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In recent days, we have encountered two instances of postings with questionable moral content.

The first instance: a user uses an engine on a chess gambling and still loses, so asks how to better use the engine in the live games. While there is a definite ethical issue (unless for whatever reason the gambling site itself permits engine use), the question itself is on-topic. It could be reworded to be a fine neutral question (along the lines of "How exactly do some chess engines beat others?").

I would have edited it, but refrained from doing so under the StackExchange Acceptable Use Policy, which explicitly prohibits the use of the SE network for illegal purposes. I propose the topic therefore be deleted, and want to clarify that this should be our proper response moving forward.

The second instance is perhaps less clear-cut. A user suggests intentional, repeated early resignation as a solution for chess addiction (answer(s) deleted). This is, factually, a valid answer. However, it promotes undesirable behaviour elsewhere on the internet or in real life. While not illegal per se, this is behaviour that is against the Terms of Service of lichess.org, for instance (see Fair Play and Community Guidelines, point 2 on artificial rating manipulation.)

If this kind of relevant but morally dubious posting crops up again what should be our response (with justification)?

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I would have edited it, but refrained from doing so under the StackExchange Acceptable Use Policy, which explicitly prohibits the use of the SE network for illegal purposes.

I understand that English may not be your first language, but what you have written makes no sense. Editing the post would not in itself have been illegal.

Secondly, the behaviour the OP is asking about is not illegal in the sense meant by StackExchange. The user doing what he does is not going to result in a legal case against StackExchange. Nor is answering the OPs question. The rules of other platforms are their business not the business of StackExchange. Those rules carry no independent legal weight.

To reiterate. This is what the StackExchange acceptable use policy states on the question of legality:

Illegal Use. Stack Exchange may not be used for illegal purposes. Examples of this include using Stack Exchange for fraudulent purposes or operating a phishing site (used to obtain account and password information).

That is very clear. I don't think I have ever seen anything on StackExchange which violates that. Certainly not the post in question.

A user suggests intentional, repeated early resignation as a solution for chess addiction (answer(s) deleted). This is, factually, a valid answer. However, it promotes undesirable behaviour elsewhere on the internet or in real life. While not illegal per se, this is behaviour that is against the Terms of Service of lichess.org, for instance

StackExchange does not set itself up as an international policeman. Its policies are designed to promote its best interest and with it the interests of its various communities within the law. Outwith those guidelines, which include respecting differences, it does not try and legislate thought and areas of ethics which may be individual.

Going further, there may very well be questions which you or I (or any of the other forum users) consider to be just plain stupid. StackExchange policy does not warrant that these posts be deleted.

There is a perfectly right and proper way for you to register your displeasure in these kinds of posts and that is to downvote. That should be enough. Adding disparaging or rude comments, while hard to resist, is not encouraged and should be avoided. There has been far too much of that recently.

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    English is my first language, thank you very much. Although I do sometimes suck at writing clearly. What I meant is that I would not edit the post to "hide" the unethical intent behind the question, which appeared to me to violate the SE Acceptable Use Policy. I don't quite grok the precise meaning of said policy either -- am I allowed to ask for explicit help developing malware on Stack Overflow, or tips on illegally overstaying a visa on Travel SE? It feels like the answer should be no, and it feels like the Acceptable Use Policy should come into force, but I don't know. – Remellion Feb 18 at 11:58

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