Should the Pronouns field be updated?

Context: Following some recent posts made on the forum, I’d like to revisit some currently-existing systems (e.g., policies, word blocklist) to see where these can be improved upon to better protect LGBTQ+ individuals, and more effectively moderate or automatically flag hateful content.

Homophobic, transphobic, and other such content has no place on the forum. Not only is it important to moderate hateful content more decisively and harshly, it’s also important that our background systems remain effective at flagging problem content when it appears.

In addition to improving the moderation/background systems in place, I’m currently looking at the optional pronouns field. A couple years ago, we added the optional Pronouns field to user profiles as a way for users to express their pronouns. This field doesn’t have any presets – instead, users are able to enter anything they want into the field.

This introduces a few moderation challenges however, as none of the systems in place to catch problematic content work with this field. A potential solution would be to change this field to a preset list of options, e.g.:

  • [blank]
  • they/them
  • she/her
  • he/him
  • other

Users would no longer be able to input anything, but it would also wholly prevent misusing the field. However, I am curious if anyone believes it would still be better to keep it entirely unrestricted.


There are virtually no cases that warrant a free field. The only use for a free field is just transphobia. For special cases, mailing a mod may be an acceptable solution.


I personally think that the field should be replaced with a list of options as outlined in the OP. Although, It does present a bit of a roadblock if a user is outside these bounds (she/they, they/him, etc) or even a Neo-pronoun user, which is honestly a fairly good argument for making it an open field. Maybe a sort of “Check which ones apply to you” sorta system would work if thats possible? It could display on the profile page the same it does now but when setting it you could pick multiple preset options.

Just an idea! I think its best to avoid any systems that would need to be moderated too heavily for abuse as this stuff can get very out of hand and are probably bad for scaling, in the event of a larger userbase.


Unfortunately, this is not.


I think that this is a great option. It would also help if it was more visible due to profiles not typically being clicked on, but I understand that there are limitations to the system that’s in place for this sort of thing. I do think that there should be more options though; for example an any/all option, a he/they or a she/they option.


It should be like next to the name


This was also suggested when the idea for a field was first proposed, but the two relevant features (profile fields and user titles) aren’t that flexible.


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