I wonder what happens if moderators act to remove contributions from a contributor, such that:

  • A particular belief or point of view cannot be seen by other visitors
  • That contributor is unable to make further contributions to the questions regarding that belief/point of view/etc.

What can users do when they believe their belief / point of view / opinion / etc. is being suppressed by moderators?

What systems does Stack Exchange have in place, to deal with this behavior by moderators?

  • 7
    Have any examples? – Undo Apr 20 '14 at 13:32
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    Is it about this? – rene Apr 20 '14 at 13:33
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    I wanted the question to be about stackexchange general procedures. i think if i gave an example, then the question would focus only on that instance described by the example. – 497362 Apr 20 '14 at 13:34
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    The problem is that without an example, we have no idea what you're talking about, and this is basically a rant. – Doorknob Apr 20 '14 at 13:39
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    That's cool, but it's best to start from examples. They clarify the question and it's usually easy to generalize the answers anyway. Examples are especially important when making such bold accusation, while most people do not encounter such behavior. – 3ventic Apr 20 '14 at 13:39
  • The problem is that "point of view" is very nondescript. – Bart Apr 20 '14 at 13:40
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    What is acceptable or not in a post on Stack Exchange depends a lot on the site it's posted on. "Points of view"/"opinions" is much too vague without context to understand exactly what your complaining about. – Mat Apr 20 '14 at 13:41
  • @bart, can you suggest a better way to put it? My question is a general one about procedures, not a particular event. 3ventic good point, i will remeve any reference to a particular event. – 497362 Apr 20 '14 at 13:44
  • @wandera I'm starting to believe that you could better address specific instances of what you describe on the Meta of a site. I still don't really get what you're trying to describe, so I'm not sure how to formulate an answer to it. – Bart Apr 20 '14 at 14:00
  • Animuson seemed to get it very clearly and give a direct answer about what action the user should do if they want to do anything. So i think the question is clear enough and could be helpful to others. – 497362 Apr 20 '14 at 14:23
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    We unfortunately can't all be as amazing as animuson. – Bart Apr 20 '14 at 22:30

Generally you would go to the per-site Meta and talk it out with the community. Make sure the post doesn't become a rant, and that you outline your concerns clearly, also mentioning why your opinions or point of view should be present in the post. The site's community is your best tool for debating actions by a moderator. If the site's community agrees with the moderator's actions in the end, then your only choice is to let it go - the community obviously doesn't want that content.

We can't give you much more advice than that. You can contact the Stack Exchange team, but a) if this is the question you're talking about, Sklivvz is not an ordinary moderator, he works for them and b) they likely wouldn't do anything.

Related: Handling Calls to Remove a Moderator

  • 4
    The fact that Sklivvz is an SE employee does not really matter, complaints are handled by different SE employees anyway. And he's not the only moderator involved in this case, Oddthinking also acted at some point on the question and I've seen the whole thing as well, though I haven't acted directly on it. – Mad Scientist Apr 20 '14 at 16:47
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    Yeah, if we need to take action, we will treat another employee as any other user (or moderator, depending on the situation). Sklivvz isn't even acting in an official capacity there, so if we needed to do anything, his employment status would be irrelevant. – Adam Lear Apr 20 '14 at 17:02
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    Plus I don't think anything he did was out of line. Those tools, like editing and locking, exist for a reason, and he was using them to improve the post. Plus, Sklivvz was a community moderator on the Skeptics SE site from March 2011 as a beta mod, elected in May 2012 to continue once the site graduated until March 2013 when he became an SE core developer. I'd say considering he helped build Skeptics SE, he knows what he's doing. – jmort253 Apr 20 '14 at 22:32
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    Just to be clear, you can totally report concerns about an employee's behavior to the team, and we would take action if we felt they were out of line. I agree with the OP here that in this case, it's not obvious that action is needed as the employee seemed to be genuinely trying to make the question clearer, but I wanted be clear that we will investigate user claims of employee misbehavior just like we would any other. Even we go off the rails on occasion. – Jaydles Apr 21 '14 at 21:54

In general (since that's what you said you wanted to focus on), questions on Stack Exchange are not supposed express specific beliefs, opinions or points of view. Rather, questions are supposed to ask for facts or, in some cases, opinions. This is generally best done using a clear, neutral tone that simply asks the question without any unnecessary digressions or asides.

To quote the help center page on "What types of questions should I avoid asking?" (which is the same on all SE sites, but I linked to the skeptics.SE copy since that's where you seem to be most active):

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • […]
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • […]
  • your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?

If you feel that you might be able to provide an answer to your own question, you are, of course, welcome to do so. Answers may, and indeed should, express the answerer's opinions and beliefs on the matter, at least as long as those opinions can be backed up by facts and references as required by site policy.


Putting your point of view in a question is often a... dubious thing to do. The purpose of a question is, well, to answer to a question and listen to the answers you get. There is rarely a need to express a point of view in the question.

If you feel you need to express your own point of view in your question, that might be a sign that your question is more of a rant and not so suitable for StackExchange.

wandera, I see you are relatively new to StackExchange. You might want to spend some time hanging out here, to see the standard norms that have evolved. They have evolved for a good reason. If you don't like them, your first step might be to stand back and watch and listen a while longer to understand. (Or, ask a question of clarification, if you think you can listen patiently and start from the premise that the folks on this site are acting in good faith and have good reasons for their actions.) In other words: spend more time understanding, before you jump to judgement.

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