Possible Duplicate:
Policy regarding questions related to unethical or “shady” practices

I often see questions on SO with very... suspicious requests. Most common are requests for methods of screen scraping (potential copyright infringement), or methods that could be used to intercept someone else's data or otherwise cultivate an exploit.

Is there any guidance on when to vote to close questions that, while structured and well asked, have a suspiciously 'ominous intent'? Perhaps this should be a new close reason?

Obviously it's difficult to presuppose a user's intention regarding a coding request, but should the community merely accept any on-topic question without a deeper consideration of its motives? Is there any moderation framework or existing discussion for this?

This is not a duplicate, as the previous (OLD) discussion along these lines did not moot a new close-reason, and the previous discussion suggested as a duplicate may not reflect current community thinking on the subject.

  • Not really. In the past I have seen such questions heavily downvoted. But if they do not fall under any of the usual close reasons, I see no particular reason to close them. Unless you have some particularly "offensive" examples. This is a particular example: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/158113/…
    – Bart
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:40
  • Downvoted questions may still receive valid answers, and if well asked, on-topic and showing research, none of the usual close reasons may apply. 'Ominous intent', isn't a close-reason, but perhaps it sh(c)ould be?
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:43
  • Possible dupe, but not quite. I'm talking about the potential of adding a close-reason and if this would be appropriate. The other discussion is a little more nebulous.
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:45
  • Related on Meta.AU: Questions seeking how to bypass security, off-topic?, Copyright and morality in questions ...So, is this a feature-request? If so, I recommend tagging it as such. Jan 29, 2013 at 13:47
  • @EliahKagan that's very interesting. The potential for criminal culpability in unwittingly assisting computer misuse isn't something I'd considered.
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 13:50
  • @monkeymatrix I'm not sure where you found that in those linked questions. That is an important consideration ...but my understanding is that it's primarily an important consideration in countries (not currently including the United States but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice) where it's illegal to provide techniques or tools that are then used to commit a crime. As a separate issue--right now your question is being interpreted like the possible dupe. If you are advocating for a feature, you may want to tag for that. Jan 29, 2013 at 13:56
  • Not an exact dupe, but marked as dupe anyway. Sigh. I'll edit the tag as a feature suggestion, but I doubt it'll make a difference. Consider also, @Bart et al, that it's permissable to discuss an old topic again if the culture of the site has moved on since the previous (not precisely duplicated) discussion two years ago.
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:17
  • 2
    The duplicate does rule out a close-reason, I quote Bill The Lizard: "My opinion is that it's okay to ask these questions." Bill also has a diamond next to his name, so we can assume that's the rule. And just because that question is two years old, doesn't mean that it needs to be overhauled and rediscussed all over again. Jan 29, 2013 at 14:30
  • If you wish to restart a discussion, perhaps a bounty on the dupe might be worth it. But it would still be a dupe in my view. If you think it's not, clearly explain in your question why it isn't. If enough users share your view, it might stand a chance of being reopened. Though I personally don't see why.
    – Bart
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:33
  • The opinion of one moderator two years ago cannot be considered site-wide policy, and conversely, just because a old question exists doesn't preclude it being discussed again either.
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:34
  • So start a bounty on the dupe for renewed attention. "Canonical answer required", or whatever.
    – Bart
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:35
  • I will have to hope the opinion of the community can over-ride the knee-jerk flaggers.
    – user208783
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:41
  • The answers in that question doesn't really discuss about the issue, but only talk about the specific question cited in the question.
    – nhahtdh
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:57