I'm a long time contributor, on the first page of the repuation list, and I've read the FAQ, but I have no idea why my answer to this question was moderator deleted (Sklivvz). It was on-topic (the questioner was specifically asking about gold-standard related defaults), answered the question (since the user specifically asked about gold-standard defaults, and I explained why they are not defaults) and it contained nothing offensive or obscene. What gives?

UPDATE:I understand that the answer was converted to a comment, but what I wrote was intended to be an answer. Since the question was largely about gold-standard related defaulting, I believe what I wrote was on-topic and an answer.


2 Answers 2


It was converted to a comment, internally this is a deletion of the answer and addition of a comment. The display is somewhat misleading, as there is no direct indication that it was converted to a comment and not just deleted.

Our FAQ states:

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed.

  • MSO post to make that clearer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/84402/…
    – Borror0
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 17:12
  • Indeed, I usually leave a comment, but I thought that @djc would know since he's been a user for a long time...
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 17:13
  • What I wrote was intended to be an answer, not a comment. It did answer the question as asked. Since I have a pretty good idea of what usually distinguishes a comment from an answer, I'm still wondering why was this converted to a comment? Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 18:39
  • @DJClayworth - It didn't cite a reference, therefore it wasn't an answer.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 4:36

Your post was not an answer to the question. The question was very simple: "has the US govt ever refused to pay a debt? Provide an example". You didn't answer that and did not provide an example, ergo did not provide an answer at all, even partially.

Furthermore your post was not even referenced, so clearly even if it was an answer (which it wasn't), it would have not been an acceptable one, especially coming from a high rep user who is expected to lead by example and in any case should know better than that.

  • I would have expected a little more application here. If the only example provided by the questioner is about the gold standard, and I explain why departing from the gold standard is not a default, then what I wrote IS an answer. Sklivvz, I have to point out that you are not the sole arbiter of what is a good answer. We have a voting system. If my answer is not a good one it will get voted down. Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 13:41
  • @djc non-answers can be deleted, bad answers should be downvoted.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 13:59
  • That is my point precisely. And leaves you only to answer the question of why you deleted my bad answer instead of waiting for it to be downvoted. Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 14:21
  • 1
    As I said: "Your post was not an answer to the question." I've reread your answer again. It's a comment on the question, in my opinion and not an answer. If you feel really strongly about this I am not going to make a fuss and reinstate it. However you will need to fix the answer with good references.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 15:38
  • The key in your answer is "in my opinion". I don't believe as a moderator you are being asked to make judgement calls about answer quality. We already have a perfectly good system for that. Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 15:48
  • We'll have to agree to disagree, then. There's nothing else I can do here.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 15:53
  • The point of this discussion is not to reinstate the answer, but to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen in the future. Is that the case, or do we need to discuss this further? Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 16:00
  • There is no case. Non-answers will be deleted or converted to comments. There will be cases in which there is disagreement which we will discuss in meta as this one. However--everybody here is in good faith and trying to help the site/community be the best possible. I don't think there's an issue here.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 16:03
  • So you're saying that you won't in future delete answers that were intended as an answer, and which might be considered an answer, but let the community vote on them instead? Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 16:18
  • 1
    No, I am saying that any answers which is not an answer could be deleted as per the SEN FAQ. The mere "intention" is irrelevant in this context. If there is any honest mistake on our side, we can handle it through flags, chat, meta, whatever. Read here for more info: skeptics.stackexchange.com/faq#deletion
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 16:22

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