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Just wondering, does the SE enduser ever get any feedback when a moderator action has taken place, such as a post deletion? I don't see anything on the sites nor the metas which indicate this.

Background story: I've been a moderator for 5 years on GoT where the moderation took place with pretty high standards. Professional feedback to the enduser was extremely important. There were tools and templates to send users a decent mail or private message whenever the user abused the forum rules in some way which was followed by a moderator action. In case of a post deletion, the message just contains some introducory explanation in a neutral tone as to why the post was deleted and what actions the user has to take instead. This worked in general very good and the endusers were happy to use the forum.

Are you doing this on SE sites as well? If I was such an user and my post got deleted without any notice, then I would really not have been happy. This way users with good intents would be scared away.

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Leaving a comment instead of an answer because this is purely anecdotal. I once flagged for a mod to delete one of my posts on a site when I thought the list of on-topic questions had changed. I got an e-mail stating that it was still considered on-topic and he wouldn't delete unless I actively wanted it gone for some other reason. Other than that, all my flags have been acted on or dismissed silently. And I've submitted hundreds, if not thousands, of flags just in the few weeks since the /review page was introduced. – Pops Feb 11 '11 at 17:48
Crucial detail here. At this GoT site, was the moderator identified by name and return email address? Or just a generic message from "the team" or "the system"? – Uphill Luge Feb 11 '11 at 18:27
@Hans: moderators have each own email address for the sole purpose and there was a generic address as well. The email was signed by moderatorname, teamname, sitename. – BalusC Feb 11 '11 at 20:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't think there's any notification at all when a post is deleted. (We can test that out, for science and all. If you want to post an answer or another question I can delete it for you.) In fact, I think it's kind of hard for a user to find out if their post has been deleted.

We do have a new "Contact User" option in the moderator tools, but it has a set of template messages for fairly specific reasons to contact users. It comes with the following warning:

Contact this user directly via private message to address serious behavior problems: consistently low quality, improper voting, being abusive to others, using signatures or taglines, excessive self-promotion, etc.

A lot of users consider direct contact from a moderator a little off-putting (I know this from bitter experience) so I can see why it's discouraged in all but the most serious situations.

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As to the off-putting, this is to my experience not the case if the tone is professional, neutral and friendly towards the enduser. – BalusC Feb 11 '11 at 17:51
@BalusC: We try to stay neutral, but it's hard to suspend someone and sound friendly (which can actually work against you). Most people either don't respond at all, or respond in an appropriate manner, but the few cases where people have blown up at me stick out in my mind. – Bill the Lizard Feb 11 '11 at 17:54
Truly, there exist such users. If they respond that way, just ignore and let them cool down. You can often already see that beforehand based on the posting style. But in case of for example of a question of relatively good quality which was incorrectly been posted as an answer, do you send the enduser an informal mail as well after deletion? – BalusC Feb 11 '11 at 17:57
@BalusC: No, in those cases I just leave a comment on the answer asking them to post it as a separate question. If it's several months old (with no response) and they haven't been back to the site for a while I might just delete it. – Bill the Lizard Feb 11 '11 at 18:01

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