Moderation policy change: unfounded assumptions

What about speculations?


But let him ask in bad faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.


Generally speaking, rolling your eyes does not add substantively to a conversation, in meatspace or here.

As with meatspace however, many folks follow up an eye roll with other comments, which is perfectly fine.

As is often the case, likes and comment moderation do not always see eye-to-eye.

To be clear: nothing has changed on ”contentless comments” policy. If it was fine yesterday it’s fine today.


I take it anyone associated to the current POTUS administration is fair game right?

1 Like

No. Because mental illness is not a catch-all for behaviour you don’t like or feel the need to mock.


The current administration is making calculated, cruel, and very rational moves. They’re selfish, xenophobic, but they are not suffering from mental illness. What they lack is a moral sense of justice.

To equate mental illness with the miscarriage of justice that is the governments of the states and the federal United States of America is to do a great harm.

I could go on at length about how people will MI are overwhelmingly likely to be victims, how society horribly mistreats and ostracizes those who speak up about their own MIs, and how the state and federal governments have actively mistreated and abused people with MI.

Having an MI does not make someone dangerous. Or broken. They just are people with a disability.

Getting real tired of having to spell it out time and time again.


It’s right there in the name. Illness. In most (not all) cases, it’s chronic but treatable. Like cancer, it can go into remission. Equally like cancer, if left untreated, it can be fatal.

Creating stigma around it – such as by equating it with being horrible or dangerous – can cause people to avoid proper diagnosis and treatment. Kinda like a lot of other illnesses out there that became outright epidemics until we (as a society) removed the stigma and moral judgements. Funny how that works.


One could argue mental state could include greed, fear, anger - vs mental condition or illness.

I think if the facts support that X person/group are operating out of such a state - it’s fair game to be called out as such.

It’s not fair game to play armchair psychologist, or make light of mental illness - something we agree on.

1 Like

I’ve had a mental project for some years now, not always successfully, to NOT try and figure out what goes on inside people’s brains. The likelihood of my having all the data required is very small. I want to treat people like a black box, all I know is what goes in (that I know of) and what comes out.

1 Like

If there is corroboration, it’s not assumption or speculation. Saying “he looks scared” about someone who is wide-eyed and shaking is about something more concrete. It’s not hard to distinguish and determine basic emotional states like fear, anger or joy. It’s quite another thing to say “he’s got something wrong with him, look at how he’s shaking. Dude’s got issues.” That’s an unfounded assumption.

With cases like this administration, it’s quite possible to comment on their behaviour, without delving into their mental health. We can recognise that separating families and denying people basic rights is heartless. We can note that expecting a six-year-old to serve as their own lawyer in immigration court is Kafkaesque. Unfortunately, delving was getting popular. And when that happens, it’s usually is the people who have real mental health issues that suffer the most.

Edited to clairify the difference between noting someone’s outward behaviour, and speculation.


So we are not supposed to infer the mental state of anyone? Really? Including, say for the sake of the discussion, certain top US politicians now in charge at the white house? :crazy_face::crazy_face::crazy_face:


It’s the difference between saying “The ‘president’ displays many signs of NPD” (easily supported) and “The ‘president’ behaves this way because he’s mentally ill.” (which excuses his arseholish behaviour as something beyond his control and also stigmatises mentally ill people who don’t behave like jerks).

What’s being asked for are: specificity (e.g. “NPD” rather than a generic “mentally ill”); supporting evidence if asked (e.g. a reference citing the DSM or a diagnostic tool); and taking care not to present one’s armchair diagnoses as authoritative.


I’m going to make this as clear as I can:

If someone self-reports as something (their gender or race, mental condition, affiliation, whatever) or are reported as such, then it’s fair game.

Otherwise, don’t speculate or assume.

It’a that simple.


Even appending such an assertion with the caveat ‘I am not a licensed mental health practitioner’ is dodgy. Recall the countless slapdash backgrounds written about mass shooting suspects in the breaking news phase, where such statements as ‘showed signs of depression/mental instability’ were printed with scant attributions.

And if you were a licensed mental health practitioner, remote diagnosis via media reports would be both ethically and clinically dubious.

I think @orenwolf’s got this one right.


Indeed. As I mentioned in the first post, we as mods can’t verify credentials, nor vet “I have a qualified individual in my family who says…” or “I have a friend who is…” sort of statements, so basically, if you can’t find that fact reported elsewhere, or in the post itself, then don’t speculate on it here.

I’m sure we are perfectly capable of discussing someone’s behaviour or choices or whatever without the need to apply labels in the process.


Quite right, Bad Character is not an illness. Its not an unfounded assumption to say that anyone who smiles about jailing a child lacks character.

NPD is not a mental illness. FYI.

I didn’t say otherwise. That goes to my point about specificity. It is (as the name suggests) a personality disorder (cluster B) according to the DSM-5, and the question of whether all personality disorders should also be considered mental illnesses isn’t close to being settled.


I said “Mental state” on purpose in the definition, because the question you are asking isn’t relevant to the point at hand.

Describe behaviour by behaviour, don’t give it a label unless the person in question has labelled themselves or been reported as that label elsewhere. That applies to everything in the listed FAQ, not just mental illness.

“That person seems to lack empathy and really seems to be a narcissist” is just as informative as trying to shoehorn a label onto their behaviour - perhaps more so, because the reader doesn’t need to have previously been exposed to the label before.


We had been discussing just one of them, that you offered, NPD specifically and not ‘all’ of the PDs. And as oren clarified, it’s a irrelevant distinction for the sake of conversation here.

Does this include people speculating aggressively on the feelings or intent of others? Happiness and sadness?
good faith/shitstirring?

example: You are just mad about vs. you seem mad about vs. I am mad about .

The first is flaggable? I hope so, but you will be busy @orenwolf !!!

1 Like