What significance could the information in Donald Trump's tax return have to his campaign?

We're having an issue right now. We have a Mod who selectively deleted many comments which were of a dissenting political opinion. This same Mod allowed other agreeable comments to stay - and then moved some other dissenting comments to chat.

This is a gross abuse of moderator privileges - enforcing a censorship of political opinion - in the Political Stack Exchange of all places!

The comments need to either ALL be deleted, ALL be moved to chat, or ALL left where they were. There is no excuse for censorship here.

We also need recourse against Moderator users who abuse their powers, such as in this case.

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    I think the bigger issue is why the question is left there as on-topic. The question is based on one politician's claim which can't be substantiated at this moment, thus inviting only opinion-based answers with references that have nothing to do with the claim. I think such politically motivated question, or any question that can generate only politically motivated and primarily-opinion based answers should be closed. I completely agree with your comments below. The solution is very simple. Close a question that leads to bad answers. Bad answers are always born out of a bad question.
    – Rathony
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 8:22
  • Disagree. Lots of perfectly legitimate and reasonable questions can produce bad answers.
    – ohwilleke Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 9:05

2 Answers 2


So here's how we're gonna do this: I've deleted all of the comments on that answer save for the one that directs folks to the chat room. Since you and others - and especially you - couldn't keep your commentary civil and focused on the answer, further comments may be unceremoniously deleted. If you have anything relevant to say, bring it to chat.

Otherwise, drop it. This isn't some national political debate; we expect folks to have manners here.

  • Bring that up as a separate discussion then, @Rathony. The issue here is an extreme number of irrelevant comments, not the question or the answers.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:38
  • Thank you! That's a FAR more fair response to take than what Sam was insisting. Thank you for weighing in on this issue.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 15:07

55 people have commented on that question, and it became a side-discussion. As some of you are aware, I delete what looks like side discussins.

The first handful of comments seemed to be asking for clarification on that answer, or were responding to comments asking for clarification, so I left them be.

Also, in case you're curious about how to handle moderator abuse, see What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused his/her privileges?

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    The first "handful" of comments are all derogatory towards Republican party members. You are imposing a bias and censoring anything that contradicts your political opinion. You cannot pick and choose comments to stay - you nuke them all or leave them all.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:25
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    The several comments you allowed to stay are just as off topic as the rest were. What does Romney's taxes have to do with the question????? Nothing. You allowed them to stay simply because they painted a negative picture of another Republican candidate, who also happens to be very wealthy. Take you bias and leave it someplace else when you moderate. You are a responsibility to be impartial - something you are failing to do spectacularly right now.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:28
  • Here's a nice quote from your link: "Which brings me to the best reason for just ignoring this entirely: regardless of what a given moderator's views are on a topic, he'll be expected to act fairly toward those who disagree with him and with whom he disagrees, regardless of the topic"
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:31
  • @SnakeDoc they were asking for clarification on the answer, not the question. My mistake. The answer did say something about Mitt Romney's tax returns. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:31
  • Are you now going to try to be fair?
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:33
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    @SnakeDoc I am trying to be fair. I've told you the rationale for my actions. I've told you how to resolve a dispute with a moderator, I haven't taken any retributive actions against you, and I'm going to let some other moderator resolve any flags you might have raised on the answer in question. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:37
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    @SnakeDoc I am not, however going to be your personal puppet-moderator by moderating only when I have permission from you. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:37
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    Look Sam - I'm simply trying to keep things fair. It's not fair to remove some comments and not others - especially when they are politically charged. Now, I would argue that on an entirely 100% opinion based exchange like Politics is, we should keep ALL comments since it's important to show there simply is not a single "right" answer for people's beliefs, particularly when they are controversial like the answer we're discussing - however I "get it" that the SE montra is "comments are not for discussion". I just ask you be fair and impartial. It boils my blood to see censorship here.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:38
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    I am not, however going to be your personal puppet-moderator by moderating only when I have permission from you. That's an uncalled-for characterization, and I resent that statement. I'm asking you be fair - not ask for permission before moderating! I called you out for not being fair, and I think we can be constructive here. But you have to be willing to understand your bias was showing a few minutes ago.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:40
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    @SnakeDoc and your insistence that I'm being Anti-Republican is puzzling, especially considering the one comment that I did not delete after moving comments to chat. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:45
  • You deleted a comment from a supposed auditor earlier, and you deleted many other comments offering explanation of why it makes sense to not release tax returns. You left other comments which are derogatory towards wealthy individuals as well as Republican candidates (former and present). That's the bias I'm talking about. Please delete ALL comments from all answers there, or restore the ones you selectively nuked.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 22:46
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    So you're insisting on imposing your political bias and censoring users?
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 23:01
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    @SnakeDoc No, I am not. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 23:02
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    Sam, I'm asking you to be impartial. So long as some comments remain, you are imposing your personal bias - and censoring other opinions. The most fair and impartial thing to do, would be to remove all of the comments... or restore all of the comments. It's your choice as the moderator, but being biased and censoring opinions is not a choice you're allowed to make. Please be fair. Or get another moderator to handle it for you.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 23:06
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    @SamIam - Having taken a look at the comments still on the answer, I would be inclined to say that everything should just get moved to chat. I think trying to walk the line between "Suggestion to improve the answer" and "commentary on the answer's politics" is too thin to try and walk. I don't agree with SnakeDoc that you're being unfair or biased, but I think the only way to deal with a minefield like that is blanket action.
    – Bobson
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 23:29

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