It is apparent to me that the moderators aren't really moderated. I have read many articles where moderators get overzealous in their quest to have "perfect" information.

It's like some kind of cult where if you can get in and follow the creed you can do whatever you want. There's no second opinion and no way to obtain one.

A great example is a question "Does the internet exist?" It's a good question, but the moderator decides to close it saying It's unclear what you're asking. I know exactly what he is asking. Its very clear to me.

He wants to know, does the internet exist? If so what's the proof?

There is another post here which asks "What recourse do I have if I believe the moderator has abused their privileges?" This is a question of the poster's perspective on the moderation. It doesn't address what the community in general things about the moderator. It also appears to be a question of escalation rather than feedback. So I think it is a different question. My question is more about a way for the entire community to give numerical feedback about a moderator's specific action. If the community likes their moderation they can know how much or how little with something like an upvote or downvote. It's a lot of work to "have recourse" on someone and that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking about a way to provide feedback about monitor activity in a non-black and white way. Meaning non-recourse needed, merely "I don't like what you did" way.

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    Moderators are certainly moderated - by the community, other moderators and community managers. What makes you believe this isn't enough and that every single action of a moderator should be help up to scrutiny beyond that?
    – Oded
    Jun 7, 2017 at 13:07
  • The person closed that question didn't seems like a mod anymore Jun 7, 2017 at 13:09
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    The closing of questions if very much determined/steered by the community. I can't judge why the mod choose to close the question, it is best asked at their meta. Beyond that you can always leave a comment (they left comments to explain comments why they closed it) to contest closure, edit the question into shape if warranted or cast a re-open vote if you have the privilege. There is no need to down-vote a moderator, they are just regular users with a couple of power buttons. And keep in mind we don't down vote users, we down vote posts.
    – rene
    Jun 7, 2017 at 13:33
  • see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/215705/… for more on what makes a question "unclear" Jun 7, 2017 at 13:43
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    "It's like some kind of cult" Did you want to try to defend that on some kind of factual basis, or are you just aiming for being written off as a crackpot? "if you can get in" Right, so, moderators are elected by non-moderators. "There's no second opinion" Simply, false.
    – jscs
    Jun 7, 2017 at 13:48
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    How can we see the internet if our eyes aren't even real?
    – user1228
    Jun 7, 2017 at 16:41
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    Granted all the Moderators will be upset by my question and demand that I provide facts and articulate my arguments well. Please understand that some questions and some answers are based on perception and that GOOD answers demand an equally perception based response which might not be emotionless and completely objective. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:00
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    @Nathan Mods, like stack users get points for modding. Therefore the site is encouraging some action in it and of itself when in many cases action is not need, action is taken because all action by a moderator is seen as good when in many cases it is not. A vote up and down will create accountability and thoughtfulness to the action just like the non-moderators are subjected to. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:02
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    @JoshWoodcock: I wish it were true that moderation actions added to rep. In point of fact, that simply isn't so at all, in any fashion. Diamond mods don't even get badges for their actions. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:03
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    @JoshWoodcock That last comment, like so much of your question, is simply wrong. Mods don't get points for moderating. They do it because they intrinsically want the site to be better.
    – Servy
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:03
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    @Nathan I didn't mean Points = Rep. I meant that moderation is seen as positive because it is moderation. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:27
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    @JoshWoodcock: If you mean that most users see diamond mod actions as positive even when they aren't, I don't think adding votes to allow them to express this in a more formal way will help anything at all. I would actually expect, based on experience, that users tend to either ignore diamond mod actions almost entirely, or object to those actions mostly when those actions go against their interests. Based on this, the votes would be rather imbalanced, and not especially informative. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:32
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    @Ramhound are you really say that the community members aren't intelligent enough to participate? Or you're saying that community members don't participate? Or you're saying that participation from the community won't be helpful because the community members don't know what they're doing? I'm confused. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:41
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    Look guys I lost 30 rep for asking a valid question. Great way to encourage collaboration guys. Jun 9, 2017 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


The ability to oppose the closure of a question already exists—users with the privilege to close questions may vote to reopen. Even when moderators vote to close, 5 users can vote to reopen, if they decide that the question was improperly closed.

I don't see any value in adding a 'downvote' mechanism for users to express disagreement with a moderation decision:

  • If a question is improperly closed, trusted users on the site can vote to reopen. Once there is one reopen vote, the post will be sent to a review queue for users to decide whether to 'Leave Closed' or 'Reopen', so eventually the post will be handled by the community.

  • Users who don't yet have the privilege to reopen can create a question on the per-site meta for Philosophy, making a clear case for why the question should be reopened. You can see this in action on The Workplace's meta site.

The vast majority of moderator actions can be reviewed and counteracted by the community—closed posts can be reopened by the community; deleted posts can be seen by high-rep users and flagged for review if necessary. Other moderation decisions, such as suspensions, are overseen by Community Managers (employees at Stack Exchange). You can be sure that almost every decision made by a moderator is open for scrutiny by at least one other party, to ensure that moderation is fair and consistent.

Note that the moderator who closed the question left some comments explaining exactly why the question was closed:

Your title question "Does the internet exist?" is too broad to be reasonably answered here. The question in the body of your post, "Would ... anti-realists say [the internet] exists?" is acceptable in scope, but you don't provide us any context or definitions so it remains unanswerable. 1st, define "the internet". You seem to have defined existence as something you can "smell, touch, taste, or hear" but are you sure that definition is satisfactory? Reality, conceptual existence, these are complicated issues that can easily become more confusing if you don't stop to establish a starting point.

Philosophy is a tricky subject, and we don't want to discourage new users from posting questions they have, but we really do want to encourage people to think about their questions themselves before they ask, and write down what they think and what is going on in their minds, too. This way we can work through the problem rather than just guessing what your question is really about and potentially giving you an answer to the wrong question. :)

The issue here is that although you can tell what the question is trying to ask, there isn't sufficient information to give a proper answer on the Philosophy site.

Keep in mind that unclear what you're asking doesn't necessarily mean unintelligible, just that there isn't enough information to reasonably answer in the question's current state. It's also quite broad at the moment, so it could also be closed as too broad.

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    You're posing your logic from a position of pure objectivity. What I'm saying is that many questions and answers especially in philosophy are asked and answered from a subjective perspective and rightly so since there are likely many valid viewpoints. Many moderators are moderating out the subjectivity on very subjective questions even in cases where subjectivity is more appropriate than objectivity. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:07
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    If you have an issue with moderation on a specific site, @JoshWoodcock , you should raise it on the specific Meta first. You cannot generalize moderator actions across every site from one question whose closure or editing you disapprove of.
    – jscs
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:38
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    It's not a moderator in a specific site. This is a problem with every Stack community. Jun 7, 2017 at 18:42
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    @JoshWoodcock The general philosophy for subjective questions is outlined at Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. The discouragement of highly subjective questions comes from years of experience with Q&A, which has shown that really subjective, broad questions don't provide useful answers. If you see a question that does meet those criteria, but isn't being handled, you can take any of the actions I mentioned earlier (voting to reopen, meta posts). I can't speak for the Philosophy site, so their Meta is worth visiting.
    – Aurora0001
    Jun 7, 2017 at 18:45
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    @Josh you've been to and spent sufficient time in every single community to know that I suppose? I'd wager not. Like others have said, no matter how much you wish this is something you could generalise, it isn't.
    – Clive
    Jun 8, 2017 at 7:20

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