The reason

The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes as defined in the help center.

is being abused, to close, mute, and otherwise silence any questions, answers or comments about Russia, particularly if there is any sign of vaguely not-European, not-NATO, not-US perspective anywhere in the question, one of the answers, or any of the comments.

This means - even if a question is absolutely neutral (not pro western or pro Russian) it still gets closed. Even if a question has been open for over 5 years... it still gets closed. The only questions being left open, are questions that are blatantly obviously

... promot[ing] ... a specific political cause, group or politician (western politicians and press) ...

This is a serious issue for politics.stackexchange. If this continues, politics.stackexchange will become no more than a propaganda machine. Might as well rename it to politics.propaganda or propaganda.stackexchange. This is highly concerning, and unspeakably disappointing.

I would like to note, that politics is indeed a hard topic to moderate, as any answer can benefit one political entity or another. However, as it stands, there is an obvious bias to how this particular reason is being used to filter politics.stackexchange

  • 13
    'silence any discussion'... You do realize SE sites aren't for discussion about things, but for questions and answers? Sounds like the close reason is working exactly as intended. Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 10:48
  • 1
    @Tinkeringbell I reworded. Previously I used the word "discussion" loosely.
    – MishaP
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 11:13
  • 4
    Can you provide examples?
    – LShaver
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 12:41
  • 1
    @LShaver - politics.stackexchange.com/q/75338/26455
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 14:35
  • 3
    SE is a US site and Russia-US are at war. The whole world can see it. Its just not an officially declared war. Ok its almost officially declared: see senator Steny Hoyer. So do you expect a US site to support US enemies?
    – user44167
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:05
  • 3
    I expect a site that positions itself as a ground for people to ask questions and get answers, however bitter they may be, to do just that. Otherwise, rename the site to propaganda.stackexchange and keep at it
    – MishaP
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:15
  • 5
    @LShaver politics.stackexchange.com/questions/9497/… Here's another. Yes, I'm Russian, I also happen to be American (dual citizenship). Yes, I participated in both questions (either asked, or tried to answer). However, there are other questions that made it to my close queue for review with the exact same problem. I wouldn't even have paid attention, if it wasn't a particular user closing the questions, that has begun stalking my activity and closing nearly everything I touch. Ridiculous.
    – MishaP
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:29
  • 3
    And btw, @Raveesh I also find it disturbing, when people do not wish to hear both sides of a conflict. Blind obedience is a great definition for.... sects and cults - NOT what you would call a healthy community.
    – MishaP
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:32
  • 9
    @Raveesh politics SE isn't supposed to support anybody, neither US enemies nor the US. The asker is alleging that this site has a pro-US bias, which is a valid concern (note that I am not commenting on the existence or size of this bias) Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:42
  • 1
    @MishaP the question that you mentioned seems to be attacking Turkey (the question says Turkey "clearly feels it has a right to do as it pleases" which looks like it is saying that Turkey doesn't care about international law and does whatever it wants) which is why I voted to close it. Why the question was put in the close queue is unknown to me, but it doesn't have to be because that user was stalking you. That user uses this site a considerable amount, and likely just stumbled upon that question and believed it should be closed. Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 15:50
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    @Raveesh "So do you expect a US site to support US enemies?" doesn't make any sense. SE is not restricting Russia. Furthermore, Russian.SE, as well as RU.SO are both fully operational. You seem to imply that SE either currently doesn't support Russia or it shouldn't. We have clear evidence the former is not the case. For the latter - that's not a stance SE has shown to have interest in.
    – VLAZ
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 18:31
  • 2
    It might help to edit in examples of closures that you find dubious. Otherwise, it's kinda hard to evaluate the concern.
    – Nat
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 23:06
  • @VLAZ As for the "shouldn't" its really very simple: We shouldn't war
    – user44167
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 3:34

3 Answers 3


Why I voted to close that Q? Because it's an extremely cheesy one. I can probably ask 100 similar questions and copy-pasta your answer just replacing the country. Here's an exercise:

What gives Iran the right to fire 12 ballistic missiles at Erbil?

Answer (thanks to you):

UN Charter: Article 51

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

UN recognizes the right of independent states to use military force for the purpose of self defense, and does not impose limitations on the use of force for self defense, even for members of UN.

UN Definition of Aggression: http://www.un-documents.net/a29r3314.htm

Article 1:

Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this Definition.

Article 3:

Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of article 2, qualify as an act of aggression:

(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof,

As such, Turkey Iran has committed an act of aggression and Iraq may individually, or collectively with allies, use military force for the purpose of self defense.

The reason of training Kurds to fight terrorism Mossad “strategic centre” or any other reason for that matter, does not negate the act of aggression (i.e. the cause does not justify the means). Furthermore, Turkey Iran is actively fighting against Kurds Jews anywhere they can find them (genocide?)

And as you're somewhat new to the site; further reading: What is a "push question"?

I see the Q was edited and reopened in the meantime. The original had more ranty parts like this intro:

You all are probably aware of the recent conflict between Turkey and Russia after the downing of the two planes and the death of one of the pilots. While Turkey felt it had a right to down the Russian jets because they were flying too close to its territory without authorization, it clearly feels it has a right to do as it pleases: this article mentions some recent developments...

I think Turkey only shot down one Russian jet by the end of 2015 (when the Q was asked). The other "jet" was a helicopter shot down by rebels, possibly proxies of Turkey though. And Turkey claims the jet crossed in to its territory, not merely "flying too close to its territory without authorization", although Russia does claim the latter. So it wasn't too hard to get the impression the Q was mostly a rant against Turkey rather than wanting to find out any of the obvious international law stuff.

  • 1
    And you would be right. Most conflicts in the 21 century have been waged under the pretext "the end justifies the means". This is as true for NATO, as Russia. YOU may know the answer, YOU might think it obvious, but projecting YOUR perspective onto someone else is wrong. Whether or not a question is push, it's still a question, and still has an answer. Answer and move on, or leave it for someone else to answer. 10 questions about "is X attacking Y legal" won't change a thing. Silencing critical thinking and curiosity - will, in a bad way. EDIT: arguably all wars use the same pretext
    – MishaP
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 8:37
  • 3
    @MishaP we don't allow push questions on this site because while it may be a question with an answer, we only want medium-high quality questions and medium-high quality answers on this site (this is one of the founding principles of the Stack Exchange network as a whole), and push questions are not questions that we consider medium-high quality. Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 14:38
  • And a more practical reason is to avoid the worst of shitposting wars. politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3848/… Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 14:50
  • Also possibly related politics.stackexchange.com/questions/54611/… although I had noting to do with closing that. Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 1:10

There are certain propaganda patterns able to convince the reader yet unsuitable for the community site that does not accept push questions. They are recognized, and trigger rejection. The goal of valid question is "please help me to understand". The goal of push question is "I understand everything, I just want to convince you". You can read a bit here about the most common propaganda techniques. These are generally hated here to make the long story short.

It is often more about the style than about the content. Use neutral, balanced style. If you include some claims into your question, back them with reliable and independent sources. You may think that there are no trustworthy sources remaining in this world, but please still at least try your best. If you feel that your claims will be opposed, name the sources and cite the text from them, not just reference. Never just embed the expected answer right into your question. If you know the answer, why do you ask?

The goal of this community is to find the truth. When found, this truth should be enough. Trying to convince into something that is more than a truth (the lie, to tell otherwise) is outside the scope of this project. Or at least I hope so.

  • You should probably use terminology that makes sense in context. Spam on Stack Exchange is broader than an attempt to convince others; the appropriate term on Politics SE is a push question, i.e. a Question post that tries to push a political position.
    – Nij
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 21:27
  • What is the difference between "buy XYZ" or "vote for XYZ"? Both are spam.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 8:49
  • Spam has a definition. It is not equivalent to push questions. The question does not discuss spam posts, but is clearly referring to push questions.
    – Nij
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 9:04
  • 1
    I changed the wording.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 11:41

First it would help if you actually linked to a specific questions/answers, instead of making a general remark.

I have no idea, for example, why this one would be proving your point: +3/-1 is what it got. Wasn't closed, wasn't deleted.

On the other hand, the explanations why things got closed seem equally unconvincing, without concrete examples and links to said questions/answers.

Second, you are correct. There is a tendency to close/DV many Russia-supportive questions these days.

You do realize SE sites aren't for discussion about things, but for questions and answers?

to pick a comment, seems to me a fairly disingenuous, but highly upvoted argument.

Most questions will generate a bit of discussion/opinion, so arguing that ANY question which may generate SOME is taboo seems rank horse manure.

I recall an answer of mine getting off to a rocky start because I agreed with some concerns about Russia sanctions and fertilizers/grain exports. I am not defending my answer as such, but the first comment was "it seems you agree with the question! bad!".

Third, your premise is over-broad and over-general.

there is any sign of vaguely not-European, not-NATO, not-US perspective anywhere in the question

The second question I ever posted here, and most upvoted question, for me, to date is titled Is the US unusually prone to walking away from signed treaties/accords? : +71/-3, 12k views Clearly not a particularly negative response, to a not particularly positive question about the US.

Granted, many US/West-critical questions get DVed, but not all. There are plenty of pointy/snarky questions/answers about the US that get a good reception. For example, anything about climate change, police brutality, race relations.

When a party is perceived to be in the wrong, at least on some points, it does affect community response, no doubt.

Fourth: why any general tendency to DV a country?

Let's pretend for a second that we are living in 1969 and people are defending the US activities in Nam (which at that point including bombing Cambodia and Laos).

How do you think votes would be going? Sure, a good deal of US posters would be pro-USA, but remember that by that time there was also a sizable anti-war movement in the US. However, you could roughly expect most non-US voter to DV US activities.

We saw the same trend here on popularity with pro/anti Trump postings. For "pro" Trump postings, as soon as they diverged from being high-quality the DV and close hammer came down. Meanwhile questions like "Is Trump a fascist?" generated considerable discussion, but were hard to close.

So, yes, the popularity of any person/country/cause may influence the community's voting patterns. The community is mostly based in countries which do not think much good of the special military operation.

I am not defending it, but I am linking it to my second point, yes, there is a bias.

Fifth - the quality of pro-Russia posts is rather uneven.

Some are thoughtful and may raise good points to question the viewpoint presented in Western media and make people resentful and upset. It is regrettable when they get downvoted.

But some just seem to be regurgitating the media pronouncements of a country which claims there is no war going on and has laws sending people claiming otherwise to jail. For example claiming the Ukrainian government is run by Nazis.

Do you really expect those types of posts to do well? Why should they? And what they do is tar many of the better answers/questions with the same brush.

Another lot consists of essentially whataboutisms.

Sixth - the perception of Russia's activities is negative.

I use the word "perception" for a reason. Let's pretend for a second that many of the pro-Western posters are being misled by pro-US/pro-NATO propaganda.

Russia news is being dominated by reports of aggression against a smaller neighbor, vitriol from its government and reports of repeated attacks and atrocities against civilians.

IF you take the above as the context in which many posters respond to Russia-related questions/answers, what is so surprising about a general negative sentiment?

One fact that is not very much up for debate is the transition from we-shall-not-attack, pre February, to the invasion in February. Many of us just do not trust Putin's government one bit.

For myself, while I undoubtedly tend to vote following the patterns you criticize, I have also, at times, acted in the opposite direction, when reasonable questions/answers got closed or when unreasonable anti-Russian diatribe was posted. However, please remember I, like other users, am not a moderator and not obligated to follow a strict pattern of neutrality.

I will vote based on my perception of the facts and that perception is not currently favorable to a Putin-led Russia. If you disagree with that, convince me that that perception is invalid, don't insist on Russia's right to be seen favorably, or even neutrally, at this time.


I did upvote this Q. Downvote/upvote posts as you fit, but don't do it out of spite and appreciate that one of the values of this type of site is to have you question your assumptions and give you some insights on the viewpoints of others.

That's a symmetrical opinion about both sides of this debate.

Not really on topic here, but...

Please, people, don't carry over "keyboard warrior"-ing into real life. I am French and was living abroad during the Rainbow Warrior episode. It was thankfully short-lived news, but uncomfortable, esp after I initially confidently told my friends "no government would be stupid enough to bomb such an obvious target".

Many Russians expats probably think extremely poorly of Putin at this point or at least feel heavily embarrassed. Our local news (Vancouver) reported 82% of Russian expats supporting Ukraine, for whatever value you give to those "polls", 4-5 months back. Consider taking a page from Monty Python and don't ask about the "special military operation".

Be nice, Russians that you personally know probably didn't ask for this shit! And those they did, as my US buddies would say: 1st amendment!

NATO is not at war.

Peace, all.

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