I'm a bit baffled by an exchange I've had with the moderators of this exchange. I flagged an answer as inappropriate for the site based on the Help Center article "How To Answer". The response was "FYI we decided to leave it, but this shouldn't be taken as any kind of encouragement to keep doing this." - see below: screenshot of chat My question is, if the moderation team can acknowledge that this answer isn't a good fit for the site, and doesn't want to see more answers like this - why would we leave this answer up in its current form? It's pure political opinion, and fails to answer the question about what these increases in wealth actually are by any current definition.

Here is the question/answer for reference


3 Answers 3


The issue with the answer is less the facts and more the tone. He even uses the words "Tax rant."

It's very difficult to separate a remark of the nature of the cause and effect of the tax code from what might seem a political discussion.

The mods are in a no-win scenario. The question itself invites the results you are seeing. I would have deleted the question as "not really PF, how would an answer to this question help another member?" but it hit HNQ list quickly, and that ship had sailed. As Ganesh points out, we are going to be criticized for actions or inactions regardless, as he noted, trying to sanitize an answer also was a problem.

You don't like an answer. I see that, and don't disagree with your reasons. You should vote it down, and offer a better answer of your own. That's pretty much it.

Emotions get heated with long comments threads, they really have no place here.

Last - The question had no close votes. In general, and ideally, this stack should be member-regulated with mods intervening as needed, but most questions that need closing are closed by 5 non-mods. I for one would have been happy to see this qone closed as opinion-based, but I knew that it was possible to answer with just facts.

If mods were to attempt to enforce 100% sanitizing of answers to remove all opinion or emotion, it would not be taken well by our membership.

The answer to your headline question is "No. But. Not everything is black and white. The current question you take issue with is gray, and should not be considered typical of good Money.SE questions."


I don't think it belongs, but the last time I removed subjective opinion from an answer, there was significant disagreement from many users. If it starts happening a lot, or with more extreme opinions, we'd probably take firmer action. But not every rule needs to be enforced strictly all the time.


Opinion-based answers are allowed. They have always been allowed, and they need to continue to be allowed. Sometimes, an opinion is required to explain why the answerer gave the answer that he or she did. Sometimes, the answerer feels that there is something extra that would be helpful for the asker or future readers to be told, even if it is something that the asker doesn’t necessarily want to hear.

If you don’t like or don’t agree with the opinion stated in the answer, you can downvote the answer, and if you feel the opinion makes unfounded assumptions or is rude or abusive, it can be edited out or flagged for moderator review. But we need our expert answerers to feel free to post the best, most complete answer they can, and that usually includes opinion.

Having opinion in posted answers is much better than answer/opinions posted as comments, for a number of reasons. If we attempt to remove all opinions from answers, then we are unintentionally encouraging them to be posted as comments, which is exactly the wrong thing to do.

As for questions, a question being “primarily opinion-based” is one of the official reasons for closure on Stack Exchange. The idea is that we don’t want questions and answers that are purely subjective and completely a matter of personal opinion. However, in practice, this works out differently on each Stack Exchange site. Our topic here, personal finance, requires a great deal of personal opinion. This has been discussed on meta before. Basically, we have decided that questions asking us to try to predict the future (including specific buy/sell recommendations) are too opinion-based to be allowed. But most of our questions and answers here do need some personal opinion; that is just the nature of the topic we are dealing with.

  • Agree. Many large financial advisors follow 'goal oriented' recommendations for clients which means that what is good for client A is not good for clients B and can be difficult to extract objectivity out of it. May 11 at 15:44

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