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I am just wondering what the rules are here regarding making threads about other users, and whether it is considered a professional, or an unprofessional way of encouraging other users to vote bomb them?

Particularly using labels such as "Newbie" et cetera?

Surely if a person's threads are so bad, then people will vote them down anyway, using their own mind, without a person requiring to make a thread asking other users to vote bomb them?

The system here seems to be a good one. But there appears to be a few flaws.

Surely the system is broken, if it is ok to go to Meta, make a thread about a newbie, and ask how one can get this newbie suspended, and then get a response that equals "vote bomb them".

Surely the system is flawed, if it becomes ok, after that person is suspended, and is ensured that no-one else will find out about their suspension, and after receiving this message "It is a private, confidential communication mechanism between such and such community moderators and users. Our goal is to amicably resolve issues in a constructive way through direct communication. Please note that continuing to persist in problematic behaviors is grounds for timed suspension." they find the moderator that sent them that message posting updates of the persons whereabouts in order to encourage people to follow him and farther vote bomb him? Surely the system is flawed if the newbie after being sent that letter of confidentiality, then goes to Meta, to find his suspension being discussed by other users in comments sections?

Is this supposed to be self moderation? Surely this is "abuse" of self moderation? I apologise if you do not like my opinion.

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    This seems to be about this question that you answered. Yeah, I agree that in its previous form it did kind of call you out, so I edited out the link to your user profile. We also have rules that other users aren't allowed to ask for details on user suspensions unless the suspended user specifically consents or asks themselves. – Sonic the Masked Werehog Aug 1 at 5:13
  • @Sonic the Masked Werehog What is it with all those comments? If one does not know the answer, and it would likely be removed, send the user a comment instead? It is ok to express your negativity in the comment section where everyone can see it. But not in the answer box, where everyone can see it. If you have something good to add, why not answer the question? – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 5:15
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    You see malice where I see cause and effect. Post too many questions of too low a quality in a short time and your posts will be ill-received. Post better questions somewhat further apart (4 a day should really be a hard limit in my opinion, try to stay well under that while you're still getting to know the site) and there won't be a problem. – Mast Aug 1 at 6:00
  • The only other problem is, not all the threads were actually ill received. One was one vote up when it got closed. There was another that was closed that had people voting to reopen. The moderator deleted those requests. But forgot to delete the message to me. It was actually on that same message box the mod sent a message accidently to my inbox, advertising me where-abouts – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 6:16
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    Threads or threats? In the context of SE we hardly ever (never) talk about threads. We either call them Post, Question, Answer or Comment. We should not create threa(d|t)s, they should not exist in the Q/A model that is used to build the canonical body of knowledge. They have no place here. – rene Aug 1 at 8:01
  • @rene That's semantics. Sometimes a combination of a Question with all its Answers and their Comments is called a thread. Even though it doesn't fit the word perfectly, it's close enough that people get what's meant with them. – Mast Aug 1 at 8:14
  • @Mast Awesome, I didn't get it, at least not from reading the title. Let's assume it is my lack of coffee causing this ;) – rene Aug 1 at 8:18
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    Does this answer your question? How to complain about a user? meta.stackexchange.com/q/166299/282094 meta.stackexchange.com/q/257473/282094 and hidden: meta.stackexchange.com/a/107514/282094 (along with a few others there). – Rob Aug 1 at 14:08
  • @StevenIanGall - The fact the only question that received a up upvote was closed isn’t a positive thing. – Ramhound Aug 1 at 23:41
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I've removed the specific comments about your suspension for a variety of reasons but mostly because they're unnecessary and making assumptions that aren't based in reality.

I'll say another thing... and this isn't about tone policing but "vote bombing" is a very charged term. The general term we use for this is "targeted voting" and it can refer to both up and down votes. These are generally caught by our system and removed automatically with no intervention by any people - as was the case in your specific situation. If you are sincerely looking for help understanding a situation, please avoid using terminology that escalates the situation and puts people on the defensive - it generally leads to people reacting negatively. It's a self-fulfilling action.

Communication - the exact content of your mod message - is private and moderators should not discuss this. The fact of your suspension is not private and is visible on your profile. This is what people are basing their statements on, not any lapse in confidentiality.

Neither the person who asked that question, nor those who left comments or answered it are moderators on the History site and none of them would have any access to the information about your suspension other than being able to see the banner on your profile. Additionally, as mentioned in another answer, downvotes require 125 reputation, so most people here on MSE wouldn't be able to downvote any of your posts there - only people who participate there to some degree would.


On a deeper note, I've talked to the moderators on both History and Mythology about this situation and found nothing concerning in their actions. It is, indeed, quite unfortunate to have a very enthusiastic new member of a site run smack into a wall because of misconceptions about a site's scope or quality expectations. We try to avoid this as much as possible, which is why we have things like rate limits in place.

You have many questions but you frame them in ways that are problematic - in some cases, your questions are overly-reliant on quotes from sources with little explanatory information. We need questions to avoid relying on the title of the question alone. The body should be the primary place the question is formed and evidence and effort is presented. The title should serve only as a brief summary to help others understand the top-level question.

Other questions aren't detailed enough or are completely off topic. The guidance you've been given in comments, close notices and mod messages are there to help you better understand how to meet the expectations of our sites. Please, take the time you have during your suspension to listen to them. Read them, slow down and read other questions and answers on the sites and get a better understanding of how we ask and answer here. Jumping in without this effort often leads to situations like this.

When your suspension is over, consider editing the questions that are on topic to improve them and meet the concerns the users are raising with them. I understand that downvotes and question closure can feel very personal but they are not intended to be. Know that the interest isn't to block you from an answer but to make sure that the site has high-quality, focused, on-topic content that will be as useful to future visitors as it is to you.

I honestly believe that no ill will is felt towards you specifically and that the main point of concern others had was the rapid influx of questions that needed improvement on some relatively quiet sites. Making an effort to learn how we ask and answer questions here and improve your style will be well-received by many and will often lead to questions being reopened and upvoted.

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    Thank you. Had it not been for the fact that within 1 or 2 hours of me coming on here, someone pretty much pointed to my idnetity right around the time i received a good few votes down and got my threads closed, i would never have complained. Sometimes 2+2+5.. It just seemed that way to me. Though i think you did admit that i was "vote targetted" at one point, and the votes were successfully removed. So there definitely still has been a little bit of encouragement to follow me a little. However thank you for the advice. I am sure i have simply blown most of it out of proportion. – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 6:09
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Based on the now removed comments I can only conclude there's a lot more going on here than you've told us in the question body. It definitely looks like you've made a series of mistakes in judgement. Now, we all make mistakes, and if you learn from them I'm sure you'll find value in the SE network.

You pose interesting questions, yet too many and of ill quality. I'm not on the team, but from what I've seen so far and my years of experience on this network I have no reason to believe the moderators involved did anything wrong. You were not targetted by moderators, nor excessively pointed out. Concerns were raised, concerns were valid, action was taken.

I'm not going into the details of what happened here. Those comments are probably removed with a reason. I strongly urge you to drop the matter and find the problem with your behaviour. In a few days, when your suspension ends, you can try again.

Glorfindel and Catija have raised excellent points. They are both experts on how this network of sites works. The wrote an answer to help. Yet, it reads like you feel the need to defend yourself. Don't.

You know what you did and you now know the consequences. You may not agree with them, but they will happen again if you do it again. I believe the next suspension is likely to be 30 days.

I and many others have found value in how site quality is maintained. If anything, I think sometimes we aren't strict enough. Don't consider it a personal attack if you get downvotes on your questions and don't go looking for malicious intent when there is none. Good questions get upvotes, bad questions get downvotes, off-topic questions get closed. Here and there a vote may go different than you expected, but often enough there's a good reason for that. Learn from that and you're free to join History & Mythology again in a couple of days.

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I am just wondering what the rules are here regarding making threads about other users, and whether it is considered a professional, or an unprofessional way of encouraging other users to vote bomb them?

In general, the rule is that you don't mention a specific user and don't even link to the post(s) in order to avoid this. But sometimes one has to, in order to make the problem clear, and in that case we rely on the professionality of the Meta community to not to vote on the posts themselves. I don't think that this happened in your case; most users here don't have the reputation to downvote on History Stack Exchange.

Particularly using labels such as "Newbie" et cetera?

That word can be perceived as condescending, so it's not entirely in line with the Code of Conduct (though it's infinitely better than "noob") and should be edited out.

Surely the system is broken, if it is ok to go to Meta, make a thread about a newbie, and ask how one can get this newbie suspended, and then get a response that equals "vote bomb them".

That behaviour isn't tolerated, you can flag such a post for moderator attention or even as rude/abusive. I've never seen it happening, which proves how quick the community is to handle such cases.

Since I'm not sure if this is a hypothetical situation you're talking about, I'm not going to answer the part about suspensions, since my firm belief is that won't happen. There are several posts in the network about how to challenge an unjust suspension, e.g. What can I do to lift or reduce a suspension? and What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused their privileges?

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  • Thank you. I can assure you i was suspended for 7 days. Obviously you are aware of the thread that was made. I did not tell you about it. You used your own initiative. If you look at the comments, you will see where my suspension is being discussed. If you are "really" initiative, you will be able to find where the Moderator posted an update about my where-abouts, encouraging others to follow me on to other SE platforms. I am however not going to publically mention any names. Unlike the person that made a thread about the "newbie". He pretty much made my identity quite clear. – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 5:31
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    I don't know anything other than the question Sonic linked to (and your answer there), and I can see in the revision history that you were mentioned. I don't see any comments or other indications of inciting a vote bomb. I see you're suspended on History.SE but no indication at all that this is caused by Meta posts or coordinated voting. – Glorfindel Aug 1 at 5:38
  • There was no dramatic vote bomb. I simply went from over 100 rep and a few upvotes, to suddenly sitting and watching all my questions go 1up, 0, 1down, that quickly. Then i sat and watched as the moderator sent me "thread closed" "thread closed" "thread closed" "thread closed" one after the other, that quickly! then finally, suspended for 7 days! It was that quick. Pretty much right after that thread was made on here. – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 5:41
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    That Meta post was posted quite soon after the questions themselves were posted, at a time where most active History.SE users didn't see them yet. I'll repeat what I said before: most users here don't have the reputation to downvote on History Stack Exchange; and vice-versa, most users who do have the reputation to downvote don't visit Meta Stack Exchange that often. They see a front page loaded with what they perceive to be low-quality questions and decide to downvote; only afterwards, some of them might read the Meta post. You vastly overestimate how well-known Meta is. – Glorfindel Aug 1 at 5:47
  • Another user confirmed in the comment section commenting to the answerer that her answer had been successful in getting me suspended. As i have no problem with the answerer, i will state her name "Rene". I have no problem with her, as she replied to the person who told her her answer got me suspended. She replied, that was not my intention. My answer was taken out of context. This is evidence of a broken system and abuse of moderation. That was her reply. However the comments have been removed. Like i said. I mention rene, because i have no problem with her. She stuck up for me – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 5:58
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    @StevenIanGall Nothing about rene's comment said anything about getting you suspended and the comment that mentioned your suspension didn't in any way imply that the question or answer here on MSE led to it. As far as I'm aware the moderators on History were unaware of that MSE post when they took action and acted solely on information available to them on their site. – Catija Aug 1 at 6:02
  • I only got banned from the other site about two hours ago. About one hour after the MOD sent a message to my inbox accidently, allerting others to my whereabouts. I was not banned from that site when i made my thread on here earlier. At that point i had 175 reputation. I was banned about 20 minutes later, when my rep went from 175 to 0 – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 6:48
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    @StevenIanGall Moderators are generally quite aware that commenting on someone's post will send them a notification. So, leaving that comment was as much for your information as for others. I also know that the Mythology mods were made aware of your participation on their site through flags - many of your answers on that site were flagged as non-answers. drawing them to review your actions closely. – Catija Aug 1 at 6:53
  • @Catija - i am writing to you right now, with all the details and links to everything. However i am doing it via the official platform. Not in public. However if we are going to have this conversqation in public, then is it ok for me to just send the links and evidence to you here, right now, on this message box? – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 6:57
  • @Catija and who were they flagged by? The same people that had their votes removed for vote targetting me? – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 7:01
  • @Catija tonight after i reported the first incident. I was still with a reputation of around 175 on the other platform. I then within minutes began receiving complaints from commenters, and one of the mods systematically began closing threads. And i watched my rating go 175, 165, 155, 145, and then i posted a message that i have sent to you in private, and it all suddenly stopped for over 1 hour while they thought over how to play this, and they came up with an idea about my Mothers account, which was "hardly used". and they know this already. – Steven Ian Gall Aug 1 at 7:46

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