This thing isn't about my specific closed question here. It's really about the issue of a small group of the most active users in a site affecting the masses in negative ways.

I feel like I'm being "crowd bullied" on Programmers SE. I've disagreed with a few users there in the past. Those people are the most active on the site, and seem to set trends in how questions are received.

I'd like to discuss this question which I did cross post (but only in a form that was 100% on topic and valuable in both communities) on Programmers SE and Info Security SE in order to get specialized answers from each group (not just to throw my question in two places and get a quick answer). Note that I did announce that the question was cross posted.

Let me be clear that no one claimed that this question was off-topic. There's no dispute about off-topic involved here.

I'm cross posting this question from Programmers.SE because I think it's equally on-topic here and would like to pose the question to this community as well.

This seems like a programming question but it's really a fundamental security question too.

Is it fundamentally possible to validate that an unmodified version of your client connects to your server?

I was just thinking about the idea of having my client-side app hash it's own source code and send that as a key to the server with any requests as proof that it's unmodified, but that's silly because anyone could just have the client send a hash of the unmodified version via a modified version.

I was wondering if there might be a secure way to do this though, via some sort of proof that the client was unmodified.

On Info Security SE, the question was heavily up-voted and recieved multiple great answers.

On Programmers SE, it was down voted, put on hold, and not re-opened after I complied with all edit suggestions. The Meta discussion I posted about it, and the user who posted an answer in that discussion in heavy support of my question, were heavily down-voted.

It was first said to be "too broad", and I was asked to remove a large portion of my question, which I complied with.

It was then, after I worked to improve the question as asked, said to be "too specific / yes or no".

It's not a matter of being on-topic at this point, now it's a personal matter of being the kind of questions that those active in the two communities like to see.

So I feel like I'm playing a game of whack-a-mole. I want to be able to utilize Programmers.SE, but many times in the past this kind of thing has happened. I think at this point it isn't even worth trying to use that site.

What can I do when I'm up-against high rep users that are using the system to their own liking instead of as it should be used?

I recognize that my final comments and edits are not well handled and un-professional; at that point I was fed up, felt bullied, and fought back a bit.

I feel like this is misuse of the system. SE isn't a place for people to take over like the big kids on the playground, choosing question style on preference, and banding together to block any questions they don't like. A good on-topic question shouldn't be closed.

  • 17
    "100% on topic and valuable in both communities" - you might say this and even truly believe this, but with all due respect, if long time members of a community decide otherwise it's likely they are correct and you are wrong. Nov 2, 2014 at 21:54
  • 8
    Different sites have different communities. Yes, that means that essentially the same post may be received differently by those communities. That's kind of by design. Nov 2, 2014 at 21:58
  • 6
    Isn't it a rule that you're not supposed to cross-post on multiple SE sites?
    – Louis
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:00
  • 4
    @MartijnPieters I did discuss it there, and look how that turned out.
    – J.Todd
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:00
  • 6
    @jt0dd: So what do you want us to do about it? Meta SE is not Programmers. We don't get to tell how that community runs the site. Nov 2, 2014 at 22:09
  • 9
    @jt0dd: try and keep an open mind and try to assume good faith. By calling a community 'bullies' you are not going to win support. Just because you don't like their standards doesn't mean that they are wrong. Nov 2, 2014 at 22:15
  • 4
    @MartijnPieters - While I concur, a few, active, high-rep users also shouldn't get to tell the rest of the less active community what to accept.
    – mrjoltcola
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:18
  • 8
    @jt0dd: Start by ditching your absolute ideas about right and wrong. There are no absolutes when it comes to human interaction. Who are you to tell them that they are doing it wrong? That already sets you on the wrong footing. Nov 2, 2014 at 22:19
  • 9
    I suggest you invite the high-rep members of programmers.se in a chatroom for an hour, maybe moderated by a CM, and all of you should do two things, listen to each other and listen to each other. Listening is best done with your mouth closed.
    – rene
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:21
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    @codenheim: the thing then, is to invest yourself too. Become an active member of the community, so that people get to know you and your voice counts for something. Don't just barge in and demand that your way is the right way and the other way wrong. Nov 2, 2014 at 22:21
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    So... since you disagree with your question being closed, obviously the high rep users are wrong and being bullies?
    – hichris123
    Nov 2, 2014 at 23:54
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    @jt0dd The most authoritative source I found re cross-posting is this one. The answer with the most upvotes answers "NO" to whether crossposting is allowed. The 2nd most upvoted is also against it. The one answer that mentions exceptions comes in third place and has a comment from Jeff Atwood that the posts should be "tailored to each audience on the different sites" and should be "materially different in each case". Your crosspost did not meet this requirement.
    – Louis
    Nov 3, 2014 at 0:29
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    I have read the whole story on here and on P.SE (main and meta sites) and I am getting the same impression as @hichris123...
    – user273376
    Nov 3, 2014 at 1:42
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    @jt0dd Selective quoting. Your replies are coming across as disingenuous.
    – Louis
    Nov 3, 2014 at 1:44
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    @jt0dd so because I dare not to agree with you and dare to not follow your 'crusade' against people who dare to not follow your thinking, that makes me 'part of the problem'?
    – user273376
    Nov 3, 2014 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


The high-rep users aren't "using the system to their own liking." Don't go into a site acting like you know everything. The Duke Nuke'm ego attitude doesn't go over well on this network. They're enforcing quality restrictions that have been in place a long time and help keep their site clean and up to standards. If you don't understand that, then you have two options:

  1. Work harder to understand the scope of the site and develop a better understanding of that community. The fact that it was accepted on another site has absolutely no bearing on it's topicness on another. It's completely irrelevant, and should not even be mentioned, anymore. Useless information - seriously. Your question on Meta Programmers gave you plenty of valuable information that perfectly well explained why your question was not acceptable for their site. Might I quote the most relevant part:

    The post here shows no effort at all. It shows no level of comprehension of the nature of the problem. It asks a very broad question to a relatively well known problem.

    This explains wonders about the Programmers SE community, mainly their expectation of a basic comprehension of the problem, and some research that shows you've made an effort in figuring it out yourself. Again, these expectations are specific to that community, and whether or not those expectations are present on Security SE has no bearing on your question on Programmers SE.

    Yet, you seem to have completely ignored that part of the answer. Perhaps you were too distracted on the inaccurate representation of your question as a one-liner after you edited, but whatever. The unedited question is still lacking in those expectations, so it makes sense that both versions would be closed. Most interesting, though, is that you accepted an answer that doesn't even answer your question. It doesn't say anything about the topicness of your question at all. Let me summarize that for you:

    No. He edited the question and you still closed it. Someone answered the question and still voted to close it. The question was acceptable on Security SE.

    Ok, well editing a question doesn't miraculously make it acceptable. Someone answering the question and still voting to close it really has nothing to do with anything. And as I said before, its topicness on another site is not relevant. So your accepted answer says absolutely nothing to support your argument that it's a good question, which only leads me to believe you don't really care about the feedback and only care about someone agreeing with you. And to be perfectly honest, everything you've written here in your question and comments seems to support that theory.

  2. Don't participate in that community. I'm not saying you should just give up because you're never going to fit in, no. I'm saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with ceasing participation in a community that didn't turn out to be what you expected. I've done the exact same thing with a Stack Exchange community myself. I had a presumed idea of what the community was, it didn't turn out to be what I thought, and I left. No harm done, no feelings hurt - just wasn't for me. If you try too hard to fit in, you only make yourself stand out more.

  • 1
    In your current version, the second sentence of the intro paragraph would likely fit better within point #1 than as part of the intro (the first and third sentences fit together - the second one being there is a bit jarring from one idea to another back to the first).
    – user213963
    Nov 3, 2014 at 3:32

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