Lately I started to find that moderators decisions conflict with the value I get from answers.

For example:

Sometimes I see that moderators, which lack of technical background regarding asked question I need some hint or keywords, close questions which I know can shed some light on topics for a great amount of people.

E.g next could help WPF/C# only devs with limited view of what native development when they going native UI integration (most of my colleagues including me):


I want to be able to downvote a moderator's decision.

Can such feature be added? With some influences on moderators, e.g. disabling their moderating right if they receive too many downvotes. People good in answering question not always good moderators if were chosen because of their answers.

  • 3
    Your questions are fine, but they are shopping list questions and explicitly off topic on Stack Overflow. THeir getting closed has nothing to do with the moderators' lack of expertise.
    – Pekka
    Dec 16, 2012 at 12:52
  • 5
    Also note that moderators operate on community feedback here. The questions were likely flagged by multiple people before the moderators closed the questions. Dec 16, 2012 at 13:04
  • 2
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say you didn't bother to see that almost all of my rep is in the .NET tag, along with rep in WPF as well. Just saying, you might want to check when you want to say someone doesn't know about a particular technology.
    – casperOne
    Dec 16, 2012 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


You already can contest moderator decisions:

  • Re-open votes are available to all with > 3k rep
  • Flags (so that another mod looks at it) are available starting at 15 rep
  • Meta is available starting from 1 rep.

We do not need specific features to discuss moderator actions, the three above already work.

Before you start questioning moderator decisions, start by questioning whether you understand the purpose of the Stack Exchange Q&A sites. Recommendation questions (a.k.a. list questions, shopping questions, etc.) are globally off-topic/non-constructive on Stack Exchange. So there is nothing to say about first two questions you point out except that the moderators did what they volunteered to do: keep the sites clean.

The last question is completely unclear to me, and the close reason seems to fit. Try and improve it, by adding a minimal sample of code that reproduces your problem for instance. Once you've made it clearer/easier to understand, flag it for moderator attention if it doesn't get re-open organically.

  • "non-constructive" what means non constuctive? If question brings value (e.g. see upvotes of "lists"), why it note consturctive? Dec 16, 2012 at 12:55
  • 1
    "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." is (part of) the explanation for non-constructive. List-type questions are best answered by search engines & wikis. Not all questions are a good fit for Stack Exchange, even if they "bring value" to someone.
    – Mat
    Dec 16, 2012 at 12:57
  • 4
    @asd.and.Rizzo See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective for a thorough explanation of what "not constructive" means in Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange in general. The guidelines presented in that blog post are also part of the FAQ, you can find them in the section aptly named: What kind of questions should I not ask here?
    – yannis
    Dec 16, 2012 at 12:58
  • I read FAQ but seems list are constructive most of the time... Dec 16, 2012 at 12:58
  • 2
    @asd.and.Rizzo Lists in general are not constructive, as they tend to have a lot of equally valid answers. Stack Overflow is focused on questions that have a small set of answers, or ideally a definitive one. We prefer questions that have answers, not items or ideas or opinions
    – yannis
    Dec 16, 2012 at 13:00
  • E.g I have problem - 2 huge C++ code bases, one new to be written. Need no static fields conflicts in process memory to integrate peaces as modules. I have a problem. It is real problem. I need C++ IoC but not experienced C++ programmer. I ask about C++ IoC and choose to solve my problem. It is "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" and it it not "not constructive". Dec 16, 2012 at 13:04
  • Look @asd.and.Rizzo, as multiple people have told you already, Stack Overflow (or Stack Exchange) are not places to get lists of recommendations. Very narrow ones are sometimes ok, and historically some of those questions had been allowed, but that's not the case anymore. Use chat rooms & forums to get discussions and exchanges. Use search engines & wikis to get lists of products. Try a product out. If you can't figure out how to do a specific task with that product, feel free to ask about it on the relevant Stack Exchange site.
    – Mat
    Dec 16, 2012 at 13:07
  • @Yannis, fun thing is that the most value Stack Overflow brings to me because of "lists". LIST it the ANSWER. List are upvoted -> means not only I think so. E.g person could ask "I am C# dev got into C++ and need the best IoC container to refactor and integrate in modular way huge code base without enforcing inheritance and similar to C# IoC" it will bring list but answer is single person will choose and moderator will mark it "too localized" or "off topic" because it is to hard to answer. The LIST is still ANSWER. Dec 16, 2012 at 13:12
  • 2
    @asd I agree - lists of things are great. But they come with huge problems in practice (here's a small list of them). That's why the community has decided they don't want them, and created a rule to the effect. There is no point at all voting on the moderator decision based on that rule.
    – Pekka
    Dec 16, 2012 at 13:14
  • @Mat, I looked into you SO answers - definitely my last question is unclear for you - YOU NEVER DONE WPF or any other C# UI. Dec 16, 2012 at 13:19
  • 2
    @asd.and.Rizzo: or I never answer any of that (or much Windows questions for that matter) because I'm not fond of it at all and I do on SO what I like to do, not what I have to do at work?
    – Mat
    Dec 16, 2012 at 13:21
  • @Pekka not all lists are "shopping" lists. E.g. stackoverflow.com/questions/833729/… . Does not fits. It is 3.5 years old but still up to date and will be next 2 years. No spam, no links without comments. All links still works. Just open-ended. 1 of 3 "shopping" features... Reading it I can easily infer ALL possible AOP ways in CLR. Choose 1 fits me. Dec 16, 2012 at 13:33
  • @asd.and.Rizzo: what's your point? Of course there are exceptions to everything. Nothing new (or interesting) in that - as already said, things have changed over time about what was acceptable on SO and what wasn't. You've been told multiple times what the current view of the community is on this.
    – Mat
    Dec 16, 2012 at 13:38
  • 1
    I think that some decisions are not right(e.g. when moderator puts "off topic" or "not a question" basing on his lack of expertise in some tech), changing and flagging does not helps(no reaction), and I have no 3000 points to influence it. I think 3000 is to much. Dec 19, 2012 at 16:07

Moderators are elected by the community, and supposed to enforce rules that the community agreed on after long discussion, and they are granted certain police powers to do that. Providing voting instruments for a specific decision wouldn't help this process one bit: it would just mean that a number of people is unhappy with the decision, which is bound to be the case all the time.

If you want an on-topicness rule changed, come to Meta and cast your vote there.

If you think a moderator's decision wasn't in accordance with the site's rules (ie. you're totally sure the question complied with the FAQ) and was closed unfairly, cast a moderator flag asking to review the decision, or bring it to discussion here on Meta. If the moderator really was wrong, their decision is very likely to get reversed.

In your case however, your questions were clearly off topic.

  • "off topic" - OFF what topic? What does this means you think? All my words used seem to be in topic and corresponding to tags... Dec 16, 2012 at 12:53
  • @asd read the FAQ. The first two examples are clearly shopping list questions. I'm not sure about the third one, though. I don't have the expertise to make a judgement, but it could be that one is worth reopening.
    – Pekka
    Dec 16, 2012 at 12:54

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