What should a lone user do if they feel tyrannised by a majority of users and moderators on some particular SE site?

For example, suppose this lone user doubts the reasons for closure and feels that their questions are being closed simply because it was that person who had submitted them, what should they do?

To raise the concern on that particular SE site’s Meta would likely produce only an unhelpful, partisan response from that same majority of users and moderators I initially referred to.


I apologise if this question depresses anyone; I appreciate and recognise the charitable and generous, and wish only to help those charitable and generous persons contribute more to the new users’ benefit.

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    this happens also to established users - when it happened to me, I deleted and walked away from the site, despite the subject matter being a passion of mine. – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 1:00
  • @SabreTooth I'm very sorry to hear that (that hostility obstructed your interest), but thanks for sharing. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 2:07
  • I still have a passion for the subject, and thankfully I am a member of a group of very welcoming sites! – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 2:12
  • @SabreTooth Heartening to hear! Could I ask if you would please share which sites are more welcoming? But please don't, if this is forbidden on SE. I personally only know about Reddit. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 2:13
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    Oh, I mean SE sites - some SE sites are very welcoming! I happily contribute to these – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 2:15
  • @SabreTooth Ah I see. I misunderstood you; I thought that you resorted to other sites for the same subjects. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 2:21
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    No problems, you do make a very good point though -to raise issues on particular site's meta or chat would draw a negative, and even hostile response. My experience was that not only my post (on topic and upvoted) ridiculed, my research and my person were also attacked. I flagged and nothing happened - so I walked away - for that subject, I go elsewhere. – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 2:24
  • The site in question for me is History SE but maybe the problem lies with my naivety with the subject. Anyhow, would you mind if I asked where you go, for that subject of yours? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 2:26
  • I now head onto scientific sites and research gate for that topic – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 2:28
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    Your apology is useless, they don't understand the concept of forgiveness. And actually, they should apologize to you, which they won't ever do. – peterh says reinstate Monica Apr 4 '15 at 19:15

The first step would be to at least try to raise the issue on meta. If he/she never speaks up, others may never realize there's a problem. He/she should focus on the merits of the question rather than make a case for personal discrimination right out of the gate.

If all else fails, he/she can always reach the community team by using the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page for an impartial review.

If even that fails and no resolution/consensus can be found, there is the unfortunate possibility that the site and the person simply don't see eye to eye. I've seen it go both ways - sometimes the community changes their ways, sometimes the person realizes it's time to move on.

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    Adding to this, in my own experience, at least, the majority of this community tends to be good about focusing more on individual posts than the user that posted them, especially if that person calmly and constructively raises discussion about it. That said, it's also important to remember that just because a user and a community may not see eye-to-eye doesn't make that user a "bad person" - i.e. if you start feeling overly defensive (definitely doesn't look like the case here, but often these types of issues go that way), be wary and take time to cool down, as you don't need to feel that way. – Jason C Mar 20 '15 at 0:22
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    Precisely what I did, Anna - I moved on from a site in particular where I did not fit their stereotype. Now I am happily participating in more accepting sites. – user273376 Mar 20 '15 at 2:26

Please start by ensuring your questions follow the rules of the site you are posting on.

Read the How to Ask pages, familiarise yourself with the stack's culture or customs. This process is a lot harder than it should be when the help pages are not very clear or up to date. However, in my experience (on History.SE at least) downvotes and close votes are normally accompanied by comments explaining what was wrong.

It is understandable that you may instinctively reject or ignore negative comments, but that is not a constructive way of approaching the problem. Many, if not most, people vote and comment in good faith. It behooves you to consider their advice and opinions fairly. Especially when you find your questions repeatedly subject to closures.

In this case, your question is obviously motivated by your experience over at History. I can understand why you are upset with the poor receptions you have been getting this month. But you should recognise that - in the eyes of many at H.SE - your questions have not been following the stack's rules.

When you first started posting at History, you received multiple helpful comments pointing out why your questions do not fit our guidelines. To name an example, your question On average, are British and Canadians more moral than Americans? received three comments pointing out that:

enter image description here

When you took the issue to meta, you received further feedback and suggestions. In the end however all you did was to edit the title. That really didn't fix anything. Unsurprisingly, the community did not vote to reopen.

This is not an isolated case. Your questions are usually opinion based and typically confusing or too broad. These are all close reason on H.SE. Additionally, I suggest trying to frame your questions in a more neutral way. Loading posts with appeals to emotions or incredulity tends to raise red flags for at least some of us.

  • Thank you for your answer here. I'll think more about that question, but could I please ask if you read meta.history.stackexchange.com/q/2101/8309 : i wrote 'Could I please request some help with editing my questions to improve them?' I did read the 'further feedback and suggestions', but possibly due to my lack of professional training, many of them were unclear to me. For example, I asked for clarification here but see no responses. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 19:22
  • Anyhow, should I be replying to you here or on History? I do NOT want to restrict my OP above to my case only; I intended it to apply to all. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 20 '15 at 19:22
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    You didn't ask for "clarification", you asked "what ought to be asked". You're the one who posted the question, you should know what you yourself are asking. – Semaphore Mar 20 '15 at 22:59
  • I wrote "what ought to be asked" to clarify what question user Mark C Wallace was thinking of, because he wrote: 'What's the real question?'; I did intend this as clarification. I confirm that I know what I was asking, but I don't understand what this user meant.. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 21 '15 at 0:04
  • You also wrote you may instinctively reject or ignore negative comments, but I confirm that I did read the comments. I then responded to them, such as those here: history.stackexchange.com/questions/20802/… and history.stackexchange.com/questions/20896/…. About all you did was to edit the title, I'm earnestly trying to do more and would be grateful for replies to my comments there. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 21 '15 at 0:29
  • @LawArea51Proposal-Commit That's a totally different question than the one you linked earlier. In this case, you also asked "why did he like singularly Field Marshal William Slim?" and hence it is unclear what on earth you are really asking. This was communicated to you at the time by both me and MarkCWallace's comments. My patience is wearing extremely thin at this point, please take a minute to really think things through before posting. – Semaphore Mar 21 '15 at 0:31
  • I'll be happy to answer, but to clarify, were two previous comments related to this question, removed (they were posted within the past 2 hours or so)? I believe that an earlier comment of yours started with: 'You literally make no sense whatsoever'. But I can't remember the rest of that comment? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 21 '15 at 0:34
  • @LawArea51Proposal-Commit Yes, it appears to have been removed. We seemed to have been graced by mod presence just now. – Semaphore Mar 21 '15 at 0:36
  • Thank you for your quick replies. Ah I see; I'll just disregard the removed post then. My question is: 'In WW2, why were some North Americans elites Anglophobic?' If "why did he like singularly Field Marshal William Slim?" confuses, I can happily remove it. Does this help? Please advise how else I can improve that question? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 21 '15 at 0:37
  • Yes, that helps. In general all of your questions could do with less tangentialising prattle. But the fact remains that this particular question is, as Mark noted, "not just trivial but tautological". By then North America already had a huge population. Of course "some" of them would be Anglophobic. To be a meaningful question, you need to at the bare minimum demonstrate that these Americans demonstrate an unusual amount of Anglophobia - which would require sorely missed preliminary research. – Semaphore Mar 21 '15 at 0:46

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