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In On the closing of Computer Algebra & Symbolic Computation the poster is complaining about getting his prized proposal closed, not an uncommon occurence.

What is uncommon is the poster mentions that he was disgusted with the closing and begins calling out individual users, including me! :)

I am particularly disgusted with the closing of the Computer Algebra & Symbolic Computation proposal.

I wrote my appeal here, before it was closed. I am wondering if any of those who casted it out did indeed read this. Namely,

  • WikiSpeedia hang-around
  • Mark Rogers
  • Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski
  • bigown
  • warren

As far as I know it is considered out-of-bounds for a user to start calling out other users in a confrontational manner. If Stack Overflow users started calling out closers on Meta Stack Overflow, they would probably get the rough end of the community.

I've flagged the post recently for a third time, so some administrators must have already seen this post and choose to not close it.

I would like to know why?

I would like to know why this is acceptable on Area 51, but it doesn't seem to be acceptable on other Stack Exchange sites?

Is it acceptable to call out individual users in a discussion rant?

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Area 51 leaves the impression of receiving less attention than the other sites - surely owing to the fact that it's not a "day-to-day business" site and a bit of an oddball in the system. I say the names really need to be edited out. In fact, I may be able to do it - trying it out now (Edit: ah crap, I can't, I don't have enough rep.) –  Pëkka Apr 10 '11 at 16:13
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I think that the offending discussion post has been around long enough that they have had amble time to respond. Therefore I want to make an example of this post so that the right people feel the burn enough to correct their behavior in the future. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 16:16
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yeah. This stinks, I don't understand why it's not being edited. –  Pëkka Apr 10 '11 at 16:17
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Does no one even have edit level on Area 51? –  random Apr 10 '11 at 16:37
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Yet another site I'm not a mod on... –  Ivo Flipse Apr 10 '11 at 18:32

1 Answer 1

Am I missing something here? He doesn't seem like he's being particularly insulting - I mean, he's not calling you names, or making comments about your mother. He does refer to the closing as a "...hasty, uninformed decision...", which I can understand might get your hackles up, but even then he explains his rationale (the lack of a response to his appeal).

As for "calling out" individual users... The names he's posted are public information - close-votes are not anonymous - and he seems to be simply asking for some discussion or justification for the action - which you've obligingly provided. You're under no obligation to do so (the close reason you selected should describe your reasoning), but I don't see any reason why he shouldn't ask for clarification if he feels the closing was in error.

Nevertheless, the list is unnecessary. While I don't feel it was particularly argumentative, I've removed it in the interest of focusing your attention. Since this has obviously been concerning to you, I recommend putting your soul at ease by either responding to his previous discussion, or expressing agreement with Adam's answer (if indeed you do agree with his assessment).

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Really? So your saying it's ok to list users in discussion rants, and talk about how much you disapprove of their behavior? This kind of sounds like an apologist argument. I've seen many posts on meta here that only mention one user and that name was usually removed. How is listing user names acceptable in a post? –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 16:43
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@Mark: ...and I can point you to other posts that list specific users that haven't been redacted, presumably because they concerned the specific actions of those users rather than consisting solely of ad hominem attacks. Perhaps I'm a bit jaded by MSO, but the post you reference was actually one of the more polite examples I've seen... Again, I fail to see where he "called you out" apart from asking for an explanation. –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 16:47
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@Shog9: The calling out is obviously implicit. If I write a sentence about how I am disgusted with a particular action, and then I list the names of the people who took that particular action. How can you argue that one is not "calling out" those users? I don't see it. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 16:48
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Moderators and closers are called out plenty of times to better explain their reasoning and actions. This doesn't seem too bad. Excise the disgusting bits from the post and it'd be the same as we've seen time and again. @mar –  random Apr 10 '11 at 16:51
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@Mark: so he's disgusted with it. Are you surprised? Obviously he was enthusiastic about the proposal, and is disappointed it was shut down. Enthusiasm is a good thing! If we can't support the site stand-alone, the ideal outcome is to redirect that enthusiasm to another site or proposal... He didn't call you disgusting, even reading between the lines this amounts to, "Some users made what I consider to be a disgusting action". –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 16:52
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@Shog9: Simply because one is "disgusted" is not a surprise, what is a surprise is that someone would use that word in a post about other users actions. Simply because one is Enthusiastic does not give them license to say whatever pops into their head. When we talk to people on a day to day basis, we often rethink how we speak so that we can maintain a civil conversation. I think that's a common courtesy that the poster could have followed but chose not to. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 16:55
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Calling out the voters didn't add anything of value to the discussion. Therefore, I think it was the right thing to remove the list. The question itself (including the disgust) is surely a valid one –  Pëkka Apr 10 '11 at 16:58
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@Mark: others are not always as polite as we might wish them to be. Whether or not this is a problem depends largely on you. When we started regularly closing questions on SO in large numbers, folks called us nazis, fascists, blockwarts... At some point, public action demands you have a thicker skin. –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 17:03
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@Mark: I get where you're coming from, I just think you're overreacting. Regardless, the list has been removed. –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 17:15
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@Shog9: That's post lists a specific moderator, not a list of non-moderator closers. I agree that every site should be able to question the moderators who have unilateral power that was given to them, rather than earned through the reputation system. I disagree that users should be able to call out a list of regular users who close in a negative rant, and I think that it's just common decency. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 17:36
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Since a moderator can close a question without the help of the community, it's necessary to be able to call them out. But the average users can only close with the help of the community, in that sense it should not acceptable for them to be called out, for they represent the will of the community. Instead the focus should be on the behavior rather than the users. Listing names factionalizes a community into us vs. them groups, creating more problems down the road. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 18:00
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@Mark: just to clarify here, "calling a user out" for abuse or retribution is never appropriate - regardless of whether or not they're a moderator. That said, when you vote to close, that's a public action - your names are visible to anyone who views the question, indexed by search engines, etc... There is some expectation that you'll stand behind your decision, or at least put up with users questioning it. But, I have to admit I can't easily find an outstanding example on Meta where the users are listed - the common pattern is a simple link to the question, where the names are found –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 18:00
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Bottom-line is that it is never acceptable to call out a list of closers. I don't know of any context where this could possibly be positive for the community. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 18:07
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@Mark: I hate to drag you back to it, since we so obviously disagree as to the tone, but... The A51 discussion that prompted you to post here was the second one posted on the topic by its author, and the only one you responded to. To me, it appeared that you not only didn't feel his arguments had merit, but didn't even consider them important enough to bother refuting. This is not a sign of a healthy community... Why should anyone bother to express their opinions, argue for their position, if the top users are going to ignore them anyway? Say what you will, but naming got your attention. –  Shog9 Apr 10 '11 at 18:34
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Posting about an action the poster is disgusted with and then listing the users who took that action is somehow not "calling them out"? That argument doesn't hold any water. I think your trying to split semantics to get out of an untenable and illogical position. –  Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 23:04

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