Why do you have a meta site if you don't allow people to ask questions?

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    How did you arrive at this conclusion?
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:36
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    To be more specific, it would be helpful if you added the particular instance which triggered this post. Since this is your first contribution whatsoever on Philosophy.Meta, it has to be about something that happened on the main site?
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 4, 2020 at 12:08
  • @PhilipKlöcking I can't add the particular instance, because such posts are censored. Feb 4, 2020 at 22:23
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    You can link to deleted posts and highrep users can see them even if they are deleted. There is no such thing as censoring on SE, everything is up to revision and you can appeal any decision made. I suspect this is about this post of yours?
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 4, 2020 at 22:28
  • @PhilipKlöcking Yes, that answer is what I was trying to ask about. It was declared "Spam or offensive". I think it's rather clearly not spam. And the only person it criticizes is presented as a hypothetical person. Is insulting hypothetical people not allowed? Are obscenities not allowed? When I tried to ask these questions, the software refused to post my question. Feb 5, 2020 at 5:20
  • @Acccumulation re "When I tried to ask these questions, the software refused to post my question.": Under what circumstances did this refusal occur? Was this on meta? In comments on that locked question? Any other context that would be helpful? (we don't know where you had the problem)
    – Mitch
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


Why am I not allowed to ask for clarification?

You generally are.

Comments are one way to do it:

When should I comment?

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;

  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;

  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

There is a requirement to have 50 reputation first, but you should be set there.

Why do you have a meta site if you don't allow people to ask questions?

People often are allowed to ask questions, e.g. these, including this question.

There's a required privilege, but you should be good one that one.

If you have further questions, additional context could help clarify what you're interested in to get more informative answers. Otherwise, folks are left to interpret your questions literally without context.

  • I tried to ask about an incident in the main site, but my question was censored. I can't give you context because PH SE doesn't allow me to give it. Feb 4, 2020 at 22:26
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    @Acccumulation You can spell out the context by editing your question here and adding that info.
    – Mitch
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:59

The post has been flagged due to its language. That's all. Profanities are forbidden by our Code of Conduct. Thus, any post which uses strong language will eventually be deleted.

This kind of flag automatically locks the post so that neither edits nor comments are possible. But even so, as exemplified here, one is always able and allowed to discuss these matters on Meta.

That being said, I unlocked the post. Feel free to edit and flag for undeletion.

Edit: The post has been edited and undeleted. For those interested, they can examine its timeline in order to see the problematic content mentioned.

  • "But even so, as exemplified here, one is always able and allowed to discuss these matters on Meta." False Feb 6, 2020 at 3:42
  • 1. My answer did not contain any profanities. Perhaps you do not understand the difference between profanity and vulgarity? 2. I did not see anything in the Code of Contact mentioning profanity. The closest is that it says that harassment is prohibited, and says this includes "vulgar language". A plain reading of this is that vulgar language when used in harassment is prohibited. "Vulgar language" in general is a hopelessly broad category. 3. The CoC also says "Be clear and constructive when giving feedback, and be open when receiving it", which the mods apparently feel free to ignore. Feb 6, 2020 at 3:48
  • @Acccumulation Ad 1. While this difference may hold historically, they can be used as synonyms in modern English. Ad 2. Kindness, being constructive, and refraining from offensive language includes not using obscene language. Ad 3. I do not see how this is violated here, you are getting feedback and I am open to what you are saying. What you should consider, though, is that you are constantly implying bad faith or lack of understanding on our side in your posts which is - again - offensive.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 6, 2020 at 10:45
  • I perfectly understand that you imply that just because your language aimed at hypothetical persons and situations, it was not harassment or abuse since it is not aimed at any real person. It's simply that this is not how things work like. People are offended by this kind of language and it is completely unnecessary for the message to be conveyed. The answer without that is perfectly fine, that's why I undeleted it after seeing the edit.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 6, 2020 at 11:01
  • The answer was deleted without a clear statement why, which is a violation of the CoC calling for clear communication.Your suggestion that criticism of the mods is a violation of the CoC is disturbing. I told you that my question asking for clarification was censored, and you simply declared that this is false. And now you are declaring ME to be offensive? You are being seriously hypocritical. I guess being offensive is okay when it's a mod doing it? Feb 6, 2020 at 17:29
  • Harassment being abuse at real people is indeed how things work. If you're going to make up new definitions for words, then again, a violation of CoC's clarity clause. And if you're going delete answers based on someone possibly "being offended", that's an absurd standard. Can I demand any answer that offends me be deleted? Feb 6, 2020 at 17:29
  • @Acccumulation First off, where was a question asking for clarification censored? The kind of flag which is used for offensive language automatically deletes and locks the post, a lock I lifted after you asked for clarification here. And you can indeed ask for deletion of posts which offend you. That's what flags are for. The decision whether these flags have merit may be up to reviewers and moderators, though. And since you may not be aware of this: You are free to appeal moderator actions on meta and by using "contact team", which will prompt a community manager to review what happened.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 6, 2020 at 19:56
  • Oh, and you had been well aware of the problematic aspects of the answer which led to the deletion, you even commented about that above. The deletion as such should have told you "no, obscenities are not allowed, hypothetical third persons or not" quite obviously. That being said, I concede that I should make a habit of commenting any action. I couldn't even imagine how the reasons weren't obvious in that case, but we never stop learning.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 6, 2020 at 19:59
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    A last remark before I think everything that can be said is said: If you really feel like you've got a point to prove with regard to the CoC and hypothetical persons, you should go to MSE and ask whether obscenities of any kind are indeed covered by the text. Maybe it's just me and my limited command of the English language. As I said, I am happy to learn.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 6, 2020 at 20:32
  • @PhilipKlöcking "The post has been flagged due to its language"... what post? Ohhh... The OP must have posted a question/answer full of profanity, uit was closed or deleted, so they came here to complain thinking it was some other reason. Link please to the original so we know what is being discussed/there's a trail for the explanation.
    – Mitch
    Feb 20, 2020 at 17:44
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    @Mitch: See edits ;)
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:22
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    @PhilipKlöcking Thanks for unlocking. That was the right thing to do, to allow it to be fixed, rather than just punishing with no recourse. The offending answer was entirely in good faith, just with some language considered to be taboo by some. Note that 'bullshit' is most of a title of a book by a well-respected philosopher.
    – Mitch
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:54
  • @PhilipKlöcking On reflection, wouldn't it have been more welcoming to the answerer (and everybody involved) to just edit those two words to begin with?
    – Mitch
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:58
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    @Mitch If it was a new user, yes. But the user already has some reputation across the network and should have known better. Also, although I understand that some obscenities have become quite frequent in everyday conversation in some parts of the world, SE still tries to be a beacon of civil discourse and professionalism.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 20, 2020 at 20:01
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    @Mitch Maybe. Although in this case, it obviously sufficed to simply talk about unsupported claims instead.
    – Philip Klöcking Mod
    Feb 20, 2020 at 20:14

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