From time to time, I ask a question on meta that would benefit from an answer from the mods, but I don't receive any answer from the mods (example 1, example 2) or I'm being told by the mods in the comment section to wait (example). How often / how many times am I allowed to remind mods about some pending questions without getting suspended?

I am asking as a while ago, I received a suspension warning for pinging mods too often (allegedly) in comments, so I am trying not to receive a 6th account suspension this year.

1 Answer 1


"How much can I annoy mods before being suspended?" is kinda like "how many downvoted questions can I post before being banned?" The exact number doesn't matter because you really should try not to do either of those. (Now, I think it's likely that you don't see what you're doing as being annoying. Not everyone has a good sense of that—I certainly don't myself. But the purpose of the mod message seems to have been to tell you how it's being perceived.) By engaging in annoying behaviors, you're eroding other people's goodwill, which is likely to cause problems for you further down the road. Yes, this does mean that you'll probably have to let some things be unresolved, especially when it's something as small and localized as a single closed question. It's a fact of life that you can't resolve everything.

Admittedly, there are other elements at play here. On Webapps specifically it may seem like leaving a lot of messages for the most convenient moderator is the only viable option to get curation tasks done, but what really needs to be worked on is resolving the problems underneath:

  • Lack of communication from mods. While it would be unreasonable to expect an entire meta answer about what's wrong immediately (which can take hours), a simple comment could go a long way, even something like "sorry, this week I don't have time to handle this". It's also not clear to me why mods aren't always taking action on quick, routine tasks like handling highly voted reopen requests on meta. Is the current amount of consensus on these posts not enough to take action according to the mods? Do the mods agree with reopening but for some reason feel obligated to do something else first, like write a meta answer? There could be a reasonable explanation here or maybe a misunderstanding, but either way I have no idea. Again, this is also something that really can only be solved with communication.
  • Possible lack of capacity on the mod team. It's hard to know if this is what's happening but if the current mod team is strained, something should be done. The two solutions that have been floated around for this are either having another election or lowering the rep levels so a few more people can participate in closing and reopening.
  • Lack of community participation. On the non-mod side, there are more than 3 somewhat active users who can reopen questions. Having them participate in the process would be extremely helpful, either by casting a reopen vote or explaining why the question shouldn't be reopened. I'm not sure what's stopping them from voting, unfortunately. (Of course, building up the population of active users with rep would also solve a lot, but I see no easy way forward to accomplish this, especially with all the other unresolved issues here.)
  • A reminder is not meant to be an annoyance. If it is considered as such by the recipient, then it is an issue on the recipient's side. I have never been bothered when someone sends me a reminder: instead, I'm typically embarrassed for being late. What am I supposed to do if my meta question about moderation activities don't receive an answer? Commented Jan 6 at 18:12
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    "I have never been bothered when someone sends me a reminder: instead, I'm typically embarrassed" That's also how I view things (at least up until the point where it becomes exhausting and stressful), but the fact is that not everyone is like that. You can't exactly say that the other way of seeing things is wrong. And SE is designed for users to be kinda like interchangeable cogs (eg, no notifications for when a question you closed gets a reopen vote), but that's not how things work here on Webapps, which in my opinion is a sign that things are working poorly (thus part 2 of this A).
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 6 at 18:23
  • I exactly say that the other way of seeing things is wrong because if IMHO one doesn't want to address question about moderation actions, then one shouldn't be a mod. Users are kinda like interchangeable but not mods when only 2 mods are active. I think the key issues is lack of communication from mods. It's the only SE site where I see mods taking actions but refusing to discuss them. When a mod unilaterally closes a question, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them why they closed it. An unexplained unilateral closure is an annoyance. Asking a mod to explain it is not annoyance. Commented Jan 6 at 21:01
  • @FranckDernoncourt - SFF:SE had a persistent and ongoing problem with several moderators taking occasional actions but entirely refusing to communicate on-site, to participate in any meaningful way or to explain their actions. Eventually they were removed, but it was a long and painful process.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 6 at 23:02
  • @FranckDernoncourt I think everyone goes into the mod role thinking they'll do everything. But reality is that there are things that take precedence over even that, such as your real-world responsibilities and mental health. Certainly if you look at my own history, people challenge me about closures and I rarely if ever respond—I don't need to, since those who disagree have the reopen queue. That's what a healthy site looks like. Anyway, the core issue seems to be that you're asking again and again about the same closure.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 8 at 2:33
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    @Valorum That's a different issue, since on SFF there's always been either active users or a mod to handle whatever issues come up. The fact that some mods weren't publicly participating on the site was handled exactly according to SE policy, and here's not the place to discuss that further.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 8 at 2:36
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    @Laurel What am I supposed to do if my meta question about moderation activities don't receive an answer? I still need an answer to my question, but if a mod unilaterally closed my question, then I and other people having the same question can't get an answer. So what am I supposed to do in that case? Quite often I only ask once eg webapps.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4820/18147 but that doesn't help either. I have been very patient, sometimes waiting over a year, while my questions are still closed. As an extreme case, it took mods 3 years to reopen questions not showing research. Commented Jan 8 at 2:40
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    @FranckDernoncourt It's a tough situation but I think we should focus on what I said in the bullets, which will hopefully help in any situation where you might want to contact a mod about a closure. Also, like I said before that, it might not be fair in the least but sometimes you just have to let small things like this go and move onto the next thing.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 8 at 16:10

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