When one down-votes or votes to close, you're supposed to offer a comment so people know why. Kind of a worthless request that people do so if the mods are just going to go and delete the comments that explain your actions.

I voted to close and down-voted a question because the claim being examined is completely lacking in noteworthiness, IMO. I left a comment on the question explaining why I felt it was not noteworthy, and that I voted to close and down-voted.

So the comment was deleted. Seems like specific feedback about why you feel a question is lacking and why you took specific actions would be "on topic."

Again, we seem to have the standard of if the mod does not agree, it gets obliterated, which is much, much worse on this particular stack than most others. I'd especially think a stack dedicated to objective skepticism would need less arbitrary actions from moderators.

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    _When one down-votes or votes to close, you're supposed to offer a comment so people know why. _ You're not really supposed to do that. Downvotes as well as close votes are self explanatory.
    – Magisch
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:14
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    @Magisch - Ummm, no, how is the reason "self-explanatory?" Anyone could down-vote for any reason under the sun. Why does the "close vote" mechanism have the ability to auto-comment for you? Why does a message sometimes pop up suggesting you leave a comment when you down-vote? Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:20
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    The Text when you hover over a question downvote is This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful That's all the explaination you need. Close votes even come with a dedicated detailed reason in the close banner.
    – Magisch
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:24
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    @Magisch - Those are generic, and not specific to anyone's reasons for downvoting. Close votes have reasons, and they also have some catch-alls, and they offer to post comments for certain ones. So, no, a generic "this is not useful" tells me nothing relevant about why someone might down-vote. The system actively suggests and offers to make comments in those situations. If the belief is that the reasons are sufficiently self-explanatory, they wouldn't have specifically built in those prompts. Why did I vote to close the question, specifically? Unless you read my comment, you can't tell. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:35
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    If the goal is to help improve questions and answers, both present and future, is "bad" enough detail to be helpful? The point isn't to just register votes for who gets kicked off the reality show island or to see who "wins," if I'm not mistaken. Your explanation also does not account for the oft-seen comments by the OP of questions or answers asking "why the down-votes?" Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 16:08
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    @PoloHoleSet It's an old debate, but the official position is there is no need to justify a vote. Stack Exchange could have made it compulsory otherwise, and it's been declined on Meta Stack Exchange multiple times. So that's really not in discussion. However, this does not impact IMO the point you are trying to make with the question.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 16:29
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    @Sklivvz - I'm not stating that it should be mandatory, but the system is certainly set up to encourage that kind of more detailed feedback. I'm questioning how helpful it is to actively remove it when it does show up. It's just a very-much-unverified feeling that a lot of useful content suffers if a mod is getting fed up with a lot of the other stuff that arises. The whole "baby with the bathwater" cliche. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 16:33

3 Answers 3


Regarding the following statement, which is disputed in the comments:

When one down-votes or votes to close, you're supposed to offer a comment so people know why.

You don't absolutely have to, but it's often considered helpful. In fact, low rep users get a reminder of this when they downvote a post.

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    That reminder was what I was referring to. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 13:45

The question was (eventually, after a few edits) about a statistic comparing the rate of deaths of policemen to the rate of deaths of unarmed black men.

A moment's thought revealed that using the comparison to make any conclusion about the acceptability of police shooting innocent people would be a False Equivalence fallacy. The comments quickly filled with people expressing this again, and again, and again, without improving the question.

So, I am sorry. There wasn't anything specific about your comment that was intrinsically bad - it was just that it was part of way too many comments making the same argument - and I couldn't see how to justify deleting some and not all.

On the other hand, comments are very much second-class citizens, and when in doubt, are deleted.


A lot of comments have been deleted on that question. The reasons are explained multiple times, basically moderation concerns -- nuking threads of people arguing about politics, and complaining that we don't let them do so, although that's exactly what we are meant to do.

Your comment was indeed not part of these arguments. However it was a pseudo-answer, the gist being "it's as expected so it's not noteworthy". I did not delete it, but triviality is not a good reason to vote to close.

Perhaps, considering the flame war that we've had in the other comments, you can repost it in a less inflammatory and more constructive form?

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    I'm not sure what you mean by that, honestly. Noteworthiness is one of the main reasons for closing questions. Asking about something completely and mundanely expected is noteworthy, how? Now, certainly, there is a kind of implied, other claim that the mundane part is meant to imply, but the implications and/or equivalence is considered off-limits, which leaves no particular reason for the core factual part to receive any kind of attention or consideration. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:00
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    @PoloHoleSet we have "do aliens exist?" "do atoms exist?" etc. why not this?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:03
  • It's my understanding that the "do atoms exist" is actually asked in a different context than just the existence of that unit of matter. I'd have to look at the context of the aliens question, but if it's asking if there's probably life elsewhere in the universe, at all, I'd certainly think that should be closed as not noteworthy. In any case, I'm not asking that mods close the question, I'm asking that my own explanation for why I voted to close not be deleted. I'm also not sure it was really a "pseudo answer," because answering "so what?" would be deleted as not answering the question. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:15
  • Did you, in fact, reverse my close vote, as a moderator, as well? If not, then I'm not sure why whether you agree with my vote to close is an issue. Indeed, that more bolsters the sometimes-made complaint of actions being about whether mods share the opinion than an objective standard. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:17
  • @PoloHoleSet I can't reverse your vote :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:21
  • It just seemed we were straying of the path a bit. Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:23

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