I can only conclude this is the case. In this question, there was a comment made by another person saying "it's usual dictator stuff". The comment, along with other comment surrounding it, were removed. I thought this was fishy. On the other hand, I clearly remember this site once having comments denying the holocaust with links pointing to neo-nazi sites that were only deleted after weeks.

I asked another question, in which I called the Turkish president a dictator. This question was outright deleted without warning.

Contrary to what I am accused of in the comments, my question was neither a rant against Erdoan, nor a personal attack against him. I have absolutely no ties with Turkey, and I have nothing personal against him, as Phillip claims, neither this is a rant, as someone else claims. (On the other hand I personally find Erdogan very amusing and funny.)

However my personal opinion does not matter, what does however matter is that I really geniunely ask myself why he didn't cheat more on the referendum, and I get my question outright deleted - that's right not edited or even closed but deleted. This is really an extreme measure and make me wonder that there's something really wrong about how this site is administrated.

I'm used to get a rain of downvotes and/or close votes with any question which is not perfect, as it seem to be the norm here. Even some questions which end up popular makes a start like that - it's usual stackexchange stuff. However it's the 1st and only time I had a question deleted before 24 hours!

This leads me to a few conclusion

  • Either using the word "dictator" is taboo on this site. Then it's no problem, I'd like my question edited to remove this word, and possibly tone down the question, problem solved. No need for extreme measures.
  • Either there is serious political bias on this site and some criticising voices are shutted down - but I don't think it can possibly be the case as the ruler of Turkey was already critiqued in other questions and answer and this didn't cause any problems.

3 Answers 3


The problem isn't that you called Erdoğan a dictator; the problem is that the question is based on the highly dubious premise that Erdoğan rigged the elections.

It's like asking "Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya and a communist. How does he plan to dismantle Christianity and capitalism in the United States?" or "Donald Trump is a neo-Nazi. How does he plan to handle the 'Jewish question'?".

These examples are more extreme than your question, but they suffer from the same problem:there is a certain assumption that's highly controversial, and without this assumption the entire question becomes meaningless.

It's certainly possible that Erdoğan rigged the elections; perhaps a reasonable person could even consider it likely. But at this point, there is zero evidence, and it's simply too soon to tell. For this question to be asked on this site, we first need to establish whether or not Erdoğan did actually rig the elections (there is already a question about that by the way: Was the Turkish 2017 constitutional referendum held democratically?).

Remember, this isn't a discussion platform or Facebook or Reddit or Twitter or any of these things. The primary raison d'être for the site is a platform where people with expertise can explain things in a reasonably neutral fashion. Some opinion is okay, but "explaining" something that may not have happened at all seems a bit strange :-)

Should the question have been deleted this fast? Well, the thing is that I don't really see any way of salvaging it without significantly altering the question's meaning, so the only way I can see this question can end is close votes + downvotes → discussion in the comments → waiting time → eventual cleanup by automatic deletion (probably) or by delete votes.

It seems to me that we might as well save everyone time and effort and just delete it now?

I clearly remember this site once having comments denying the holocaust with links pointing to neo-Nazi sites that were only deleted after weeks.

Then this was a mistake. If you see something like this: flag it! If action isn't taken in a reasonable period of time: bring it up on meta!

This has exactly nothing to do with your question, though. Just because a mistake was made in another case doesn't mean we should now repeat it :-)

  • I agree with your point it's too soon to answer. This is however in contradiction with the asserion the question can't be salvaged - since that means that later we'll have more evidences and that'd lead to answers. Also, this still does not justify extreme measures like deletion.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:27
  • @Bregalad I don't think adding speculative questions that could perhaps maybe possibly be answered at some unspecified date in the future adds a whole lot of value to the platform. If reasonable evidence of election fraud becomes available in the future, you could re-ask the question or get the existing one undeleted. Until such time however, let's focus on questions that can actually be answered :-)
    – user11249
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:31
  • You got a point, however it's misleading to think my question can only be answered if there's a fraud. If there was no fraud, my question is even more pertinent - why wasn't there a fraud then ?
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:34
  • We don't know if there was or wasn't @Bregalad, but these sort of speculative/broad questions isn't what we do here. We focus on questions that can be reasonably definitively answered. Again, it's not a blogging platform.
    – user11249
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 10:10
  • Thanks, @Carpetsmoker. This answer explains my reasoning spot on.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 12:18

It's not so much the word "Dictator" as it is the ranting.

A rant with a token question tacked onto the end like the question you posted should and will get closed or deleted.

Ranty non-constructive comments also get deleted. A comment is considered non-constructive based on it's ability to lead to improvement of the question/answer, although in this particular case, it was a ranty obsolete comment, since an answer with the same content had been posted. ("obsolete") is another official reason to delete comments.

see https://politics.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …
your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

  • I was not ranting, I was geniunly trying to understand why turkey's dictatorship allows their oponents to win 49% of the votes while others dictatorships don't. What makes you think I was ranting ?
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 18:37
  • 5
    @Bregalad It looks like you're ranting because you use 2 lines to actually ask that question, and 22 lines to tell us how much of a dictator he is. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 21:00

First, the comments on my Erdoğan question:

enter image description here

JonathanReez's comment, which I'm assuming is the one you are referring to, is an attempt to answer the question ("the old terms were under the previous rules so they don't count"). This is not ok, comments are not meant for answers, and this alone would be reason enough to remove it.

Nevertheless, I only deleted it after Panda posted their answer, which basically says the same thing (but in a much more informative way). After the answer was posted, JonathanReez's comment was obsolete, therefore I saw no good reason to keep it around. Their characterization of Erdoğan, although a tad annoying, wasn't a factor in the comment's removal.

Now, for the alleged "comments denying the holocaust with links pointing to neo-nazi sites". I took a quick look at your flagging history and did not find any such comments. In the future, if you spot comments you feel do not belong on the site please let us know by flagging them. We cannot remove comments we don't know about.

As for your recent question, I'm sorry but I simply don't see how it's an honest question, presented from a neutral point of view. You don't just call Erdoğan a dictator, you spend three paragraphs - the majority of the text of your question - to do so. That's not a question, that's a blog post at best, a very loaded rant at worst. The fact that you added a sentence with a question mark at the end does not magically transform your rant to a question.

I do not see how the question is salvageable, and I agree with Philipp's decision to delete it. That said, nothing stopping you from editing it if you feel you can tone it down and present it in a (somewhat) neutral point of view. If you do so, please flag it for moderation attention so we can review your edits.

Lastly, using the word "dictator" is not taboo on this site. A simple search is all it takes to show that we do not remove content simply because it contains the word "dictator".

  • So, when posting questions which are short, they are usually downvoted and close-voted because they don't show enough preliminary research. But then I get criticized because I developped the issue in 3 paragraphs. How does this makes any sense ?! If the paragraphs were the only issues they could have been edited out - no need for extreme measure like deletion of the question.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:30
  • 3
    @Bregalad I disagree that your 3 paragraphs "developed the issue". You very strongly and very one-sidedly presented an controversial opinion, not much development there. Your "question" does not make any sense outside the very narrow limits you've set; namely that Erdoğan is a ruthless dictator with absolute power. You are asking us "why he didn't cheat more", without first establishing that he actually did cheat in the first place. I don't see any way to salvage that simply by editing. If you do, please go ahead and edit it.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:44
  • For example we can edit "why didn't he cheat more" into "why didn't he cheat" and this removes the premise he cheated (however, it also adds the premise he didn't cheat - which is just as controversial).
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 9:20
  • @Bregalad Again: Your question only makes sense if you blindly accept the premise that Erdoğan is a ruthless dictator with absolute power. That is not something everyone agrees on. More importantly, that is not something that can be proven at this time. "why didn't he cheat" only works if you unquestionably agree that Erdoğan has both the means, the reason and a will to cheat. If you think Erdoğan is a dictator, so be it. And, to be perfectly honest, I don't necessarily disagree with you. But please realise that this is just an opinion, not exactly solid ground to build questions upon.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 9:59
  • So basically we both agree he rules with dictatorial style, but my question is deleted because "some people will disagree" ?! Because my question was offensive for Erdogan supporters ? (If so it could just have been toned down, not deleted.)
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 14:56
  • Also If you do, please go ahead and edit it it's not possible to edit, since the question is deleted. This post has been deleted - no more edits are allowed.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 15:03
  • 1
    Oh, I didn't know that @Bregalad. Normally if you delete a post you can still edit it, but not when it's been mod-deleted I guess? I suspect that Yannis didn't either.
    – user11249
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 20:08
  • Apologies @Bregalad, I was under the impression you can always edit your own posts, even if they are deleted. That used to be the case, it appears it's not anymore.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 6:30
  • I could edit that post, though. Even though it was deleted. Maybe it's a reputation thing?
    – user11249
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 10:38
  • @Bregalad Short questions get downvoted? The top voted questions on this website are all surprisingly short.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 12:23
  • @Philipp Apparently those were upvoted because they said donald trump this donald trump that and it seems to interest lots of people. But generally speaking in the SE communities, short questions are criticized for lacking preliminary research and often downvoted/closed.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 12:26
  • "Too short" is not a close reason @Bregalad. Usually the problem is that those questions are unclear ("how do I frob my 13 squighlies?"), too broad ("How can I make a web app?"), duplicates ("how do I parse JSON?"), so basic that asking questions shows a lack of basic understanding ("How do I add two numbers?"), or they're just a task assignment ("please write a program to do such and such", especially on Stack Overflow this is an issue). These questions tend to be short, but that's not the reason they get downvotes. Correlation does not mean causation!
    – user11249
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 15:39

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