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I posted a question before I went to bed and during the night a user made a comment that could also have been an answer.

When I woke up, the comment had been deleted and the moderator commented that he should write it again as an answer. Both me and another user commented that until that was done, he should not have deleted the comment.

I do understand the need for moderation, both in questions and comments. But deleting comments can also be done with care.

So after a few comments back and forth about this, I filed a complaint through the online contact form (this is my first time doing so).

I was very surprised when the person who answered my complaint, was the person I was complaining about.

I starts with this:

We've noticed that you have a pattern of engaging in lengthy discussions in comments, frequently consisting of responses involving multiple, back-to-back posts. (...)

And continues with

Preferring to argue with other users in comments over revising your questions and answers to address their concerns is a red flag to moderators, indicating you may not fully understand the purpose of Stack Exchange

This is of course BS (just see my list of comments).

So what am I to do? Who's moderating the moderators?

  • 4
    By "online contact form" do you mean the "contact us" form in the footer? If so, then your complaint went directly to SE, not to the site's moderators. Are you sure the person who responded is a community moderator, and not a SE employee? – yannis Feb 19 '16 at 10:22
  • Not sure. I googled it and used the form that came up. So it should have gone to the SE team. – Steven Feb 19 '16 at 11:24
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Complaints and feedback through the "Contact Us" form in the footer of every SE site go to the Stack Exchange team, not to community moderators.

The message you received from the community moderator is familiar to me because it is a "template" message that community moderators can send to users of their sites. This message is not a response to your complaint through the "Contact Us" form.

I can see how you might think it was a response to your complaint because it is a reaction to the same event that triggered your complaint, but rest assured that "Contact Us" complaints are not routed to community moderators. Rather, the community moderator apparently thought it was necessary to send this message to you following the situation that started all this. (Possibly after consulting with the other community moderators on the site.) The moderator probably had no idea you submitted a complaint to the Stack Exchange team, until this meta post.

Your "Contact Us" complaint is probably still in a queue waiting for a response from the Stack Exchange team. Your best bet is to sit tight and calmly wait for a response from them.

Note: moderators can see whether a user has submitted a "Contact Us" form (if we go looking for it in the user history), but not the contents of the form.

  • Ok, that makes sense. If I truly did argue in a lot of posts, then yes, it would have been justified. But sending such a message based on comments in one post, is a bit excessive "use of force". A few years back I experienced another moderator (in another community) who, in my view, misused his mandate as a moderator. In both cases, it was futile to discuss the issue with them. They simply do not take any feedback. – Steven Feb 19 '16 at 11:33
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    @Steven Your question wasn't "Is this message I got from a moderator justified." I can't answer that, I don't know anything about the situation. Your question asks whether moderators should respond to complaints raised against them through the form, and that's the question I answered (by explaining that this isn't what happened here.) – ff524 Feb 19 '16 at 11:35

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