Hot answers tagged

45

I'll repeat what I said in the other thread, which seemed to be supported by the community (as indicated by their votes): I am in favor of encouraging clarity above all else, and leaving other matters of language and style up to the author of the post. As long as the language of the post is clear and it is consistent with the be nice policy, we ...


21

A fundamental rule of flags is: flags are NOT to be used to delete incorrect or bad answers. That is, if there is an actual attempt to engage the question, you cannot ask the mods to delete the question just because you think it is inaccurate, gives bad advice, or challenges the assumptions in the question instead of accepting them as fact. The correct ...


18

I think that the question presents a false dichotomy. We do not have to choose one option vs the other. Also, as users or moderators we are exactly like comments. We are ephemeral (as moderators tend to remind us about comments). Who knows which one of us will still be around to answer questions or moderate this forum in ten years from now? Why do we need to ...


18

It seems to me there are two different issues here: The original question by eykanal asks whether we should "as a community, discourage the use of gendered pronouns in discussion" because this "risks introducing bias and may affect the quality of the discussion". StrongBad raises an entirely different issue, claiming that it is difficult or impossible to ...


13

All the information I give here is generally available and does not come from my moderator privileges. First of all some general information on this: Having multiple accounts is okay, as long as they do not do something that cannot be done with a single account, which includes almost all interactions of the accounts: How should sockpuppets be handled on ...


12

Honestly, I think that we can and should effectively serve both goals. I see the aim of this site as consistent with #1: providing consistent, clear, and correct answers. Because of the nature of the questions and answers, however, there is inherently more subjectivity and personal perspective involved in creating a good answer than there is for a question ...


11

Suppose I am the hypothetical User B in this scenario. I have not previously indicated any gender preference, I wish to remain gender neutral, and User A has used male pronouns in reference to me in a comment, answer, or chat message. For example, User A might have written something like this on a comment on someone else's post: But in User B's answer, he ...


9

As one of my answers was pulled out as an example, I think I should chime in here. Let me start by saying I think this is an important question and needs to be discussed. Further, to be clear, I do not feel attacked, singled out, or defensive. I think that the highlighted answer is a good example of the issue. The issues with these types of answers is that ...


9

Not all typos and misspellings are created equal. Typos in question titles should always be fixed, in my opinion, as they're what a user initially interacts with. Lots of typos makes the site look less professional. Beyond that, however, "small" corrections should be avoided unless the typo corrects the meaning of a sentence by replacing an incorrect word ...


8

Edit: I finally managed to find the exact quote I was looking for. This is from Grace Note, a community manager from the SE team: With the exception of duplicates (which we keep around for searchability), closing is intended to be a temporary state for a question. There are only two states in the future of a closed question - getting deleted or getting ...


8

tl;dr: vigorous maintenance and weeding help make this site the success it is Stack Exchange software and guidelines are all designed for "building up a library of concise, clear and correct questions and answers". That's not the only way to do things. As userxxxx noted in a now-deleted answer, places like the Ask Academia sub-Reddit provide a great venue ...


6

I think commenting and downvoting are probably the best options here. I suspect flags will be ignored for the reasons @aeismail mentions. The problem is that the "community" (defined as readers who vote) appear to have conflicting views on the matter, and what you're asking about is a form of minority protection that SE doesn't really have a mechanism for. ...


6

I'm rather in favor of this particular big list question for a couple reasons: "Necessitate constant revision as facts change" and "My guess is someone has done a meta analysis" are actually mutually contradictory objections. Either a single, authoritative, static source can (or should) exist, or it's in constant need of changing. It can't be both. There's ...


6

As the one who prompted the migration, I believe that the question was purely statistics. The only element that made it "academia"-specific was the issue that it was a disagreement between a student and a professor. If you change the people making the argument from student and professor to co-workers in a lab, or an employee in a factory and his boss, the "...


6

There are three main types of deletions that I personally have made: Answers that should have been comments; the answer may look like it was deleted, but it was just converted to a comment Answers that were completely off topic, and do not add anything to the conversation. Answers that are abusive/trolling/spammy/ad hominem/etc. I believe that this is the ...


6

There are two questions here, that are really important to separate out: Do we want to have fun? Do we want this to be the sort of site where people feel free to add frivolous material? The first question is one of those meaningless questions like "do you want some free money?" It implies that we can get something good, without any negative consequences. ...


6

Identifying information isn't viewed as a problem here in its own right, and we don't take steps to ensure anonymity of the questioner. If a given user wishes to remain anonymous, the burden of anonymity is left to them. That said, we've had a very small number of questions here where the actual text of the question had to potential to cause significant ...


6

I think questions on undergraduate admission exams (e.g., SAT and ACT) and application process (e.g., US common application and UK UCAS) are not generalizable.


5

I wanted my question to be relatively neutral, so I'm posting here (as an answer) one argument I can think of for allowing fun questions (in addition to, well, having fun): it can help us attract some more traffic and possibly some of the users who discover the site through these questions may stay on. Also, on possible way we could use to avoid being ...


5

I think having the record of the question being asked and "shut down" is more useful than deleting them outright. Something that is offensive or spam should, of course, be deleted. But something that is merely off-topic or inappropriate for the board should probably stay for archival purposes, particularly if an answer was received.


5

The behaviours you are seeing of questioning the question is due to the enormous prevalence of X-Y questions in the original StackOverflow and other STEM StackExchange sites. Questions where the thread is "how do I do X", but experienced users see that the OP has a more fundamental misunderstanding, and should really be doing Y. The SO model is so popular ...


5

Academia in generally is pretty harsh and we all have a lot of things to rant about. What I really like about AC.SE is that we are NOT a discussion board and we have a low tolerance for ranting. Many of our questions are "soft" and our answers are our opinions driven by our experience. While our answers may be our opinions, I think sometimes others can ...


5

I think that, for all the reasons noted elsewhere, it is valuable to encourage the use of gender-neutral pronouns where peoples' preferred pronouns are not known, or when talking about a generic person rather than an individual. It should be mentioned somewhere in help or on meta that this is the preferred behaviour, and some people will hopefully make a ...


4

Note that when someone with high reputation edits a post, it is instant (I call it being a demi-mod). When someone with low or mid reputation, it blocks further edits, until it is resolved (by a mod, or maybe also a demi-mod). I guess the rationale behind not making too small changes is: not blocking a question (you've spotted spoted, while someone else ...


4

I'm not sure I agree with your argument that this is an Academic topic. The question being asked here could have been asked in an aeronautical engineering forum, or a financial engineering forum, or a jelly bean sales forum. Simply replace the work "professor" with "boss" and it's completely generic. The fact that it occurred in an Academic setting does not ...


4

Candidates for deletion can be found here. Each and every question on that list, should either be deleted or edited & reopened. If you have 2000 rep or over, please do go to that list, and spend a little bit of time going through some of the questions, and for each one, either vote for its deletion, or edit it into shape so that it can be reopened. As F'...


4

Going by this answer, questions specific to undergraduate life (“sports, underage drinking, living in dorms, being able to make your own choices for the first time, etc.”) should be off-topic. Admittedly there isn’t such a thing as a specific undergraduate life in many countries (including mine), but that’s not really a problem, as this also means that ...


4

Only mods know if two accounts belong to the same user and we obviously cannot say anything. So without commenting on this particular user, a single user having multiple accounts is sometimes fine, but sometimes a flagrant violation. You cannot have two accounts to up vote your own content or artificially increase your reputation. If you are suspended you ...


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