The pictures added in the question Is the self-flagellation bidah? are disturbing and graphic (and have for now been removed from the actual post; they are clearly visible in the revision history)

Should we allow such pictures?

And what should be done about it since the author seems adamant on keeping it?

  • Although this is not a site for children, I don't think we want them seeing such pictures even if they stumble on to this site.
    – مجاهد
    May 18, 2014 at 14:05
  • I disagree with the notion that this site is not for children. Children definitely can ask and answer questions here, raise flags and participate. Apart from that not only children but even adults/grown-ups/weak hearted people can find it disturbing and graphic. May 18, 2014 at 14:09
  • yes sure, but even so do we want them seeing such images? even if not speaking about children, some people are soft they cannot deal with such images so in my opinion such images isn't really good for this site.
    – مجاهد
    May 18, 2014 at 14:11
  • Question is locked now.
    – user44
    May 18, 2014 at 15:30

4 Answers 4


Should we allow such pictures?

I believe not, graphic and disturbing images should not be allowed on this site for the most part.

And what should be done about it since the author seems adamant on keeping it?

We already know what such a Bid'ah looks like and what the people of ignorance do, and if someone truly wants to see what happens they can search sites like google images. So I think we should edit them out of the question, and if the user is adamant then we should refer him to here, but if he is still adamant then we should lock the post.


As a general rule of thumb, images should be used when they provide a significant advantage over text for the post.

I'm not seeing that in this case. Both images could easily be collapsed into a single phrase "…punish themselves, often to the point of drawing blood." with no loss of relevant information.

As I see it, the only "advantage" to using images in this case is for shock value, to show how "bad" such actions really are. This is a tactic often used by polemic sites and forum arguments, and as such I feel that it really has no place on here; it makes us look unprofessional and is more likely to drive away actual experts and instigate sectarian squabbling than it is to achieve anything useful.

As for what should be done when the author is adamant on keeping a (potentially) problematic image? Flag the post for moderator attention (we can lock such posts to prevent edit wars) and bring it up to meta for discussion. Once a reasonable resolution is reached in meta, flag a moderator to unlock the post (if the lock hasn't degraded naturally) so the post can be edited accordingly.


I think it is Ok to post these pictures for these reasons:

1- As Al Ummat said, this website is for adults.

2- He/she didn't post a picture directly. But a link to that picture.

3- We are not allowed to edit a post without the agreement of the questioner as Bleeding fingers told me once.

However I suggest putting +18 tag or any other warning after the images which warn people that these pictures are disturbing. Many websites do this and it is up to the viewer to see these or don't.


I didn't know OP has posted pictures which was removed later. Of course posting pictures like these directly is bad. Howver, linking them is Ok

  • Disagreed with all the points! You most probably miscomprehended what was said. And disagreement to point 1 is stated in the comment below the question. He/she did post the picture directly. 18+ tag doesn't mean it will not be disturbing for 18+. May 18, 2014 at 16:52
  • Editing posts without questioner consent is fine for the most part, as long as the edits don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post (i.e. what the questioner is actually asking). Even if the questioner rejects your edits and insists on his own version it should be read critically to see what (if any) meaning is actually being lost (it's not uncommon for even well-intentioned edits to lose important nuance that's present in the original post)
    – goldPseudo Mod
    May 18, 2014 at 17:17
  • @goldPseudo Oh. This makes sense. Thank you. @ BleedingFingers, Ok, I see your point. According to many website I've seen, the +18 always meant something not safe to see. and @ downvoter, downvote button is not disagree button.
    – Sohaeb
    May 18, 2014 at 18:26

Another problem of that pictures were that they were not proved to be about Shia people. There are different groups that do similar actions. for example some groups of Christians do such action in some rituals about Jesus a.s. and usually those pictures are used for propaganda against Shia Islam.


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