible to tell for sure. P.S I too have been suspended more than once on Meta but that was because I disagreed with and challenged the mod team's decisions.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 25, 2020 at 9:42

We should not censor claims in questions

I propose that for any graphic with text we allow, and encourage, that text to be reproduced in full in a block-quote below.

  • Please explain why this option is superior than cropping out irrelevant parts of the text/image.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 27, 2020 at 14:29
  • @T.Sar that's in the question, (a) it's ablest -- it only disadvantages those that use screen readers, (b) it's bad for indexing, people who type the part of the claim you find insulting or offensive into google will not be able to find the analysis here, (c) context, while you may not think it adds information in this case, this will be one more thing we will have to evaluate or neglect when moderating, as the removal of context (which is what happens when you truncate the text) will result in less nuanced answers. Dec 27, 2020 at 15:39
  • None of this address explains why it is superior to leave up the bad text instead of cropping out. As pointed out by our moderator, all of the above assumptions are wrong, so...
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 3:19
  • I think all of his assumptions are wrong. Except I'm demonstrably right, because that's what the specs say, so... Read revisions newer than 4 which answers his original, and technically incorrect, response skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/posts/4680/revisions Dec 28, 2020 at 3:21
  • That is not what "demonstrably right" mean. But nevermind, I'll just disengage. After reading a few more of your questions/answers/comments, I realized discussing with you isn't something I think is worth my time.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 17:27
  • How is it not demonstrably right, you simply can't do what he suggested. He wants the text in the alt-description of an image. That won't work because it exceeds the limits imposed by the spec. Moreover, even if it did work how is that less-offensive than having it in the block-quote. If you didn't want to defend his positions, why did you even jump into the conversation? Dec 28, 2020 at 17:32
  • You are not addressing my question at all. Why is putting everything better than cropping out the unneeded part? You didn't answer that. You ignored that, and is just repeating yourself as if that somehow made you right.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 18:07
  • Cropping a bad part out wouldn't be ablest, for example, because nobody would see that irrelevant part. Instead of saying why having the bad part in is important, you opted to just repeat yourself. So, I'm disengaging. Have a nice new year's eve.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 18:11
  • "unneeded part" determined by who? the people not using a screen reader who assume that everyone else is ok with that determination? I would certainly like others to be involved in the discussion. Just imagine if someone told you something about the claim you're reading is "not needed" and refused to make it available to you. Dec 28, 2020 at 19:06
  • 1
    Separating what is needed from what is not needed is standard modus operandi for Skeptics SE (as you should probably know, since you're such a high-ranked user, no? The signal-to-noise ratio and all that jazz... But I'm sure you know that already...). We more often than not gut questions and take away inflamatory language, unnecessary quotes, etc. That's basic site usage, not some evil censorship.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 19:11
  • @T.Sar I do know, as a top-50 user: we don't do that at all. I can think of no other case except where we've restricted content from the visually impaired. Or, more generally, where we have deleted content from the claim which we reproduce on the site to make available for answering. The form on this site is (1) a total reproduction of the claim with all context (2) optionally, what specifically you're skeptical of. I would challenge you to find a single violation of this where the claim was not reproduced in full for the reason of being obscene. Dec 28, 2020 at 19:31
  • 1
    Correction - no content was removed from the claim. The claim is far more narrow than what you think it is. The opinion of the person making the claim about the matter is completely irrelevant, and can be removed without issue. In fact, It could even be removed from the image without issue. It is completely irrelevant, and add nothing to the question. Context is important, I agree. But then, this wasn't context at all...
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 22:53
  • You keep saying this was "content". This wasn't "content". This was noise. Stop saying it was content. Repeating yourself with no straws to grasp only hurts your credibility, and makes you saying you're a top-50 user even more hilarious.
    – T. Sar
    Dec 28, 2020 at 22:56
  • @T.Sar If you say it's not content, delete it. If other people can't see it, they can't refute your position. Makes perfect sense. That's how we'll govern this place! Dec 28, 2020 at 23:00
  • Ahem...
    – T. Sar
    Dec 29, 2020 at 10:44

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