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Politics is easily one of the most hostile topics to engage in. Also arguably one of the most important topics that we should engage in.

Is it conducive or constructive for moderators to act on their personal opinions in particular by closing questions showing significant effort?

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    The main site is mostly about governmental politics. I don't think the question fits there so I moved it to our meta site as it had already garnered two community votes to be moved here. This is mostly under the assumption that your question is about our site and our moderators.
    – JJJ Mod
    Nov 19, 2022 at 2:32
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    No, it wouldn't be, IF it was indeed a personal opinion and actually a thoughtful and valid question - which on past moderator action history is unlikely to be the case: by the time a mod intervenes there is most likely a good reason. The community as a whole tends to be more trigger-happy than mods. But you probably need to give some examples to get any kind of solid answer. Nov 19, 2022 at 2:35
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Indeed. There has been multiple questions that the community as a whole has voted to close but has been reopened by a moderator. That reopening is a rebuke against the trigger-happy community by the moderator. Nov 19, 2022 at 7:52
  • Objection: Loaded question. Nov 19, 2022 at 8:52
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    Please provide examples, either real or hypothetical.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 19, 2022 at 12:03
  • @StuartF "Please provide examples, either real or hypothetical." I could think of some such examples like moderators unilaterally closing questions as off-topic. Should I edit such an example in? Nov 19, 2022 at 12:45
  • FWIW if you were thinking about the Q you had a pending edit on, the person who posted it wrongly blamed moderators for closure. Every single close vote was from a non-mod. Nov 20, 2022 at 18:39

3 Answers 3

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It depends on what you mean by "did not like". The moderators did not like this question on the main site because it was off-topic for that site. It is on-topic here.

Moderators "do not like" questions that are off-topic because the questions asks about (for example) philosophy or history rather than politics. As there are overlaps between StackExchange sites, so questions that are only a somewhat questionable match as opposed to a complete mismatch are supposed to remain where they were asked. The moderators here generally follow that rule.

Moderators "do not like" questions that appear to be asked in bad faith and questions that ask for opinions and do not / cannot have a definitive answer. Those questions are rightfully closed.

Moderators "do not like" questions where it's not clear at all what the question is asking. Moderators (or the community) will close such questions, and perhaps later reopen them if the original poster has clarified the question. Most of those unclear questions however are drive-by questions, questions asked by a newcomer who never comes back.

Finally, regarding questions that are on-topic, are asked in good faith, and are clear about what is being asked, but are about topics that a moderator has strong political feelings: Moderators are not supposed to close or migrate such questions, and they generally do not do so.

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  • I dunno, I had a question deleted (not just closed) on meta.se because power users disagreed with the premise. Nov 19, 2022 at 8:53
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    @user253751 "Power users" or a moderator? As Italian Philosophers 4 Monica noted in a comment to the question, "the community as a whole tends to be more trigger-happy than mods." Once a non-moderator who has garnered sufficient points to enable them to be able to nominate a question for deletion, and then does so, other users can pile on. Moderators tend to be rather moderate in their moderation. The community as a whole, not so much. This question is about moderator actions as opposed to community actions. Nov 19, 2022 at 9:15
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Is it condusive or constructive for moderators to act on their personal opinions [..]?

Definitely a yes. Moderators are one of the most trusted members of this community. By electing them, we give them power to moderate the site. We trust that they are doing that in their best judgement and that this is the best way for moderators to actually do their work. They should feel free to use all the actions at their disposal according to their personal opinion. They should only feel accountable to meta, i.e. every moderator decision that is somehow in question by a user can be discussed on meta and consensus amongst the community should be restored. Moderators should respect any consensus that may have been established on meta. If they feel they cannot do that, they should step down from their role and new moderators should be elected.

I think that is a concise and workable model to allow efficient and fair moderation on this network.

P.S.: It is probably a good idea if a moderator who is unsure about a certain action first consults with fellow moderators before taking action.

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Correct. All answers are valid.

Politics, like religion, seldom have a [true-fact: Measurable] answer, as it lies in a philsophical domain.
Also; this is a hypothetical about the responsibilities of moderating such discussions; relevant to the goals of the forum.

Whats more, the complexity of the context of some questions may be hard to define.
Answers will inevitably be subjective, and often correct in each of their respective context.

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