Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

How should staff deal with posts critical of themselves that they want deleted?

+10
−0

Recently, we had a question asked about priorities of the 'community team'1.

The poster then self-answered (which is fine). This answer then got deleted2 and a different user asked a question about that deletion, which resulted in the answer getting edited and undeleted.

However, to be clear, this question is not about 'why was that question deleted'. What it is about is: what does the community want us to do (and not do) in these circumstances?

That is, if we have a post that's critical of the staff, if it satisfies the Code of Conduct it should absolutely stay up.

If there's a post attacking a particular user or group of users, the appropriate thing to do is to flag and let one of the mods/staff deal with it. If someone disagrees with the mod(s)/staff's actions, they can take it up with the Arbitration & Review Panel or ask a question on meta.

However, if we have a post that's critical of the mods/staff but isn't in line with the Code of Conduct, what should we, as mods and staff do?

We could delete the question, but are we silencing users who are critical of us? (Is there a point where we can unilaterally delete the question?) What about warning or suspending the user who wrote it (in a particularly bad case)? Does editing the offending parts of the post give the same sorts of problems about silencing criticism?

The opposite tack would be to leave the post as-is unopposed but I (for one) don't want to suggest that rude (etc.) behaviour is acceptable. I don't want trolls to come along and be nasty to staff just because staff are the only people they can be nasty to with impunity. I also don't want this to evolve into something where people assume truth because of lies repeated often enough.

What about passing every post critical of mods/staff to the Arbitration & Review Panel or posting on meta? Except, this is also open to abuse in the form of time-wasting (and not just of the staff). Further, what happens if someone rants about the Review Panel?

Essentially, to rephrase the question, how do we deal with our intrinsic bias in dealing with questions critical of staff that we feel should be edited or deleted?

  1. I assume this is referring to everyone with the 'staff' tag/badge, but that's not overly relevant for this discussion anyway.

  2. From my point of view (as someone with a 'staff' badge), the original form of the answer did deserve deletion/editing, as it (in the original form, in my opinion) isn't in line with the Code of Conduct.

Why should this post be closed?

0 comments

2 answers

+8
−1

Follow normal procedures.

If there's a post attacking a particular user or group of users, the appropriate thing to do is to flag and let one of the mods/staff deal with it. If someone disagrees with the mod(s)/staff's actions, they can take it up with the Arbitration & Review Panel or ask a question on meta.

There is no exception to be made for posts attacking the staff; the post should be dealt with. However, I would suggest trying the least extreme option first. If the post is generally on topic but there are some problematic sections, point them out to the poster in a comment and let them edit. If the entirety of the post is problematic, delete.

How do we deal with our intrinsic bias in dealing with questions critical of staff that we feel should be edited or deleted?

You deal with it the same way as you deal with any other act of moderation - you make a judgement call.

If someone disagrees with the decision, then they can bring it up with the Panel or Meta and resolve it there, as was done with the post mentioned.

0 comments

+3
−6

Unless something is clearly and directly abusive, let it go. Letting a trolling post get downvoted to oblivion is way better than any mod action of removing or otherwise censoring it.

People know crap when they see it. Let them vote accordingly. Not only does that get around accusations of mods censoring what they don't like, it's a much stronger statement that it's a bad post when the whole community says so.

For bullies and trolls, peer pressure is more effective than mod pressure.

If you feel insulted by some bully or troll, consider why you think it actually matters. Grow a thicker skin. Get over it. If it's unfounded, other users will likely defend you by downvoting the post. That's more effective and elegant than feeding the troll.

(As an aside, the specific post you refer to was mishandled. The question was getting severely downvoted, and a few answers explaining the situation were highly upvoted. The system was working. Even after the user self-answered, there was really no problem to fix. Editing out his suggestion about being appointed CEO of Codidact was the wrong move, and partially played right into his hand. When trolls make absurd suggestions like that, they only make themselves look stupid. By deleting it, you deprived others the opportunity to see what a troll this user was, and in some way legitimized the point by taking it seriously. Just downvote and laugh it off instead of feeding the troll.)

10 comments

"If you feel insulted by some bully or troll, consider why you think it actually matters. Grow a thicker skin. Get over it." This is the language of bullies and abusers. This is blaming and shaming the victim, and it's not ok. ShowMeBillyJo‭ about 2 months ago

This is the language of bullies and abusers. This is blaming and shaming the victim, and it's not ok @‭ShowMeBillyJo‭ How? Why opinion of a single abstract abuser is more valuable than opinion of ten others who support you? FoggyFinder‭ about 2 months ago

@FoggyFinder I don't understand your question. ShowMeBillyJo‭ about 2 months ago

@‭ShowMeBillyJo‭ Here's situation: You were insulted. This answer received 20 downvotes and 1 upvote. Why opinion of one unknown is so important? Why would you bother? FoggyFinder‭ about 2 months ago

@FoggyFinder My comment has nothing to do with any theoretical answerers or upvoters. It's directed specifically at Olin for the sentences I quoted. Sentiments like that are used by bullies to deflect responsibility for their actions back onto their victim, and when used by others they give bullies a free pass to continue. ShowMeBillyJo‭ about 2 months ago

Show 5 more comments

Sign up to answer this question »