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8:45 AM
@quid Do you think it is proper behavior for a moderator to quote another user out of context then say that they will delete any further replies as "unnecessary". That's exactly what Asaf did here. He (or someone) instantaneously deleted my replies clarifying the out-of-context quote. This is not moderate behavior.
 
 
1 hour later…
10:02 AM
@BillDubuque misquoting would not be a proper behavior for anyone. The thread being convoluted I am not sure I get what exactly the misquotes are. I surmise at least part of it is the (implied) meaning of "global." For deleting, I think it can be a suitable course of action to set an end to a thread and to enforce it (it can also be a non-suitable course of action).
 
 
8 hours later…
6:10 PM
@quid How can you not be sure when you can see my replies that Asaf instantaneously deleted? It should be clear from my reply why removing the context makes it seem much more extreme than intended. Ditto for his attempt to put very extreme loaded words in my mouth, e.g. "shadowy", "puppet master", "conspiracy" etc. This is highly unfair, esp. when the person doing that has great power and abuses it by censoring clarifying replies.
Also, as I explained here, I wish to draw attention to this ugly tactic of attempting to insinuate fishy behavior by appealing to moderator-only visible data - conduct which violates mod agreements (not to mention common ethics).
 
7:00 PM
@BillDubuque the reason I was careful in my choice of words was that I had no overview about the entire thread. There are quite many comments. Put differently I offered a quick opinion, but did not study the situation carefully.
It seems to me that you did talk about "extreme censorship" and complained about secretive behavior by the moderators. Regarding the "global", arguably Asaf took what you said a step further but it seems to me that you did give the impression that considerable harm was caused by the removal. I would describe this as a common rhetorical procedure.
I think we should not blow this out of proportion.
I mean the entire exchange.
 
7:37 PM
@quid Those are not the words under discussion above. I'm sure you would be none to pleased if analogously I attempted to put loaded words into your mouth, and selectively quoted you out of context in order to make your positions seem much more extreme than intended, and then had your clarifying replies instantaneously deleted. Not to mention all of your deleted comments.
 
@BillDubuque the words were not specifically attributed to you. They were used by Asaf to describe the scenario you sketched out.
In any case, it seems that you did (do?) consider the following as being the case:
 
@quid Do you claim it is not true the said mod discussions and implementation of the remove-almost-every-HNQ was kept secret from the community? If so, please provide links to pages where the community was informed.
 
@BillDubuque not sure how this is related.
@quid It seems that you don't appreciate the severity of this matter. This is clearly the largest breach of trust by a mod team that has occurred in the decade this site has existed - even worse than the time that a former math mod knowingly violated the mod contract and divulged confidential user data - possibly damaging the academic career of a student. It's worse because it has caused much more global damage. For around a year or so the entire (SE) world has been robbed of the opportunity of receiving front-page exposure to possibly helpful mathematics. — Bill Dubuque 20 hours ago
No one can know how much damage that caused. It may have prevented budding students from viewing posts that sparked their interest in math. It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched. One need only peruse the biographies of leading scientists to understand the crucial role that serendipity plays in cross-pollination of math and science. — Bill Dubuque 20 hours ago
 
@quid Re: "the words were not attrubuted to you" SERIOUSLY? Then who were they attributed to, the man in the moon?
 
Especially "It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched."
@BillDubuque they were not attributed to anyone specifically.
 
7:49 PM
@quid Your stance is not realistic. Every reader is going to think I said those things since they are direct replies to me, I can't believe you are attempting to make such a weak defense of such highly unscrupulous argunmentation techniques.
 
@BillDubuque you cannot know what "every reader is going to think"
Now, can I call you a liar now? No. Because that's a way to speak.
 
@quid So much for hoping to have a reasonable conversation. It seems you simply want to defend your mod buddy so there is no point of continuing. But do please tell why you believe it was no secret.
 
@BillDubuque what are you talking about?
But maybe let me finish my thought first.
"It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched."
 
@quid Were not objecting to my use of the word "secret"? Or do you believe that is accurate?
 
@BillDubuque were did I object to the use of the word secret?
 
7:55 PM
Search for "secret" above. When you keep quoting me without saying what the purpose of doing so is then i am left guessing what your intent is.
 
I said that you 'complained about secretive behavior by the moderators'
 
@quid And the purpose of that remark was what?
 
@BillDubuque recall your narrative to make clear where the word "shadowy" came from.
Anyway I will finish my thought now.
"It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched."
You stated that it is "not at all far-fetched" that Asaf's actions "delay[ed] the solution of various major problems we face in the world"
 
I never used the word "shadowy". Please answer yes or no: do you believe that said mod discussion and implementation of this HNQ policy was kept secret from the community? If you cannot honestly answer this question then there can be no hope for further progress here.
 
@BillDubuque I never claimed that you used it. No one did. Let me finish my thought now.
"It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched."
You stated that it is "not at all far-fetched" that Asaf's actions "delay[ed] the solution of various major problems we face in the world"
 
8:00 PM
Please answer my question.
 
@BillDubuque later.
Don't interrupt all the time.
"It may have prevented scientists from seeing germs of math ideas that lead to breakthroughs in their field. Both of these could delay the solution of various major problems we face in the world. This is not at all far-fetched."
You stated that it is "not at all far-fetched" that Asaf's actions "delay[ed] the solution of various major problems we face in the world"
 
Ping me when you answer the question then I will return here. Bye.
 
Thus you clearly implied the potential for global damage also in a more broader sense.
I find it odd that you then complain that massively about out of context quotes.
The paraphrase of the narrative you give seems accurate.
It is not very clear what you object to.
Maybe you became embarased in the face of your own excesses.
To answer the question now @Bill, I explicitly said that the initial decision and implementation of the practice initially were kept intentionally low-profile or even secret. However, since about half a year now, it ought to be relatively well-known. Thus, I don't see what the objection is now. All it shows is that no one even cares much.
Or noted all that much.
Why? Well, there is the thing, we still had math questions in the HNQ.
If there would have been none at all, people at least on this site might have wondered why. But that was not the case, for we still had them.
We still display them, we just flip through them more quickly.
 
@quid While I agree that "the initial decision and implementation of the practice initially were kept intentionally low-profile or even secret", I see no basis for your claim that "since about half a year now, it ought to be relatively well-known". Why do you believe that? Why ought it be?
 
I don't get what the big deal is. Especially as you were (rightly) often quite vocal of the detrimental effects overexposure of a question can have. So, we rotate more quickly, since there is an abundant supply on the site.
@BillDubuque because there was a meta question about it.
More specfically a removal in the context of which the thing was discussed.
 
8:17 PM
@quid I explained at length in the meta question why I care. Do you think I do not sincerely believe what I wrote? Does it come as a surprise to you that there are pure mathematicians who care very deeply about the crucial role that math plays in making the world a better place?
 
@BillDubuque rather unrelated. In any case all those fancy integrals and other cruft rather will give the opposite idea.
 
@quid Which meta question?
 
@BillDubuque Theo's
16
Q: Under what criteria should we remove questions from the HNQ list?

Theo BenditSince the Hot Network Questions list was revamped 6 months ago, moderators have had the power to remove questions from the list. As Catija, the community manager for the SE network says, I recommend each site have a meta discussion with guidance for moderators about when - if ever - a questio...

It was already discussed.
Granted, not at the start. But by now it was. The point is moot by now.
And there one find (a comment posted after some time)
According to the query in @Martin 's prior comment, about 97.4% of the 500 questions removed by mods in the last 5 months were executed by Asaf. I don't think it is good that a single user execises so much control over what posts we expose to the global SE community. Many posts that would do a good job of educating global readers are wrongly being blocked — Bill Dubuque Oct 31 '19 at 17:30
 
It wasn't even clear to me at the time just how extreme this was .
 
It's old news.
@BillDubuque clearly you knew since month.
 
8:24 PM
@quid Not true
 
@BillDubuque what's not true. You were aware.
You even knew the query that you complained about was not provided by Asaf on the other thread.
What type of circus is that?
 
As I explained in the recent meta thread, the query posted there only shows the percentage of mod-removed questions that asaf was responsible for - not what percent of the total that is. I had no idea this was actually almost all questions. I would have objected just as strongly back then had I realized that.
Please stop making wrong guesses about what I (and others) knew
 
At least you knew that hundreds of questions were removed.
Having noted this comment now, I cannot take your outrage quite seriously anymore.
 
@quid Probably, but it never occurred to me that any mod would be so presumptuous to think that they could play God and remove almost all of them. I never imagined that our trust might be violated so deeply. Needless to say, I will now pay much closer attention in the future. If you keep ignoring what I write, and keep making guesses about what others knew, then of course there is no place for "seriously"
 
@BillDubuque well you wrote that "of the 500 questions removed by mods" it's not clear what the "probably" is needed for.
It's good if you pay close attention. Please also pay attention to the fact if there are math questions in the list. Possibly it could also make sense to study the quota rules.
 
8:37 PM
@quid Look, you know me well enough by now to know that I speak my mind as soon as I uncover problems like this. So it is absurd to (wrongly) assert that I knew about it back then and kept quiet. And it is quite tangential to the matter at hand.
@quid to you and mods: not "possibly", but definitely it "makes sense to study" the democratic charter of this platform that many of us fought for with blood, sweat and tears in the old days. Ditto for SE's claim that mod HNQ-removal is a "big hammer meant to be used sparingly". Ditto for the fact that there are supposed to be checks and balances on the mod team to prevent any member from going rogue.
 
@BillDubuque who are you quoting?
 
@quid Please be more specific.
 
@BillDubuque I don't get the quotes around makes sense to study
 
@quid You gave me some study recommendations right above that. I replied in kind. How could you miss that those were your words right above?
 
@BillDubuque ah. I indeed I could've noted, but I did not suspect that you engage in that form of parotting.
 
8:52 PM
@quid I don't know what you mean by that. The recommendations are quite sincere, in case that was not clear.
 
@BillDubuque I "mean by that" that I find this practice childish "in case that was not clear"
 
@quid I'm not interested in going down meta-meta level linguistic tangents. Again, the recommendations are sincere.
 
@BillDubuque yes, I'll take them on board.
 
For the record the exact SE quote should be "This tool is a big gun and should be used sparingly". Close but no cigar... Thanks to Aloizio for making that more widely known (clearly at least one mod knew about it)
 
The recommendations are like perfume.
 
9:00 PM
@quid Do you feel the same about democracy, freedom of speech etc? Were you raised in a democratic society?
 
@BillDubuque there is no democracy on SE.
 
@quid Maybe not with this mod team, but there was much more so with prior teams.
 
@BillDubuque the only thing resembling a democratic process on SE are the moderator elections. If you care so much about democracy you should respect that we, the moderators, represent the will of the community.
 
In any case, thanks for your time. Even though we may disagree on some matters it's nice to know that at least you care enough to attempt to understand the concerns of your peers.
 
@BillDubuque sure.
One more remark about SE and the HNQ.
 
9:04 PM
Back to the grind ... hopefully some sensible compromise will be reached on the HNQ.
 
They had no problem to permanently and on a whim ditch an entire site completely from the HNQ.
 
@quid Very interesting. Where can I learn more about that?
 
sorry for interrupting but a user is bothering me, I have flagged
was on meta
 
9:22 PM
@Magic_Isa I'll have a look.
@BillDubuque for example medium.com/@cellio/…
 
@quid ok thanks, notice it's not the first time that the user bothers me, I have explained briefly on the flag.
Although it's my first flag on that user's comment directly to me
 
@Magic_Isa It seems like good advice presented in a positive spirit. I still removed the part you did not like.
 
@quid no, it's not because there is a background. And its not that 'I don't like that part'. At this point, given that it's like the third time this user insist on saying such things. I mean, think about. wouldn't you be annoyed?
 
9:38 PM
@Magic_Isa I don't know. Hard to be sure in abstract. Maybe. Can we keep the edited version? I still think the comment was a kind one. But we can remove it too.
 
@quid and let me tell you that it's annoying. why? because I clearly stated "that's not how it is", I actually apologize for the confusion to a specific user.. yet, this user insist and insist
@quid leave it as it was originally or delete it completely. Now it's totally altered..
 
@Magic_Isa Totally altered? I deleted the final phrase.
 
:) But what was the point? stay focused quid. I have just said: this user keeps saying lies under my post or pinging me to say such mean things, ok?
 
@Magic_Isa the user offered some good advice.
 
right. and Also said that I ranted, when I didn't. had I did it, some users would have said that too, but absolutely none said that, they said many things except: ranting. And this user keeps saying it.
because it's like the 3rd 4th time
actually in that post, none said mean things to me
until today
anyway I know you are on their side, I can see why too, so it's pointless to keep talking.
 
9:57 PM
@Magic_Isa the meaning of "rant" in that context, is not as negative as you might think it is.
 

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