So, I followed the rules, I even edited. But still the 'powers that be', even one of them stated clearly that they have 'special powers', have, in their wisdom put me on hold! They don't like my subject, or don't they like me? It is all very confusing for a puppy dog (google dougal). Is this site run by the community for the community, or by the mods? The editing is superfluous, and there is no continuity, but hey, I suppose they are the gods... Anyone else have these sorts of problems?

  • 3
    I understand your frustration, but hang around; in my experience, it takes a bit of adjustment to the collaboration within different SE communities..
    – Giorgio
    Feb 11, 2017 at 21:09
  • Oh look I was edited again - boring... Feb 12, 2017 at 4:48
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    Did you even look at the revision history? I fixed the tags. bug is for software issues, not things like this. The other three didn't even exist, but synonyms did, so I used them (moderators instead of mods, etc). We use tags to keep things organized, which I suppose is a bit boring, but it helps the site work. So... yes, someone helpfully came along and improved your post for you - you're welcome.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Feb 12, 2017 at 5:12
  • Where is the line drawn between 'help' and 'interference'? Feb 12, 2017 at 5:18
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    Well, I'm sure there's a gray area somewhere, but fixing tags on a question is pretty solidly on the "help" side of the line. The whole point of tags is to tie together related questions using existing tags.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Feb 12, 2017 at 5:23
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    @dougal2.0.0 editing can be done by anyone with a certain (pretty low) level of rep. It shouldn't be taken as an insult, the purpose of the site is to have high quality questions with the best possible answers. There's always room for improvement with questions/answers, editing is just one way of making them better. E.g. an answer might contain a great answer but is hidden amongst bad formatting or irrelevant extra content - the authour isn't going to change this, but another user can tidy it up to make it a more useful reference.
    – Niall
    Feb 12, 2017 at 16:39
  • @dougal2.0.0 The line is drawn at "arbitrary interference". Interference which supports the goal of the site is not only permitted, but desirable. So, for example, deleting a longwinded backstory from a question, or deleting an answer which consists of offtopic arguments, is an interference, but an interference which is supported and desirable.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Feb 12, 2017 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


I'm sorry you're having trouble dealing with our site and community. We'd really like to make it work for you, and are very happy to explain anything you're having trouble with. However, that does require you coming to us with an open mind, and acknowledge that you have a couple things to learn, and it's not just an issue of mods being overbearing.

If you're serious about this, I would strongly recommend reading rumtscho's writeup:

Why are people here messing with my posts?

Notably it's okay if you don't realize something and have to get corrected. It's totally fine, it happens. As long as you say "oh, okay" or "really? can you explain that?" rather than "hey that's no fair" it'll all be good.

I've followed the rules, I've even edited but still put on hold - what gives? ... even one of them stated clearly that they have 'special powers', have, in their wisdom put me on hold! They don't like my subject, or don't they like me?

No, the question itself is still falling afoul of some policies about what is off topic on our site (which are extensions of general stackexchange policies), and so rumtscho's decision to put it on hold has stood. That is, that particular question, as interesting as it may be, does not follow all our rules about what to ask here. I left a comment on it about this.

It is all very confusing for a puppy dog

Yeah, the structure here is a bit surprising to people who are expecting open discussion forums. But it's fundamentally how the site works, so we expect users to learn to work that way, and not to tell us that we're doing it wrong.

Is this site run by the community for the community, or by the mods?

Both. The community has decided a ton of things over the years, including the specific policy about "what to make with X" questions, and the community does a lot of the implementation of the policy. But mods also help with this, especially when the decisions are pretty obvious, and when the community is having trouble dealing with things quickly (accumulating close votes is pretty slow sometimes).

And when it comes to telling people they need to learn to deal with the site's policies and structure, mods take a pretty active role in order to save other users from having to get confrontational.

The editing is superfluous

No, it's not. Off-topic questions can either stay closed, or get edited to be on topic, which is hardly superfluous. And we also encourage edits that fix errors, improve clarity of writing, and so on. The goal is to produce things that are useful for future readers, not just to talk to one person.

there is no continuity

As far as we can tell, yes, there is. Your question was put on hold for specific reasons, and those reasons don't apply to most questions. I'm sure we as a community are not perfect, and for example not everything that could use editing actually gets edited, but we do our best. If you see something that you think should be edited and wasn't, suggest an edit! If you see something that you think should be closed, flag it.

I suppose they are the gods... Anyone else have these sorts of problems?

Some people have, but they're the minority. Most people either learn to deal with the way the site works, or decide it's not for them and don't fight with us about it. Unfortunately, you've run up against policies several times and responded with hostility rather than listening to feedback, and you've also been unreceptive to voting and routine edits, also a core part of how the site works. (And that's kind of an understatement - you've accused mods of simply closing questions they don't like, you've accused editors of being derogatory, and you've asked to recall mods!) That tends to lead to people (especially mods) making some rather sharp statements.

We don't want to fight with anyone. Our job is to make sure the site runs the way it's meant to, and so we step in when that's not happening. We would definitely prefer to just help explain things to people, and get on the same page. So we start out just explaining how things work. But if people argue with that, we have to get increasingly stern; we can't just let people do whatever they like.

  • I agree totally. Dougal, everything Jef is saying is absolutely right. You could contribute immensely here, but you're not doing that. What you are doing is writing what you want to, our rules be damned. Well, our rules make sense once you open your mind enough to understand. As you are headed, you may soon be uninvited to our little party. That's OK too. I like your blog.
    – Jolenealaska Mod
    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:49
  • Just in case, given Jolene's comment: no one gets "uninvited" for having some questions closed, or for getting downvotes, or anything like that, long as they're being sane about it. Suspension is for serious issues, when there's no good way to solve a problem for the site but some time off can help.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Feb 12, 2017 at 2:00
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    Though speaking as a mod on another SE site, continued arguing with mods and reverting edits and the like definitely can get you suspended - IMO the mods here are being extremely tolerant of your behavior so far Dougal. If you don't like the rules, don't use the site.
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 12, 2017 at 17:38
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    I have been a little confused on how some of the stuff on this web site works. I am not sure how the votes work. I think if you get votes on your question that is a good thing am I right? Can anyone vote? I also want to say I am sorry for my spelling and grammar. If it needs some tweaking please by all means go for it. Thank you. -Jerfomi
    – GJ.Baker
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:25
  • I'm not even sure if I am doing this right. I'm not very good with computers. Thank goodness my baking is better than my computer skills. Lol
    – GJ.Baker
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:31
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    @GJ.Baker I'd suggest looking at the tour and for more detail on specific things the help center, and if you have questions you can post a new question here on meta, or just ping me or ask others in Seasoned Advice Chat. But yes, upvotes are good, and pretty much anyone can vote (it only requires a little reputation).
    – Cascabel Mod
    Feb 22, 2017 at 21:49

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