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Ward was kind enough to respond to my inquiry on a negative downvote on this post. I admire, as before, his forthrightness, and I will be the first to say that I appreciate feedback to a post because it can assist in clarifying, and shaping a post.

The question here is that Caleb has not accorded me the opportunity to address what to me are inaccuracies and invalid reasons that Ward was kind enough to share. My comments have been deleted and only Ward's remain. Aside from the unfair bit, any future reader of the post may get a skewed view. For reference see the original comment thread screen-shot.

How should this be addressed?

cf. This comment. Similar action by @El'endiaStarman as Caleb.

  • 2
    Is your constant use of "Mod Caleb" meant to sound sarcastic and disrespectful? I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you don't intend it that way, but as an FYI, it really comes across that way. We all know Caleb is a moderator, so there's no point in phrasing it that way if you're not mocking him. Doing so isn't going to get you anywhere. – David Stratton Oct 4 '14 at 16:00
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    @DavidStratton Please go back to our past correspondence and you will note that once I realized you were a Moderator, I believe I even started using Sir to address you. I use Mod as I would say Mr.. The site as well has a distinguishing symbol next to the Mod's name. You all know what you would have done to me had I been disrespectful to any user let alone a Moderator. Because of the perception, I will stop using it. Doing so isn't going to get you anywhere. - All I would want and expect is a fair shake. – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 17:21
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    If my 2¢ is worth anything, I agree with David. I've been trying to give you the benefit of the doubt but it's always bugged me. Additionally the way you over-format your posts contributes to this. There are formatting conventions that are related to tone and italicizing names usually means a slowed-down emphasis that, in something like "_Ward was king enough to share.", comes across as sassy as if you were trying to imply nobody else was kind enough. Names don't get special formatting like that in ordinary English typesetting so unless you intend some funky intonation, better to leave it be. – Caleb Oct 4 '14 at 17:57
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    "Ward was [kind] enough to share." How is being cordial, courteous and acknowledging to a person meant to sent a message to the others that they aren't.? – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 18:11
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    @FMS I didn't say anything about "meant to". Your intentions are for you to judge. What I did just explain is how it does comes off in way you may not have intended. There are normative patterns in language usage and typesetting that, combined, give tone to printed words. I just explained one of those norms and how it conflicts with your non-standard usage. You can take it under advisement. Or not. But I'm not going to hang around to turn this into a debate. – Caleb Oct 4 '14 at 19:03
  • What is the process to address the disturbing issue of a Moderator censoring a user? – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 20:45
  • "Ward was [kind] enough to share." How is being cordial, courteous and acknowledging even come across to anyone as sassy as if you were trying to imply nobody else was kind enough? – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 21:04
  • ... especially in light of the comment trail that has now been provied that shows me thanking AffableGeek, being appreciative of his answers and his contributions to the site. – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 21:13
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    If you want to mark out a word as referring to someone's username then use the @ symbol, not italics. – curiousdannii Oct 4 '14 at 23:43
  • After pointing a comment - with @-to-one-to-whom-comment-is-intended, one cannot use @another-name in the same comment. I am not sure why someone's chosen style to italicize a name should even feature here in this discussion other than 'look at what you are doing' when that's just a chosen style. – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 0:14
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    It's because putting someone's name in italics makes it look like you are meant to read their names in a hoity toity voice. – curiousdannii Oct 5 '14 at 1:08
  • @curiousdannii Please see this answer of mine. Please look at the second bullet point under Further reading. Perhaps you may be able to give me the benefit of the doubt. – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 4:33
  • @FMS I'm not saying you meant it that way, I'm saying using italics to indicate an alternative inflection is very common, and that you should be aware some people might interpret your formatting in that way. Formatting in references is entirely different than in normal text though. – curiousdannii Oct 5 '14 at 5:12
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    @Caleb I was mistaken and I am sorry. I will correct. It was why the -1 downvote before Ward's comment that I thought was missing and now I see it. – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 6:50
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    @curiousdannii Thank you for the education. I will make the adjustment. – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 6:51
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It should be addressed by not continuing to carry on conversations on comments. That's always been the rule. If it gets beyond one or two comments back and forth, it's become a discussion and should be moved to a chat room.

It's fair to address inaccuracies or ask for clarification, but if it gets too long, take it to chat.

  • one or two comments - where are those in response to Ward's? There isn't one comment in response to Ward's. That opportunity has not been accorded to me or accurately all my attempts to respond have been shut-down by *Mod Caleb' who kept on deleting my comments. – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 5:15
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    Perhaps screen shot all comments with the deleted ones so we can see them. I think it becomes a public matter when a mod is accused of censoring a specific user. – fredsbend Oct 4 '14 at 7:31
  • @Caleb Did you get a screenshot of what you deleted? – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 17:18
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    @fredsbend With a reminder that comments are meant to be ephemeral, here are the deleted ones. This has nothing to do with censoring anybody, it has to do with debate and discussion not belonging it comments. The only reason Ward's got left (and the theological half of it made me want to include in the cleanup) is that part of it was solicited DV feedback that could be acted on but wasn't yet. – Caleb Oct 4 '14 at 17:50
  • @Caleb Both you and DavidStratton haven't shown to fredsbend and others why this is cannot be considered censorship. Why should someone act on feedback unless we first sort out inaccuracies and invalid reasons contained therein? Thereby you have judged that Ward's feedback is valid and correct while my response to his comment isn't. For example I corrected his statement on the location of the sanctuary lamp with links to two pictures that are not in agreement with his statement. So unless he provides say a church law, that's not feedback I can act upon. – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 18:19
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    It's feedback on your question, so it's up to you to act on it or not. (Keep in mind that you recently rejected someone else's attempt to improve one of your questions.) Nit-picking debate over one part of the feedback is pointless. The point of the feedback is to (possibly) improve the question; debating where a lamp should be placed is not going to improve the question. What about the point that it's obvious Pope Francis is bowing towards the Tabernacle? – Ward Oct 4 '14 at 19:22
  • What is the process to address the disturbing issue of a Moderator censoring a user? – user13992 Oct 4 '14 at 20:46
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    You can ask the Stack Exchange staff to intervene. Information here. I'm pretty sure they would side with Caleb on this issue though. After reading the comments I cannot see why you are claiming to have been censored. – curiousdannii Oct 4 '14 at 23:47
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    @FMS I don't know why this isn't sinking in, but comments are not the place for hashing out the accuracy of answers. If you wish to have a discussion with someone, take it to chat. Period. Do not hold discussions in comments. That's right in the help center. Enforcement of site guidelines isn't censorship. You are free to discuss the accuracy of anything you like, in chat. Quit begging for feedback and then arguing with it when you get it in comments. If you must argue with others because you disagree with them, do it in chat. – David Stratton Oct 4 '14 at 23:57
  • The comments interchange here is arguing? – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 0:07
  • No one has yet to answer: My comments have been deleted and only Ward's remain. Aside from the unfair bit, any future reader of the post may get a skewed view. – user13992 Oct 5 '14 at 0:09
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    @DavidStratton On meta, I personally would just let all comments remain, save offensive or truly non-constructive ones. Meta is a place for discussion, so why move it from meta? – fredsbend Oct 5 '14 at 19:25
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    @Caleb I'm with you that there was too much there and deleting most of it was the right move. However, I think when someone makes a comment for their downvote reason, then there should be allowed at least one comment rebutting it, however poorly made, especially if it comes from the OP, assuming the OP does not want to take the suggestions of the DV comment. Optionally, the whole thread could be deleted, leaving none to claim preferential treatment or abuse. – fredsbend Oct 6 '14 at 18:58
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    @fredsbend I would agree with you in the case of a rebuttal comment that was defending the accuracy of the answer against criticism, but such was not the case here. Even the title of this meta posts hints at the difference. The objection here was purely nitpicking the accuracy of a bit on a comment, the resolution of which would have had no bearing on the original post. As ward himself pointed out, right or wrong, that comment issue would not affect his vote and his explanation of other reasons why he down voted would still stand. – Caleb Oct 7 '14 at 7:56
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    @fredsbend That being said I did (several hours before your comment here) end up deleting all comments as the OP has clearly read but apparently doesn't intend to do anything about the feedback and it doesn't serve any on-going purpose for other readers. – Caleb Oct 7 '14 at 7:58
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As I'm sure everyone knows, comments are not considered an important part of an SE site's functioning. They're for limited supplementing of the information in a question. They're always subject to deletion at any time.

And one thing that comments are specifically not intended for is extended discussions.

Now, keep in mind:

You're the one who's always asking "Why the downvote?" You keep asking that question here, you've posted about it on meta.SE...

If someone volunteers a reason for downvoting or answers that question when you ask (and I really should know better than to do so), it's not an invitation to debate. It's just to provide feedback - feedback that you keep saying you want.

So if you want the feedback, take it. Don't complain about it and don't try to refute it. If you aren't willing to learn from it - or at least accept it quietly - then STOP asking.

The only thing you might have a valid issue with concerning that particular comment exchange is that my lengthy explanation of why I downvoted looks out of place since your "why the downvote?" comment was deleted. But OTOH, it shouldn't look out of place to you since you think it's desirable for people to explain downvotes.

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    I don't think it's appropriate to tell an OP to just quietly accept your reasoning for downvoting. If the OP legitimately disagrees, then a comment in rebuttal is perfectly appropriate. As a passive reader of a post like this, I would want to see both comments then decide for myself if the reasoning is valid and I should up or down vote. If the issue remains unresolved then I think both comments should persist. But I think more than two comments from each is excessive; move it to chat at that point. – fredsbend Oct 5 '14 at 19:22
  • @fredsbend The OP doesn't have to "accept my reasoning" - if I leave a comment saying why I downvotged, it dosn't force the OP to do anything. And if you're going to vote at all, you should be doing it based on your own evaluation of a post - not mine. – Ward Oct 6 '14 at 2:45
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    Incidents like the one that led to this post, and comments like this reinforce my conviction that explaining downvotes is actually a bad thing. :) – Ward Oct 6 '14 at 2:48
  • Any comments I might read under a post are effectively part of that post. The point I'm making, if someone chooses to comment their downvote reasons, then the at least one comment objecting to the reasons is acceptable, especially if it comes from the OP. – fredsbend Oct 6 '14 at 3:42
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I think perhaps that you need some personal, practical advice. So I'll be looking at you specifically in this post. I might say things that appear harsh or such, but I am not trying to offend you.

The first thing I will note is that I notice you often organize your sentences oddly. I almost wonder if English is not your first language. If it's not, that does explain a few things. If it is, I'm not sure what we can do here or why it seems this way to me.

The second thing is that you format your posts and comments oddly, or non-conventionally. For example, when quoting someone in comments you italicize instead of "quote". A few others do it to, but I think "quotes" are much more common. The convention for italicized text is that it is for emphasizing the text. You might want to emphasize a single word in a sentence to imply a stressed inflection if it were spoken or you might want to emphasize text that holds the crux of your statement to ensure your audience gets it. In your posts, I feel like you would do well to use headings when necessary, but sparingly and a little less bold text. This is more of my personal opinion though and about posts not comments.

Now on to some rules for you that I think will help you when replying to downvote comments.

  1. Get the gist of the downvote comment. Read the comment carefully and start with the assumption that there is a legitimate issue with your post and the comment points it out.
  2. Realize that the comment might have more information in it than the specific issue with your post. Neglect replying to that other information; it distracts from the problem in the post.
  3. Examine your post closely from the point of view that the downvote comment has given you. You are trying to determine if the comment is accurately describing a real problem with your post. If there is a real issue with your post, then fix it and let the downvoter know. If it's not a real issue with your post, comment in the follow way:
  4. Start your comment by repeating what the downvote comment is saying. Something like "So you are saying .... ?"
  5. Because you disagree, follow that with "I don't think that's a real issue" or something similar.
  6. Explain why it's not a real issue in one or two sentences. Try to be very clear and concise. Avoid commenting on anything else; stay on point.
  7. If there are other things to comment on that are unrelated to your reply to the downvote comment, keep them out of your reply and make a new comment instead.

I hope this helps you.


The following is a reply to a comment on this post:

The mods tell me there are 28 deleted comments on that post. They tell me it was a disaster of all kinds of talk; it was not just about your post. I've had such exchanges with Sklivvz before, so I have a pretty good idea what it looked like. Further, I've worked with the mods a good deal in the past. I trust their judgement and consider them upstanding persons. I also have seen two clear examples that don't favor your accusation of censorship: The one with Ward, which all can see, and the one with Sklivvz that I personally saw and replied to. I'm convinced that deleting them was the correct action.

In light of:

  1. the massive exchange of 28 comments,
  2. that I trust the mods because of personal experience,
  3. that those mods inform me that the 28 comments were filled with all sorts of nonsense, including ad-hominem, and
  4. that I have personally seen two examples that justify the deletion actions,

in light of those four points, I am inclined to believe that posting those comments will further distract from the real issue, and will likely not prove moderator misdeed.

I will ask them one final time, but whether they do or do not screen shot them, I'm pretty confident that every comment that has been deleted should have been deleted.

Either way you should take my advice above (the seven points). Separate the issues with separate comments. Do not post meta related content on the main site, save for when a specific question is being discussed in meta, then link to the meta from main. Try sticking to the guidelines I've given you above for a while then see if your comments get unjustly deleted. But remember, all comments are meant to be deleted eventually anyway. Trust that we (mods included) are not taking part in any censorship, and you should assume that we protect site quality first, then we protect your interests to keep you posting good content. We earnestly want to help you understand the nature of comments on this site. So I suggest following the guidelines above for now, then you will eventually see how it works.

  • This OP wasn't looking for advice but to resolve issues resulting from unconscionable Moderators conduct. – user13992 Oct 15 '14 at 19:02
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    @FMS The title of the post is "What is the best way to address inaccurate comments or invalid reasons therein?" Then the body says something else. The advice is here for you if you want it, even if it is posted in the wrong place. – fredsbend Oct 15 '14 at 19:38
  • @ fredsbend Can't fit everything in a title can you? The complete question is the Title and Body: "What is the best way [...] because Mods continue ..." – user13992 Oct 15 '14 at 19:59
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    @FMS Every time you say things like "unconscionable Moderators" and "the disturbing issue of a Moderator censoring [me]" you lose a huge amount of credibility. Until and unless you have SE staff acknowledging that a moderator did something out of line, you should avoid those sorts of exaggerations. They instantly take the focus off of what objectively happened and turn discussions into an exchange of complaints. – Ward Oct 15 '14 at 23:56
  • @Ward I think the phrase from FMS is missing a apostrophe. It should have been "unconscionable Moderators' conduct." The conduct is unconscionable, not the moderators, which wouldn't make sense anyway. In general, I do agree that the heavy language hurts his case more than helps it. – fredsbend Oct 16 '14 at 0:14
  • @DavidStratton said above, "It's fair to address inaccuracies or ask for clarification." How is that fairness accorded me when moderators delete comments meant to do just that? These are the issues at hand. – user13992 Oct 16 '14 at 0:15
  • @FMS Sort of. The example with Ward is a little nitpick on small fact the comment presented and doesn't really address the complaint about the post. Whether you or him are right about the nitpick, it doesn't change that his main complaint remained unaddressed. It took the focus off of the post and onto that. The one I saw with Sklivvz was a little difficult to understand and also brought meta issues, this meta issue, into it, again taking the focus off of the post and on to something else. You can see there that El left my comment there to Sklivvz, but deleted my other meta related comments. – fredsbend Oct 16 '14 at 0:21
  • @fredsbend I keep refocusing ALL on this issues at hand. Please recall as regards Sklivvz, even you pointed out that his comment and vote were not justified, yet my response to him was deleted leaving only his, hence my complaint. – user13992 Oct 16 '14 at 0:27
  • @fredsbend Either way, "unconscionable" is an opinion, not a fact, and leads to "Someone is wrong on the Internet! I have to fix it!" – Ward Oct 16 '14 at 0:43
  • @FMS The comment I saw brought meta issues to the main site. That will be deleted every time, whether it's in a comment, question, or answer, and regardless if that comment also contained legitimate input about the post it is under. It's an action I agree with. I made some additional comments to you on that post about this meta issue as well. They were deleted too (which I expected would happen, but sooner than I thought). My comment that remains there is about the post only. If you keep a comment about the post, it will remain there until it becomes obsolete. I don't know about other comments – fredsbend Oct 16 '14 at 2:17
  • @fredsbend Not a single comment of mine that addressed the comment of Sklivvz remains, not one. That's a problem. And It is not the first tine. Now two Moderators have done it. This ought to be disconcerting and concerning to ALL. – user13992 Oct 16 '14 at 5:06
  • @FMS Your removed comments include ad-hominem attacks. I cannot defend Sklivvz's miss-use of the comment system (and will take that up separately) but your comments were removed either for that reason or for including meta issues and being discussion unrelated to the post. There were comments left addressing the issue of Sklivvz's comment, but only the ones that stuck to the issue of the post stood a chance. You have to separate what you're doing with posts from whatever personal issues come up. Comments are simply not the past to debate theology (much less attack individuals). – Caleb Oct 16 '14 at 10:01
  • @FMS It would be concerning if your comments didn't also include meta issues, and other things, as Caleb says above. But your comments did include other, unrelated-to-the-post stuff, so, no, it doesn't bother me that they were deleted; I support that action. If your comments keep to the post, then they will remain until they are obsolete. Remember, all comments are meant to be deleted eventually. – fredsbend Oct 16 '14 at 16:21
  • @fredsbend Let the Mods produce the comments that were deleted before you take sides. That would be the fair thing to do. – user13992 Oct 16 '14 at 18:04
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    I don't know how many more times I can say this in how many more ways. Your replies do not seem to indicate that you have learned anything from my efforts thus far. I feel like I have gotten nothing through to you. If the mods give us the snapshot of the comments I will go through it and if I conclude no unjust deletions, I'm going to drop this issue and be done with it. – fredsbend Oct 16 '14 at 22:06

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