I have accidentally stumbled across this answer. It is clearly not a high quality answer, but the only justification for its abrupt deletion is an inappropriate reference in the first paragraph.

I am not arguing that it should not have been deleted, but I feel that it deserved passing it through a normal deletion queue. This feeling is doubled by the popularity of the answer (7 - 0 = 7). This would have allowed:

  • the author or another user to improve (suggest edit?) this answer
  • undelete votes from regular users

Question: Why was this answer deleted through direct moderator vote instead of low quality queue / normal delete vote?

  • 2
    Note that ordinary users can only cast delete votes on questions with negative scores, and that it's not possible to flag an answer with a high enough score as "low quality". Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 23:41

3 Answers 3


I deleted the answer because it was not an answer to the question. The question is asking for reasons stated by politicians of the Democrats. The answer was giving reasons stated by John Oliver (a comedian) and Jorge Ramos (a journalist).

I blame the popularity of the answer on the hot network question effect. HNQs tend to attract users from all over the network who aren't familiar with our policy of only posting strictly on-topic answers. They just see an answer which appeals to their political views and give it an upvote. We discussed this problem a lot in the past.

Due to this effect it is important that HNQs get a far stricter moderation than other questions. If we let such answers stay for too long, it gives new users the impression that this kind of answer is welcome on this site and leads to more of them being posted.

  • 5
    I am not sure I agree. Influential media personalities who openly support a political party (Oliver seems to fit the latter) would seem to be a valid set of viewpoints to include if you consider the rationale for asking about "what do politicians say". The main problem here is slippery slope (how far down the influence ladder do you include people?), but outside that technical scope issue, philosophically, what Oliver or Colbert say matters far more in practical US politics than some obscure state senator.
    – user4012
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 15:42
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    What about the (non-deleted) answers that just list reasons without attribution at all? Surely this answer is better than those?
    – user11249
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 14:16
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    @Carpetsmoker Two of the remaining answers had a lot more effort put into them, so I decided to give them a warning in form of a comment and a few days to add some sources. They didn't, so today I deleted them too.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 11:42

If someone flagged that answer as not an answer, I would have declined that flag.

I tend to handle NAA here the same way as it was handled on SO: If it looks like a genuine attempt to answer, the flag gets declined. Even if the answer looks like they misunderstood the question, I'd decline

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    I tend to agree with this approach as it also obeys (if I remember correctly) "the minimum interference principle" for mods. I guess this kind of answers lays in a grey area that allows multiple valid actions.
    – Alexei
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 16:03

Phillip, I, too, have had problems with how you've handled this question. It seems like you decided to limit the question in a way not specifically spelled out by the author, AND simultaneously you are using that limitation as justification to further limit (by deletion) answers. While I can understand your viewpoint (e.g. since the OP said Democrats as well as "united in opposition" he must have meant Politicians), I can also see that the viewpoint of abelenky is just as valid (e.g. HE, personally, is a Democrat). What this all sums up to me to equal, is a perceived misuse of diamond privileges.

Perhaps I have not been a part of this particular Exchange long enough, but I have not seen any other HNQ's with this same sort of limitation added. (It was, in fact, an HNQ that brought me here in the first place.)

Background, or where I'm coming from here...

I am a fairly high rep user in Travel.SE and we are having somewhat the same issue there right now. A newly elected diamond (mod) has started unilaterally closing/deleting answers, etc, when that is not the status quo. I know that having the diamond gives you a personal disadvantage in that you cannot participate in normal queue activity, since any vote by you (as a diamond) makes the vote 'stick', but this (all of SE) is supposed to be a community, where moderation is done by votes of the community. When a diamond makes their singular vote count as equivalent to the voices of several regular users (through normal queue operations and voting), there comes to be a sort of an unwritten vote of no-confidence, as it were. In Travel it has cost us at least one very well respected professional who left SE altogether.

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