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A number of answers for the question Proper Use cases for Android UserManager.isAGoat() were deleted, such as this one by casperOne. (I'm not sure who is responsible for the deletions of the other answers which where popular and I feel should have stayed)

I feel that this is an inappropriate action for the moderator to have taken. A moderator may disagree with a post, but it is not grounds for deletion. That is what the up/down vote is for.

Why was this (and other more popular) posts deleted, and is that an appropriate action for a moderator to take?

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closed as not constructive by phwd, jonsca, McCannot, Bo Persson, Toon Krijthe Nov 14 '12 at 20:03

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I hope you're feeling better. Also, whoa, deleted post with a score of 148. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 14 '12 at 18:48
If it helps, there are currently 16 deleted answers. 2 self-deleted, the rest deleted by 4 different moderators. (2 of which are actually employees) –  Mysticial Nov 14 '12 at 18:48
Since when are tabloid-type speculations on-topic on Stack Overflow? That answer you point out isn't more than that. –  Mat Nov 14 '12 at 18:57
BTW, you believe that I'm abusing my moderator (no quotes, I am a moderator) status. From the votes on this meta post, it seems there are those that don't entirely agree with that statement. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 19:31
I have edited the post to attempt to avoid closure as "not constructive". If you feel that the edit is not in line with your underlying question, please edit the post accordingly. I feel that there is a valid question here, but the use of a few "harsh" words were not constructive. –  Servy Nov 14 '12 at 19:42
were you arguing that all the other deletions were justified and that only the one by casperOne was problematic? The edit by @Servy seems to suggest so and I'm not entirely sure that is what you intended to say. –  Bart Nov 14 '12 at 19:47
Reddit kids. Pah. –  John Dibling Nov 14 '12 at 19:52
@Bart I agree it's not 100% clear. I assumed that "not sure who is responsible for the other deletions of answers that where just fine" meant that he didn't have a problem with the deletion of the other answers to this question. I assumed that the plural references to answers being incorrectly deleted was that he felt this is a more broad problem happening in other questions besides this one, and that this is one example. I essentially changed it to be specific-question. –  Servy Nov 14 '12 at 19:53
@Servy Yeah, the OP might have meant that. It's not a big deal, so let's wait for some feedback/confirmation there. :) –  Bart Nov 14 '12 at 19:55
I linked to my answer in that question because I cannot see the other deleted answers. I have a problem with so many HIGHLY voted answers, which had no issues (answered the question) where deleted. Mine was deleted; its the only 'deleted' answer I could see. Not a mod. Edit: -13 for this question so far. Mods are up tight today. –  PenguinCoder Nov 14 '12 at 19:55
@PenguinCoder Could you drop the non-constructive attitude? -13 might easily be caused by simple user disagreement. No mods need to be involved there. We tried to edit your question into something a bit more constructive. It's always better to try to somewhat neutrally address a problem. Even if you're terribly upset. It will get you a far better response. –  Bart Nov 14 '12 at 20:02
@bart I attempt previously, and on the question stated/referenced in my above question to 'play nice'. I did nothing wrong and was polite at that time. Strike the last sentence from the above comment, but my issue still lies with moderators (or high rep users who 50 pts doesn't matter to them) abusing certain privileges they've gained. That frustration crosses over into text, although doesn't change the point of what I am trying to say. –  PenguinCoder Nov 14 '12 at 20:05
@PenguinCoder I just find it a shame that your point (which you might have) possibly gets drowned in downvotes and close votes when a simple change of tone might have (partially) prevented it. But of course I can only speculate on the reason for those votes. –  Bart Nov 14 '12 at 20:17
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2 Answers

The question in question is currently headlining on multiple social link sharing sites. The actions of the moderators seem to be in line with making the discussion constructive and in line with the actual question being asked.

Many of the deleted answers did not actually attempt to answer the question about what the function does and how it should be used, even the ones speculating about the relationship between Android goats and Chrome goats. (Honestly, IMO, the top-rated one about that speculation is OK, especially given the source code citation...)

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Man, 63k views in 10 hours... Is that a new record? –  Mysticial Nov 14 '12 at 18:56
I agree that the top-rated answer should not have been deleted. Showing that it's a reference to an existing joke is the strongest way to prove that it is meant as a joke. That's more informative than the top non-deleted answer, which tries to rationalize a use for it, even though it's probably not meant to be used. (edit: I've raised a flag.) –  Jeremy Banks Nov 14 '12 at 19:13
@JeremyBanks The question, however, is not "what is the meaning behind this joke" (which is off topic, btw) it is "what are valid use cases for this" which the top voted answer does not answer and therefore, "Not An Answer" and deleted as such. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 19:24
@casperOne If "doesn't answer the exact question" is now criteria for deletion, I have quite a backlog of old answers for you to delete. I don't think people would respond favourably, however. –  Jeremy Banks Nov 14 '12 at 19:25
@casperOne: Convert to comm— oh wait, 500 character limit. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 14 '12 at 19:26
@casperOne Not to disagree with you, but your argument seems to run counter to policy that "no it's not possible" is a valid answer. Here the question is, "what are the ...". The answer is, "there are none". –  Mysticial Nov 14 '12 at 19:26
Wait wait wait wait, did you add an extra sentence to this post to make it an answer? I'm not entirely sure putting words in other people's mouths is the best idea... I'd have prompted the user with a comment instead at most. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 14 '12 at 19:29
@Mysticial The question is not "is this possible" the question is "when should I use this". As you see from the currently undeleted top rated answer, it attempts to show a valid use case. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 19:29
@Mysticial: I disagree on this count. The top-voted deleted answer doesn't even talk about Android or the method in question. It's doesn't say "there are no use cases" or anything else than say it probably has something to do with an easter egg on another Google product. –  Mat Nov 14 '12 at 19:30
@casperOne That seems to go against the "mods don't judge the technical accuracy of an answer" kind of flag rejections. Which, as you know, are often discussed here by users who are surprised that an obviously wrong answer is not handled by mods... –  Bart Nov 14 '12 at 19:32
@Mat Fair enough. But when I read it, "there are no use cases" was implied. Perhaps it could have been made more clear. –  Mysticial Nov 14 '12 at 19:34
@Bart The mod is not making any critique of whether the response is correct or not. The answer may be correct or it might not be. Regardless of whether or not it's correct, it doesn't even attempt to answer the question, so it's validity is entirely irrelevant. –  Servy Nov 14 '12 at 19:36
@casperOne Quote: Telling the history or the reasoning behind why a joke was made isn't useful or helpful. I utterly, 100% completely, disagree with you. The difference is; I can't delete your incorrect answer or comment with wanton disregard. –  PenguinCoder Nov 14 '12 at 19:53
@PenguinCoder I'm not sure what your point is. In my answer, I at least answered your question. Here's the thing, if you have issue with that answer then you should also be taking the issue up with the other moderators, users, and SE employees that have deleted other answers that say the same exact thing as the deleted answer you've pointed out. This wasn't a personal bias against the question or answer, it's following what was clearly done before on that question to make the entire post live up to Stack Overflow's quality guidelines. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 19:55
@PenguinCoder Again, not sure what the purpose of your last comment is. We're trying to keep the question constructive, you've come to meta in an unconstructive way and are lobbing accusations around which usually doesn't help with the collective goal of increasing quality on the site. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 20:03
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The answer that you reference does not answer the question. The question, at a fundamental level is:

What are proper use cases for X?

The top voted answer you refer to says:

X is visible here and Y, related to X is visible here

That said, anything that doesn't answer the question as asked will be deleted (as a number of other moderators, people who answered the question, and SE employees have already done).

It's the only way to keep the question remotely constructive and on topic for the site.

If you really want to know ideas as to why the API is named that and accept those answers, then it makes the question off topic for Stack Overflow.

Also, to the argument and the existing flags on the answer saying it is a joke and this is the reason for the joke, there's nothing in the actual question (or any revision of the question) indicating that the person didn't know it was a joke.

If anything, the question itself indicates that they know it's a joke, given that they're asking for valid uses of the API.

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It was not immediately obvious to me whether this is a joke name for a useful method, or a joke method with no use. The post giving a contrived use misses the point (a "proper" use case) completely. Elaborating on the "yes, it's a joke" point is more useful as an answer, insofar as anything relating to that question is useful. –  McCannot Nov 14 '12 at 19:48
@McCannot From the initial revision "Does anyone know how and when should this be used?". Because it's a joke doesn't mean it shouldn't be used. If there's a legitimate use for it, then we'd like to see it. If there's not, then we'd like to see it (but it's very difficult to prove that point, of course, but we wouldn't delete it if it tried very hard to elaborate as to why that's their position). But that answer doesn't even give one of those positions. It simply says "this was a joke and why". –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 19:53
On the contrary, being a joke is an excellent reason to not use a method. And I don't dispute the utility of the deleted answer, I dispute that it was less useful than the remaining high-voted answer or, for that matter, the question. I should note that, as a card-carrying member of the No Fun Allowed Club I've already voted to close the question and would be happy to see it deleted as well. –  McCannot Nov 14 '12 at 19:58
@McCannot If the answer stated that belief that it's a joke and it should not be used, then it would not have been deleted. However, that's not the case and doing so now would be a destructive edit. If you really want to see that, then @ the user and ask him to edit his question to reflect his position (if it is his position) and then we can undelete it. It's not that I don't trust the editing of SO right now, but at this point, there are too many cooks in the kitchen on this, might as well let the original chef handle the recipe and then take it from there. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 20:01
It really, really stretches the limits of plausibility to see "it's a joke" as not implying "it has no practical use". If we accept your premise that the questioner knows the method is a joke, then there's nothing useful to answer and the whole question should be NARQ'd with extreme prejudice. Unfortunately I'm out of delete votes today and now the question has been re-opened anyway. Sigh. –  McCannot Nov 14 '12 at 20:49
@McCannot Why is saying "I know this wasn't meant to have any practical usage, but I was wondering if there are practical usages" implausible? There are practical uses for impractical things all the time. There's no reason that it can't be that way in code either, and the third highest voted answer (as of this writing) is an attempt to answer the question legitimately. –  casperOne Nov 14 '12 at 20:58
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