Should we ignore the premise?
Let us consider the following, exaggerated, cases:
In the first, a question is posted, reading
If someone's life is in imminent danger due to a threat of a third person, am I justified in using lethal force agains that third person?
and in the second case, the text posted is
Today, I overheard someone saying they wish ...
Excellent question! Thank you for taking the time to ask it.
Academia is a subculture. Like almost every other subculture, it has its own social mores and norms. Many of the questions here are asking about those "you have to be there to know it" aspects of academia. To that extent, (in my opinion,) if the question seems to requires knowledge of the field, ...
Many of the questions that we get on Academia related to ethics necessarily involve "grey" areas, since what is the most ethical choice, as you suggest, may not be the most practical choice.
However, I believe we would be remiss if we, as a board, did not encourage best practices—what we believe should be done in a given situation. Of course, people reading ...
For future similar questions, in my opinion we should put the question on hold immediately (with reason "unclear what you are asking"), so that it can be edited and improved by the OP without receiving inappropriate answers. Sometimes putting it on hold only means putting it on hold, not closing it, and this is one of those cases.
(As noted by @djechlin, it ...
@RQM's answer (and my guess as well) in a nutshell: people were questioning the premise because they were worried that if they were to answer the question literally, their answer would be misapplied to a situation that doesn't fit it. I find this a reasonable worry given the original post, and would probably have done the same.
Lots of answers on various ...
You should challenge the premise because that is what intelligent people do.
The OP gave background to a situation. She had nothing more to add when questioned about this background. So to those answering the question we took the background as complete and fact.
The question "how to deal with sexism?" is not a question, or at least one appropriate for ...
I don't think you should delete your answer. Even though it doesn't address the OP's situation exactly, it's a good answer that can be useful to others experiencing a similar situation within their institution. The disclaimer you added should be enough to warn the reader.
Obviously I agree with Massimo's answer, but let me add my own reasoning.
Your answer included a 1500 word (!!) monograph describing your views on the distinction between racism and concern about migration. This long discussion was unrelated to Academia (as defined in our help center) and only loosely related to the question at hand. This occurred a day or ...
Here's the FAQ on how reputation works. The one-point cost is simply to discourage massive downvote campaigns. Honestly, you should ignore it... it's more worthwhile to both yourself and the community if you upvote good stuff and downvote bad stuff. If you're concerned about reputation, give good answers to questions over time. If you're not concerned about ...
The following is a good paraphrase of a conversation I had with a junior colleague yesterday:
I: I just wanted to say that I would have discussed the issue of coauthorship of this paper with you if I thought there was any chance that you would consider it.
She: I didn't contribute any of the results of the paper.
I: Yes, but I've seen cases where people ...
What I look for in answers: (i.e., what I typically upvote)
A neutral, down-to-earth tone
A fresh take on a question (i.e., don't make your answer start with "I agree with XY")
Substantial answers (very short answers are not typically very useful to me)
A user that, based on her/his bio and SE habitus, seems trustworthy to answer the question
Sources, if ...
I think the answers to the original question were appropriate to the specific situation presented: it would be a bad idea to assume sexism was the reason for the student's actions.
Now the OP has a different question: what to do when there is sexism.
The best way to ask that is as a separate question, not an edit of the old question. A new question could ...
Using my own questions as examples.
Frame challenges are fine if the frame shift answers the question. E.g.
Why do academics drink so much coffee? Showing that academics don't drink more coffee than average answers the question because it shows the null hypothesis is good enough and the question isn't necessary.
Why is the UK such a brain magnet? Showing ...
I think some reasons may be
People on academia.SE don't truly care about anonymous Internet posters in the same way they care for their family and friends. They would rather uphold ethics than side with a random person, but in real life they would side with their friends rather than upholding ethics.
Many people on academia.SE post under their real name, ...
I have a pet peeve about nonacademics answering questions on this site. But not with all of them; only with those evincing a certain kind of behavior. Namely, what irks me tremendously is those who answer questions about academia but refuse to comment on or acknowledge their lack of academic expertise.
(In fact this is not limited to non-academics. I ...
I don’t think we can be much more objective in answers than we currently are.
Many of our questions are about problems that are far beyond the reach of studies or are far too individual for somebody to have relevant personal experience. Hence, we are only left with basing our answers on good arguments, which is what we often do. Often “as data- and ...
I would add another criterion to Allure's useful list: If most of the answer is about issues that are different from that of the question, the frame-challenge is probably not helpful but off-topic.
A helpful frame-challenge will quickly address the false premise and then return to giving advice on the issue at hand. If instead it gets lost in long asides, it ...
I don't know if this question asks about what we should look for or what we are looking for. I ran this query and extracted the answers that received 100 votes or more*.
Here are the links to the best voted answers to date in decreasing order of vote count:
At least for me, it is (for some reason) psychologically easier to just drop into a question a leave a short comment than to write an answer. If I write an actual answer, I usually try to put down at least ~15 minutes of writing time (I try to not write very short answers), and sometimes I just don't have the time. For comments, 5 seconds are enough.
I think that, without forbidding experience-based answers and anecdotal evidence, we should push ourselves a little harder towards fact-based and statistics-based answers. There are quite a few questions on the site who are answered mostly with “I advise you to do this” or “I observed around me that X is more common than Y”, and which could be much improved ...
Just in peeking through your answers on the site so far, although you've gotten a lot of upvotes on some (likely through the HNQ bloat, as others have pointed out), lots of your answers don't answer the actual question, and are more like extended comments on other answers.
Some of this might be because you lack the "insider information" necessary to answer ...
I urge readers to vote to pin the accepted answer at the top of the page. This feature does a lot of silent good work whilst the very few annoying instances where an OP picks a (seemingly) obviously wrong answer are very scarce indeed, however memorable these are (see Cag51's post and the information therein).
Despite the terms voting and upvoted, there is a ...
I like a lot an answer by Suresh to Are we presenting an idealised view of academia?, i.e. that we should make a split:
what we would all like to happen
what typically happens
what should NOT happen under any circumstances (even if it's sadly not rare)
what is completely abnormal.
I understand that [survival bias, etc] many profs here may ...
The reason is that one-sentence answers are frowned upon as independent answers on Stack Exchange sites. Therefore people tend to view material that firs into a comment as too short to be a free-standing answer. I don't think there's an easy fix for this, as it's a cultural issue.
Well, I'm just a Masters' student, so most of my academia knowledge is very basic.
However, note that all answers are judged by their content (and form), not their creator. Hence, as long as an answer that is useful, but not necessarily from an academic perspective, it can be accepted.
One example of such an answer could be this one:
In other words, do the answers here necessarily reflect the accepted
answers to questions or problems of whole academic community?
No. There's no reason or evidence to believe that this community is a representative sample of academia as a whole. And, as you note, a number of reasons to believe that this isn't the case - namely, that many of the natural "...