I use Stack Exchange sites because they tend to stick with topical questions and not get wrapped up in the distractions of a site like reddit. However, briefly visiting the politics stack exchange today has made me surprised it is allowed on the network at all. I asked a literal civics question and was quickly downvoted without comment, and when I asked for comment all I got was a sarcastic reply that didn't address the question. So I started clicking into other questions to see if my experience is unique, and I actually find this to be a common pattern on most questions across the site. It really seems to be a dark mark on the stack exchange brand so I'm wondering what are the steps we can follow to get the administrators to close down the politics stack exchange?

  • 11
    Wanting an entire website to be shut down just because your question got three downvotes seems like a bit of an overreaction IMHO.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 2, 2021 at 9:11
  • On a scale of questions I see on this site, I rate your question as 'eh'. Not the downvote-closehammer type, not one I find particularly interesting, not a good question in any sense of the word. On Chemistry.SE (the site I have most rep on), it would be a question of the type 'what would happen if I mix <X> and <Y>? Could I make <material> that way?' --- not a question that would attract many favourable reactions but also not blatantly in violation of site policies.
    – Jan
    Aug 6, 2021 at 15:07

3 Answers 3


It really seems to be a dark mark on the stack exchange brand so I'm wondering what are the steps we can follow to get the administrators to close down the politics stack exchange?

I don't think such steps exist. From a post on main meta addressing site closure:

What does this mean? If there's enough moderation for a public beta site to consistently remain free of spam, for flags to be cleared, and for our Code of Conduct to be upheld, your site will remain open. However, if community leaders drop off, flags sit without being addressed, and we can’t find any suitable volunteers to step forward, the site gets closed.

As of this post, not a single site currently active in our network is at risk of being closed. Closing public beta sites is a rare occurrence; we expect it to stay that way.

I understand that your post here stems from a bad experience on our site. The comment I think you're referring to might seem sarcastic, but it also raises a relevant point, namely that actions don't exist in a vacuum; they have consequences. Especially in the realm of diplomacy, countries can do a whole lot but not without facing consequences. I think that's what the comment is trying to convey.

With that knowledge on diplomacy, the question may be less interesting. Furthermore, the question lacks background (e.g. there's no relation to contemporary politics) or basic research. I also couldn't help but notice that you tagged your question about the US dollar as a reserve currency with the country tags and but not . Taken individually, none of these things are wrong, but it may lead users to vote down. See also the meta guidance on receiving down votes.

If you want to improve your question, feel free to ask more specific feedback or start your question in the sandbox.

  • Thank you for the very informative and kindly sourced answer. Aug 8, 2021 at 16:27

The main issue with your question (which I neither saw nor voted on, incidentally, prior to now) is that it's one of those 'Yeah, well, but...' questions. There are a billion such, usually involving an idle speculation about something that is such a violation of conventional norms, practices, and/or ethics that no one in their right mind would actually consider doing it. For examples:

  • Could the US nuke Country X in order to [yadda yadda]?
  • Could the President simply refuse to leave office and claim another term?
  • Can police officers decide to withhold services from a community?
  • Can small religious groups secede from the US?

The only answer to all these questions is "Yeah, well, but...". Obviously all of these things could be done. Equally obviously, anyone doing so is going to create a firestorm scaled somewhere between Waco and Armageddon. Consider this from the perspective of people trying to answer the question. Do we assume that the OP is actually so naïve as to not recognize the complete havoc this action would create? Or do we assume that the OP is perfectly aware that the action would have destructive consequences, and either doesn't care or thinks that's good thing?

Better to close the question pro tem and force the OP to clarify whether they are being overly innocent or mildly sociopathic...

What you suggested in your question would break economic norms, violate international treaties, tank the US' international reputation, send the stock markets reeling, and possibly collapse the entire global economy into a smoking ruin. I mean:

  • Could the Fed do that? Arguably yeah...
  • Is there anyone who would actually do that? Well, arguably yeah (there's always someone willing to stick their head in a meat-grinder on a dare)...
  • Is this something worth thinking, talking, or worrying about? No, not unless you're writing the next Bond supervillain, or have an actual malignant psychopath in office...

There are plenty of difficult things in the world to think about without idly speculating about wild and crazy scenarios.


Although I didn't vote on it at the time, your question was rightfully closed as unclear because of a number of issues:

  • You mention that some countries hold a lot of dollars... presumably you might be thinking of China who used to hold the most, but China does not hold most as a "ledger" in quite the way you present the rest of the question. As I mentioned in a comment, one would need address cash, bonds, and the ledger you talk about separately. Iran for example has to deal in cash dollars. Your follow-up question in a comment "How are dollars held in a foreign bank that isn't chartered or run by the Federal Reserve?" highlights these confusions. Frankly these are better answered on econ SE. (And if you are thinking about actual/significant foreign reserves, which are actually held as bonds, there's the fairly complex issue of selective defaults to discuss.)

  • As for the possible political angle, "could" the Fed do this under what circumstances? Present laws and a the whim of the POTUS? A declaration of war by Congress? Or maybe some new sanctions/laws passed by Congress? Etc. Of further note, historically speaking, even during wars, the US did not "set to zero" such ledgers, but froze assets, including those of foreign nationals in enemy-occupied countries.

Your question is basically too broad as it stands and probably based on incorrect [and unstated] assumptions. An answer would have to go through all of those... even assuming you don't care about the additional fallout from Ted's answer.

And, yeah, ranting about closing the site because your question was not well received never goes well...


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