Here's one: What if someone takes a poll asking if they should kill themselves?

I suspect people would react against people asking that regardless of whether they include radio buttons. If I recall there has even been drama surrounding making observations about a former member suiciding. I'd be somewhat surprised if someone asking this question directly did not prompt that comment to be banned.

The questions will be limited to whatever the poll creator types in, but that doesn't mean everyone will use common sense while creating their polls.

No, I haven't observed common sense to universally constrain posting behavior in general. However explicit polls don't strike me as sufficiently different or more powerful than regular comments, (inherently anonymous) votes and private messages that a move from informal expectations that people don't behave like @#%$s need be changed to a formal "Terms of Use".

Less Wrong Polls in Comments

by jimrandomh 1 min read19th Sep 2012310 comments


You can now write Less Wrong comments that contain polls! John Simon picked up and finished some code I had written back in 2010 but never finished, and our admins Wesley Moore and Matt Fallshaw have deployed it. You can use it right now, so let's give it some testing here in this thread.

The polls work through the existing Markdown comment formatting, similar to the syntax used for links. Full documentation is in the wiki; the short version is that you can write comments like this:

What is your favorite color? [poll]{Red}{Green}{Blue}{Other}

How long has it been your favorite color, in years? [poll:number]

Red is a nice color [poll:Agree....Disagree]

Will your favorite color change? [poll:probability]

To see the results of the poll, you have to vote (you can leave questions blank if you want). The results include a link to the raw poll data, including the usernames of people who submitted votes with the "Vote anonymously" box unchecked. After you submit the comment, if you go back and edit your comment all those poll tags will have turned into [pollid:123]. You can edit the rest of the comment without resetting the poll, but you can't change the options.

It works right now, but it's also new and could be buggy. Let's give it some testing; what have you always wanted to know about Less Wrongers?