Would you mods care to explain the deletion of my perfectly good answer? Just because your culture upbringing and religion and mine are not the same doesn't mean mine has anything wrong with it.

What to do when during a meeting client's people start to (physically) fight with each other?

I advocated defending a women if you see one attacked by a male... what on Earth is wrong with that?

On top of that I was a bouncer, I have direct professional experience with violent scenarios and how they play out and the aftermath to participants in the real World.

  • I don't see any particular reason to delete downvoted answers. Sometimes knowing what not to do is more improtant than knowing what to actually do
    – David
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 9:11

4 Answers 4


I'm wondering why as well.

If we are supposed to be doing community moderating, then we should be doing community moderating.

While your post received 28 down-votes, it also received 17 up votes, for a net -11.

Many answers rated lower than that have not been deleted, or, in the very least were deleted by community.

This should have at least been given an edit, or a chance to elucidate. I'd hate to think that an angry mob flagging a post because they don't like it is enough to get it deleted by mods.

These answers were rated as bad, and even lower, but were not deleted.

What should I do about discriminatory notes on candidates' resumes made by my boss?

How can I push back against a boss who wants us to work four 16-hour days in a hotel?

Top developer doing more home office than allowed

Team being on standby on weekends?

  • 3
    Yeah, there's another agenda behind the deletion, the reasons as they stand are just made up... it's a bit unsavoury but que sera sera
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 21:24
  • 2
    @Kilisi How can I see what the answer said?
    – Snow
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 12:06
  • @Snow it was a short answer this is what it said "If males are physically attacking females then intervene. Otherwise it's not your circus, not your monkeys. Either leave the room or put your back to the wall and look after your own safety."
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 20:49
  • At least looking at two of those answers, they seem to be bad advice but they aren't offensive and not sexist.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 8:05

In my experience, if a man and a woman punch each other in the face, telling "she started it" to the police rarely works in the man's defence, even if she really did. Perhaps that's sexist, but that's how the society is, and pretending it's not isn't going to help.

I don't think the deleted answer was genuinely offensive. Maybe that's just because I'm not the target group, however, I feel it was written in an attempt to share one's opinion on the subject, not to belittle and insult women. Also, there's a long stretch between "only intervene if a man is attacking a woman" and "women can't stand for themselves" (or whatever statement was considered sexist), which is not what the answer was saying.

I totally understand how controversial posts are annoying to moderators because of the numbers of flags / comments they generate, but I don't see why the answer has to remain deleted once the question went off the HNQ and cooled down.

Deleting an answer like that sets a dangerous precedent where people choose to be offended by facts rather than rudeness, harassment or bullying, and a post is deleted on those grounds. I fear that if this practice gets enough approval, we will see more unpopular posts deleted under similar pretext. For example, lying about one's illness / pregnancy / homosexuality can in a similar way be seen discriminatory / sexist / homophobic. I may not like such posts and I understand how they can be troubling to read for the respective groups, but I'm even more troubled when the line between "I don't like this post" and "This post is against the rules" is being washed out.

  • 5
    Thanks for your insights. It wasn't a personal opinion, it was a professional judgement on the situation. The repercussions both social and legal on defending a women as apposed to defending a man in a fight are totally different. I have years of practical experience and training in this.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 13:29
  • 1
    @Kilisi I think your comment here highlights something important that is possibly the root of your meta question: Stack Exchange doesn't exactly favor the "right" answer - in some cases there is no "right" answer and in other cases there are several "right" answers. Stack Exchange favors the most popular answer. Popular answers generally have reasons for their popularity, and are almost always genuinely helpful for the situations asked about. Your answer was very unpopular and is viewed as unhelpful and offensive. There is a culture here and your answer didn't fit in that culture. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 20:31
  • @Kilisi To expand just a bit - perhaps your answer is or has been valuable to you in your life and your culture. That doesn't mean that your answer is valuable in the situation and culture that the OP is asking about. The idea here is not to give information that helped you in the past, it's to give information that will help the OP (and others) in the present/future. That at least explains the downvotes. Whether or not you view your answer as sexist, other users did view it as sexist, and SE policy is such content should not remain. Maybe that's harsh from your end, but it's the policy. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 20:35
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox Downvotes are totally a different matter and the question isn't about them. What matters is a line between "I don't like something" and "something is against the site's policy", and the dangers of mixing the two. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 8:20
  • @ToddWilcox how did you make the judgement it's not relevant to the OP's situation? There is no location tag. In any case it's 100% relevent anywhere they respect women.... During my ban over contesting the deletion, I posted this debacle on a social media group exclusively made of ex bouncers, security and police from around the World who share experience. We all had a bit of a laugh but all agreed it's the best solution for the OP. Now I'll probably get banned again for saying that.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 21:02
  • @Kilisi I could share this with a group of humanists and rights activists, and they would say the opposite. You can't claim that your view is correct because a group you belong to agrees with your view.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:41
  • @forest my group is professionals who got paid to analyse and act on these sorts of situations from both the physical safety side and the legal repercussions, very different scenario.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:09
  • 2
    @Kilisi Your answer did not use safety or law as reasoning. If you said not to intervene because "it might be too dangerous for you" then it may have gotten less flags. If you said that "defending a man from a woman might get you in more legal trouble than the other way around", then the same might apply. However, you said not to defend a man from a woman or another man because it's "not your circus". Your answer came across as a statement on ethics to me and many others (i.e. what is right to do, not what is least legally-risky). Your many comments support that interpretation.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:11
  • @forest If we devalue the answers from experienced professionals in an industry in favour of human rights activists then I think we have a serious problem.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 0:38
  • @Kilisi I think you underestimate the level of professionalism in certain humanist organizations. It takes far more than physical training (though in some cases no physical training is required). Note that "humanitarian activists" does not refer to random people on the internet who donate to Democracy Now or something, but professionals who stay in exceptionally-dangerous areas of the world to do good.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 0:55
  • @forest like bouncers, bodyguards, policemen? The ones you discounted already? I've been stabbed and shot at in the course of work... seemed fairly dangerous to me....
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 1:00
  • @Kilisi This isn't a "which job is more dangerous" contest. I'd surely prefer the opinion of a PhD researcher to that of a thug for example, despite the fact that the latter is much more likely to get shot at or stabbed.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 1:14
  • 1
    @forest as for an answer being viewed as anything, that's a dangerous idea to play with. If the standard is how something is viewed then there is no standard at all. Kilisi and I both come from rough backgrounds. I have seen two coworkers and friends killed on the job, one of them murdered in cold blood. We have real world, practical experience with violent behavior. Kilisi's answer was 100% correct in most circumstances in most places in the world. From the Duluth model in the USA, to various standards in the rest of the world. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 3:17
  • 1
    @RichardU Again, he was not phrasing it as a way to stay safe at the expense of doing the morally wrong thing. He was implying (and then explicitly stating later) that he believes his view is not just a way to stay safe, but morally correct, and that women are not morally deserving of being defended if another woman is attacking them, and that men are not morally deserving of being defended if a woman or another man is attacking them. That's a lot worse than saying that it might put you in an unsafe situation to get in between two men fighting. Many people had a problem with that.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 4:38
  • 1
    @DmitryGrigoryev Changing it would be changing the original and intended meaning of the post. Kilisi made it clear that he wrote what he intended, and that it was not just a poor choice of words.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 23:25

Your answer garnered 28 negative votes, and 18 flags. Clearly from a community perspective, your answer was not well received. Your answer was also gathering multiple bickering comment wars.

In addition, there was major disagreement on your criteria as to when to step in and intervene during a physical confrontation. This answer was seen as sexist and/or gender specific by many.

  • 11
    As the mod who deleted it, I'll add: it was the sexism (and the many flags about it), not correctness or lack thereof. When I first saw the answer (because of a flag) I decided to wait and see, but the comment thread was not leading to improvements and the "treat women differently" angle was a problem. Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 19:41
  • 20
    I wasn't involved in this answer, either by voting or commenting. I get the impression that people took offense at the "only intervene if a man is attacking a woman" line. Many people take the view that abuse transcends gender, race, or any other differentiating criteria. Abuse is abuse. I think that focussing your answer to the one stereotypical form of abuse is what got people's backs up, hence why people were crying "sexist" on this one.
    – user44108
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 19:43
  • 16
    Ridiculous reason guys, it got upvotes as well. Just because you disagreed means little. A extremely large part of the World, the majority I would think recognise there is a difference between genders. Also I was a professional bouncer, I intervened in fights for a living, got stabbed more than once while doing so.my opinion on when to step in is probably safer and more valuable than most. Should have let it stand and the votes talk for themselves as it would be a helpful answer in many cultures and situations.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 19:48
  • 9
    @MonicaCellio There are biological differences between men and women. Even a broken down old man like myself could do damage in a fight. There is nothing sexist about observing, and reacting to biological differences. There is zero chance that a man could be pregnant, for example. Some of us were, for example, raised that you never hit a woman, EVER. The series "What would you do?" did an experiment where a man was attacking a woman, and a woman was attacking a man. In every case, people, men AND women, intervened for the woman, in no case did they intervene for the man. (pt 1) Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:24
  • 10
    All Kilisi did was state the obvious. What would you do, domestic violence edition Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:26
  • 14
    @RichardU the "if the victim isn't a woman then stay away" part of the answer is sexist, too. If you'd intervene to stop a man hitting a woman but not a woman hitting a man -- which, given the variety of ages, levels of fitness, and fighting skills in the workplace can certainly happen! -- then what kind of person are you? Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:29
  • 4
    @MonicaCellio I'm an old, decrepit, broken down person with neuropathy, a bad back, and maybe a decade left on this planet, if I'm lucky. Chances are, any man being attacked would be better able to defend himself than I would. I certainly wouldn't step in if the man was being attacked by a woman, because... Duluth model. I'm not going to jail and leave my kids without a father around. Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:37
  • 14
    @RichardU And would you want someone to intervene if you were being attacked by someone, be it a man or woman? The point of assuming that only a woman would ever need help is what's sexist.
    – David K
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 22:36
  • 8
    You don't get it, if you intervene on behalf of a man, you would most probably be viewed as a combatant. If you intervene on behalf of a women then people know that you're trying to intervene, not join in. I turned and punched a NZ policeman who grabbed my shoulder while I was fighting, and because he didn't identify himself before grabbing me the judge let me walk. Reflex action on my part lost him a tooth and a great deal of dignity..... intervening on a womans behalf once got me knocked unconscious and a group kicking, yet I do not regret the attempt and old as I am would do it again.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 23:19
  • 17
    As one of the first persons having commented against OP's answer (but not flagging it), I also stand against the deletion. I still don't think this is the right answer to the question, but downvotes are there to express it. To me, there is certainly more benefit to the community to let this answer exist - even though it might be seen as not politically correct. If you believe the answer is sexist and not right, better leave it with downvotes and comments, than deleting it and pretend noone thinks that way IMHO. Major disagreement doesn't seem a correct deletion reason to me, as far as I know.
    – Pac0
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 1:00
  • 4
    @Kilisi exactly. If you defend a man against a man, then you're a combatant. If you defend a man against a woman, you're done. Jail time, period, even if she is armed and outweighs him. Defend a woman against a man, you're (fairly) safe. Defend a woman against another woman (safe, if you pull them apart, but are careful) Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 12:57
  • 15
    I can see no violation of the CoC. I didn't like the answer, but it was an answer. So I don't see any reason for deletion. I'm also not sure who should be insulted by the sexism. Women because they are implicitly told they are weaker, or men,who are implicitly told they are not worth the risk helping. I think if everybody is equally insulted, there might be a bit of truth in it.
    – nvoigt Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 16:12
  • 2
    There is no sexism unless you try hard to imagine some, it's about the potential physical and perhaps even legal repercussions to yourself. I don't think most of you have been in a big fight, or intervened in a real fight. On a personal level I do find something distasteful about the thought of allowing others to use women as punching bags in front of me.. and see no need to change that attitude and am instilling it in my sons.... but thats not the point of my answer and I broke up or defused fights FOR A LIVING and put myself in harms way for both men and women, who quite possibly deserved it
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 21:36
  • 15
    there was major disagreement on your criteria as to when to step in People are free to post their answers with their own criteria. gathering multiple bickering comment wars That's why you guys are here :) This answer was seen as sexist and/or gender specific by many This is an international site. I don't know how things work in the US, where SO is based, but in the rest of the world, that is the correct answer when witnessing a public fight. The answer was useful in its own right, despite many users disagreeing with it. It should be reinstated on those grounds.
    – rath
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 14:45
  • 4
    @Kilisi The sexism arises from the fact that you said if it's a woman attacking a man to ignore it, but if it's a man attacking a woman to intervene. You'd have to try really hard to not see how that's sexism. Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 23:43

In the absence of an explanation I'll have to answer myself.

There was no legit reason for deletion. All we're seeing are vague rubbish that could apply to a lot of other answer which didn't get deleted.

So the mods are exercising personal agendas (again) which isn't great for the health of the community, but que sera sera.... some people have probably lost sight of their role and think they own the site, not a lot we can do about it since they don't have fixed terms.

  • I just read through the comments. Although there obviously are some moral ambiguity on what's right and what's wrong, seems like the real reason your answer was deleted was because there was some tension in the comments, as @MonicaCellio pointed out.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 9:07
  • 3
    @Clockwork comments could have been moved to chat at a click, they are never meant to be permanent and it's done all the time. So not a reason for deletion of the answer.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 9:14
  • That was their decision. They might have been wrong in their action. But that point aside, seems like there's a lot of misunderstanding going on in the discussions there. From what I read, you know how important it is to prevent people from having a fight. But people thought your answer said "if it's a man, let him die", when in fact all you meant was "it's more dangerous to act if it's a man getting harassed". Maybe it could have been sorted out if everyone discussed it out calmly.
    – Clockwork
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 9:17
  • 2
    @Clockwork I'm not arguing your points, but this question just deals with it being right or wrong to have deleted it.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 9:41
  • 4
    Your concerns on this topic have been addressed by three moderators. You may not agree, and I understand fully that you don't have too, but at some point you need to let this go or escalate if your still not happy with the outcome. No need to keep this thing churning any longer.
    – Neo
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 12:11
  • 5
    @MisterPositive are you going to delete this question? Or are you telling me I should stop clarifying if someone comments?
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 15:41
  • 1
    You were advocating that people act in a sexist manner in addition to expressing sexist views. It was not the moderators on their own exercising some sort of personal vendetta against you, but a community expressing concern. Moderators exist to protect and serve the community, and that is what they did.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:20
  • @forest where did I do that? Did you read the deleted answer or just make that up?
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:33
  • @Kilisi Yes, I read the answer and I commented on it before it was even deleted. Remember, I was the person who "disgusted you" because I told you that both sexes should be treated as equals?
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:34
  • @forest no sorry, don't recall you at all, I don't really pay much attention to that sort of thing. Are you still disgusted?
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:08
  • @Kilisi Me? You were the one who called me disgusting. I am not disgusted myself. I'm glad to know you've calmed down about our disagreement regarding the equal treatment of sexes.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:09
  • @forest I was always calm, and don't even have a problem with equality. Unsure if you're trying hard to misunderstand me or just don't get it.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:12
  • @Kilisi You can see your deleted post along with the comments. Perhaps re-reading them will refresh your memory if you have trouble retaining things. It will help you remember what I and others have been saying, as well as showing your comments in which you were calling people disgusting and mentioning how horrified you are (which, while I wouldn't quite call it a tirade, was certainly not "calm").
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:13
  • @forest that's fine, you didn't and still haven't said anything that makes sense to me. I admit on a personal level I find the thought of allowing a man to attack a woman in front of me distasteful.... if you're ok with that... that's your choice.,
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:15
  • 3
    @Kilisi Given that you are asking why your answer was deleted, I'm not surprised. Since there are already other well-received answers to your question, I won't bother putting effort into further explaining what others have already been saying. I hope you will better understand what everyone has been saying after reading the answers. I've made it known that I find allowing a stronger person to attack a weaker person regardless of gender to be distasteful, but I see we differ and I'm OK with that. Have a good day. :)
    – forest
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 23:16

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