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Inspired by the discussion on THIS QUESTION

The answer deleted had a +17 and -28 for a total of -11

The following answers, by the same user, were rated as low, if not lower

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?

So, what is the standard, and why can't this be left to the community. TWP is quite good at deleting posts we feel do not meet the standard, so this kind of action is quite jarring and, IMO, sends the message that we cannot be trusted to police the site.

Unless a post is particularly egregious or malevolent, I don't see what just cause is being used

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    You failed to mention that that particular answer also had 18 flags. The number of flags isn't publicly visible, so we can't do a direct comparison, but I imagine that was a large factor in why it was deleted. – David K Mar 14 at 16:05
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    @DavidK no failure involved at all, just my autistic precision allowing people to include that fact in an answer, as I have no idea how many flags were in the other posts, do you? – Richard U Mar 14 at 16:06
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Ok, so let me try and answer this a different way. There's been a lot of discussions so far and it's not really gone well.

Flags are a way of users raising concerns about questions, answers, or comments that need to be brought to the attention of the moderators. We look at the flags, look at the content and do whatever needs doing. Most of the time, it's clear.

Very rarely, we get contentious posts that create an extraordinary amount of negative attention. Sometimes in the form of comments, sometimes flags.

In this case, 18 flags were raised by people in the community, all of them expressing concerns about the answer, there were many other comments. There is no minimum or maximum number of flags before we consider deleting a post - we look at each one in context. However, 18 flags means that people are really, really concerned about something.

The post in question advised people that the only form of abuse that people should intervene with is when a man hits a woman - by implication people are advised to stand by and allow all other kinds of abuse, regardless of whether it's physical, emotional, or between any differentiations (or lack of differentiation). It's ok to stand by and let someone abuse someone else because it's not a man hitting a woman.

One of the core statements of the Code of Conduct that everyone agrees to in participating in this community is to not abuse or condone abuse in any fashion.

This answer goes against that by limiting intervention to only one form of abuse. Many comments were raised, but the answer wasn't clarified in any way.

In order to stop the situation from snowballing further, the answer was deleted.

We don't do this lightly, having to delete stuff is only done after a lot of consideration, and taking on board the feelings of the community, who were clearly made uncomfortable with this answer.

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    Thank you. I understand now. – Richard U Mar 15 at 15:07
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    "The post in question advised people that the only form of abuse that people should intervene with is when a man hits a woman " No it didn't, it was a valid strategy for a specific scenario... – Kilisi Mar 15 at 21:44
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    @Kilisi The scenario was not specific and was just about physical altercations in the workplace. – forest Mar 25 at 4:51
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This was a judgement call by the moderation team.

From my experience with this answer, there was no magic "ah ha!!" metric that we discovered that could be applied later. Our action was based on the communities response to the answer.

As Snow points out, this is not an everyday occurrence -- in fact it is rare.

Short Answer: There is no standard.

  • It is hard to not fun afoul of the rules if one does not know the rules. So, if I understand it, if people find something offensive for any reason, it's gone, but not the community at large make this decision? – Richard U Mar 14 at 18:18
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    @RichardU I think you could say in some extreme cases, we as your elected moderator team, will delete answers that require a lot of our attention. In this particular case, the answer was considered by many as grossly offensive. ( in this case to be specific sexist ) – Mister Positive Mar 14 at 18:38
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    Well, in Kilisi's comments, he clarified that he was talking about legalities, which are 100% true, thanks to things like the Duluth model and the Mutual combatant statutes – Richard U Mar 14 at 19:22
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    it wasn't a judgement call,or at best incredibly poor judgement.. no way did the question warrant deletion. And I doubt any of you mods understood the question or answer properly, because it's not your field of expertise. But it was mine for a long time. If you're going to delete answers that are outside of your expertise thats not a judgement call. If they require a bit of attention... so what? You're being paid in diamonds :-) – Kilisi Mar 15 at 6:08
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    @RichardU From Wikipedia, "Criticism of the Duluth Model has centered on the program's insistence that men are perpetrators who are violent because they have been socialized in a patriarchy that condones male violence, and that women are victims who are violent only in self-defense". This is one of the most horrible things I've seen all month... It's a nightmare especially for male and lesbian victims of domestic violence who are so often ignored... I'm glad it seems to be dying out. – forest Mar 25 at 4:52
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    @forest Yes, and it made false accusations very easy, and extremely difficult to defend against. You're right, about lesbian victims of DV, they have an extremely rough go of it as it's still not taken very seriously on the one hand, and on the other, if one of them tends to be on the masculine side, she's going to jail even if she's the victim, and there are no men's rights groups to help her. – Richard U Mar 25 at 10:20
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As the answer to your linked Meta question indicates, there were a significant number of flags on that particular answer (18 in total). And people don't generally flag posts because they like or agree with the content...

It's the number of flags against this answer that was the trigger. The reasons behind choosing to delete that answer have been discussed.

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    So, if a bunch of users get together and mass flag a post, it gets deleted? – Richard U Mar 14 at 16:21
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    @RichardU isn't users getting together to flag a post a form of community moderation? – TheGirlHasNoName Mar 14 at 16:44
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    @RichardU There is no magic number of flags that makes something worthy of deletion. If there were a magic number, then the process would be automatic, and honestly more easy to exploit than having to convince a moderator to take action. The whole point of having moderators is to have a human involved that can judge things on a case by case basis. At some point you have to trust your moderators to make the right decision based on lots of information we don't have. If you don't trust moderators to make those sorts of decisions, then what's the point in having them? – David K Mar 14 at 16:57
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    @RichardU because the moderators are mediators when the situation is murky and the community is not providing consensus. As David pointed out that is the entire point of moderators. That doesn't negate the use of community moderation. – TheGirlHasNoName Mar 14 at 17:16
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    There's no hard and fast metric on this, as David pointed out. A considerable number of users flagged the answer as being offensive, they both flagged and commented. Those users are part of the community, this wasn't a case of moderators arbitrarily deciding to delete something - multiple users raised concerns that were looked at. How many times have users complained that their answers have been deleted? Not many, it's not something that happens a lot. – Snow Mar 14 at 17:17
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    @RichardU that was addressed in the other question and to be honest whether you disagree with her solution I believe Monica made it pretty clear what made that particular situation "murky" – TheGirlHasNoName Mar 14 at 17:21
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    It pains me to drag up the details of the answer in question here, but there's a point to be made. Abuse is abuse, regardless of whether or not there's a differentiation between the parties or not. Regardless of whether the abuse is physical. In this modern world, we should not be in a position to stand by and ignore abuse if it doesn't conform to one specific form. This is the aspect that the flaggers and commenters were finding intolerable. – Snow Mar 14 at 17:38
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    @Snow I still can't fathom how not allowing a man to strike a woman is abuse. – Richard U Mar 14 at 17:52
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    It wasn't just the number of flags but what the flags were saying, combined with a mod review. Getting a bunch of people to raise junk flags won't cause mods to delete stuff, but bunches of flags get us to review things and we take flags into account when making decisions. – Monica Cellio Mar 14 at 18:27
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    @RichardU I can't fathom how it's appropriate to define abuse based only on the genders of the people involved. Abuse is abuse -- men, women, non-binary, old, young, disabled, kung-fu black belts, bouncers, couch potatoes... – Monica Cellio Mar 14 at 18:33
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    @MonicaCellio The law does not agree with you. and until they change the laws, Kilisi's advice remains prudent. As a man: If you defend a man against another man's attack, you will likely be arrested. If you defend a man against a woman's attack, you will CERTAINLY be arrested (again, the Duluth model) if you defend a woman against a man's attack, you're fine, and it you defend a woman against another woman, you'd better be careful. These are realities of law. Acknowledging law is not sexist – Richard U Mar 14 at 19:17
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    @RichardU few laws apply to the whole world, and I'd certainly question a claim based on a Wikipedia page with a factual-accuracy notice at the top and a first paragraph that doesn't even assert it's law. This is also not the place to argue about legalities that might or might not apply in some hypothetical context. If you disagree with the actions of the mod team, feel free to escalate. (And by the way, a family member was abused for years by a female family member, so I have some experience here too.) – Monica Cellio Mar 14 at 19:22
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    Don't care -- you cited a source, I looked at it, I am not obliged to dig. Even if there's a law somewhere, that doesn't mean it applies everywhere. Remember that the Workplace is a worldwide site. As for your question, two moderators have already answered. – Monica Cellio Mar 14 at 19:26
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    @RichardU I answered your question directly. As Monica pointed out, if your not in agreement with how this was handled by the moderation team, feel free to escalate. – Mister Positive Mar 14 at 20:47
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    @MisterPositive I will not be so immature as to escalate over something that I don't feel has been sufficiently explained. The fact that I am frustrated does not mean that I have no faith in the moderators and seek to stir up trouble. It just means I am frustrated – Richard U Mar 15 at 14:03

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