I was told that policy circumvention is off topic but on one hand I didn't find it in https://serverfault.com/help/on-topic, on the other hand, I doubt people are able to tell the true purpose of the questioner.

How is this question

"How to route requests to https://www.example.com to a proxy server?
I've installed HAProxy but can't figure out the rules"

comparing to a more detailed explanation

"How to route requests to https://www.example.porn to a proxy server because my company doesn't allow us to access adult content?
I've installed HAProxy but can't figure out the rules"?

Are they all on topic or off topic?

1 Answer 1


There's no separate rule for banning policy circumvention, it comes under the banner of "professional sysadmin". We don't consider it a professional behaviour to attempt to circumvent organisational policy. If your question shows evidence of that, it will be closed as off-topic. If your question is XY problematic, and further clarification reveals evidence of policy circumvention, it'll get closed then.

You're right that sometimes we can't tell what the intent of a question is, but to claim that we can't close a blatantly unprofessional question because we can't be sure that no other question is secretly trying to do the same thing is ludicrous and illogical. You don't get off a speeding ticket just because someone else was also speeding.

  • 1
    It seems to me that asking questions on this site requires a lot of careful wording. Askers have to defend or pretend good faith in order to pass the intent checking. Nevertheless, a policy circumventer can learn the skill by reading a good faith question, substitute the URL with the website he wants to bypass.
    – Gqqnbig
    Jan 17, 2018 at 19:49
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    @QiqiGu I can only answer questions in good faith as a professional that appear to be asked in good faith, so to speak. The asker's, or a random third party's intentions and ethics are their own to police, not mine.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 17, 2018 at 21:17
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    @Gqqnbig or you could, you know, just not ask questions in bad faith. No need to pretend then.
    – womble Mod
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:52
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    @Gqqnbig I think this is what wombie's last comment is about - Since I'm only ever asking questions about problems I have with professional system administration, and I don't have to try to simplify my questions for the audience here since everyone else is a sysadmin, I find it very easy to word my questions here. I just type them up naturally as if I were talking to a sysadmin sitting right next to me. Somehow I magically have never been grilled on the intent of my questions. Probably because my intent is always obviously to solve a real world problem I'm having in a professional setting. Jan 20, 2018 at 15:46

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