Opinions are helpful when they allow us to learn more about another’s experiences to help inform our decisions. But things get a bit trickier in topics that are more personal or controversial than “how to” style Q&A.
Our Community Guideline reads:
Be courteous. Yahoo! Answers is a diverse community of people with diverse opinions. It is up to each of us to be polite and treat each other with respect.
Diversity is a very important part of community. It’s important to remember that Answerers come in all shapes and sizes, from many different backgrounds and viewpoints. In a community this diverse, it may be difficult to tell when personal opinions are appropriate and helpful.
When reading a question, consider who the Asker expects to answer their question:
Does the topic in question conflict with your personal beliefs? If so, you might want to refrain from answering if you can’t keep your objections to the topic to yourself. Remember, the asker is looking for an answer, not a fight.
Is the Asker seeking unique and differing opinions, or a factual answer? If they’re asking for advice it might be best to refrain from answering with just an opinion.
Lack of courtesy can also happen when asking questions. Consider how your question will sound to Answerers before you post it.
Does your question sound like it targets a certain group’s beliefs or opinions? Does it use words or phrases that you would find offensive if said about your beliefs or opinions? If so, you might want to rephrase it or ask a different question.
Are you genuinely looking for an answer to your question, or are you provoking a debate? If you really do want to hear other’s opinions, ask for them—and treat your Answerers with respect.
Dissenting opinions can be very valuable to the community, as long as we all remember to be respectful and courteous.
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