Proposal: Humor

This was a tough one. It really was.

The proposal suggests this will be a site about the subject and nature of humor, but even the proposal author does not believe there is enough theoretical study behind humor to fill an entire Q&A. I'm not sure I agree with that, but as folks struggled for a year to find enough questions to fill this proposal, the intervening discussions made it pretty clear this will inevitably become a site to tell jokes, whether they are explicitly defined in the scope of the site or not.

One could argue that "I need a joke for…" could potentially fill the definition of a Q&A format — Code Golf and Puzzling stretch the definition of Q&A — but I can't see a future for this site where we don't end up becoming the comedic censors nobody wants to be; either that, or we would (regretfully) come to terms with uneasy "blue" humor as each wave of edginess tries to outdo the last.

Let's not pretend that there will be a community of steadfast users willing to stand up to an onslaught of "off-topic" humor. When the issue of moderating this forum came up, the consensus was essentially "screw that…"

Don't put up with this [political correctness] BS. If you are offended - LEAVE.

(signed with the upturned middle finger for this up-voted meta post)

Another discussion says offensive humor in the context of a joke should be given a "free pass", suggesting we just plaster the site with nsfw and offensive tags, post warning banners wherever they appear, and hide offensive texts behind our spoiler markup [up-voted].

Frankly, even if we buy into the premise that we need a site for sharing humor, the problem with any sharing of jokes is how we handle legitimate humorous use of offensive stuff. Comedians — especially self-proclaimed Internet comedians — are super sensitive of things that feel like censorship; essentially, that nothing should be off topic. And that issue will collide… hard… with both discussing humor technique/theory AND with any content type that involves sharing jokes.

One discussion asked if this could become like the infamous "humour" sections of the old bulletin board forums:

"… a dumping ground for any off topic amusing, frustrated or ironic comments people wish to point at another stack exchange site?"

I think, honestly, this is a best case scenario. But for all the the angst, hard feelings, snarky tweets, and real-world "who gets to say NO?" debates wallowing in Godwin's Law, this will never truly be the light-hearted side of a "funny" Stack Exchange site that the folks here probably envision.



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