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I recently posted the following question on meta:

Has Stack Exchange ever permanently kicked out (by the longest possible suspension) a high rep troll? (now closed and deleted by a moderator)

Some users thought the question was a duplicate and I edited my post to explain that it is not.

Four answers were posted, one from Moderator (and staff) Tim Post.

I have yet to finish reading Tim's answer and just found that my post had been closed by Moderator Journeyman Geek as

This question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network.

I disagree and would like to explain this should apply to broader meta, I find that my post has been deleted by Moderator Journeyman Geek. I do not understand why the hurry of deleting my post.

Journeyman Geek left the following comment under my post:

The question seems more of a rant about a specific user than a general one.

I was only able to read it after my post was deleted.

While the context of my question "seems" to be ranting (who would not be angry/upset with witnessing a high rep troll for many years in a beloved site?), my questions were not:

  • Has Stack Exchange ever permanently kicked out a high rep troll before?

  • are there examples of high rep (>100K) users being suspended "permanently" (The word "permanently" can be understood as "the longest suspension".) in the sense above?

  • should the described user be suspended "permanently" in the sense above?

(Rant: what kind of "rant" does one see here?!)

Here are my questions:

  • What did I do so wrong that a moderator need to delete this post on meta?

  • Is the deletion the decision of the whole moderator team or personal opinion of Moderator Journeyman Geek? (The unilateral deletion is very confusing.)

  • What should I do next, appropriately, if I strongly disagree with such deletion?

[Added:]

Since the first comment of the "relevant moderator" is not deleted yet upon request, I should state firmly that "whom you personally were in conflict over years and related to this did many quite problematic things" in the first comment under the post is not only an extremely misleading exaggeration but also a very offensive insult. I did not at all disclose in the deleted post who the user in discussion is and neither did I quote a single piece of linked question or answer of the mentioned user.

I will leave the judgement to the public and especially MathSE users.

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    Yet you left many clues that will enable others to identify that user. – GhostCat Dec 31 '19 at 16:15
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I will leave the judgement to the public and especially MathSE users.

I think this literally spells out why the post was meant to be deleted. "To the public" - meta is not a place for trial by public opinion. "especially MathSE users" is why that question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network.

I was quite frankly reasonably ambivalent over the original revision. It was oddly specific but seemed mostly harmless. The deleted revision was pretty much just short of naming the user - and I'd guess from the comments, which provide some context, a math.se regular would know and understand such conflicts and the people involved better than I (as a regular MSE and SU) or Tim (who has a shedload of sites under the oversight of him and the CM team).

Back when things were quieter - I used to joke "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". You don't drag in drama from other sites into MSE, where folks here have no context. If the person you are alluding to is a MSE regular, you just dragged your fight over here. If they are not, you pretty much are talking behind their back. The moment we start bickering over who said what, its no longer constructive.

If its a matter of network wide policy, or clarification, where context for a specific site is useful, there's no issue. This felt dangerously like a personal issue between users, moved here for a different audience.

Some of the answers also dredged up things like specific suspensions and such and had a bit of an unwanted effect. It was discussed, I thought about things including this very post turning up and it was the best option at first, and second glance.

Is the deletion the decision of the whole moderator team or personal opinion of Moderator Journeyman Geek? (The unilateral deletion is very confusing.)

Well - it dosen't really matter. As a matter of personal policy, and the fact that we cover different timezones/holidays, I keep the other mods apprised of, and do take input from them for these decisions. I act for and as part of the mod team.

Finally as a matter of policy (even if folks sometimes seem to forget), we do not discuss suspensions. I've always believed that once a suspension is over, if the problem behavior is addressed, its handled.

Even if its a longer than the 365 days that mods can give out there is always a hope for improvement. As such we don't discuss, or worse name and shame even our black sheep.

As for your actual question as asked - well, you could probably use the contact form but seeing as staff are very much already in the loop, just read and consider the above ;)

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    I affirm that if someone was active on the relevant meta at the time, they'd know who this user is. That user is still explicitly named repeatedly in the relevant posts on that site's meta (even by diamond moderators). – Rebecca J. Stones Dec 31 '19 at 2:21
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    This all seems fair reasoning, but since there was a good, network-wide aspect to the question and a valuable network-wide answer from staff, would it not be better to edit out the site-specific drama (locking if necessary) and undelete, rather than deleting completely losing some variable and useful content? – user56reinstatemonica8 Dec 31 '19 at 16:53
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Rant: what kind of "rant" does one see here?!

That is the essential point: this seems to be a very complicated story, and the author of the question only gave their interpretation of it. Whilst using strong language to denote the other side (for a serious contributor, the term troll is a real insult).

This becomes painstakingly obvious when reading the comments that the OP is exchanging with the moderator from math right on this question. Every side seems to come here with plenty of luggage.

Next: readers here might quickly take sides, in a conflict that is way beyond that "simple" initial question. Possibly leading to all kinds of rational or irrational reactions.

And thus: a moderator who cares for their community might decide to stop such a "storm" right before it breaks loose. And just downvoting or "putting on hold" might not be enough then.

Meaning: it really feels like the OP has a deep conflict with other member(s) of the math community, and MSE isn't the right place to resolve that conflict. Therefore a moderator coming in and ending that right there seems legitimate.

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What did I do so wrong that a moderator need to delete this post on meta?

This is Meta; even if the question is closed, people are likely to discuss at length in comments. Just closing and comment-locking it might not suffice. Furthermore, suspension details usually aren't discussed in public and this should not be an exception. I'll give you credit that you left the user's name out, though.

I find such deletion very much offensive: it is nothing but simply telling people to shut up.

I can understand that feeling, but it's (IMHO) about not shutting up people; rather, it's intended to reduce the moderator workload which is pretty high now because of recent events.

I was only able to read it after my post was deleted.

That's by design. It wouldn't make sense to leave a comment, check when you have read it (there's no notification for that) and only then delete the post. Also, you've got four answers already, including one from a staff member, do you really need more?

What should I do next, appropriately, if I strongly disagree with such deletion?

Maybe you can remove the part about this specific user, or reformulate it vaguely like "Suppose there is a high reputation user on a Stack Exchange site, who repeatedly violated the site rules. Why wouldn't such a user be suspended forever?" You can then flag the question to be undeleted, as the ranty/site-specific part is gone and it's a question with network-wide application.

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    If it’s comment locked, how is it going to be discussed at all? The advantage of leaving it undeleted is that moderators can give more than one person guidance about which sorts of questions are unwelcome and possibly nip future occurrences in the bud instead of generating more discussion about what was so bad it had to be deleted and hide a staff post in the process. – ColleenV Dec 30 '19 at 17:53
  • In comments under the answers (yes, I've seen that happening). I do think the question can be 'rescued' (see my last paragraph); in fact, I was planning to give it a shot later today until this question came up. – Glorfindel Dec 30 '19 at 17:56
  • @ColleenVpartedways Comments on the answers, as well as chat – Sonic the Masked Werehog Dec 30 '19 at 17:56
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    Users regularly ask "why was I suspended" and mods reply. Standard procedure. Discussing a user's ban is prohibited only if the user doesn't concur, which was not the case. Involved user explicitly permitted discussion of his suspension: [...]they have my permission to fully discuss the suspension on Meta.SE. I was not offered an explanation, other than the usual canned response. So why do they delete any discussion regardless if permission condition is met? – Orwell was right Dec 30 '19 at 18:03
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    @Fermiparadox Because the people with the power to delete stuff are trying to keep Meta from appearing too contentious and “toxic” because they’re afraid it will get shut down. – ColleenV Dec 30 '19 at 18:07
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    Comments can be locked on answers as well (at least it shows up in the mod menu) so I’m still not understanding why we’re all the sudden so terrified of discussion on Meta even though there are better tools to handle it now. – ColleenV Dec 30 '19 at 18:20
  • @Fermiparadox there's a huge difference between discussing a user's ban, which is OK (unless the user objects), and revealing details about it, which should only be done if they concur, like the case you cited. – Glorfindel Dec 30 '19 at 18:46
  • @ColleenVpartedways sure, it might have worked. Those tools are brand new, maybe the moderator forgot about it? He'll probably reply tomorrow, he's asleep now. – Glorfindel Dec 30 '19 at 18:47
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    @Glorfindel "there's a huge difference between discussing a user's ban, which is OK (unless the user objects), and revealing details about it, which should only be done if they concur, like the case you cited." - this was indeed the case in the past. I have seen users get banned for discussing bans despite an explicit permission. You could try an experiment. Keep track of all comments and posts that do exactly what you describe, and see how often they vanish and how often the users are banned. The rules have changed dramatically. – Orwell was right Dec 30 '19 at 18:55
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    @Fermiparadox you could be right, but with 10k reputation (and/or much presence here) you can see that things are often more subtle than they appear at first glance. For example, the post about Robert Harvey's ban "was deleted for privacy reasons (this was a request that we fulfilled, we didn't initiate it)." <-- that's a comment under the question by the staff member who deleted it. The user who posted that question didn't get banned AFAIK, nor do people get banned just because they're posting a question about a ban. – Glorfindel Dec 30 '19 at 18:59
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    There's a difference between referencing and actually sneaking in deleted content. In my experience - discussing suspensions never go well. Even in the example you gave - the user was very clearly aware of what was problematic. I will also say that a significant number of comment deletions, least on my part are flag initiated. There's also a significantly larger number of comments posted over the past few months than before. – Journeyman Geek Dec 31 '19 at 2:01
  • @ColleenVpartedways - Could you explain the "better tools" or provide a link? – aparente001 Dec 31 '19 at 7:33
  • @JourneymanGeek - Or could you explain Colleen's phrase about "better tools," or provide a link? – aparente001 Dec 31 '19 at 7:33
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    @aparente001 comment only locks. Employing those wouldn't help in avoiding the OP's feeling that they've been told to shut up, I fear. – Glorfindel Dec 31 '19 at 7:47
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    But it means that we're less likely to do it. Granted, I'm kinda here cause someone discussed a suspension and it went pretty badly wrong for them. That's to say, you're unlikely to find a mod unweary of talking about specific suspensions. In that specific case - I didn't say anything the user didn't, nor give anyting but generic advice – Journeyman Geek Dec 31 '19 at 8:21

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