After recent election, I am seeing lots of Diamond actions...

This is what happens these days: I ask a question and it gets closed within a minute, for example. They are highly active, that's great, but aren't we loosing community moderation elements? Shouldn't we still trust on multiple people's opinions on a question's viability, unless it's a spam, offence or a low quality question (grammatically or ethically punctured) from new user? Aren't diamond superpowers designed for occasional use?

Should Diamond Moderators stop using their diamond powers in generic user's way?

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    @Richard "...but they also have some special abilities necessary to handle rare exceptional conditions" ~> Stop using your superpowers that way as per the link. – user931 Mar 14 '15 at 13:24
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    You're definitely voicing a valid concern here in general. But you might want to back your claims about the current moderator behaviour a bit more, e.g. with examples where the closability was not 100% clear and would have rather required community consensus. And I also wouldn't exclude answers from moderators right away, since they could very well have something valid and interesting to say on their behalf. You just have to trust their objectivity in this case (which I assume you don't, though), otherwise it would be useless to ask for any constructive insights into their behaviour anyway. – TARS Mar 14 '15 at 13:59
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    You asked 3 questions today, one of which could easily be interpreted as 2 different questions, which @Richard pointed out to you so you could fix it (and didn't actually close, though I think he'd have been justified). If you'd have taken his advice you'd have two good questions to show for it; instead you come here to whine. – KutuluMike Mar 14 '15 at 14:27
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    @SS - what "mindset" is not a good thing? You were just shown he didn't do the thing you've been accusing him of, and actually improved your work. Do you just want all your questions to be perceived as good automatically without thought? – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 14:45
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    You cannot know @Richard's mindset. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Mar 14 '15 at 14:51
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    @SS - "he is free to close any question all by himself"; yes, he's a moderator and that's part of what being a moderator means. He was chosen by community consensus and the community trusts him to exercise appropriate judgement. Are you saying that moderators shouldn't be able to moderate? – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 15:41
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    @SS - I think you're misinterpreting. Mod powers are meant for use as required. If they're required to be used frequently, they will be. The conditions are what is stated to be rare. However, if the conditions become common, then expect to see mod powers being used more often. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 16:17
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    @SS - in other words, mods don't have a quota on how often they should close questions. If somebody asks 20 awful questions in one day, mods can close all 20 in one day. What's supposed to be rare is the "somebody asks 20 awful questions in one day" part, not the use of mod powers part. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 16:27
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    @SS - so what you're effecting demanding here is that you be excused from having to follow the community rules and guidelines that the rest of us follow. Can you not see that? – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 16:30
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    @SS "Who decides this ”aweful” thing when the post comes from a trusted user?" Diamond moderators. Who decides who gets to be Diamond Moderators? The community during elections. And that is why they represent the community consencus. – Zibbobz Mar 16 '15 at 13:55
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    @DarthSatan - moderators aren't really supposed to close a question that is worth closing but 5 normal users can close. They should close when it's highly offensive and keeping it open 1 minute more would significantly degrade the site. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 16 '15 at 19:07
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    @DVK - I don't see that restriction mentioned here: scifi.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators - can you point out to me where it is, please? – user8719 Mar 16 '15 at 19:31
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    @DarthSatan - it's not a "restriction" per se and more a common sense guideline. Moderators' role is to handle exceptions that regular community can't, not to replace community action. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 16 '15 at 20:00
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    @DVK - but yet all the evidence is that the vast majority of the questions that the OP is complaining about were handled by the community. So what exactly is the problem here? – user8719 Mar 16 '15 at 22:44
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    @DarthSatan - I was stating a general point. Irrespective of the OP, I have had numerous run ins with moderators unilaterally closing questions - mine or not - frequently incorrectly. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 18 '15 at 13:38

This is what happens these days: I ask a question and it gets closed within a minute, for example.

This assertion is not true.

Since the moderator election you have asked 27 questions of which 4 have been closed.

What material is Iron Man's armor made of?

This is a clear duplicate and was closed by 5 votes, i.e by community consensus.

Why did Palpatine choose Jango Fett's gene to create Clone Army?

Likewise a clear duplicate and likewise closed by community consensus.


Likewise, but Primarily Opinion-Based this time.


And likewise, but once more a duplicate.

At no stage in the closing of these questions was a moderator involved. In fact every single time it's been exactly what you're asking for: multiple people's opinions.

On the other hand you also asked this quesion: Can I have map of Star Wars galaxy showing territory of Separatists and commercial routes?

Where you come out and demand that somebody make a hand-drawn map of the Star Wars galaxy for you.

And the result of this was that Richard gave you a helpful answer that the community showed it's approval of.

Personally I think that Richard is doing a good job as a moderator. He's still a new one, of course, and therefore growing into the role, but he's done a good job so far and is showing signs that he's going to be excellent at it.

At this stage I'm going to suggest that the problem here isn't moderator actions on this site. The problem is your attitude to this site. You are capable of asking great questions, your track record shows that, but you also ask some - and I'll be blunt - frankly ludicrous ones.

Now, it's expected that a new user will make some mistakes in how they ask and answer questions, but over time they will learn how the site works and will either decide that it's not for them or they will become a better user.

You on the other hand have been a member of this site for 4 years and have over 22k reputation. But yet you don't seem to have progressed to the second ("over time") part.

I made a point of mentioning the question where you demanded that someone make a hand-drawn map of the Star Wars galaxy for you above, because it's a good example of how I think you're interacting with this site.

I think that you're not showing much interest in being a productive and helpful member of this site and this community. Instead I think that you're treating this site and this community as your own personal playground; you're treating this site and this community as though it existed solely for your own gratification.

Others have suggested that you need to take some time out, and I'm going to suggest likewise. I'm going to suggest that you use that time out to think about how you use this site and what you want to gain from your use of it. Look over the questions that you've asked but that have been closed or have recieved a high number of downvotes, try to learn why that happened, and use that learning to improve the quality of your questions.

You have been a good member in the past - you wouldn't have over 22k rep if you hadn't - and you can become a good member again, but right now you're unfortunately not.

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    There are at least 3 questions I know he asked that aren't on that list; I assume they've since been deleted. His assertion that Richard tends to be the one closing his bad questions recently is not completely off-base, though I think there may be some confirmation bias involved. – KutuluMike Mar 14 '15 at 14:40
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    To be fair, at least one of those questions was so unsuitable for the site it really shouldn't ever be around. I'm not sure about the others - I'm not a 10K user. – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 14:43
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    @MichaelEdenfield - Agreed on both counts. I should also add that I'm not considering Meta questions here. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 14:47
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    That hand-drawn comment was meant for fun. And, I don't think it's a bad idea even on Stack Overflow type serious site (this site is floating around entertainment product).. – user931 Mar 14 '15 at 17:30
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    There are 5 deleted questions since then, three closed, only one of which (the original question that sparked the recent tantrum) was closed (, reopened, closed, reopened, closed) by a moderator. – Kevin Mar 14 '15 at 18:39

I don't always see exactly eye-to-eye with Richard in how he moderates, but I think he has been very careful in his moderation since becoming a mod. Your question and answer state that diamond mods should stop acting like generic users, but I see no reason to say they are.

The most obvious power a mod exercises is binding close votes. I've never seen anything that says they should refrain from using this, except for those times where their may not be a consensus or there is not an obvious reason to close. I'd say Richard and the other diamond mods have followed this guideline, and I've actually seen Richard closing less questions as a mod. I assume this is to avoid the kind of thing you are accusing him of.

Finally, you really should provide specific examples of the abuse you are accusing others of. Otherwise it just looks like you have your feelings hurt and are lashing out at a target.

  • As for your last line, I never accused @Richard in the previous Bifrost event. – user931 Mar 14 '15 at 17:19
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    @SS - no, but you've made kind of generic accusations of abuse with no evidence backing them up – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 17:29

Addressing the assertion that Richard is free to close any question by himself, I ran this SE Data Explorer Query (Richard's ID = 20774) and found all Richard's close votes since he became a mod (enter '2015-02-03' for the SinceDate). There's only 62, 36 of which were closed as duplicates.

So we have:

  • 30 questions (31 votes) solely closed by Richard
    • 16 duplicates
    • 1 deleted
    • 5 off-topic
    • 3 'unclear what you're asking', 1 reopened later by Richard
    • 1 migrated to History.SE
    • 1 migrated to EL&U.SE
    • 1 closed as off-topic, reopened, then closed as too broad (all by Richard)
    • 1 closed as off-topic but reopened by another Mod
    • 1 closed as off-topic by the community, reopened by a another mod, closed as 'unclear what you're asking' (by Richard), reopened by another Mod, then closed by the community
  • 9 questions closed by Richard and only 1 other user
    • 7 duplicates
    • 1 too broad
    • 1 off-topic (you were the other voter)
  • 7 questions closed by Richard and two other users
    • 5 duplicates
    • 1 too broad
    • 1 as 'unclear what you're asking', reopened later by Richard
  • 8 questions closed by Richard and 3 other users
    • 5 duplicates
    • 2 primarily opinion-based
    • 1 migrated to History.SE
  • 7 questions closed by a total of 5 people (Richard's mod powers do not apply)
    • 3 duplicates
    • 2 too broad
    • 1 deleted
    • 1 off-topic

The community has only reopened 4 of his closed questions, and 2 of those reopenings were by Richard himself, another was closed again by the community.

Now it's possible that questions could be closed as duplicates where they aren't, but I didn't see any evidence of that, and dupes are the most objective close reasons, and the majority of his close votes were duplicates. You are welcome to look through the other deleted questions to see his close history - all the links show up in the report. But I'm not seeing abuse here.

If you want to check out the other mod's habits they are:

  • Keen: ID 1027 (mod start date '2012-02-07')
  • Kevin: ID 3267 (mod start date '2013-03-05')
  • Pureferret: 3804 (mod start date '2013-03-05')
  • Thaddeus: 2765 (mod start date '2015-02-03')
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    Any 10K user feel free to check out the deleted questions and summarize the close reason in an edit if you so desire – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 16:19
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    Even if there's one false closure, it's bad. Diamonds should be careful with that power. They are meant to use on spams, offenses, flags, and new users. – user931 Mar 14 '15 at 17:17
  • I've gone through the deleted questions and for the most part they were "Deleted by Community"; there was one that was deleted by vote which Richard wasn't involved in. Oddly, the Wolverine question didn't show up in the results. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 17:27
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    @SS - that's what re-open votes are for. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 17:27
  • @SS - mods aren't perfect. No one is. Occasionally there will be errant closes, but that's why we have a method to reverse that (and as you can see, has occasionally been used) – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 17:28
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    @DarthSatan - that's weird. I guess I could have done something weird with the query. Could it have been deleted without first being closed? – The Fallen Mar 14 '15 at 17:29
  • @SSumner - yes, it looks that way. Deleted and closed questions are marked as both, this one was just marked as deleted. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 17:41
  • @SSumner If no one's perfect, then better leave it to multiple persons.. – user931 Mar 14 '15 at 19:11
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    @SS - it's really just not happening with you here, is it? – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 20:19
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    @SSumner Excellent work! – user1027 Mar 15 '15 at 2:26
  • @Keen - thanks! – The Fallen Mar 15 '15 at 3:11
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    "Even if there's one false closure, it's bad." While we certainly want to avoid false closures, it's not exactly the same as convicting the wrong person for a crime. The checks and balances of the system allow us to correct those mistakes with only a minor/temporary inconvenience to the OP. – phantom42 Mar 15 '15 at 13:53

To quantify this, here's the last 45 closed questions, obtained via the moderator tools which are accessible to any user with 10k+ reputation. I should note here that the OP meets that reputation requirement and can perform a similar exercise to what I have just done.

  1. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83946/if-sauron-had-regained-the-one-ring-would-he-have-been-greater-in-power-than-mel
    Closed by 5 user votes.

  2. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83940/why-the-mutants-did-not-show-a-good-fight-in-days-of-future-past
    Closed by 5 user votes.

  3. Story Identification: movie with an algae like creature in a pond
    Closed by 2 user votes plus "Community".

  4. https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/32164/older-childrens-shows
    Migrated to Movies & TV.

  5. Why does Anakin have Ahsoka as a Padawan if he is not a Master?
    Closed as duplicate by 1 moderator vote

  6. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83890/sci-fi-easter-eggs
    Closed by 5 user votes

  7. Did Dumbledore use to believe that Sirius Black betrayed Harry's parents?
    Closed by 5 user votes

  8. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83867/is-gandalf-an-ent
    Closed as unclear by 1 moderator vote

  9. How did the Tesseract get to Earth?
    Closed as duplicate by 1 moderator vote

  10. A war on a planet where time passes slowly at the poles
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote

  11. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83832/how-would-the-war-have-gone-if-this-marriage-had-happened
    Migrated from Movies & TV, closed as POB by 3 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  12. what advantage are AT-ATs (they're rubbish)
    Closed as duplicate by 1 moderator vote

  13. Firefly has its own gravitational field?
    Closed as duplicate by 2 user votes + 1 moderator vote; currently at 1 reopen vote

  14. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83683/was-c3po-a-hipster-drone
    Closed as unclear by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote

  15. Finding the Tesseract
    Closed by 5 user votes

  16. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83656/why-did-voldemort-use-triwizard-tournament-to-get-harry-to-the-graveyard
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote (Gold tag badge)

  17. Does any House in Westeros suffer a worse fate than this House?
    Closed by 5 user votes

  18. Kids raised in Potemkin-village environments, escape and make contact
    Closed by 5 user votes

  19. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83627/free-vampire-book
    Migrated from eBooks, closed as duplicate by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote

  20. Book ID: 70s-80s novel about boy that goes to a space academy
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  21. In The Hunger Games series, which part of our current real world becomes Panem in future?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  22. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83578/about-moving-objects-for-human-eye-is-reading-is-bad-while-moving
    Closed by 5 user votes

  23. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83558/kotor-and-disney-canon
    Closed as duplicate by 2 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  24. https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/31997/whats-up-with-the-marine-uniforms-in-this-episode-of-scorpion
    Migrated to Movies & TV.

  25. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83529/in-gravity-falls-season-2-episode-11-why-was-the-author-on-the-other-side-of-th
    Closed as POB by 1 moderator vote

  26. What does Yoda mean when he says, "The Last of the Jedi Will You Be" from the perspective of Legends?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  27. Is Unobtainium in the movie The Core (2003) possible?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  28. What are the nicknames that the Joker has called Batman?
    Closed by 5 user votes

  29. How can Spiderman wear tennis shoes?
    Closed as duplicate by 4 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  30. Short story about cybercriminal sentenced not to use computers
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote

  31. Why did the Death Star Plans have to be Physically Carried?
    Closed as duplicate by 4 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  32. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83323/was-thranduil-really-a-poor-battle-tactician
    Closed as duplicate by 1 moderator vote

  33. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83276/why-werent-muggle-parents-and-guardians-counted-as-muggle-under-section-13-of-t
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  34. Do lightsabers have safety settings?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  35. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83220/was-umbridge-a-death-eater
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote (Gold tag badge)

  36. Who is this person in the Age of Ultron trailer that looks like Spider-Man?
    Closed as unclear by 2 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  37. How did Sauron not notice Gandalf sneaking about in Dol Guldur?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  38. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/83125/what-is-the-origin-of-steampunk-theme-usually-seen-in-movies-and-video-games
    Closed as duplicate by 3 user votes + 1 moderator vote

  39. Who is this person and what is he holding from the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer #3?
    Closed as POB by 1 moderator vote

  40. Why did Robb Stark invade the south rather than hold the north?
    Closed as duplicate by 5 user votes

  41. Are humans Summonable?
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote (Gold tag badge)

  42. Would Luke Skywalker be considered a war criminal?
    Closed as POB by 5 user votes

  43. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/82998/what-is-the-real-world-equivalent-of-consortium-in-dan-browns-inferno
    Closed by 5 user votes

  44. Humanity stumbles across ancient booby trap
    Closed as duplicate by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote

  45. Who is "financially speaking" the poorest superhero in the Marvel Universe?
    Closed by 5 user votes

Some statistics:

  • 45 closed questions in total, but this does not include questions which were deleted before they were closed, nor does it include reopened questions.
  • Of these, 22, or almost 50%, were closed by 5 user votes. I have included cases here where a question may have been closed by 4 user + 1 moderator vote (which would have been an identical result if the moderator had been a standard user).
  • 7 questions closed by a moderator acting solo, of which:
    • 4 closed as duplicate
    • 2 POB
    • 1 unclear
    • It should be noted that none of these questions have recieved reopen votes.
  • 3 questions closed by 1 user vote, Gold tag badge, the same user in all 3 cases.
  • 10 questions closed by 1, 2 or 3 user votes + 1 moderator vote, of which:
    • 5 questions were closed by 1 user vote + 1 moderator vote.
    • One of these questions has currently recieved reopen votes.
  • The remainder are migrated questions and suchlike.

The evidence from this is that moderators are not replacing community action.

16% of closures coming from a moderator acting solo might seem high at first glance, but we have to ask: why have none of these questions recieved reopen votes? Could it be the case that community consensus agrees with the closures? At the very least I would have expected that those making the complaint that moderators are replacing community action would have cast reopen votes, but yet it doesn't appear to be happening.

The statistic that does seem on the high side to me is the one where moderators cast a deciding vote after a question has already recieved some close votes from the community. There were 10 of those, half of which were cases where a moderator stepped in after only 1 user vote. But yet the reopen votes are still on the low side: only 1 in this case.

That's the single most telling thing: people are not casting reopen votes. In the same time period as those 45 closed questions, there are currently three questions nominated for reopening. It honestly boggles my mind for starters that we have an extended Meta discussion about question closures, but yet some people seem to prefer to complain about it rather than take positive action and cast reopen votes or edit questions to improve them.

The take-home from this is that the reopen mechanism is not working. Or at least it's not being used, and in particular it's not being used by those who should know to use it. Now, I personally went through a case recently where a question was closed that I felt was answerable if it's focus had been tightened a little more; I raised it on Meta, I edited the question to tighten the focus, the question got successfully reopened, and I supplied an answer. That's the way things should work.

That aside, in a case where almost 50% of recent closures are by user action alone and over 70% by user + moderator action, it seems that the implication in the OP that the majority of closures are by moderators acting solo is actually totally false.

I don't have 10k+ on other SE sites, but I'd be interested in seeing the figures for any other site, to see how we compare and determine if we actually do have a problem.

  • Sorry, but your premise is wrong. It is indeed the case that a moderator weighing in on the question deters MANY people. I have had clear-cut cases where the community's reaction to teh question drastically differed before and after moderator publicly expressed their opinion, by closing or even commenting. Too many cases to be a coincidence. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 19 '15 at 23:41
  • Matter of fact, at this point, it deters me. I'm tired of spitting at a 5-alarm fire in vain hope of changing anything. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 19 '15 at 23:42
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    @DVK Your point would be more convincing if it had data to back it up. – user1027 Mar 20 '15 at 4:13

From this FAQ: Who are the diamond moderators, and what is their role?

What special privileges do diamond moderators have?

Diamond moderators are human exception handlers. The main function of diamond moderators is to follow up on flagged posts but they also have some special abilities necessary to handle rare exceptional conditions:

It is strongly suggested to Diamond Moderators to stop using diamond superpowers in a generic user's way.

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    As I commented on your question, it is the conditions that are supposed to be rare, not the use of mod powers. – user8719 Mar 14 '15 at 17:11

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