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I noticed that this question was marked as a "controversial post." The text says:

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice.

I find this concept morally dubious.

To illustrate, here's a statement made in an answer that is EXTREMELY opinion-laden:

So, rather than trying to plead for another chance, rather than trying to "see what can be done," the solution is to recognize that you have made a serious error that cannot be rectified.

I strongly disagree with this highly controversial statement, and I note that it hasn't been "removed without notice," most likely because it fits with the politics or meta-philosophies of certain moderators.

Further to this, I imagine, there were equally controversial statements that were removed simply because they didn't fit with such meta-philosophies. If that's not the case for this particular question, then at least it's probably the case for other questions so-marked as controversial.

My point is this: the controversial post mechanism, which by its nature does not require the consistent removal of controversial or opinion-laden statements, but only gives moderators the option of removal, consequently confers inordinate power to moderators and allows them to impose their political views and personal opinions upon others to a much greater extent than can be considered necessary or morally sound.

Interfering with people's freedom of speech is already problematic from an ethical point of view, but when this interference is at the discretion of authorities and policing is inconsistent, it becomes orders of magnitude more problematic. For these reasons and others, I oppose the use of "controversial question" mechanism and I think that academia.stackexchange should search for more ethically sound ways of reducing interpersonal conflict.

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    Is there a question in here, since I can't find it. Further, your use of emotionally charged words (including attacking the morals and ethics of the moderators, who are elected by the members - including you) makes this come across as a rant. – Jon Custer May 13 '18 at 3:04
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    @JonCuster there is more leeway on meta for discussion. The post is clearly expressing an opinion about how the OP believes the site should operate. While I respectfully disagree with the OP about the use of the post notice, the question is valid for meta and I think in fact provides a useful means of understanding how the community feels about the post notoce. – StrongBad May 13 '18 at 3:27
  • @JonCuster, this is not a question. I'm objecting to a mechanism that facilitates the misuse of power. And, I'm quite okay with coming across however you please, as long as mechanisms that facilitate the misuse of power are objected to. – goblin May 13 '18 at 3:29
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Further to this, I imagine, there were equally controversial statements that were removed simply because they didn't fit with such meta-philosophies. If that's not the case for this particular question, then at least it's probably the case for other questions so-marked as controversial.

Your views here are incorrect. There are two deleted answers. One was deleted by the owner of the answer and one was deleted by the community bot in response to spam flags. The spam answer was clearly spam. The only things deleted by moderators were a few chatty comments (e.g., +1 great answer). A couple of comment conversations were also moved to chat and comments on those questions/answers have been repeatedly pruned since then. As we can only move comments to chat once, those additional comments were deleted.

The post notice is relatively new and while I have not gone back to every question that it has been applied to, I can assure you that moderators have not been indiscriminately deleting content.

My point is this: the controversial post mechanism, which by its nature does not require the consistent removal of controversial or opinion-laden statements, but only gives moderators the option of removal, consequently confers inordinate power to moderators and allows them to impose their political views and personal opinions upon others to a much greater extent than can be considered necessary or morally sound.

The post notice does not confer any power to moderators. We have the power to indiscriminately and unilaterally remove whatever content we want in the absence of the notice. We were elected mods because the community believes that we can use the additional moderator powers to improve the site and that when we make mistakes that we will take responsibility for those mistakes and make sure they get corrected. What the post notice does is remind users that if things get heated, a moderator might clean things up. Which of course we can, and do, do even if we haven't warned users.

Why was the post notice added You might be asking yourself if we don't delete stuff, why even add the post notice. I added the post notice because there were a large number of answers and comments on the question. This generated a flag which alerted me to the question. I protected the question, as we usually do with questions that have lots of answers and comments and are on the HNQ list. I also moved one comment chain to chat. I felt that the question would likely generate a large number of additional comments and even with the post notice and comment saying additional comments will be moved to chat, it has. Since we can only move comments once, I felt an additional warning that comments would be deleted was in order. At some point a moderator will need to read through the new comments and decide if they should be deleted. The post notice is designed, in my opinion, to cut down on these situations.

Note that I have edited the post in reaction to finding out another mod deleted comments after the comment thread was moved to chat. As you may have heard the comment moderation interface is not the best. I applogize for missing these comments the first time around.

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Moderators do not delete or censor posts because they contain opinions we disagree with. If they run afoul of community guidelines—such as using obscenities, posting spam links or nonsense—that’s different. (The former is cleaned up as “lightly” as possible, the latter gets deleted.)

Even in the case of controversial posts, though, there is the possibility of discussing it in chat. Remember that part of the goal of SE is to provide curation for future users. Having long, tangential discussions that do not help understand, clarify, or improve the question do not help towards that aim. We do not typically resort to that designation—as I’ve gone on record, it should be used extremely sparingly—but from time to time it becomes necessary.

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