Fellow Users of Academia.SE,
Recently on academia.SE and meta.academia.SE, I wrote that I was unwilling to have longterm participation in a site for which content -- specifically comments, although my own perspective is more of a blanket one -- which is on-topic for the site are being deleted. My feeling is that this is a mild form of academic censorship. I am very passionately against the encroachment of academic censorship, however mild, and I think the SE model is in some ways a credible threat to making inroads on this.
Although the moderator who deleted my comment apologized very nicely, two moderators found a statement of mine similar to the above "unconstructive", "vacuous" and "distasteful". When I pointed out that comments are treated the way I want them on mathoverflow.net and math.SE, the response was that this site is very different from those sites. [Added: The original comment was "Suffice to state, Math.SE is run far differently than any other SE site, this one included." I believe this comment to be inaccurate, which is why I did not repeat it exactly. If it is seriously intended that experience built-up on math.SE and mathotherflow is somehow a priori inapplicable here, someone should certainly speak to that.] That seems to be true, but also this site is in the "beta phase" because there is not enough involvement, so questions about what future course the site could take seem maximally on-point.
In other words: maybe academics don't like participating in a site which has such a highly gamified / follow-the-rules approach to what is largely volunteer work / networking on their part. This is certainly not a hypothetical question: this was the main tension in the decision of whether to move mathoverflow.net to the SE2.0 model. This was finally done only after many concessions from the SE developers, and the whole thing happened at least a year after the "negotiations" were first started: in the end the SE people agreed to several things which at the beginning they were adamant would not be possible.
Also a colleague of mine tried to start a math-education stack exchange site. I told her that this could be a good idea but also warned her that there were a lot of strange-looking (to us) rules and hoops to jump through, especially at the early stages. She tried it anyway, and the site didn't make it past Area 51: the cultural disconnect between interested math educators and people who like and enforce the SE platform was a little too high. More recently she -- assisted by my PhD student -- made an independent site which is similar to the SE platform but adapted to be less gamified and rigid: this is the Mathematics Teaching Community.
I am very interested to know whether other academics feel that there any cultural mismatch between the mainstream SE model and the goal of getting academics involved in such a question and answer site. Please let me know how you feel about the censorship question above and/or also this broader issue. I would appreciate answers from users who identify themselves with their real name and academic affiliations (past or present), although that is certainly not required.
Added: I remember now that I did once before raise the issue of censorship with respect to comments here. The practice I was talking about was different but, in my opinion, less severe than deletion.
Added on November 27, 2014: A comment of mine was recently deleted without warning or acknowledgment. This comment was pertaining to a question that was unilaterally closed by a moderator. My comment expressed -- wholly civilly -- an opinion about in what circumstances moderator closure was appropriate. It included the information that I had been typing an answer while it was unilaterally closed (another user had just said the same). Thus my comment about how moderator intervention literally wasted my time and nullified my actions on this site was deleted by a moderator. I have made my views on this clear in this question. When moderators delete relevant comments which pertain to them, they participate in the most troubling form of censorship. At the present time I will take a break from this site to reflect on these issues.