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I answered the following answer to How can I ask an unfamiliar coworker to eat more quietly? enter image description here

Explaining to the asker that what he wants is not possible is perfectly fine on SE Is "Don't do it" a valid answer? This is not a controversial topic/post, the question is on topic and I didn't write anything rude.

My answer is similar to the first part of https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/2765/5412 which is highly upvoted and accepted. If what's missing is "As a human being, I'd be offended if..." I can add that. I don't have something comparable to the second part of that answer because I don't think it exists.

If you think that my answer is bad you should downvote not delete What do we delete, and what not?

General guidance as far as I've seen is that bad answers are downvoted, not deleted - Catija ♦

Why was my answer deleted?

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    Old proverb: "What cannot be cured must be endured." That's what I thought when I read the question, and that's what your answer said. I wouldn't kick the problem upstairs to my manager; managers like problem solvers not problem creators, and you would be creating a problem for the manager. Otherwise, I think it was a wise answer. – user1760 Nov 21 '17 at 2:37
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    I shall leave the task of writing a definitive answer here to the people who voted to delete, but it seems some members will cast delete votes upon an answer that does not offer an interpersonal solution. Such answers are deleted not for being bad (low quality) answers but because answers that suggest non-interpersonal solutions are considered off-topic for this website. – English Student Nov 21 '17 at 2:59
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I don't particularly like answers that say "There's no interpersonal solution here." Two points spring to mind:

  • It's very, very hard to show that there's no interpersonal solution to an interpersonal problem.
  • It's very, very easy to claim that there isn't and then write a non-IPS answer.

Problems arise when people think "Hm, I can't come up with a good interpersonal solution to this person's problem, buuut I can think of a good non-interpersonal solution" and proceed to post said solution. Allowing that is a pretty slippery slope to go down; it gives an easy backdoor for folks who just want to propose a non-IPS solution and don't care that the asker explicitly wants an interpersonal solution.

You stated

You can't!

without any real justification, and then gave a non-IPS solution. That's the kind of thing we really don't want. And so, as has been policy since August, your answer was deleted by the community.

As a reminder, to sort of paraphrase something Shog's said every now and again: This site is interpersonal.stackexchange.com, not ihaveaproblemandwantanysolution.stackexchange.com. There's a definitive difference.

  • Absolutely right @HDE 226868 -- thanks for maintaining consistent policy by deleting the other answer that also gave no interpersonal solution for OP. – English Student Nov 21 '17 at 17:15
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    Agreed. If someone is on IPS for answers, they probably want an IPS answer. If you can't think of an IPS answer, let someone else answer instead of claiming that it can't be done. – Jess K. Nov 21 '17 at 22:21
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I shall leave the task of writing a definitive answer here to the people who voted to delete, but it seems some members will cast delete votes upon an answer that does not offer an interpersonal solution, even if the non-interpersonal solution it suggests is possibly the best solution to the problem.

The underlying philosophy seems to be, if OP's question is deemed on-topic for IPS.SE then OP is presumed to be looking for an interpersonal solution. If the solution you have to offer is not an interpersonal solution then you should not post it here.

Such answers are deleted not for being bad (low quality) answers but because answers that suggest non-interpersonal solutions are considered off-topic for this website.

Another answer quite similar to yours has now apeared on the same question: https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/a/7029/381 It is not interpersonal because it suggests taking the matter to the HR section and letting them handle it.

I suppose that answer will also get deleted...

  • My IPS answer is that there is no way to solve this via IP interaction which is a valid answer on SE. I added a couple of lines suggesting non IPS solutions with the goal of helping OP, are you saying that it's better not to help people and no matter what never to offer non IPS solutions? – Oleg Nov 21 '17 at 3:11
  • I don't say it myself and I didn't vote to delete: but that is how the members would interpret what answer is off topic on IPS.SE, @Oleg. Now edited in this part: "The underlying philosophy seems to be, if OP's question is deemed on-topic for IPS.SE then OP is presumed to be looking for an interpersonal solution. If the solution you have to offer is not an interpersonal solution then you should not post it here." __ that seems to be the site opinion, not my personal opinion but I am not supposed to express my personal opinion on closure and deletion OK! – English Student Nov 21 '17 at 3:15
  • Ok, and what about an answer that says "There is no way to do it" (most of my answer except the last 2 lines), which is acceptable on SE (check the link from my question) is it not acceptable on IPS? – Oleg Nov 21 '17 at 3:17
  • "There is no way to do it" should be an acceptable answer even if others feel there are some ways to do it, @Oleg. In such cases I should simply recommend 'downvote if you disagree, no need to delete.' But some members might still delete it by saying that it contains no interpersonal solution for OP. We can wait for the delete-voters or some other users to give their valuable feedback here. – English Student Nov 21 '17 at 3:20

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