Question about the Warnings in the "Death Penalty Options" thread

As an impartial observer, and just a member of this board, the warnings in this thread seem strange, considering how Colibri made an announcement that further warnings would come from the hijack, and then later, instead of issuing warnings, simply adding another announcement that warnings would come from the hijack.

Seems strange to me not to rescind the original warnings.

I am sure he will speak for himself at some point but my read is that time may have been a factor. The first warning was 12:28, second at 12:31 and the mass semi-warning at 12:35. Then again the 2:00 less-than-mass near-warning. I don’t know if he realized just how set the drift was when the first two were posted.

Well, now there is a 3rd Moderator announcement that further hijacks will be a warning. I just don’t get that at all.

I think it was my first official warning. I’m inclined to do a mea culpa because it was in General Questions and I have been here long enough to know better. I’ll confess to being surprised that I didn’t get a “knock it off” to start with instead of an official “goes in my permanent record” kind of thing, but I can’t really claim I didn’t deserve it when you get right down to it.

The first two notices seem to be about two different issues - one was not to debate the existence of/need for the death penalty, the other was not to discuss alternative methods to injections. Both said not to hijack, but were about different hijack threads.

The first two warnings were just straight-up “being a jerk” type ones, I think.

The thread title is “Death Penalty options” so I personally feel every moderator post in that thread is in the wrong. All those posts that got warned were perfectly on-topic, as they all discussed death penalty options.

Can this type of warning be gamed, I wonder? If I make a general thread title, and then in the (long) OP I (eventually) clarify that I’m only asking about a specific subset of the title, can I then report everyone responding to the more general title instead of the narrower question embedded in the OP?

(The linked thread does not have a long OP, and the narrower question isn’t hidden; I’m speaking conceptually.)

This wasn’t a GD thread. The title of the OP is irrelevant, in GQ, one should answer the actual question asked, which was just “Why isn’t the same chemical that is used to euthanized animals used to execute criminals?”

ETA: I see your ETA, but the answer remains the same - just answer the question. Afterwards, we can drive the thread to Cuba. But try and answer the factual question first, I say as a denizen of GQ. Yes, people responding to the title not the question should be modded if only for not reading the OP. (I say as someone who’s absolutely done just that many times)

Too late to Edit: I’m not saying they should be big-W Warned for doing that. But they should certainly be modded for doing it, which is exactly what happened here. The actual Warnings weren’t for just diverting off topic, I feel.

Even if you just read the title, and not the actual question (which is really the fault of the reader), it’s a GQ thread, so it obviously was not asking people for their preferred execution method.

And, yes, it seemed that each mod note was restricting a different topic. It seems to me that Colibri assumed that, since so many people didn’t get it, he must’ve been unclear.

(Not my best worded sentence, but I’m too tired to fix it.)

This; which is why I was careful to raise the difference in awareness as a question. It isn’t something I have ever heard or raised as fact but something I always wondered about; does it play into the poor results from lethal injection executions and relate directly to the gist of the OP. It relates but not as directly as I would have wished.

GQ too often gets treated like IMHO and good moderation means reining in those who are compelled to share their irrelevant opinions.
But my usual complaint about in-thread rule-making applies.

Fair enough.

Is that not what happened? Rereading the thread, the first 5 replies answer the specific GQ question pretty effectively, and then after that the thread starts getting driven to Cuba.

The poster starting the hijack wasn’t one of the posters trying to answer the question. There was still a lot of discussion to be had before you could say the factual question was answered. Jumping in with “Bullets LOL!” isn’t even trying

Yes, but I think a bigger problem is that General Questions are too often confused with Great Debates. In GQ, one should be looking for a specific answer to a a specific question, and it should only be the product of fact. If anything else plays into it, it is a debate.


It would have been tantamount to a thread about abortion, and someone is asking which chemical is used for a particular type of abortion, but then others jump in and insist on making it a pro-life vs. pro-choice thread.

A lot of discussion being needed indicates a debate, not a specific question requiring a specific answer. Therein lies the crux of the problem.

Not necessarily - it’s optimally: people put forward suggestions, there’s a little discussion (not debate, where people are trying to argue for their own side, but more like a chat between interested parties), and then someone comes along and settles it with some definitive cite or expert knowledge of the subject area. Like, one would hope a vet or animal pharmacist would be along before too long…

It’s very seldom possible to express all of the nuances of a question in the thread title, and in fact, often a title will be something like “Math question”. That doesn’t mean that absolutely any post at all about math is on-topic.

The first two warnings were for a different issue, trolling and being a jerk. They didn’t address the substance of the OP at all. The one by UCBearcats was particularly bad, being just a drive-by suggesting summary execution. AHunter3’s was evidently a joke, though one in poor taste, and I might have let it go with a note except that I didn’t want the thread to go even further off track.

I was being lenient with the subsequent violations of my instructions. The title of the thread did read “Death Penalty Options,” and some people might have been responding to that rather than the very specific question in the OP. However, I felt that if it was left open to discussion of all possible methods of execution, the question in the OP would soon become lost and it would be necessary to move it to Great Debates. So I issued instructions to restrict it to the specific question in the OP. I gave a pass to the first few violations but issued a warning to the (hopefully) last one.

Unfortunately, any question related to the death penalty, gun control, or other controversial subjects, even if it is a very narrow factual question, will get hijacked into GD territory within a few posts without moderation. The is true even when the instructions are posted three times in GIANT RED LETTERS. I’m going to ask for a raise.

The Red Letters are for hijackings only?