Here is an example of a question that the mods would not open, despite the linked question not being a duplicate, multiple requests to re-open, and several days of waiting to re-open. https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/28662/are-the-mods-ignoring-requests-to-open-this-question-im-skeptical-of-their-rea

What is their reasoning and logic behind such censorship? Especially when I found the answer myself and wanted to post the answer.

I took a snapshot of the censored answer as well:


4 Answers 4


There is an important difference between the word "censor" and the word "moderate".

[I am trying hard not to be snarky and refer to reading comprehension here, because not everyone will have seen your original insults.]

Censor tends to refer to the idea of preventing the spread of views (especially political views) that oppose those in authority.

Mods should not censor, and I have seen little evidence that they do censor. On the other hand, there are many questions and answers that, if I was allowed to censor (and inclined to censor), would not be up on this site. If I didn't see that it was ultimately going to hurt the site more than it helped, and that it was unethical, I would happily delete probably 10% of the questions and answers here.

Censoring also refers to suppressing images and ideas that are considered obscene. We have generally limited that ensuring such material is behind a link with an appropriate warning (e.g. NSFW) so that people can decide for themselves if they wish to view it.

Moderation, on the other hand, is not about agreeing or disagreeing with a particular position. It is about maintaining the signal-noise ratio of the site (e.g. by avoiding duplicates, unclear questions), and maintaining the particular standards that make this site better - or, at the very least, different - to other sites (e.g. requiring questions to be notable, answers to be referenced, and ad hominem attacks to be non-existent.)

So, the answer to your question "Why do mods censor questions on this site?" is that you have a false premise, and you are failing to assume good intentions in the absense of evidence to the contrary. Mods don't censor questions on this site. They moderate them.

  • No, it's blatant censorship. I re-entered the question with the answer I found (no thanks to you) and now I see that it has been deleted (not even in my history), and the locked version left unanswered.
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:01
  • Ok I finally found the deleted answer that you censored: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/28712/…
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:13
  • I know it doesn't mean anything to you, but I documented your censorship as well: voat.co/v/censorship/comments/395834
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:19

In addition to Oddthinking's answer, opening and closing question can be done by the community. There are currently around 70 users that can vote to open and close and a question needs to convince only 5 of those in order to be reopened.

The privilege to cast these votes is granted at 3,000 reputation so it is purely meritocratic. Reputation is gained by receiving positive votes on your questions and answers, and it's lost with negative votes.

These checks guarantee that the mods can vote by conscience, and the community can prevent abuses by them.

Before you get upset with mods, consider that out of the 70 people that you could convince to reopen your question, you just need to convince 5 that your question should be reopened. Being reasonable and communicative is probably a better way to do so.

  • Then there is group-think here. It's blatant censorship for some unknown agenda. The questions were not duplicates. I re-entered the question with the answer I found (no thanks to you) and now I see that it has been deleted (not even in my history), and the locked version left unanswered. I now know this site rejects peer-reviewed scientific knowledge.
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:05
  • Here is the censored question & answer: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/28712/…
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:14

After reading the edit history of the question involved, it is clearly the case that the mods are performing their duty to the site by preventing further activity on the question by a very combative user. I agree with Oddthinking that there was no censorship involved as far as this question is concerned.

Take for example, the 4th edit to the question, where OP changed the question title to Are the mods ignoring requests to open this question? I'm skeptical of their reading comprehension.. To me, this is a clear example of trolling and not being nice. On many other online communities, this would warrant a ban or worse.

  • No, it's blatant censorship. I re-entered the question with the answer I found (no thanks to you) and now I see that it has been deleted (not even in my history), and the locked version left unanswered. I'm OK with a ban so I won't be tempted to waste my time with such a group of illogical people hostile to peer-reviewed scientific knowledge who conflate two distinct issues.
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:08
  • I found the censored question & answer: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/28712/…
    – Chloe
    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:14

This is becoming dull. I'm posting some clarifications for people who come to this late and find it confusing, and then I am moving on, because baseless accusations of censorship become rather dull when they are repeated despite explanations.

No, we are not "hostile to peer-reviewed scientific knowledge", and suggesting that is so far off base, as is demonstrated by our contributions here, that it makes the rest of your claims appear laughable.

No, there has not been censorship here. I already addressed that. Merely gainsaying my answer doesn't help advance your argument.

Yes, you found an answer that satisfies you. Great. Surely this diminishes the alleged crime, because we fail to stop you finding facts that apparently we wanted to suppress.

No, I don't have an "unknown agenda" - all of the decisions have been explained. Presumably your censorship claims are accusing the mods of being authoritarian and your answer apparently shows that authoritarians are not more unintelligent than the rest of the population, so us attempting to censor this seems rather counterproductive.

Yes, I locked a question. I didn't like to do it, but you edited it several times to change its meaning entirely, to score political points rather than improve it. I would rather it was unlocked, fixed up and perhaps reopened, if we can demonstrate it isn't a duplicate.

Yes, I deleted a duplicate question, which was openly posted to avoid a lock. No, it wasn't hidden from your history. The fact that you accuse us of that as well demonstrates that you are not approaching this with an open mind.

Yes, I see you edited this question to post a screenshot of that question here, even though it is only tangentially related to the question you asked here.

Yes, I see you have posted that screenshot on another site. The screenshot includes my comment of why it was deleted, so I am not terribly bothered. (The copyright lawyers can debate whether you posted sufficient attribution to satisfy the CC-BY-SA licence or whether it was Fair Use.)

Let's talk about how to improve your contributions:

  • Don't post duplicate questions. If the original is closed, fix it.
  • Don't edit questions on the main site to talk about meta-issues. Meta-issues belong on the meta site.
  • Don't edit questions on the meta-site to change their thrust. If you have a second issue, raise a second question.
  • Stop assuming mods are out to get you with an ulterior motive. Instead, consider whether we are instead being completely up-front with our comments and decisions.

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