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A moderator marked my answer as controversial (note: it is no longer marked that way). I don't understand why it was marked as such. The answer explains how Hamas can build rockets despite Gaza being blockaded by Israel. It's simply not that hard if your rockets are very bad. The answer's main source is a book and an interview by the American political scientist Norman Finkelstein. The facts and figures presented by Finkelstein are well-referenced and has not been challenged.

I think it is unfair for moderators to mark certain answers as controversial. Essentially it marks the answer as "dubious", "based on unreliable sources", or "opinionated". Moderators shouldn't take sides.

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I added the notice because your answer was attracting many flags and comments (see also Ekadh Singh's answer which explains the purpose of the notice). Most of these interactions were not constructive:

  • The answer was flagged as: 'Rude or abusive', "misinformation", and propaganda.

  • There was a debate in comments about the use of the term 'bottle rockets', the effectiveness of Hamas's rockets, and about unrelated statements by Hamas.

Because of that the notice seemed helpful in reminding people not to start a discussion in the comments.

I've removed the notice from your answer as the question is no longer on HNQ (that causes it to be viewed a lot more). I've added the notice to the question, just as a reminder.

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I think you misunderstood the meaning of the controversial post notice. The notice said

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked below. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice.

  1. Using comments only to suggest improvements is already a rule.
  2. The part about answers is irrelevant, and probably an error because this post notice is normally applied to questions
  3. The part about moderators removing debates, arguments, and opinions doesn’t mean they will remove those from your post, it means they will remove those from the comments on your post (or the answers on your post if your post was a question).

All in all, I don’t think the moderators were degrading the quality of your post, but simply acknowledging that it’s a controversial topic, and taking necessary action.

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  • Wouldn't it be better to place the tag on the question and not the answer? Because there are two other answers to the question and there are no tags on them. This suggests to me that the moderator who placed the tag thinks my answer is deficient. May 26 at 18:26
  • I didn't even notice that the text of the tag implies that the tag should only be placed on posts and not on answers. That makes placing it on my answer... drumroll... controversial! :) May 26 at 18:37
  • @BjörnLindqvist the moderators probably thought that your answer was controversial, while other answers wasn’t. Also, to respond to your second comment, it doesn’t make it controversial, it just makes it a small oversight moderators made. May 26 at 19:06
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    @BjörnLindqvist Post = "question or answer" in the SE lingo; it's the term to encompass both. Usually placing this notice is for when the comments devolve into a mess, especially when they continue to be a mess after multiple purges and already a move to chat. In some ways, it's tacit support from the moderators rather than criticism: effectively they're saying "there is nothing for moderators to do about this post, so even if you find it controversial make sure you are using the comments right". I do understand why it seems a bit like your answer itself is being called out, though. May 26 at 20:12
  • (and it does seem like the tag is meant specifically for questions and not for answers; have you flagged for a moderator to reconsider the placement?) May 26 at 20:14
  • @BryanKrause no but I did this May 26 at 20:30
  • @EkadhSingh Oops, I meant to direct that to Björn, suggesting contacting the moderators directly for things like this rather than raising on Meta (though Meta is appropriate, too, especially if there is disagreement or conflict). May 26 at 20:31
  • @BryanKrause No I haven't done that. Is there a procedure to get their attention about issues like this? May 26 at 21:02
  • @BjörnLindqvist You can always flag your own post as "in need of moderator intervention"; you'll get a prompt to enter your own custom message. A moderator will see your message with the post attached and can act as they feel appropriate. Generally moderators have a semi-official policy of avoiding responding to requests about their own actions/involvements (unless perhaps they are deciding to undo their own action) so it'll let another mod take a look. May 26 at 21:26
  • @BryanKrause Thank you! I did so and a moderator moved the tag so I guess think question isn't useful anymore. May 26 at 21:50
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    @BjörnLindqvist I believe the key here is/was that JJJ was alerted to your answer because more than one user placed flags on it, as some form of inappropriate. Once they started "paying attention to it" (your answer) they also noticed a rising number of comments on it. I would hazard a guess that the other answers did not have flags on them, which is why your answer was 'singled out'.
    – CGCampbell
    Jun 9 at 13:18

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