I have been asking 6 questions in the last weeks most of them even popular ones have been immediately downvoted and asked to be closed by moderators.

It is perfectly normal that we don't like anything that's being asked by all the users but systematically downvoting asking for closing is just stupid. It only takes 5 disliking people with enough points to censure a question even if that question passes all the rules or it's liked by other moderators. If the question passes all the rules why some moderators can't just ignore it at let other people in the future who know about these subjects and take those subjects seriously, answer it.

Is there something that could be done to prevent this abusive power by moderators?

Some respect and humility please.


Downvotes should only be done when the question is badly formulated or is wrong nevertheless it's fine, I accept that people uses this network as youtube in like/dislike vote up/down fashion. What I'm in disagreement with is with the closing question because you are not allowing anybody else to participate on it and that is CENSURE. I'm for freedom of speech on the internet and I think it's wrong to close a question because they clash with our system of believes. This is a philosophy site and think real philosophers should act accordingly. You don't like what's being asked or you don't know about what's being asked but the question is logically well formulated then just ignore it or ponder about it but don't close it and allow other people to have their say. Of course this is only the way I think things should be not how they are. I will try to look for alternatives. Thanks

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    As mentioned by others, this is not done by moderators (who can close and reopen questions on their own) but rather other users (with enough reputation to close and reopen questions). – Keelan May 23 '18 at 9:55
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    To get a fruitful discussion out of this, could you edit your post to include a list of the five questions this is about? I looked at your recent questions, but most seem to have been well-received (high score, not closed). Also, please note that while it takes 5 users to close a post, it also takes 5 users to reopen a post, so it isn't the end of the world when something is temporarily put on hold. Lastly, you will get further by taking a constructive attitude. – Keelan May 23 '18 at 9:57
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    @Keelan. My active is totally constructive. I don't believe in irrational censorship. Let's be honest. Most questions don't' get re-opened once they are closed. We should be constructive instead of shutting things down. – PbxMan May 23 '18 at 11:15
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    Most questions don't get reopened because the majority of the users agrees with the close votes and the OP doesn't edit them to address the concerns. Calling the voluntary participation in keeping the site clean and usable irrational censorship or abusive power is definitely not constructive. I'd like to invite you to assume best intentions and search for a compromise with the users you have a disagreement with, rather than assuming they are at fault and something needs to be done about that. – Keelan May 23 '18 at 11:30
  • That's my point. Once thing is cleaning another is erasing. What has being done here is censoring questions not because they are not right but because are mistaken with garbage or disliked because they pull some strings some people don't want to pull for personal reasons. That's what real philosophers do which is to go where you don't want to go in order to grow intellectually . – PbxMan May 23 '18 at 11:50
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    It seems you have not understood what StackExchange and in extension to that Philosophy.SE is meant for. I added some words and a link at the end of my answer to further clarify. – Philip Klöcking May 23 '18 at 14:16

You seem to mix things up here that are already addressed in comments:

First, a moderator (i.e. diamond user) is a first among equals regarding voting. This means that while their vote (for closing, reopening, deleting, editing, reviews, etc.) immediately takes effect, it can - in the case of close/reopen - very well be countered by five votes of users with moderation rights. For an idea of what user will have which rights, you can have a look here. As you can see, it only takes a reputation of 500 to cast close votes. If there are recurring names in the list of those who voted to close, this probably is simply because they are active users in the review section where questions with a close vote end up. This is important work as the moderators could never handle the amount of moderation work this site takes on their own. "Community" is not a moderator, but a bot doing automatic stuff for keeping the site clean (see below under "third").

Second, personal judgement versus your feelings. You call for humility and respect. These close votes are cast by community members that earned their reputation one way or another. They vote to close because it is their judgement that the question is a bad fit for the site. This is something you have to respect, even if it does not fit your own understanding. Please try to consider that those votes are about the style and content of the questions, not against you personally.

Third, closing vs. deleting. If a question is put on hold, it is not "censored" or "erased". The status is meant to be a sign that this question in its current status is seen to not be a good fit for the site. That's why it always says:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Closed questions stay visible and can be voted and commented on. They can also be reopened the same way they are closed and if one user decides that it is worth reopening, it moves into the review queue as well for better visibility (just as for close votes). Deleted questions disappear for all but the highest rep users. This is usually reserved for grave violations of the rules of the site. A thing that may have triggered this misunderstanding is that if a closed question is not edited or active for a while, it is automatically deleted by the system for "RemoveAbandonedClosed" with a reference to this site.

Last but not least

We are a fairly welcoming and lenient site regarding close votes and deletions. This lies in the nature of philosophy being such a vast field with few objectively true positions. But this is also a StackExchange Network site, i.e. it looks for questions where the answer should be objectively determinable as the correct one, as you can see here. We are neither a forum nor should we have the misunderstanding that this site is to provide a place to philosophise.

That being said, it is perfectly okay to have different opinions. And nobody is obliged to disclose the reasons for their voting behaviour. Dissenting opinions are normal within a community. Your questions with close votes without actually being closed reflect that: The votes are cast out of a variety of reasons, i.e. the persons were not agreeing with one another. This can simply be a sign that the question seems to be a bit fuzzy without being able to nail it down to a specific problem.

If you have the feeling that a particular user is acting out of personal reasons, feel free to flag e.g. a comment of this user to make us aware of the problem and have a closer look into it.

  • @pbxman: If there are any questions left not addressed in the numerous links I provided, please feel free to ask them as a comment here. – Philip Klöcking May 23 '18 at 14:26
  • I updated the request. All I'm saying is that I suspect that the bias behaviour of some users is causing censorship and something should be done to prevent that from happening. If this is not the right network and a few users who share the same ideology have the right to shut down questions that some other users would consider appropriate just let me know. Thank you for your time. – PbxMan May 23 '18 at 14:32
  • @PbxMan: Well, the rules in the help center are the limiting factor here. They can to some extent be reformulated through community efforts (i.e. Meta threads asking for it and supported by votes), but the core ideas are those of StackExchange in general. I think moving the focus of the questions towards reference requests is generally a good idea if there is no very specific problem to ask about but only a vague idea instead. – Philip Klöcking May 23 '18 at 14:44
  • @PbxMan: Regarding ideology: I do really not think that this is the problem here. Sometimes it is simply ignorance. – Philip Klöcking May 23 '18 at 14:44

I voted to close at least two of PbxMan's questions:

Authors on the Business of Philosophy and the Philosopher's ego

Books on how Philosophers overcame Misanthropy (hatred towards humanity)

My reasons were that I think these questions are off topic. I also think they are broad and primarily opinion based. They may also be promoting a personal philosophy over much.

I stopped down voting long ago since I don't think down voting is helpful. So, I did not provide any of the down votes.

For what it is worth I sympathize with PbxMan's perspectives. I just don't think the questions work on a Q&A site. I think the questions should be made more specific to a particular philosopher and text so that they can be answered in a few paragraphs.

Since I am not a moderator at least one of those close votes did not come from "abusive power by moderators".

  • You can include my last one. Those questions are accurate and not opinion based because i'm actually asking for books and authors. Not everybody who likes philosophy likes it in an old-fashioned, rancid, criptic way...There are people who actually like truth and depth regardless of the authors' egos. – PbxMan May 28 '18 at 9:37

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