It seems like in the first case, it's argued that saying "This thing you're asking how to do? Yea, don't do it" is "not respecting the premise of the question," while in the second case, doing the same exact thing is considered a valid frame challenge (and even worthy of a bounty and almost 300 upvotes).
We've already talked a bit about this in chat, but I'll write it up in answer here.
TL;DR: The difference between a frame challenge and an answer that doesn't respect the premise of a question is quite simple: A good frame-challenge still respects the premise of a question. It can challenge a proposed course of action, but in the end works towards the same goal/premise. They're also almost always written from personal experience.
Let's take a look at the core message of 'respect the premise', as it was taken in the very early days of IPS from the Parenting site:
In these cases, I feel it is best for the offended party to pass the question by. If one doesn't practice $whatever, then one is not likely able to provide expert-level advice on it. All that is accomplished by soapboxing is to create a community with an agenda, instead of a community that provides information. I believe that responding to "How do I $x?" with "Doing $x is inexcusable and/or evil." is inappropriate, and should be dealt with using downvotes and/or deletions to prevent shrill bickering over our differences from obscuring useful information that the questioner is seeking.
Most importantly, it is never appropriate to post an answer that does not directly answer the question asked.
That still holds. It has over 41 upvotes, which seems to me like a very strong community consensus that this is important.
Frame challenges came up after that. There were a few questions on IPS that seemed like they were based on wrong assumptions, but these assumptions weren't of the 'objective, verifiable fact' kind mentioned in the Parenting post on respecting the premise. I was confused at the time, one of them got closed as 'unclear what you're asking' while the other went through an extensive close-reopen and editing war (I still personally feel that second question has no place on IPS).
But even frame-challenges, as presented on the RPG site, still directly answer the question asked, still respect the premise. Please read that entire post, it even recommends 'answering the question at face value as well'. Take a look at one of the examples used in their meta:
Now, this seems familiar, does it not? For IPS, the question/answer pair would look a bit like this:
- Q: My religion prohibits me from being profane, how can I tell my friends to stop swearing so that I am not influenced by their actions?
- Regular answer: You can't force your religious rules on other people. Sorry.
- Frame challenge answer (sort of): You don't. You can't expect other people to follow your religion. If you phrase your request like that, it will likely feel to them like you're asking them to adhere to the rules of your religion. What you can do, is ask them to refrain from swearing around you because it makes you uncomfortable.
And there you have it. The above frame challenge is a good one: It challenges the proposed course of action, but works towards the same goal/premise. Ask, don't tell. Take the crow instead of the bronze steed.
In the end, answers to your question should end up with Bobby knowing Sarah cheated on him, and there being as little fall-out as possible for the three of you. You've decided you want a way to make Bobby aware of this, answers should respect that. The answer may be 'don't tell' or 'tell anonymously', but they should explain how that will make Bobby realise Sarah cheated on him and how it will minimize damage to your relationships with them. The answer you linked, before it was edited, certainly lacked that. I haven't had the time to look at the edited version carefully, but it at least seems to propose a course of action now.
The same goes for the question on dating the cashier. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have used a big, bold 'You don't' at the start of the answer as it confuses people. But I did offer suggestions in my answer that may help the asker to reach their goal of having a date with the cashier, even though I also pointed out continuously that even these approached might not have the desired effect due to social constructs. Only the OP, in the end, can make the decision whether or not to risk this.
All in all, I've noticed one thing about 'good frame-challenges'. And that is that they're almost always written from personal experience. If someone did a thing, or had a thing done to them, their answers are much more likely to point out what will work and what the risks are of doing a dangerous thing.
One last thing that was brought up in chat, was a discussion about 'putting hands on hot stoves'. There's actually two possible scenario's to that.
In the first, the asker is having cold hands, and is thinking to warm them by putting them on a hot stove or in boiling water. This has a frame that can be challenged, we can help the asker with other, less dangerous ways of warming their hands. Much like the religion example above, by explaining the risks of burning when using a hot stove, and then recommending mittens or a cup of hot chocolate.
In the second, the asker already knows they're not supposed to touch hot stoves, but are asking about it anyways. Or they're asking about touching hot stoves, without providing any reasoning for why it is absolutely necessary to do so (Basically, that boils down to having a question without a goal, that we already close on IPS). Of course an answer that explains 'here's how you put your hand on a hot stove, but don't do it, use mittens' seems a bit silly under these circumstances.
I like to compare the hot stove questions to a question we had on IPS a loooong time ago, about asking people whether they were pregnant. (deleted now). It was discussed on meta, and although it may seem arbitrary, I'm going to link to this answer. It's not the most highly upvoted, but it contains the most important point IMO.
If people are asking about touching hot stoves (and it doesn't really matter whether or not they seem to realise it's a bad idea), and the reason they want to do so isn't clear, use comments and votes to first clarify the question before answering it with a 'you don't':
Comments should be made that request clarification of the question.
Particularly if you feel that the answer is "don't do it", and the OP's question infers that they're aware of that, as was the case in this question. We can not respond in a helpful way if we do not know why the OP feels it's absolutely necessary to broach this subject. A question with no explanation is only half a question.
IPS has has A LOT of frame-challenges over time, and not all were moderated as well as the ones posted recently. This is likely to have caused a significant amount of confusion on what a frame challenge on IPS is supposed to be, and what exactly can be challenged and what is part of the question that should be respected.
The recent push is mainly caused by us now having these guidelines black on white somewhere, in our How do I write a good answer faq-proposal, and me using that to cull some answers on a question about veganism that challenged the 'veganism' instead of focused on communicating about the veganism.
I'm happy to see the community picked this up, and I'm hoping that everyone will continue to do so. Asking questions on IPS is tricky, but if all you get is answers bypassing cultural customs, societal norms, life-style choices and religion with a 'you don't', asking questions will become discouraging after a while. This site is still in beta, and in order for it to graduate we need to create a place where everyone can get useful answers to their questions.