We have had a Town Hall discussion open for about two weeks in regards to whether or not displaying images of dead bodies is appropriate.
This subject seems to have first come up when someone put the body of Che in his sig, and then there was retaliation in the form of posting dead/mutilated bodies in other threads.
The results of the discussion were:
- 4 people were in favor of allowing dead bodies in any situation
- 3 stated that it depended. As an example, one person said that a peaceful looking corpse would be ok, where a mutilated one would not.
- 2 stated they didn’t care one way or another
- 11 were against displaying dead bodies
While it should be well known by now that I don’t accept the validity of polls for making important forum decisions, as the poll results are generally wrong for many reasons (wording of poll, people voting before reading discussion or even points/questions raised in original post, mistakes/choosing wrong option), here are the results of the poll for informational purposes. It should be noted that a couple prime examples of why poll data is not used in making forum decisions is that one poster said that s/he voted no, because "I don’t care" wasn’t an option, and another was clearly against dead bodies being displayed, but s/he accidentally voted yes to allow it. I bring these up not because the posters did anything wrong, but to reinforce some of the problems with relying on polls to determine forum decisions.
The poll results were 33 against displaying dead bodies, 12 in favor of displaying dead bodies.
Please note for future discussion, it is critical that if you want your opinion/vote to count, you must join the discussion and make clear your feeling on the subject, and ideally state why your feel the way you do (in regards to why something should or shouldn’t be implemented by the forum).
So, after reading all of the discussion on this subject, the following amendment to the rules is being proposed. I will keep this thread open until next weekend to receive comment on it, and then will make this rule, or a variant of it (based on comments here) effective at that time.
The following Amendment/interpretation guideline has been added to the rules. Please review:
Implemented: New Guidelines regarding posting pictures of dead bodies in sigs, avatars and posts
Based on the Town Hall discussion on this subject, it will no longer be acceptable to post pictures of dead bodies in signatures, avatars or posts. Regardless of whether the dead body(s) are peaceful looking or mutilated in some way, posting them will not be allowed.
An exception to this rule will be that displaying something like the “tomb of the unknown soldier” or a picture of Ronal Reagan’s casket in the Capital’s rotunda would be acceptable in the context of honoring soldiers, presidents or other individuals. The moderators will have latitude in determining whether or not a given instance is meant to honor or is being used as a political statement or a means to inflame another member or group of members, and in such cases will remove the image in question.