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Recently many proposals have been unfairly closed and deleted. I believe this kind of suppression of dissenting ideas and opinions is harmful to the community.

In a community as large and diverse this one, discontent and disagreement will always exist. Ideas can appear unfeasible and impractical to some and at the same time appear realistic and logical to others.

Disagreement is something that should be encouraged, not suppressed. Through careful evaluation of arguments both for and against a particular proposal the community can decide if it is worthy of consideration. The tone of the proposal should not be a factor in this evaluation.

Closing and deleting well argued proposals as "not constructive" goes against the purpose of meta. We should foster the discussion and exchange of ideas. Not all ideas are created equal. Some will be great but some will be terrible. However even the terrible ones should not be removed from the site.

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Be specific, list examples. –  toscho Oct 31 '12 at 2:34
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Provide links to the aforementioned proposals (or at least describe what they were about), or it didn't happen. –  Robert Harvey Oct 31 '12 at 2:34
    
To be fair, we know which questions the OP is talking about. Personally, I don't think they should be deleted no matter how unpopular those opinions were. –  Mysticial Oct 31 '12 at 2:37
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@RobertHarvey: All those questions from Fiddler that have caused so much drama recently, hence the new account. –  animuson Oct 31 '12 at 2:38
    
"Well argued" well, show us the deleted posts with good arguments then, don't be shy. –  Ben Brocka Oct 31 '12 at 2:39
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Well, didn't the community already decide on those issues? Most of those posts are awash in a sea of downvotes; there's roughly a hundred downvotes on Fiddler's deleted posts. How is it those proposals didn't get a fair shake? –  Robert Harvey Oct 31 '12 at 2:41
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For some background info, any 10kers can take a peek at this question: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/153138/… and this: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/153127/… –  Ben Brocka Oct 31 '12 at 2:51
    
well, democracy is tyranny of the unwashed masses –  prusswan Oct 31 '12 at 2:51
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@prusswan I wouldn't consider meta to be a democracy nor a tyranny. To be fair, it's more like a - mob. If you're awesome, then we love you. If you're not, then we'll silence you. Granted, I don't have 10k to see who's actually been deleting all of these questions. So I can only guess. –  Mysticial Oct 31 '12 at 2:53
    
@Mysticial The ones Ben links includes one that our OP here self-deleted and one by Fiddler closed by Pekka, Rosinante, animuson, kiamlaluno, Ben Brocka and deleted by animuson, Pekka, kiamlaluno though I would have been happy to throw my weight behind the efforts as well. Fiddler's earlier posts had been heard at length and heavily downvoted, which seems to be the height of unfairness. –  dmckee Oct 31 '12 at 3:00
    
@dmckee Thanks for that info. :) So I guess that kinda proves my point. They aren't unilaterally mod-deleted. –  Mysticial Oct 31 '12 at 3:02
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@Mysticial: None of them were mod-deleted. They were all closed and deleted by the community. Except for the one he self-deleted. –  animuson Oct 31 '12 at 3:03
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You've got to admit though that with a contribution like this one, which originally had this lovely form, you don't get yourself off to a good start. That at least hints at not trying to be constructive. Add to that the tone in your further contributions and I don't think you're here to constructively discuss something but to rant. I would not have deleted any of the questions though, but don't think we've lost anything valuable either. –  Bart Oct 31 '12 at 5:40
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3 Answers

Disagreement is something that should be encouraged, not suppressed. Through careful evaluation of arguments both for and against a particular proposal the community can decide if it is worthy of consideration. The tone of the proposal should not be a factor in this evaluation.

Disagreement is encouraged, as long as you do it correctly. When you start an argument, you need to start a constructive argument. That means providing solid examples and research to back up your claims as well as using a positive tone to get your message across gently.

Using negative tone and bad research or facts that don't support what you're claiming makes the argument unconstructive. No one likes when things have negative tones. They're associated with angry rants which no one likes being involved with, and also promote the use of angry rants in reply (we don't want angry rants). On the other hand, having incorrect or no information to back up your argument makes it kind of hard to argue against it, because there isn't anything to argue against. It's basically just an opinion "I think this is happening" that doesn't have any evidence presented.

This question itself is the most constructive of the bunch. The negative tone is gone and it appears to have a legitimate interest in finding out what was wrong. It's also survived quite a bit without reaching -10 in downvotes. The community will respect you much more when you're not going off the edge of the cliff about little things.

If you go to a store and start yelling at all the employees about the terrible customer service you got, you're probably going to get kicked out of the store. If you go in and politely talk to the manager about the not-so-satisfactory customer service you received, they'll help you and try to solve the problem. It's just how the world works.

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I'm seriously concerned that acting like a sane, polite human being is a concept that needs explaining to some people, people who seem oddly attracted to Meta. –  Ben Brocka Oct 31 '12 at 4:26
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Disagreement is something that should be encouraged, not suppressed.

I agree!

Therefore, your suggestion that those who disagree with you should be suppressed is denied.

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Can we then please add a status-declined tag to this discussion? Pretty please? –  Diago Oct 31 '12 at 6:48
    
Shouldn't be supprossed but encouraging is to the other extend. (sorry for the late post, I was directed to this) –  user190086 Nov 6 '12 at 3:02
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Once upon a time, I put some effort into writing up some hints for one of your predecessors in windmill-tilting here. I can't seem to find it. So here's the shorter version.

You cannot parachute into a community, start calling its norms 'wrong,' and expect to get a friendly and respectful reception.

If you refuse to take the time to understand the history of a decision, and instead show up and call everyone else wrong, you're not going to get much love and respect. Then calling even more people wrong for that lack of love and respect is only digging yourself in deeper.

Your original subject, the so-called 'fun' questions, was debated at length over a very long period of time. The ground-rules from the team, features of the site, and community norms evolved through several stages to reach their current position. If your posts showed any evidence that you had, in fact, read the history and thought about it, you'd have a different reaction. Not necessarily agreement, mind you, but without seeing a novel argument I can't predict the community's reaction.

As things are, your questions are just rehashes of old, settled, arguments. Hostile, disrespectful rehashes. So they get downvoted, closed and deleted. If you continue as you are, you'll eventually succeed in adding a suspension to the end of that progression.

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