We have a list of standard loopholes which are forbidden by default.
This is pretty good, it does good for the site. But it's also 8 years old, and it is showing its age.
We occasionally inaugurate new loopholes with 5-20 votes, while answers posted very early on have score in the triple digits with 100-400 votes. It makes me wonder how many of these are simply riding on inertia vs. how many of these actually have broad support from the active community.
I honestly think that this loophole would be a lot more contentious today than the votes show. We've talked extensively about this on meta and attitudes have pretty significantly changed.
To play devils advocate, one might say that we just got the important ones early on so of course they would have more votes. People don't vote as often on new loopholes because the are not as important and usually pretty niche.
However we still have a loophole for solutions to underhanded challenges, with over 200 score. underhanded challenges were banned two years after the loopholes, so an loophole that is completely irrelevant has sat there for 6 years without any significant reassessment. Now the moderators can delete it, and we did delete the other underhanded specific loophole back in 2020 (It also had over 200 votes at the time of deletion), but the point here is that the vote totals do not reflect modern community consensus.
The other thing that motivates this proposal is simply the opportunity provided by a retrospective. When we made the original post it was an experiment. We have the experience to propose more informed loopholes. Or even to tweak the rules around loopholes.
If there is a clear consensus to do this I will post a new loophole question as a community wiki. A notice will be added to the old loophole question directing users to the new question. The old loopholes will remain in effect for 2 weeks giving the new loopholes time to settle and then a moderator will lock the old post as "Obsolete" and the new loopholes will be in force.
As for the new loophole question, the rules will remain the same: +5 score and twice as many upvotes as downvotes deems a loophole unacceptable. I will ask that people not copy text from the old loopholes, and instead restate the loophole in their own words and provide their own argument in favor of it. This should hopefully discourage low effort poll-style answers and encourage people to only post loopholes they actually agree with.
This is a proposal to change some of the most basic rules of the site, and drastic changes are possible. Old loopholes could become legal and (although less likely) things previously legal could become loopholes. This is a risk, but the process is democratic, so if there is some drastic change 2/3 of the active community wants it might paradoxically make this risk a necessity.
Additionally it's possible it might take more than the 2 weeks I've allotted for the new thread to settle into a consensus. This would require us to either extend this period or move forward into uncertainty.
For discussion here I think we need to cover if the community wants this at all. But I would also like to get feedback and suggestions on the details. Do we want to change the rules for loopholes while we are doing this? Do we want a 2 week grace period? Are there any other things the community wants to tweak?