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  1. Before
  2. After
  3. What I'm reminded of [just a joke, I know the moderators of SO aren't like this]

My comments were in regards to this question being closed (which is now re-opened and locked).

There was growing support for the comment I made, but the comment being deleted is [in my opinion] rather totalitarian. Are all StackOverflow members required to share the same opinion about the site and the people that run it? What is this, North Korea?

In my experience, 130-odd upvotes for a question is rather rare, so to me it would seem like the community wants to see answers and considers it a good question. All it takes is 5 rule-enforcers to say “nup, not having this” and all of a sudden the question that the community wanted answers to is no longer answerable.

The “community-driven” model of SE sites has [in my opinion] turned into “a site where people mostly nominate themselves to become moderators moderate community-provided questions and answers”.

I don't think I'm the only one that thinks this, does anyone else feel similar?


Since I am particularly bad at getting my point across, what I am specifically trying to discuss is the deletion of a comment I made about SO being monotonous. Robert Harvey pointed out that it was likely due to it being flagged 3 times and was automatically deleted, which I think is acceptable. I thought that it was removed by a mod because it appeared to me that the comments were selectively deleted by a mod (when truthfully all of them should have been deleted) just to get rid of the comment I made about SO.

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131-even upvotes suggests it's a brain dead question that nets the points by being an extremely easy target to post any kind of answer and still not be wrong – random Sep 21 '11 at 22:23
So... no fun questions allowed? – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:24
What real world programming problem is solved by knowing that someone is dropping expletives in comments? – random Sep 21 '11 at 22:25
"130-odd upvotes for a question is rather rare, so to me it would seem like the community wants to see answers and considers it a good question". Oh good, because this is unexplored territory. I wonder what comes next; something about only needing 5 people to close, perhaps? – Michael Mrozek Sep 21 '11 at 22:27
its tough as IMHO on SO & here but when I ask direct questions i get direct and fast answers.. i don't think the rules make it work but I certainly don't know that for a fact and don't run the place.. I agree with you though as far as the experience of using it goes. – gordatron Sep 21 '11 at 22:28
What real world harm is done by leaving the question there? – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:28
1 – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '11 at 22:33
I asked a question about deleting questions on meta and now i am banned from asking questions ;-) every person that I have spoken to in person about SO agrees but you just cant talk about it here it seems.. I guess your only option is the chat area to "discuss" anything (i have not investigated it too much..not sure i have the rep to use it) – gordatron Sep 21 '11 at 22:33
@gordatron: Yeah, that's the automated Low Quality filters at work. We're such despots here. – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '11 at 22:36
@gordatron I don't know what happened with your question, but this question is getting downvoted because "letting people close questions with lots of upvotes makes me sad" has been brought up here several hundred times. And if a post is going to complain about power-hungry mods, it would be nice if the example question had been actually closed by a mod, and not community members followed by Jeff himself – Michael Mrozek Sep 21 '11 at 22:36
@MichaelMrozek: I'm also wondering why my comment about SO was removed, not just what you said. – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:38
@RobertHarvey he he, I can see thats a good idea, I found out the hard way you can still only ask direct questions on meta.. (despite there being stuff like…). – gordatron Sep 21 '11 at 22:39
@dreamlax Because it had nothing to do with the question; it was a discussion about how mods are bad and SO has spiraled into monotony – Michael Mrozek Sep 21 '11 at 22:41
@dreamlax Yeah, I get it now; the second half of your question was a tangent I think. It is mod-only (well, enough flags can get it auto-killed, but that's unlikely); I assume it was Jeff, for the reason I said above – Michael Mrozek Sep 21 '11 at 22:43
Related: Why isn't Meta funny anymore? – Chris Frederick Sep 21 '11 at 23:26

What is this, North Korea?

Yes. What, you don't see all the starvation, the barbed wire, the armed guards? I would have thought you'd complain about those before starting in on the comment deletion. Y'know, ignoring serious crimes while railing against minor ones is something Hitler would do.

All it takes is 5 rule-enforcers to say “nup, not having this” and all of a sudden the question that the community wanted answers to is no longer answerable.

All it takes is 5 rule-enforcer-watchers to say "nup, this was incorrectly closed, re-opening" and the damage is undone. Oh, look, that happened. Twice.

Obviously, we'll have to put those other ten people in front of the firing squad now. Since this is North Korea.

On a more serious note: that question was a ton of fun. Three years ago. Does every bit of idle amusement need to be kept around indefinitely? Do you still watch those old videos of your little-league baseball games?

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Erm... Now that the post is locked, the "Nup, this was incorrectly closed, reopening" crowd has no recourse. I agree with you, of course; just sayin' – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '11 at 22:27
Wow, way to take attack an analogy and not the issue. What I'm talking about is the moderation and deleting of a comment that had community support like it was some kind of blasphemy or heresy, such as speaking ill of the "Dear Leader". – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:28
@dreamlax: Comments on SO questions are really not the appropriate way to do this. They're just noise. – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '11 at 22:28
@Robert: I know. It really lacks the punch of public executions. What sort of degenerate North Korea is this?! – Shog9 Sep 21 '11 at 22:29
@Robert: hence why I came here. I was going to come here anyway but the moderation of the comment was a catalyst. – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:29
@dreamlax: sorry, having trouble figuring out what the issue is. Kinda got buried under all that analogy. Almost like you came here to rant and then tacked on the actual question as an after-thought... – Shog9 Sep 21 '11 at 22:30
@Shog9: sorry it was rather uncalled for (the analogy), it was supposed to be more of a joke than an analogy... – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:33
Please be assured, I was laughing while answering in kind... That's Meta for ya, @dreamlax – Shog9 Sep 21 '11 at 22:35
@RobertHarvey i am gonna look out for you, I think that a moderator has left their PC logged in somewhere ;-) – gordatron Sep 21 '11 at 22:48
@Shog9 Yes, I still watch those videos. To be young and full of hope... – LarsTech Sep 21 '11 at 23:00

...all of a sudden the question that the community wanted answers to is no longer answerable.

That's a question the community wanted answers to three years ago. They got 120 answers. Now all of a sudden, three years later the question is closed. At the request of the community, via moderator flag.

Oh the humanity.

share|improve this answer
Again, I'm not really arguing about the closing of the question, but more why a comment I made was removed. I made the comment that SO used to be fun and interesting [because it allowed questions like this] but now it's not as fun because these fun questions aren't allowed, so I made a comment saying that SO is more monotonous now and it got deleted. Robert Harvey pointed out that it was likely due to the comment being flagged 3 times, so I'm happy with that answer. – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 22:55
@dreamlax: Again you're not really arguing about the closing of the question? Where did you say that? That's what half your question is about. – Bill the Lizard Sep 21 '11 at 23:27
I mentioned it in the comments of the question: "I'm also wondering why my comment about SO was removed, not just what you said." about 50 minutes ago. I agree my question is incredibly poorly worded but I've never been good at trying to get my point across. It was part of the question because I was justifying why I made the comment about SO being "monotonous" but now that I re-read it, it seems like I am YANFQC (yet another no-fun-questions complainer (which I kind of am, because I miss them)). – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 23:30
@dreamlax Truth be told, I kind of miss them too. When they get to be that old, and with 120 answers though, there's not a lot that can be added. They're not really going away though. With 130+ upvotes, there's very little real chance that that question will ever get the votes required to delete it. – Bill the Lizard Sep 21 '11 at 23:36

Firstly, full disclosure: I am a moderator, but not on Stack Overflow.

A debate about the closure of the question is a discussion about the site itself and as such belongs here, not on Stack Overflow and especially not in extended Stack Overflow comments. I regularly flag extended comment threads on SO for removal anyway when they veer off the topic of the question, which your discussion had.

Really if you wished to ask about the closure of questions, the place is here. As such I'd fully expect such discussion to be deleted (over the course of time either by the community or by moderators) - not because you're not allowed to have such discussions or make such observations, but because meta is a better place for them to be had. After all, if the question is deemed on topic, new visitors to the question don't want to see the debate on the best location for it on the question itself.

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Sorry, it seems I suck at posting questions, my question was more regarding why the comment I made was deleted, not why the question was closed. I made the comment because SO used to allow these sorts of "fun questions" but now it doesn't, so I made a comment saying "SO is not as fun anymore" and then that comment got deleted. As I said to Bill, RobertHarvey pointed out that the comment was likely removed not by a moderator but because it received 3 flags, so I'm happy with that if that's how it went. – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 23:07
@dreamlax I don't know either; it could have been the community, it could have been a moderator. What I'm saying is that the discussion might have disappeared because it was out of place on the question itself - again, I've no way of knowing if or not that was by vote or just a straight our delete. But a comment thread is not the best place to start such discussions - you'll get a much better response wth a well reasoned, coherent meta post (although meta might not always agree, of course). – user142852 Sep 21 '11 at 23:10
I definitely agree that the comments section is a poor choice of place to start the discussion. I was planning to come to meta and discuss it sooner or later, but the comment deletion (which I thought was by a mod) was the "last straw" and I thought I'd come to discuss it now. – dreamlax Sep 21 '11 at 23:13

Heavy moderation (which seems to be at the heart of your question) does at times seems to be orthogonal to the principle that "Stackoverflow is You". Now I'm not making a value judgement about whether the moderation in this instance or in general is appropriate (maybe (probably?) more moderation leads to an even better site).

Maybe the best of both worlds would be if that blog post were merely titled, "Stackoverflow is You*."

*Provided the moderators don't strongly disagree with you.

share|improve this answer
The desire to avoid "joke questions" and subjective material actually has strong community consensus. That the question at hand has so many votes is just evidence of the kind of bikeshedding that can occur when these kinds of questions are allowed to remain on the site. – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '11 at 22:45
I'm StackOverflow and not a moderator and I'd vote to close that question every day of the week and twice on Sunday. – user7116 Sep 21 '11 at 22:55
@sixlettervariables I'm not saying it should or should not be closed (well it probably should be closed, but that's not my point). I'm more saying that the preponderance of upvotes can be some evidence that the community wants something open even when those that know better disagree. That might be good for the site while bad for that particular theme. – Michael McGowan Sep 21 '11 at 23:01
@MichaelMcGowan: I'd add that upvotes are like as--opinions, everybody has them. I don't put as much stock in upvotes anymore. – user7116 Sep 21 '11 at 23:05
@RobertHarvey I am in full acceptance of how SO etc work but is there any actual evidance that questions like that are bad for the site.. most web apps are trying to encourage bikeshedding as it means people keep coming back to the site and stay longer. I am not wanting to start a discussion, just looking for some links – gordatron Sep 21 '11 at 23:08
For what it's worth, that blog post was written about a question that was written by a moderator. – Bill the Lizard Sep 21 '11 at 23:41

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