I find it a bit worrisome seeing how much moderation takes over on IPS.
My impression is that we are at a point where the close reasons are too far narrowed down. I understand that questions which are too broad or tempt to generate opinion based answers should be closed in general. But we should keep in mind, this concept, comes originally from SE-Sites having a technical background, where there in fact is usually one correct/best practice answer.
This isn't working the same way for IPS. There are a lot of factors influencing, what the best practice would be, what an efficient way would be, and almost never there is just that single correct way. And if there is, it depends on someones personality if it is even applicable or if there might not even another answer that looks first bad, but still has value for someone who might have a different background than OP.
Also I start getting the impression that the core community recently started closing questions, that exceeded our scope from a European culture point of view. Discouraging anyone posting questions, not of use for that "core community".
As said, I understand, why bad questions are important to get closed. But I feel like seeing a pattern that we are getting into a habit of considering everything close worthy, the moment an OP just makes us raise a little "?" in our mind. And I don't agree that every post not being 100% clear (for us) is something that should get closed.
We shouldn't forget that the whole IPS topic is about opinions. There is rarely ever a right or wrong not to mention having hard data on it, and even if, its still very cultural depending.
So speaking of Questions, here are a few examples of questions, I agree they are to some degree unclear/problematic. But I am not sure if they really should have been closed.
I know that questions asking for something being rude are generally(!!!) opinion based. But in my opinion we shouldn't see the "rude" keyword just as a insta closing reason. In this case there is a context that makes the question much less opinion based than the title makes it look like. Also in the end there is the question added
s there maybe a better way to phrase the question?
What makes it even less opinion based. Still it is opinion based, but again, to some degree the whole IPS topic is opinion based.
For this one the close reason is OT, cause asking for "What should I do?". I know, before editing, the phrasing was "What can someone do in such a situation to avoid embarrassment?" What I understand by our current policys is a reason to close it. OP got aware of it, and even edited his post asking now "What is the best possible way of handling this situation to avoid embarrassment?" I don't see this as any kind of "What should I do?" question. And to be honest, I also think even before he edited it, it was quite clear, that this wasn't what he was asking for. The only indicator had been the keywords in his question, which considered in their context FMPOV made it obvious that even then it wasn't a "What should I do?" kind of question.
For this one I have to say first, I see that this one might have legitimate reasons to be closed even beyond our current scope. But still I would have left it open. If we had some more insight about i.e. culture. So I disagree it being opinion based (at least to a degree that would make answering it problematic). As mentioned before, asking if something is rude or not is often resulting in a opinion based view point. BUT considering the context I think this is still answerable with not more influence of a opinion than most other answers on IPS would take into account.
For this one, yeah I was VTCing it too, by my understanding of our current policys, as the OP has quite a few aspects to consider. BUT they are countable. And I am not sure if we should consider something as "too broad" just because there is a lot to consider, as long the list of aspects to consider is not leading to a long list which would allow an almost infinite set of possible answers to arise. What here clearly wouldn't be the case.
I think I would find way more examples but I think this should be enough to give examples for my point. So this brings me to the aspect of how we are currently moderating answers, what I find even more worrisome.
Let me first summarize how our current moderation in that regards looks conceptional in my mind for me.
- We don't want answers to challange the frame of OP
- We want an answer to fully consider every aspect of OP
- We don't want answers in comments
- We want answers to have backup preferably based on hard data rather than on experiences one had
The problem with this is, it is hard to find any hard data on this topic if you aren't a specialist. And even the input I get from my therapist in my counseling sessions I wouldn't consider hard data, as he tailors his knowledge together with his experiences into aspects that might be useful for me. So why are we here expecting a higher standard, then I can actually expect in counseling appointments with my therapist? I mean if we get that, that's good and we should be happy. but we shouldn't set this as our measure of standards, as I feel like this scares of our community.
Also, challenging the frame of an OP, that's not generally a bad thing, especially if given good reasons. I agree that most frame challenges give very bad answers as they omit some important points making out the problem of an OP. But that's what downvotes are for, I don't see why there should be taken any additional moderation actions for this kind of answers.
Fully considering the aspects of OP's problem is something that should be appreciated an answer not doing it again is something that might be downvote worthy. But definitely nothing that should be deleted at all!!!! Keep in mind, the whole SE platform is meant for not just helping the person asking a specific question, but it is build with the idea of helping others facing similar problems and googling it, having a compact model to find answers to their solutions, rather than having to crawl through endless pages of forums. So even if an answer isn't helpful for OP as it just takes a part of the full aspect into account, it still might be an helpful answer for someone having a similar (not the same!) problem, finding that post by googling the title of it, as the title is breaking down to the same question a random internet person might have.
Especially since answers in comments are verboten, how someone can give useful input to OP? If your answer runs risk to be deleted to not fully address all aspects of OP ore somewhat being a frame challenge, but also totally not appreciating that input in comments. Does this mean, we don't want useful considerations being added at all, if they don't relate to the exact situation and full frame stated by OP?
If that is indeed the case, keep in mind how horribly discouraging this current state might become for the general community of our site.
I would like to give a few examples of answers here aswell, I read over the past days and would point out why I didn't find them as problematic as they had been handled. But since I can't access deleted answers, I can't find most of it anymore and can just give 2 examples here for those who can read deleted answers.
On this one there was yesterday an answer posted, it gave a few loose hints on how to act, which softly challenged the frame of the OP, tho nothing I would even have downvoted it for. Definitely not have upvoted it, but still no downvote. Then the answer mentioned considering it an option to ask the teacher about becoming his second wife. This was completely ignoring the cultural European background given by OP so here this clearly deserves downvotes. And I understand the embarrassment this created BUT again, some one googling a similar problematic and not coming from central European oriented culture might have still find that answer useful. So I don't understand why it had to be deleted. Deleting answers is for them being rude, harmful offensive or just spam. But not just for them being not very useful (Or even for OP's specific context unuseful at all, as long they still address the topic as such.) Also considering time zones. That answer yesterday quickly reached the threshold for VTDing and was deleted within a few hours. So that answer had not even the chance to find supporters from another cultural background to counteract the downvotes (It probably wouldn't have gotten anyways) and this reminds me somewhat even of censorship.
This post of me, had an answer advising some not so nice technique to achieve my goal. It had comments underneath it mentioning that the answer totally takes not the main problem of my OP into account. That was true. Still the answer in ti self advanced my field of view about what aspects play a role. So this answer totally wasn't answering my OP BUT it gave me useful insights so it was actually even helpful for ME (the OP!!!). And still the community deleted that answer for not fully addressing the main scope of my post. So that post isn't even available for me anymore.
This feels for me not like, how moderation should work in a free community driven moderation system.
And I think if we don't change anything, this will drive our scope policy into meaninglessness and on top scare away most of the community with different cultural background.
So my question, am I just seeing this too sensible, or can we agree that we are currently moderating somewhat too trigger happy?
I am not asking if these decisions were right or wrong, or what the community might have should done here different. I am aware that most of my examples are correctly treat the way they were by our current policies. I am asking here if we really should understand our policy in the way we currently do, as I think this will lead us to be too critical about posts, which in fact have an interpersonal skill background. But lack the clear phrasings to point that out. Or even questions, that get evaluated by the kind of answer they generate and vise versa. I don't think it is on the long run helpful, to close a question, judged by the answers its getting nor to moderate answers other then by voting for the applicability of a solution. Even if a answer might be harmful as it is being downvoted to hell and having comments noting on the lack of applicability or background, should be enough for sane beings to be aware of the answers quality and still it might be helpful. So my point is simply, shouldn't we give some more leeway in specific cases? especially since as mentioned the current core community is very fast in reacting and removing despite we are from a quite common cultural background that limits our judgment ability about what might or might not be possibly helpful for others