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I don't understand why the moderators refuse to clearly state whether showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE.

What I have tried so far:

  1. I posted Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps SE? over 2 years ago, the mods never wrote any answer and 1 mod closed under the reason "[the question] includes deceitful content".
  2. I posted Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE? 10 days ago, the mods closed it as a duplicate.
  3. When some of my questions were closed, which I believe was due to lack of showing research, I asked the question in the comment section (example), but I never got any clear answer.
  4. On https://webapps.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5004/18147, I asked twice in the comment whether showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE, but each time a mod removed my comment (here is a mirror of my comment deleted by a mod).

Without a clear policy, closures are random. It's been over 2 years and a half since I am trying to get a clear answer from the mods on whether showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE.

If moderators need more time to decide, then please don't close questions randomly in the meantime. Also, the community has made it very clear it is against closing questions on the ground of no research shown. Personally, moderators closing my questions randomly is negatively impacting my work (either professional or personal) as I'm typically asking questions useful to work more efficiently. Here are some examples of my work questions that got closed:

  1. Where can I see all my comments on issues on GitHub?
  2. How can I view the channels that I have been added to recently on Slack?
  3. How can I search for a string across all comments in a PDF on Acrobat Web?
  4. How can I export my LinkedIn messages?
  5. How can I view all the messages I posted in a Slack channel?
  6. I mistakenly closed a direct message window on Slack. How can I re-open it?
  7. How can I search for files with a specific extension and some file size range in Google?
  8. How can I prevent the Microsoft Outlook web interface from automatically placing some emails in the junk folder?
  9. Cancel .ics import in Google Calendar
  10. How can I create an event in Microsoft Outlook web interface so that attendees may edit the event?

There are more such examples. Additionally, some of my questions got removed by Roomba as a result of the closure by the moderator, such as How can I see the list of links that someone messaged on Slack, either in direct messages or in shared channels?. When a moderator closes my questions, it prevents me from getting answers, which delays my work.

I'm not here to play the rep game and I would prefer not to have to participate in Meta. Unfortunately, moderators random closing of my questions over the past two years and a half forces me to post on Meta, because it is unacceptable that a moderator serially close questions without any policy to justify their closures.

Why do the moderators refuse to clearly state whether showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE?

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  • 1
    Thanks for the edit, Franck. Unfortunately, it does not address the clarification requested. For reference, in the comments to the answer you mentioned that the close of the questions affects your work and your personal projects. I have asked that briefly explain how the question closing does that. Without providing clarification I found it very hard to understand why our communication has not worked regarding the closing of your questions. There is no problem if you don't want to add such detail, but in such case please follow the directions in my answer regarding how to flag a question, ... Apr 26, 2023 at 19:58
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    (cont.) ... answer or comment for moderator intervention in order to formally ask that another community moderator take a look at your concern. Apr 26, 2023 at 20:00
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    @Rubén Thanks. "for moderator intervention in order to formally ask that another community moderator take a look at your concern". The question is straightforward: Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE? I've also edited the question further with simply "Closing my questions prevent me from getting answers." is it clear now? Apr 26, 2023 at 20:53
  • Thanks for your reply, Frank. Sorry, I still do not see how a closed question delays your work or your personal projects as there is no promise that Stack Exchange sites should help with speeding them no matter what. The question might be straightforward but there is no hard rule that obliges any moderator to participate in meta posts. discussion is intended for posts about discussing stuff among the community. While in some posts might be reasonable to expect that community moderators participate, they are volunteers, free to choose in which posts, and when they participate. Apr 26, 2023 at 21:06
  • You can keep your post as is. I really don't catch if you are just making the edits just to meet "requirements" without really understanding what was asked and why it was asked. If you find my suggestions non-helpful or for whatever reason you might have you don't want to take them seriously or you don't find them worth making an honest effort to address what was asked, you can ignore the suggestion, no hard feelings. Apr 26, 2023 at 21:10
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    @Rubén E.g. for 1. How can I view the channels that I have been added to recently on Slack?, since it got closed, it prevents other users from informing my how to view the channels that I have been added to recently on Slack, so instead I'm wasting time trying to find some channel I was adding to recently. Mods aren't forced to answer all Meta questions indeed, but if a mod closes dozens of questions without any clear reason, then I believe the mod should explain why when a Meta question asks for an explanation. Apr 26, 2023 at 22:14
  • 2
    @Rubén why don't you want to answer the question Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE? I'm puzzled. We can disagree on the answer, but I don't understand why you refuse to give any answer. Apr 26, 2023 at 22:15
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    I already give you answers. I have avoided giving you brief direct answers because your questions are complex and I have found it very difficult to assume that you have good intentions. Please, believe me, I'm working on that. Apr 30, 2023 at 6:50
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    @Rubén where did you give an answer to the question "Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE?" (Requirement means that if the OP doesn't show research, then the question must be closed.) I've been waiting for over two years and a half to get a clear answer. Apr 30, 2023 at 17:00
  • 1
    A community manager initiated a relevant meta discussion on whether showing research should be a requirement when posting questions: Does Web Apps Stack Exchange Require Research?. Oct 1, 2023 at 13:22

2 Answers 2

-3

While its primarily meant for question bans (and honestly, since there's a reputation ceiling for getting hit by them, its possible to avoid them with enough grind...) I'd point you at this help center article

Quality standards are universal new or old user, and it does say

Any background research you've tried but wasn't enough to solve your problem.

It is also in 'how do I ask a good question'

While I'm not a moderator here, I've some experience in moderation, and I'm hopeful this should be sufficient to cover what you need to know to avoid your questions being closed

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  • Thanks. To be clear, do you mean that 1) the answer to "Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE?" is yes? 2) More generally, any question posted on any SE site that doesn't show research should be closed? Apr 27, 2023 at 3:56
  • Well - I'd say "could" rather than should. And I do mean yes. Apr 27, 2023 at 4:11
  • Got it. To confirm again (my bad, I forgot that I didn't define requirement in my previous comment as I had done in my original Meta question): If a question posted on WebApps.SE doesn't show research, should it be closed or could it be closed? Apr 27, 2023 at 4:14
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    Well - you should be prepared that it could be closed. Apr 27, 2023 at 4:15
  • 1
    Why don't you state "If a question posted on WebApps.SE doesn't show research, then it should be closed"? Apr 27, 2023 at 4:16
  • 2
    Because that's not what I said - I pointed you at what you should know to avoid your questions being closed Apr 27, 2023 at 4:16
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    ok. If a question posted on WebApps.SE doesn't show research, what determines whether it should be closed? I'm looking for clear moderation guidelines, not a coin toss. Apr 27, 2023 at 4:17
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    I've linked the appropriate guidelines - if you followed them your posts SHOULDN'T be closed Apr 27, 2023 at 4:18
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    Let's first clarify the rules we are talking about, before looking at whether it is supported by your links. If a question posted on WebApps.SE doesn't show research, what determines whether it should be closed? Apr 27, 2023 at 4:19
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    Well a quick look states quality standards - I've linked to the appropriate help center articles already. Since as a high reputation user, you can't get automatically question banned, other means are necessary to try to get you to improve there. Apr 27, 2023 at 4:24
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    Thanks but that doesn't answer my previous question. If a question posted on WebApps.SE doesn't show research, what determines whether it should be closed? (no bad intent, I just want clear guidelines. I have at least 2 comments on the quality standards link but I first want to have clear guidelines, otherwise debating unclear guidelines is futile and moderation is random) Apr 27, 2023 at 4:29
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    So here we are. Still no clear answer to the question "Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE?" (Requirement means that if the OP doesn't show research, then the question must be closed.) The moderators should clarify it before randomly closing some questions seemingly on that ground. Apr 28, 2023 at 18:34
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    How much clearer does one have to be than that the help center explicitly says its needed? You're looking for precise lines - which don't exist, while choosing to ignore the general guidance given over quality requirements. Apr 28, 2023 at 23:18
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    Thanks. If the guidelines is clear to you, could you please tell me what is the answer to the question "Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE?" (Requirement means that if the OP doesn't show research, then the question must be closed.) Apr 28, 2023 at 23:26
-4

TL;DR: Please be patient.

As you know, a couple of days ago I posted As of today, April 2023, who do we understand that is our intended audience and what is the first that we tell them about how to participate?. Hopefully, sooner than later, there will be a significatively improvement to the site Tour, Help Center, and s with the participation of the community rather than a work done by 2 - 5 active users.

If your patience was depleted, as you have rep +15 flag one post for moderator intervention for each issue. If I'm "the issue", a single flag will be enough until another community moderator or community manager ask you to do another thing.

To do this,

  1. Go to the question, answer o comment that has the issue or is most directly related to the issue, i.e. one of the questions that were closed by me.
  2. Click the flag link at the bottom of the corresponding question or answer or the flag icon to the left of the corresponding comment.
  3. A Flag dialog will be open. In the case of flagging a question or answer, click In need of moderator intervention. In the case of flagging a comment click "Something else". A text box will be shown
Question and Answer Comment
Dialog Question flag dialog - In need of moderator intervention Comment flag dialog - Something else
Field help text
A problem not listed above that requires action by a moderator. Be specific and detailed!
A problem not listed above. Try to be as specific as possible.

As the field help texts ask, be as specific as possible. If you have a dispute with a specific moderator, explicitly request that the flag be reviewed by another moderator. I.E. As of April 2023, if you are disputing one of my moderation actions, ask that ChrisF and/or Sathyajith Bhat review the flag.


Sidenote: You can see the current moderators in Users > Moderators.


Tip when flagging a question

Avoid saying something like

Rubén said X. I added, "I google and found nothing" but my question is still closed.

or

Rubén has not answered my question.

Instead, explain why your question is a good fit for Web Applications Stack Exchange, and what makes it an exemplary post worth having open nowadays. In case this post is an example of a generalized situation briefly describe the situation. If you have already posted a post about it, include the link to such a post.


Web Applications Stack Exchange Moderation

Let's start with the very basic: Moderation is done by the community.

Despite that A theory of moderation was published in 2009, it is still referenced in the Help Center, more specifically in Who are the site moderators, and what is their role here? because it establishes the premises of the moderation system for all the communities of Stack Exchange.


Side note

Users having moderation privileges independent of their reputation have a diamond next to their user name. On meta sites instead of the diamond, it's shown as a user badge. Employees might have two user badges, Staff and Mod.

Sites
Main Site Meta Site
Question page user card
Main site user card showing the moderator diamond "♦"
Question page user card
Meta site Post item search results page showing the user name with the moderator badge
Post list (i.e. search results page) user card
Main site post item search results page showing the user name with the moderator diamond
Post list (i.e. search results page) user card
Meta site user card showing the moderator diamond "♦"
Users page user card
Main site user card in the Users page
Users page user card
Meta site user card in the Users page
Chat (The Third Place)
Small user card Large user card User profile
Chat: Small Chat: Large Chat: User profile

The title of the help article uses "site moderators". The body of the help article uses "community moderators", "moderators pro tempore " and "moderators elected". Some user-created posts here, in Meta Stack Exchange, and sister sites use the term "diamond moderators", "moderators" or "mods". I think that the term "community moderators" should be used at least once in a post referring to "moderators pro tempore" or "elected moderators" as all users having rep+15 have moderation privileges, hence it's fair to say that any rep+15 user is a moderator. Of course, there are moderator grades, being the Community Managers who have the highest grade and below them the community moderators.

A theory of moderation mentions that community moderators does "as little as possible!". Any user that has rep +15 can flag a question, answer or comment. Additional moderation privileges are unlocked based on user reputation.

Even with active community self-regulation, moderators occasionally need to intervene. Moderators are human exception handlers, there to deal with those (hopefully rare) exceptional conditions that should not normally happen, but when they do, they can bring your entire community to a screaming halt — if you don’t have human exception handling in place.

Moderators are "...to be held to a higher standard of behavior". But this doesn't mean that we should have unlimited patience, or that we can't abandon an unpleasant or going-to-anywhere conversation. We are volunteers committed to providing a service, not servants, with due respect to real-life domestic workers. Each moderator is free to set their limits. Since this is not something done to "pay the bills" for many community moderators, the concern about how the bills will be paid in case of resignation is not a factor in place.

For many reasons communities have at least two moderators, most have three, and few like Stack Overflow have more. The number might vary depending on several factors. See Stack Exchange Moderators to easily find which are the moderators of each Stack Exchange community.

Moderators aren't obliged to participate in all Meta posts. If you want that moderators participate in your posts, to have more chances to make that happen, make the same as it should be done with main posts, make it interesting and relevant. When doing criticism, make it positive and constructive.

I don't like the abuse of non sequitur, irony, sarcasm, and hyperbole, among other argumentation figures. I prefer posts that use a neutral or kind tone to those that use a harsh tone. I prefer a brief straightforward post to a lengthy post. And yes, I notice the non-intended irony of having written lengthy posts lately.

Related

Stack Exchange Meta

My Questions

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    Thanks, I have been waiting for over two years to get a clear answer on whether showing research is compulsory. You haven't clarified the policy, yet you have closed dozens of questions seemingly for that reason, while leaving most questions with no shown research opened. Unilaterally closing dozens of questions without a clear closing reason is very negatively impacting the user experience. Why does it take over two years and a half to clarify that policy? Closing questions is a drastic action and should only be used as a last resort. Apr 26, 2023 at 15:07
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    At the very least, if you need more time to decide, don't close questions randomly in the meantime. Also, the community has made it very clear it is against closing questions on the ground of no research shown. You closing my questions randomly is negatively impacting my work as I'm typically asking questions useful to work more efficiently. I'm not here to play the rep game and I would prefer to never have to participate in Meta. But your random closing of my questions over the past two years and a half forces me to post on Meta. Apr 26, 2023 at 15:09
  • @FranckDernoncourt Please elaborate on how closing Web Application Stack Exchange questions impacts your work. Are you talking about the work that pays your bills? Are you referring to the effort that you put into a hobby or personal project? Apr 26, 2023 at 16:29
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    I'm talking about both. My point is that I have valid questions that sometimes get closed and I'd like to clearly understand why. Apr 26, 2023 at 17:07
  • @FranckDernoncourt please edit the question to add a brief explanation about how closing affect your work and personal projects. Apr 26, 2023 at 17:10
  • Sure, I edited the question. Apr 26, 2023 at 18:35
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    That's a lot of words to not answer the question.
    – Flimm
    Sep 4, 2023 at 15:35
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    You said "please be patient". How more years do you expect the community to wait while you close good, clear, detailed questions that the community upvotes and answers, while you delete, close or lock community members who complain about that?
    – Flimm
    Sep 4, 2023 at 15:40

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