I'm thinking IPS needs a FAQ, because people keep coming to meta with the same questions. I feel IPS is different enough from most of the SE sites these people are used to, that we could use a FAQ to clearly explain how IPS is different, what we expect from answers, questions, comments, and everything else you might be able to come up with.

As an example of a FAQ, take a look at the one on MSE. It's divided into several topics, each with their own questions and answers. Lets take that as a format for our FAQ too.

At the bottom of that FAQ, it describes the process of making one, which will probably work for IPS too:

Is your question not part of the FAQ?

First look at questions tagged to see if there is a question not in this index that might have the answer you seek. If you still can't find an answer, then see the following instructions for proposing an FAQ question.

How can a question be added to this FAQ?

Ask only the question, stated plainly and simply, in the question body. The answer goes in an answer.

Tag as and . When a post seems to have hit a mature state, it will have added by a moderator.

Flag for a moderator to mark community wiki. Any FAQ post not yet community wiki should be made into a community wiki.

So, I'd like to ask everyone to start writing FAQ-proposals using the above mentioned method and/or post their ideas about what should be in our FAQ in an answer here. If you do post an answer, please limit your self to 1 idea per post, this makes giving feedback on specific proposals easier.

  • 1
    Thanks for taking the time to open this discussion. It's nice that you involve the community in these decisions!
    – kscherrer
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 6:25
  • 1
    I do not have the time to flesh this out, so I'm going to hold off on making it an answer, but I think it may be extremely valuable to make an FAQ post that goes over exactly what interpersonal skills are... I think some of the confusion for what is/isn't on topic stems from a lack of understanding of what interpersonal even means.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 15:47

11 Answers 11


Comment policy

In our FAQ, we need to include our policies on comments; while they don't actually differ from the rest of the Stack Exchange network at large, they are enforced much more strictly here. This is often a tripping point for users coming from sites less strict on comments.

This is especially important in cases such as answers in comments (see my post Please don't write answers in comments) - people really don't get that such comments are not welcome here.

  • This seems very important to me. If there's a clearly stated rule about this, we may avoid at least a little part of the huge flow of "off-topic" comments this site attracts.
    – avazula
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 8:31
  • I just want to add that I really appreciate that you nix answers in comments. This is a continual frustration in other subs. It is, unfortunately, a lot of work for the moderators.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 20:24

What is the difference between not answering a question and posting a frame challenge?

I find myself linking to this very often. It would be nice if it were in the FAQ.


Sandbox for Proposed Questions

Even though the sandbox is featured, I think it can never hurt to have more links to it. The FAQ is usually read by new users, who would profit from the sandbox the most.


To diagnose or not to diagnose? That is the question

The title of this question could need a rephrasing, but essentially it is saying that we do not diagnose people using the information given. This is a very important rule IMO.


What to do with answers that aren't related to interpersonal skills?

While this question/answer is not really in the shape I hoped it to be, it is the only one I can find that says "Answers must be about an interpersonal skill" and not just a lifehack. Is there a better Q/A about it that I missed?

The help center only says that answerers must address the question asked, and not that their answer must be IPS.


Do we want references in our answers?

Many SE sites expect answers to be backed-up with references, whereas we're okay if an answer is backed-up either with facts or references. It could encourage more users to try to answer.

  • don't forget that questions brother: can we let adequate explanation be an alternative to backing it up?
    – kscherrer
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 16:01
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    I get that "Do we want references in our answers" is the title of the linked question, but the FAQ version really needs to be more along the lines of "Why did my answer get deleted", because that's what people are going to be looking for.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 18:16
  • I think it absolutely makes sense to put the policy about backing up the answers in the FAQ. Yes the "Why did my answer get deleted" is also an important one, but they don't exclude each other. The latter should list all possibilities why an answer was deleted, not only missing backup.
    – kscherrer
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 8:45
  • 1
    unfortuantely there is no single meta post that summarizes the back-it-up policy holistically. Maybe we should make one?
    – kscherrer
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 8:46

Is it rude to ask if it's rude to ask? - or: What to do with questions asking "Is it rude...?"

"Was X rude?" type questions seem common enough, are easily confused with more basic etiquette questions, and are nearly always primarily opinion based and seeking validation.


Why did my answer get deleted?

This is a question I've seen countless times on meta. I think it would do well with a matching "my answer got deleted...now what?" post, but I don't have the time at the moment to write it.


Are all etiquette questions on topic?

While this question is not the most informative / best written, I think we should include in the FAQ something about etiquette (that not all etiquette questions are on topic), since our help center just says that etiquette questions are okay - this leads to all sorts of off topic etiquette questions.

  • Is there a list of rules / etiquettes to determine which ones are on topic here?
    – avazula
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:15
  • @avazula no, but when you read the answer of linked post you should be able to determine whether the etiquette question you want to ask is okay or not
    – kscherrer
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:18

What is the IPS Comment Bot?

We often get question in chat about our IPS Comment Bot. This would serve as a nice place to direct new users in chat for all of the information they need to get started.


Avoid writing duplicate answers

We need to be clear about the fact that duplicate answers, even if not exactly identical by their backing-up / personal experience anecdotes, are not a good fit for this stack, and that we instead expect users to upvote similar answer(s) if they realize someone offered the same solution before them.

  • I think (not sure) that this applies to all stacks. The FAQ is here to point out the things that are different in this stack.
    – kscherrer
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:10
  • @Cashbee I'm not sure either (though it'd make sense), but to me it'd belong to our FAQ since: 1) it's not really respected among SE sites (SO is a pretty good example for this) and 2): since we accept answers backed-up with personal experience (and not only references), many could think their answer is different because of the anecdote-based backup. What do you think?
    – avazula
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:14
  • I don't think we are running the risk of that. And if so then only very rarely - we could handle that
    – kscherrer
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:19

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