I sent this to a few admins a week ago, but we never reached a formal agreement, so I’ll post this here to see what the community thinks and (hopefully) get an official consensus:
This is an issue that's been bothering me for a while: so, some time ago, I noticed that there are very debatable PE characters being proposed in discussions, but there are multiple people who aren't familiar with the work who are voting yes. Examples are God, Alex, and so on (yes, I know the latter was originally proposed by me, so I probably sound like a hypocrite lol, but still). Basically, since they have some possible disqualifiers (Alex is painted in a sympathetic light throughout the second and third acts of the story along with arguably not being heinous enough given the setting, and God clearly wasn't even meant to be presented as a villain), they're expected to get a lot of downvotes, but then, people who aren't really familiar with the characters vote yes solely based on what they read in the effortpost. While I'm not saying that the people who made these proposals added "false information" nor am I saying that the people who gave upvotes were being careless or anything like that, this can easily lead to characters who didn't deserve to be labeled as PE getting approved as PE.
So this is what I have in mind: do you think we should make a template for "debatable PE characters"? Basically, we make a template that informs that the character being proposed is "debatable" or something like that, so only people who are familiar with the work can vote. Then, if someone is effortposting a character that they see as "debatable", they can add the template to their EP. And if a user effortposts a "debatable" character, but they either forget to add the template, or they're unaware of the template, admins who are familiar with the work and are aware that the character is "controversial" can add the template.
How does that sound?