0

This answer to the question "what to do if I suspect my friend is stealing from me" suggests to "set a trap" in the form of a hidden camera, which I personally don't find very socially adept or "interpersonally skillful". According to this thread on meta, it seems that the community is in favor of deleting answers that are not using interpersonal skills. I tend to agree, but would grant the benefit of the doubt and rely on the downvoting mechanism as a more proportionate measure.

However, the answer also suggests to use laxatives, which is a form of assault and thus not only unethical but also illegal. I have accordingly flagged the answer for deletion, but nothing happened.

What is the reasoning behind not deleting this answer?

10
  • 1
    Not many users have the "delete" votes as of now. However, you may flag it for deletion if you think it deserves it. Custom flags can take a while before you get a response. Or have you used a standard NAA flag? NAA flags will push it onto the review queues for us all to see it.
    – NVZ
    Aug 28 '17 at 16:31
  • @NVZ I'm not sure what an NAA flag is. I think I clicked on "flag", then "in need of moderator intervention".
    – user510
    Aug 28 '17 at 16:36
  • NAA = Not an Answer. What deserves such a flag was previously discussed in this meta. You might have missed that part in the meta post you yourself linked. See Monica Cellio's neat answer.
    – NVZ
    Aug 28 '17 at 16:40
  • 2
    As an aside, I'm not sure putting laxatives in your own food constitutes an "assault". If the friend steals the food, isn't it the friend's problem?
    – NVZ
    Aug 28 '17 at 16:42
  • 1
    Part of the problem is that the question has no country attached to it. As such, we can not assume where they are located (probably not the US, as the question uses dollar signs after the number (eg 20$). As such, we have no way of knowing if it's actually illegal. Even if we remove the laxatives part of the answer, the answer does use IPS - to me it reads "use a camera to get more info and then confront them about it". I don't know that I agree with the solution but I don't know that it's not IPS-related.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 28 '17 at 16:53
  • I'm wondering what the downvote means here? Does it mean the offending question should stay or that it should be deleted; or does it mean my question is irrelevant or ill-phrased?
    – user510
    Aug 28 '17 at 19:46
  • Meta downvotes generally mean disagreement with the question. Other than that, I can not guess.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 28 '17 at 19:51
  • Meta downvote = disagree (with your premise that that answer should be deleted, @henning.) If a meta question is actually bad or irrelevant it will be close-voted. Aug 29 '17 at 21:12
  • I'm not sure that suggesting an illegal action (anywhere? in the OP's jurisdiction? in the answerer's jurisdiction? who polices it?) makes something delete-worthy by itself. Has there been a discussion of this? Aug 29 '17 at 21:29
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio Never too late to have one. See also: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1960/345
    – NVZ
    Oct 24 '17 at 18:16
3

It's a borderline answer, perhaps.

Downvotes are the obvious choice here if you wish to indicate disapproval; until you can prove that it fully deserves a deletion.

I've not seen it enter the Low Quality Posts review queue. So that's possibly one reason the regular users haven't deleted it.

For one, I'm not sure if it fully deserves a deletion though. It does in a sense involve IPS, that is, it suggests using video proof that the friend stole something before confronting him, which otherwise without proof would mean that the OP will fail to make his case convincingly.

While I admit that putting laxatives into others' food might be an assault or illegal act in some regions, I'm not sure how that applies here in particular.

The user suggests adding laxatives to one's own food, as a test. If the friend (who isn't a little kid, btw) steals the food, and upsets his stomach, is it really the OP's fault? I don't know about that.

5
  • 1
    Well, as I said in a comment, and the literature seems to agree, it is assault in the US and Germany once there's intent.
    – user510
    Aug 28 '17 at 17:30
  • 2
    @henning : so, I'm sick and need some medicine, got it from my doctor, prepare my drink/food to take it the next morning at the workplace. During the night, a robber breaks into my house, steal the food, and is sick, I'll be charged? Really?!
    – OldPadawan
    Aug 28 '17 at 18:41
  • 1
    @OldPadawan in your example there is obviously no intention to poison someone. By contrast, and that is the situation here, if I set someone a trap my intention is... to trap someone. Anyway, I'm not a lawyer, I just work in a profession close to law. In reasonable doubt of legality, I would delete though.
    – user510
    Aug 28 '17 at 18:53
  • I agree about the "bad" answer, just wondering if it's illegal. If yes = flag and close, if not = DV and comment / warning. Seems more legitimate to me this way, but IANAL
    – OldPadawan
    Aug 28 '17 at 19:02
  • @OldPadawan I'd rather loose a low-voted answer than risk illegal advice. But of course making these trade-offs is for the mods.
    – user510
    Aug 28 '17 at 19:30
0

Up front: I was the one who handled this flag (chose not to delete).

My first thought was to do exactly as the title indicates: delete.

Then I asked myself how different is this from many, many other posts that were, in one way or another, not totally positive / helpful / constructive / legal / etc? Is this just my opinion? There is a lot of gray area here. (I am sure the person posting that answer meant well and was trying to help; I do not have any one person in mind with this remark.)

The answer that came to me was not a whole lot. So in fairness, I could not press the delete button. (Please note the net positive votes for that post.)

0

You must log in to answer this question.