How should I ask questions on The Question?
- Make your question as brief and concise as you can. It helps people to understand what you want to know, so they’ll give you a relevant answer.
- Try to start with a “question word”: how, where, when, why. It helps people to focus on what you really want to know.
- Stick to one issue in each question. “What will happen when Britain leaves the EU?” is better than “What will happen when Britain leaves the EU, and which countries can we do trade deals with?” That’s really two questions.
- Avoid leading questions, and don’t put a statement in your question unless it’s a well-known, widely-accepted fact. For instance, “How should war criminal Tony Blair be punished?” assumes that he’s guilty. You’re better off asking “Can Tony Blair be said to be guilty of war crimes?”
- Questions about people’s private lives aren’t allowed, unless it’s in the public interest.
- We reserve the right to clarify your question and fix mistakes – and to delete it if if doesn’t meet our community standards.
- Don’t just ask – answer. We think everybody has useful experience and knowledge, and we want our users to share theirs. So there’s rule that after you’ve asked seven questions, you have to contribute at least one answer.
How should I answer questions on The Question?
- Only give answers to questions on subjects that you really know about.
- Give your real name, your profession and your areas of expertise. It’ll give your answers credibility, so more people read them.
- Write clearly, for an intelligent general reader rather than a fellow expert. Try to explain your logic in a straightforward manner.
- If you see an answer that you disagree with, write your own. But it has to be a new answer to the original question rather than a response to a response.
- Some questions don’t have a fixed, factual answer. They’re matters of opinion, rather than of precise knowledge. That’s fine, as long as you’re giving answers on subjects that you really know about.
- Sometimes it’s a good idea to structure complicated answers in a point by point format.
- You can give links to articles, books or movies as part of your answer, but it can’t be only a link (“read this book”) or a simple quotation from a book or article. It needs to be your answer.
- Answers should be objective and free from commercial or political bias. We reserve the right to remove answers that only advertise products or political positions.
- We reserve the right to correct grammatical and spelling errors in your answers, or ask you to clarify your answer (we’ll hide your answer from general view until you amend it). We may also remove answers that don’t meet community standards.
- If you quote an article, book or scientific theory you must cite the source. We don’t allow plagiarised answers on The Question.
What’s the best way to interact The Question on social media?
- Follow our Facebook page where users can share and discuss our questions and answers. We’re also on Twitter and LinkedIn.
- The more experts participate in The Question, the more everyone benefits. So if you follow a specialist’s social media profile, why not share a question from The Question and ask them to answer it?
- You can discuss the quality of answers in the comments on The Question’s Facebook page – but we do not allow personal criticism of people who give answers.
- Please respect your fellow users. Offensive comments will be deleted and if necessary we will ban their authors, temporarily or permanently.
What are The Question’s policies on content?
- We want The Question to be a place where anyone can share knowledge on any subject, providing they're not offensive and they do not incite hatred, violence or illegal activity.
- To maintain a welcoming environment we reserve the right to edit, change or delete any questions or answers which use obscene language or imagery, or incite hatred, violence or illegal activity..
- We reserve the right to remove short or meaningless answers which don’t add to users’ experience.
- If a user doesn’t abide by these rules we may temporarily put them in a “read mode”, or we may permanently ban repeat offenders. Remember, your profile must specify your real name, profession, and education or area of interest. User who refuse to give accurate profile information without good reason may be banned from asking questions and giving answers.