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Note that I have posted this in the SE Meta rather than the Spanish Meta with prompting from one of the Spanish moderators after I complained about it. His suggestion was the following:

Mi recomendación como usuario es publicar en meta, con pantallazo incluido, y preguntar por qué, aparentemente, alguien que no modera en Spanish.Se está moderando Spanish.Se. Y que de explicaciones (si piensas que te deben explicaciones) quien deba darlas

My recommendation as a user is to publish in meta, with screencap included, and ask why, apparently, someone who does not moderate in Spanish.SE is moderating Spanish.SE. And for whoever ought to explain it to explain it (if you think they owe you explanations)

I had an answer that was deleted by a non-Spanish.SE moderator (well, they1 has a diamond, but it seems purely by virtue of being an employee, their reputation is only 101).

The link provided says that my answer was deleted for one of the following reasons:

  • commentary on the question or other answers
  • asking another, different question
  • “thanks!” or “me too!” responses
  • exact duplicates of other answers
  • barely more than a link to an external site
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question

However, my answer was a complete answer, with commentary explaining it. I am the #3 user in Spanish.SE by reputation, I'm fairly certain I know what an acceptable answer is, and I can't for the life of me understand why this answer was (a) considered for deletion, (b) deleted unilaterally without any previous warning or explanation, and, most importantly, (c) by a person who has zero experience in Spanish.SE. Animuson in the comments suggests it could be from the language involved (although Spanish.SE is no stranger to foul language, being, of course, a language-based site — something acknowledged by the person who asked the question who is themself a mod), but that was not one of the reasons provided for the answer being deleted, and in fact after removing it and flagging it to be undeleted, it was not undeleted (but the flag was cleared from the queue, as I am able to flag it again). In any case, the question remains:

Is this standard practice (and if so, should it be?) for moderators to randomly enter SE's that they have no experience in and determine that and determine that an answer is, by their judgment, to be deleted, despite not fitting any of the rationales above?

I can understand spam answers, or blatant harassment/abuse receiving such treatment. In Spanish.SE, our moderators have, even when they could do instantly delete something, tended to provide feedback first and only deleting if an answer is never editted. And when they do instantly delete, they also provide a fairly explicit rationale as to what is wrong and what would need to be done to improve it, something I have not gotten.

Here is the screenshot of the post. Notice that the text above the HR is mine, and the text below is a loose translation provided by a different user (not me), and uses decidedly stronger language than mine. (the verb sudársela in Spanish means to "to not be important" and close to the English expression it's no sweat, although fairly more colloquial). The Spanish.SE didn't have any problem with it, so it seems odd for an outside moderator to jump in and decide what is considered an on topic or complete answer.

enter image description here


1. I do not know JNat's preferred pronoun, and will gladly edit this post accordingly if told.

2. The answer was not restored after adjusting the language (the flag was seen, and no action was taken to restore the answer).

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    You can't for the life of you figure out why adding a blatantly offensive statement to your answer got it deleted? This isn't the place for you to pretend like you did nothing wrong, sorry.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:47
  • 20
    @animuson the offensive text of "screw itself" was added by another user, NOT me. If the offensive text were not liked, it should have been rolled back. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:48
  • 10
    So... why wouldn't you do that? They explicitly asked you if it was ok, and you left it. Don't push blame off on other people - you are just as much a part of that decision for accepting it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:51
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    Is it just me, or is that not the smartest topic to choose for your translation golf at this moment? And if you're then going to skirt the edges of what is acceptable (or simply cross them) ...
    – Bart
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:53
  • 19
    animuson: we regularly deal with offensive language on Spanish.SE, it was a gloss, and I didn't think that "screw" is considered so vulgar in English. If a moderator disagreed, they should have rolled it back, or deleted that particular text, or entered their own translation. Note that the Spanish.SE moderators saw (and commented on the post) and did not see it fit to be deleted or edited. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:53
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    @animuson Fine, I edited out that users text. I'm unable to cast a revote because it was deleted by a mod. If it was the language (which is not the rationale per the delete reason) that has been fixed, then the question would simply be "if it was closed for language, then why was a non-language reason given?" Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 21:30
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    With all the moderator resignations lately you should expect SE employees to step up in the meantime. Spanish.SE only has one active mod left?
    – Mysticial
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 21:38
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    @Mysticial Perhaps, but that doesn't change the fact that the mod did not act like a typical Spanish.SE mod. I would assume that, if SE employees jumped in willy nilly into a community, they would understand its modding culture. Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 22:41
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    @TylerH Could you point us to the answer saying "suck on my ****"? And I really hope it's not the one saying "tirad de esta", because that's not what it means in Spanish. And as explained in comments, the translation "suck on it" is not literal, just trying to convey the same dismissiveness, and it also doesn't exactly mean "suck on my ****" (not even ELU agrees). As a Spaniard I find your attempts at purposely distorting my language really offensive. I hope this is not because of the argument we had on the Meta.SO question about the frozen room.
    – walen
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 8:01
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    Disclaimer: I am one of the mods in Spanish.Se, currently incative. To those of you who say that this was not the smartest or most appropriate topic to talk about, or that it is a way to sensitive topic to discuss now, I tell you the same I said in La Tertulia, the chat of our stack: "If the king is such a tyrant that he kills his jester, then you know that the Evil King is in charge." Jordan Peterson: Comedians, canaries and coalmines. Deleting the post was the wrong response as a first action. Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:51
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    @Mysticial Spanish.Se has still one mod active and the moderator's chat room is also active (the only mod left can ask for advice). We, the mods in Spanish.se, have always tried that, when possible, unilateral actions are to be avoided. That includes moderator's binding votes. And we favor talking to users and explaining to them what was wrong and asking for them to take the first step to remediate it, instead of just doing things for them, or even in their behalf, especially with no explanation or guidance. Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:57
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    @animuson the answer was not restored after removing the offensive language, so, my question still stands as originally posed. Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 13:19
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    @walen I'm referring to your answer, of course -- in English, "suck on it" is clearly an offensive, sexual innuendo, regardless of whether you use it literally or figuratively. As far as distortion or an argument on Meta.SO, I don't know what you mean--this is, as far as I can recall, the first time I've encountered you as a user on the network.
    – TylerH
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 13:47
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    @Ramhound no, it isn't necessarily used to portray a vulgar sexual act. It is also commonly used to tell a person to "shove off" or "go away" (which by the way seems as what was being said here). Just because it can mean one thing it doesn't mean it can't something else. I agree that this should have been left to the community to decide and not outright deleted.
    – Script47
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 14:08
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    @Ramhound 1. You can't make a blanket statement like that, there are a variety of meanings to words, maybe you've not come across it used in the way I've mentioned. 2. No, it doesn't go against the policy if you understand the context of the question. You're just seeing "bad" words and thinking it breaks policy, contextually, it really doesn't.
    – Script47
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 14:17

1 Answer 1

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You already got a bit of context from the comments as to why I deleted the answer. Two things worth clearing up:

  • Yours wasn't the only answer I deleted;
  • The first thing I did before touching any of the posts was to hop into a chat room with the site's mods, to talk about how to approach the post. I saw this was a recurrent event for y'all, so thought it'd be best to get some context beforehand. Furthermore, as a non-native English speaker, I'm also sensitive to the stuff that can get lost in translation.

I determined that, despite the choice of a sensitive topic in a sensitive time, letting y'all vent in a humorous way might be better than stomping on it. So me and the moderators deliberated that the clearly offensive or "Meta discussion-y" answers, at least, had no place there — which even lead to a warning at the top of the question, saying so. The mods left a comment, and I deleted the answers — these actions were done in tandem.

As you pointed out, the translation into Spanish itself had no problems — it was the translation back into English that was the offending bit. I didn't pick up on that, but you subsequently corrected it.

I have, in the meantime, talked with the mods again: I trust them to be able to moderate the post on their own. That means I deferred to them on whether to undelete the answer or not, based on your edit (they've since undeleted it). It also means I trust them to be able to delete the answers that don't abide by the "strictly language proficiency show-off" rule at the top of the question.

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    Thank you for posting here. May I ask, why did you remove my comment below the question, where I explained why I was voting to close the question? // How did you get chosen, or how did you step up to the plate to deal with our little fire? Is it because, perhaps, you are a Spanish speaker yourself? // Your profile says you're a SE employee. Do your normal functions include moderation, or are you putting out fires here and there temporarily because of the general conflagration? Thanks again for posting here and shedding a bit of light on what happened. Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 3:16
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    I cleared all the comments below the question, not just yours. I was pinged in the Teachers' Lounge about the situation directly by other moderators. And despite the framing surrounding this particular issue, it's is not out of the ordinary for Community Managers to step in and help in moderating in certain situations, just like I did here.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 12:01

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