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This is one of my questions that was posted yesterday. Here, one particular user had posted an answer that was an unprovoked, rude and abusive. I flagged it. I saw that certain moderators ie. high-rep users were actually on the site. I waited, thinking that the one of them would actually step in, and the answer would be atleast downvoted/flagged/deleted. On hindsight, I realize that I was too naive to actually think this, just because a post regarding Narnia I had flagged as rude/abusive got auto-deleted by the system within minutes, and even then I do not have close/open privileges. I just flagged it with limited powers.

Anyway, the opposite happened, the rude/abusive answer got a few upvotes, and that's when I saw red, and retaliated by name-calling. Immediately, within seconds of posting my retaliatory response, this particular user, he swooped down and rebuked me that if I were going to complain about rude/abusive posts,I shouldn't be retaliating with the same kind of posts. But now those comments have been purged. I heard him, I retracted my post, saying that I had been immature to do so. And then again, I waited. After waiting, I called him out on his behaviour. Why did he censure me and not that user? He censured my retaliatory statement, but he failed to censure the other user's. He told me something unexpected. He told me that I had no grounds to complain about bias, because I had no way of knowing whether or not he flagged the offensive post or not. I was expecting him to deny being biased, but the above statement implied that even if he were biased, I couldn't actually do anything about it. But I told him that I can see vote counts on my question, and that he didn't even try to moderate. Then, he just fell silent.

Am I wrong in thinking that that particular user was biased?

High-rep users have powers to moderate, but they don't seem to have the binding policy restrictions that the diamond-mods have.

And it wasn't just him. It was also the other members who closed my question, who were online at that time. If any of them were online, they didn't show it. I had to retract my rude/abusive flag, and raise a mod flag, which is supposed to be the last line of defense. A diamond-mod edited the question to remove the offending part. But was that enough?

The user who posted about Narnia,whose vote was auto deleted as rude/abusive due to flags: His public profile no longer exists on this site! That means he's been deleted/suspended from using this site. And he had just signed up, he hadn't even been a member for a full day.

But that user has been a member of this site, for 3 years and 1 month. What was the penalty awarded to this user, who must have known by now what constitutes as rude/abusive? Now, you might be tempted to mention that I was also involved in name-calling, but I would remind you that I accepted the censure, owned upto it and removed the offending comment. The user's offending answer is still visible when you click on the 'Edited' icon. The person hasn't even admitted the mistake. Is it because of the subtle endorsement by the high-rep users, who seem to have mistaken poor taste for wit?

Isn't it incongruent that a new user gets punished more on his first day, than a user who has spent three years on this site?

Another user has pointed out to me that this is a family oriented website for 13+ ages. In that context, if you're able to access some of the deleted comments, from that post, you might see how I, a 22-yr old, had to argue in order to just establish that the post was offending.

Did you perhaps think that a 13-yr-old would be thrilled to be insulted by @, and censured by high rep mods?

And they don't even have the power to flag posts until they get a 15-rep.

The unofficial policy seems to be: 'Let the noobs(new users) fend for themselves'

EDIT

I've edited out the other offending user's name in this post. I think this would be better anyway now that I'm leaving this site. I feel now that I don't want this single mistake of the offending user to be immortalized in meta. If you feel this is better, you should do it in the answers too. It would be better if the user's name is anonymized.

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    I am the "biased" user you interacted with yesterday. I am not a mod - and I have no responsibility or ability to moderate. I also continued conversing with you until you said you were no longer going to continue. I came back to the post later and saw that the conversation in the comments had been deleted by a mod. From what I've seen, you were also not "punished" in any way. You deleted your own offensive comment, and a moderator removed the wording that offended you. To my knowledge (remember, not a mod), you have not received any official warnings, and you were not suspended. – phantom42 Feb 13 '18 at 13:47
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    For what it's worth (and speaking as someone with no dog in this fight on either side) you seem to have conducted yourself extremely poorly, calling people rude names, posting comment after comment to try to "win" arguments and demanding that others be "punished" for their supposed transgressions. None of these are conducive of good relations and being nice – Valorum Feb 14 '18 at 0:08
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    @Valorum -Being nice and having relations are built on the pillars of equality and social respect. I’m not sure that what I experienced here recently was an indication of either. “Winning arguments?” I called out a high rep user on what I felt was bias. And when he in turn accused me of being a hypocrite, I think it’s only fair that I defend myself by posting “comment after comment”. – user88577 Feb 14 '18 at 10:33
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    No, I called you out on being a hypocrite first. That was my first interaction with you or the entire situation. Your claim that I was biased, by your own explanation, was that I had not also chastised Jontia. – phantom42 Feb 14 '18 at 13:05
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    Allow the downvotes to be your guide. Whatever the wrongs of the other user's actions, yours were still inappropriate. – Valorum Feb 14 '18 at 13:24
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On moderators and high-rep users

I think you may have slightly misunderstood some of the differences between high-rep users and diamond moderators.

I flagged it. I saw that certain moderators ie. high-rep users were actually on the site. I waited, thinking that the one of them would actually step in, and the answer would be atleast downvoted/flagged/deleted.

Flags are only visible to diamond moderators. High-rep users can handle a lot of moderation tasks such as voting, closing questions, and deleting posts, and sometimes these actions automatically handle flags raised by other users (e.g. if you flag a post as "very low quality" and it's later deleted by high-rep users, the system will mark your flag helpful), but they can't see who flagged what or manually 'handle' those flags.

So when you raised a moderator flag on the post which offended you, it had to wait to be handled by a diamond moderator: in this case, Null, who removed the offending content from the answer.

Anyway, the opposite happened, the rude/abusive answer got a few upvotes, and that's when I saw red, and retaliated by name-calling.

Retaliating in kind is never appropriate. From the site's Be Nice policy: "If you see a hostile interaction, flag it. If it keeps up, disengage — we'll handle it."

Why did he censure me and not that user? He censured my retaliatory statement, but he failed to censure the other user's. He told me something unexpected. He told me that I had no grounds to complain about bias, because I had no way of knowing whether or not he flagged the offensive post or not.

This is correct. Like I said before, flags aren't visible to non-moderators, so for all you know, it's possible he flagged the answer too. And if he didn't, perhaps it's because he found your comment more offensive than the answer. And there's no particular requirement for him to be unbiased. Diamond moderators are expected to be impartial (and in matters where they can't be, to leave it to other diamond moderators to handle); high-rep users, not so much.

On new and established users

The user who posted about Narnia,whose vote was auto deleted as rude/abusive due to flags: His public profile no longer exists on this site! That means he's been deleted/suspended from using this site. And he had just signed up, he hadn't even been a member for a full day.

I assume you mean this post. Since you don't have the 10k rep required to view deleted posts, I'll post its contents here, and also for good measure the content of the answer which offended you and of your rude comment thereon:

  1. The Narnia answer:

    When the 4 children go to Narnia, they are brutally molested by Soldier #5 and the beavers. They try and go back for more as their minds were completely perverted by the encounters, and found nothing but dusty old shams and overcoats in the wardrobe. To their dismay, they sob and sob and daydream for the next 23 years about how amazing it would be to just have one more go at that furry little pecked from papa beaver. In the hidden chronicles of narnia, that was released solely by hustler, it goes into more detail about how they spent the next couple decades raping and murdering the town folk in hope that one day they would prove worthy of a return to narnia, for a good old fashioned beaver butt rape.

  2. The relevant part of the Harry Potter answer:

    The sexuality of the characters is never mentioned beyond lists of who married who and if this included same sex relationships this would still be fine, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Both of these issues come from inside the head of the person with the problem.

  3. Your comment on the latter:

    The second sentence of your comment indicates that you haven't actually read the question that's been linked in this question. I would like users with a certain level of sapience to try to answer my question. Otherwise, please don't try to answer. We've already got enough cretins as it is

While it's often futile to try to 'measure' offensiveness, I don't think anyone would disagree that the first of the three quotes above is the most inappropriate. When we see content like this posted by a brand-new user, there's no reason to think they're going to contribute constructively to the site. One of the standard reasons for moderators to delete a user is "This user was created to post spam or nonsense and has no other positive participation" (emphasis mine). Someone who joins the site just to post rape jokes doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. That's the reason why the Narnia answerer's account was deleted; an established user posting the same thing would likely be suspended instead. And users posting less offensive content such as the 2nd and 3rd quotes above might get away without even a suspension, as happened in this case. Incidentally, this probably also explains why someone responded to your comment by telling you off for rudeness, without doing the same to the answerer: because calling people "cretins" and insulting their "sapience" is more rude, or at least more directly rude, than saying that certain issues come from inside someone's head.

TL;DR: how much a user is 'punished' for rudeness generally depends on how rude they were.

I hope this helps to address your concerns, and that you won't quit the site over something like this.

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Let's start with the "offensive" content...

and if this included same sex relationships this would still be fine, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Both of these issues come from inside the head of the person with the problem.
(from the revision history)

This appears to be the content that offended you. I'm assuming that you interpreted it as referring to people who have same-sex relationships as having a problem or something. This is not how I'm interpreting it - I'm seeing it as saying that if someone considers that inappropriate in a childrens book that they would have a problem. It's a little ambiguous, but I don't think that it's intended to be offensive at all.

The Narnia answer you refer to is absolutely nothing like this answer. That "answer" was intended to be offensive - saying things about how the characters get raped by a beaver and then become murderers and rapists themselves. Absolutely offensive, and nothing like the answer you're referring to.


But I told him that I can see vote counts on my question, and that he didn't even try to moderate. Then, he just fell silent.

What does the vote count have to do with anything? People are allowed to vote how they want, with the exception of voting fraud and targeted voting. There was nothing to moderate there.


High-rep users only have moderation powers in that the more rep you have, you can do more things. At 2k rep you can edit, 3k you can vote to close, 10k view deleted posts and vote to delete old closed questions, and 20kers can vote to delete negatively scored answers. Only diamond moderators can see flags.

Also, if something can be edited to fix the "offensive" part... don't flag as Rude/Abusive. R/A flags carry a pretty big penalty, as you saw with the Narnia answer - 6 of them will automatically delete and lock the post, and the user will receive a -100 reputation loss. It's only to be used for serious cases.


No, I don't think that anyone was being biased. You must abide to Be Nice at all times, irrespective of what other users are doing. He took the correct course of action in correcting you. And I don't think that the answer in question was actually offensive, so... no, he wasn't being biased; he's a competent mod who's doing a very good job of something that is usually a thankless task.


Did you perhaps think that a 13-yr-old would be thrilled to be insulted by that user, and censured by high rep mods?

I'm 15 years old. And I'll reiterate that I'm perfectly fine with that content, and that nobody was being biased or censured or anything.

So TL;DR: No, nobody was being biased. The diamond moderator in question took the correct course of action, and you overreacted.

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    Are you sure they're even discussing Null being the bias one? From the comments on the answer it would seem the user only has faith in the mods and not in community mods, so I would guess he got into an argument with a community moderator as opposed to a site mod. – Edlothiad Feb 13 '18 at 8:28
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    No, @Null was not being biased. He was the only Mod who took care of the care of the problem by responding to the Mod flag. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:29
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    The fact that you haven't been able to decipher that, while @Edlothiad has been able to, indicates that you haven't read all the comments properly. So, please don't try to ply me with condenscion and non-answers. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:32
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    And the fact that you are 15 years old and are fine with the content has no bearing here. I suspect you might feel differently, if you are on the receiving end of such posts. Also, it has been cleverly worded, so as not contain any expletives. And you have also failed to understand that the line was the personal attack against, which one person actually added in the comment. So, if your unable to even identify which was the insult, who I'm talking about, I'm not sure that you are qualified to answer this question. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:33
  • About being nice, I was nice, until I detected this one particular user whose rebuking comment was simply just a one-sided bashing. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:41
  • @Edlothiad - good catch, I've corrected that. – Mithical Feb 13 '18 at 8:42
  • The last line was the personal attack. I seem to have left out 'last' from the comment two lines above. One of the users actually pointed out that it was an unnecessary insult, but I don't know if it's still there, since a few comments have been purged. And quite frankly, if this had happened to a long time member of this site, would I have needed to raise a mod flag? It would have been downvoted, censured and deleted – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:45
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    What you've basically said in this answer, is that if an insult is worded cleverly, without expletives, making it sound like "quick-wit", rather than poor taste, then it's not offensive. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 8:55
  • @Mr.Riddle - I've read through your question again. Your question makes several references to "moderators" being biased. Since Null was the only moderator involved, it seemed logical to assume that you were referring to Null. – Mithical Feb 13 '18 at 8:58
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    My age is irrelevant in this case, yes, except that you explicitly brought up young users being offended by this. So I left my view, as a young user. – Mithical Feb 13 '18 at 8:59
  • @Mith -You say that you are fine with it now. But I suspect you've not been insulted like this before. And that means that opinion cannot be taken for all young users. And particularly if you're a respected long time member of this site, people wouldn't dare to insult you, which I think is a reasonable conclusion – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 9:02
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    @Mithrandir I think Mr.Riddle interpreted Jontia's comment as "if you think same-sex relationships are inappropriate for children's books, then you're mentally ill", and took personal offence to it. I must admit that I interpreted it the same way. – F1Krazy Feb 13 '18 at 9:16
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    I realize now that even typing the question above might not bring me the closure I thought I would get. So, I've decided to delete my profile in SFF.SE. and the other site as well. Anyway, my fracture is almost healed, I've exhausted my medical leave, I will just have to get back to my job. I don't think I'll have this much free time then. I mostly come to this site for shopping questions. I can do that without having a profile. Just a final word, to @Edlothiad: It was amusing to see how you reacted when you realized that I had popped in to the chatroom without you noticing. – user88577 Feb 13 '18 at 10:47
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    I am the user mr.riddle believes was being “biased”, as I advised him not to call people non-sapient cretins for not answering a question to his liking. This conversation has been deleted from the comments on the post. – phantom42 Feb 13 '18 at 12:34
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    Based on our conversation, Mr.Riddle's entire complaint that I was "biased" hinged on three things. 1)I had not downvoted Jontia's answer 2) I had not publicly chastised Jontia for being rude. 3) I did publicly comment that one should not complain about others being rude and then call them non-sapient cretins. – phantom42 Feb 13 '18 at 12:59
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I know that this should not be an answer, but I request that you leave it as such, as this will be my last post as Mr.Riddle. It’s upto you. You can downvote it to negative infinity as you like.

I've edited out the other offending user's name in the question. I think this would be better anyway now that I'm leaving this site. I feel now that I don't want this single mistake of the offending user to be immortalized in meta. If you feel this is better, you should do it in the answers and the comments too. It would be better if the user's name is anonymized.

First of all, thank you, Rand’ Al Thor, for deigning to answer my question, after reading through it fully, instead of just defending the community, as Mithrander tried to without even reading my question properly. And thank you for the last line in your answer, irrespective of whether it is a standard line to a user who is about to quit or not. I accept your answer.

I didn’t misunderstand the differences between moderators and high-rep users. I just felt that when a high-rep user exercises a privilege that is contained in the Moderation privileges tab, he must do it without bias, irrespective of whether he is a diamond-moderator or not. But I realize now that I was wrong about one thing, regarding voting being allowed as a like/dislike feature, as Mithrander pointed out in his/her answer. Users are allowed to vote an answer as good, even if it is offensive or in poor taste according to their preferences. But Voting Up and Voting Down are listed as Moderation privileges, under the Moderation Privileges tab. Maybe that was just a technical flaw that I took too seriously. Maybe it’s just in the letter of the law and not in the spirit.

To phantom42

If editing the offensive part of the answer is the solution for mildly offensive posts, as Mithrander pointed out, you could have edited the offensive part of the answer yourself as you have enough reputation, without acting as a bystander, without waiting for a diamond-moderator. I would have done it for anyone. Since you didn’t do that, I could only take it as a subtle endorsement of the offending user’s entire post. Whether that was your intention or not, that is how it seemed. And, if a user accuses you of bias, you either deny the accusation, or say that you weren’t online at the time and didn’t read the offending answer fully, or you explain why it wasn’t offensive if it wasn’t. You may not need to defend yourself to every arbitrary person who feels offended. But I accused you specifically because you commented to me on my mistake, and without commenting against the other person's.

This incident must have been distasteful to you. But please don’t feel that you shouldn’t respond the next time someone singles you out in a comment. You were courageous enough to respond. Now, Mycroft Holmes may have said that Bravery is by far the kindest word for stupidity. But that would apply only in a fight against a powerful enemy, if you’re outnumbered. And I am not an enemy, just a new user, and the numbers are still on your side.

And lastly, to the user who offended me: I didn’t realize that I had to say this before, because I was angry. I got a small clue about this when F1Krazy posted a comment yesterday. To others, this may not be necessary, but to you it is.

I am not against homosexuality

. Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes from BBC Sherlock are two of my favorite icons. And Mark Gatiss, who plays Mycroft Holmes is gay. I may not be a beacon of light who fights for LGBT rights. But I have nothing against them. And I didn’t say that homosexuality should be excluded from children’s books. I apologize if I gave you that impression. I just felt that JKR hesitated in adding them to the seven main books, because she must have felt that LGBT haters could have created a controversy, that could ruin her career. So, she probably felt that it was better to gain a huge fanbase that respected her, before she revealed Dumbledore as gay.

But you should realize that there are other people like you who are quick to provoke others for perceived misunderstandings on homosexuality, and such people may have played a huge role in pushing ordinary neutral heterosexuals into becoming LGBT haters. This is just raw speculation, but I thought you should now, particularly if you champion their cause.

To others

I just thought of a question, that you could raise in meta if you wish. When you downvoted down the above question to -11, it struck me. This question in meta was not an intellectual discussion. It was an airing of grievances. When I’m doing that, do you think that I care about whether you like/dislike the question? When you downvote meta posts on seeking redressal on grievances, it reduces my reputation. Doesn’t this suggest to a new user that if high rep-users dislike you complaining against them, then their rep would be at stake? If you think that the user is deliberately antagonizing the community with the complaint, then you have the power to say so by answering his post or commenting on it, like many of you have done in the comments. That should be enough. If you keep voting down complaints against you, then why would a new user complain at all? And also , I’ve seen a few posts with this phrase.

“If you have a problem with how I moderate, feel free to raise it in meta”

How are we supposed to protest anything at all, with the threat of loss of reputation? Maybe this has already been addressed, maybe not.

Finally

I’ve gained some good things from this site. But mostly, you seem to have made a lawyer out of me, even if people in real life call me passive. I will keep visiting the site for story-id questions and watch the corresponding movies. I don’t need a public profile to do that. I hope you wont remove such questions as it was done Movies and TV.SFF I undeleted this account to post this and I will re-delete it now. By quitting this site, I will only be waiving my privileges to post questions/comments/answers. My highest achievement in this site is posting the question on Umbridge, I think. And I do feel slightly bad that my only two posts in meta have to be complaints. If I was right in defending myself, I’m not sure that I see the point in defending myself anymore. If I was wrong, and if this was all just whining and exaggeration, I’m not a good fit for this site. I wish this site and everyone on this site longevity and prosperity.

Goodbye

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    "you could have edited the offensive part of the answer yourself as you have enough reputation, without acting as a bystander, " Yes, I could have - but it's not something I like to do, so I didn't. I am under no obligation to do so. Additionally, so could you. It would have gone into the queue - and being a reasonable edit, it probably would have been accepted pretty quickly. – phantom42 Feb 14 '18 at 13:09
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    You can "accuse" me all you want. I don't really care, because quite simply, you were entirely wrong. None of the things I did show "bias". – phantom42 Feb 14 '18 at 13:12
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    "How are we supposed to protest anything at all, with the threat of loss of reputation? Maybe this has already been addressed, maybe not." Participation on meta does not affect reputation score. Up/Downvotes do not alter your score. – phantom42 Feb 14 '18 at 13:14
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    Bonus hilarity - I haven't upvoted OR downvoted a single thing on any of your posts here on meta or the main site. – phantom42 Feb 14 '18 at 13:16
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    Instead of quitting, why don't you just try to be less confrontational and enjoy the site for what it is, a fun place to ask silly scifi questions and get equally silly answers... – Valorum Feb 14 '18 at 17:46
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    I am late to all the drama, but c'mon, who quits after a few badly received questions? It's no biggie, almost everyone has these. dont take it too seriously. .. – user68762 Feb 15 '18 at 1:30

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