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On December 19, 2023 I posted an answer to the question What alternatives do supporters of ceasefire consider for Israel rather than eliminating Hamas?. A day later it was deleted by moderator CDJB as "not an answer". I disagree with that because the answer outlines what "supporters of ceasefire" see as Israel's options. Though the answer is long so perhaps CDJB missed it. However, I think it would be prudent of them to ask me to clarify the answer rather than simply deleting it outright. The answer had received upvotes so others probably didn't find it that bad. Anyway, I immediately flagged the answer to get some feedback from the responsible moderator which I have not received.

So my questions are:

  • How do I get a moderator to take a second look at a deleted answer? Flagging it didn't hep.
  • Can I post a new similar answer using the same sources which clarifies how and why it answers the question? Or would that be seen as skirting the rules?
  • If I can't do that, is my only option to edit the deleted answer and hope that CDJB eventually agrees to an undelete?

Screenshot of the answer:

Screenshot of my answer

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    Please, do not post screenshots of deleted answers. You can link to deleted answers for context. But posting their screenshots makes them viewable to users with insufficient privileges to view deleted answers. Please, do not try to undermine the reputation system which is established on the site.
    – wrod
    Jan 6 at 15:18
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    I added the screenshot per Joe W's request. I agree with their reasoning. The text of the answer provides important context to users whose reputation is too low to read deleted answers. Jan 6 at 15:45
  • I think we have outlined the priorities which are in conflict here. Since only one of them can prevail, I'll flag and let a moderator decide which priority is more important.
    – wrod
    Jan 6 at 15:55
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    As CDJB mentioned, the answer was deleted for being (in their opinion) not relevant to the question. Of course that doesn't apply here, so I can see no harm in the screenshot being posted.
    – Ben Cohen
    Jan 6 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

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I deleted the answer because it was collecting flags, and because on reviewing the answer I did not see it as answering the question.

The question asks "What alternatives do supporters of ceasefire consider for Israel rather than eliminating Hamas?". The first roughly 80% of the answer examines quotes from various Israeli politicians who do not support a ceasefire.

It goes on to cite Gershon Baskin in an article as suggesting that the only way to secure the release of hostages is to negotiate a prisoner exchange. This is the only part of the post that I saw as directly related to the question, however it could be improved by expanding on his support for a ceasefire - if indeed he does, as I cannot check the article due to a paywall.

It concludes by citing various individuals and groups suggesting that Israel cannot achieve its stated goals through violence, but does not expanding on their suggested alternatives.

Due to a combination of (as I saw it) the vast majority of the answer not being relevant to the question, the question being highly active, and the existing flags on the answer, I decided to delete it.

How do I get a moderator to take a second look at a deleted answer? Flagging it didn't hep.

When you flagged the answer after its deletion, I asked another moderator to review the post in the moderator chat. I can see that your flag was resolved by one of them with an explanation of why they thought that the post should not be undeleted. (You can see that here)

Can I post a new similar answer using the same sources which clarifies how and why it answers the question? Or would that be seen as skirting the rules?

It would be preferable to edit your existing answer taking on board the suggestions in the response to your flag, and then flag it to again be reviewed by a moderator.

In general, though, if you have a question about moderator actions it's always best to write a meta post as there is only a limited character space available to us in flag responses.

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    What you call is "editorializing" is explaining the rationale behind Israel's actions and why the question's premises are incorrect. If multiple politicians state that the goal is to destroy Gaza one can assume that the goal isn't (only) destroy Hamas and free the hostages. Especially not when sources say that destroying Hamas is impossible and that bombing Gaza puts the hostages lives in danger. That most ceasefire proponents say Israel should "do something else" (e.g "Mike should not eat apple, he should eat some other fruit"), without specifying what "else" is, is not the answer's fault. Jan 5 at 19:38
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    Furthermore, I thought moderator deletions were for handing spam and things breaking the rules. For other material there are community processes for downvoting and deleting. So I'm a little peeved that you use your privileges to manage "content disputes". If someone doesn't like my answer, they can downvote it, comment on it, and I can try and fix it. But now the answer remains deleted until I rewrite it to become acceptable to you. Certainly doesn't seem right for politics SE where there often is no right and wrong and multiple opposing viewpoints can be valid. Jan 5 at 19:49
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    You are incorrect that moderators are not here to support curation. Moderators should be deleting posts that draw significantly more flags, especially when those flags are only soluble by moderators.
    – Nij
    Jan 5 at 20:14
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    I am somewhat concerned by your wording "the existing flags on the answer". Surely flags should only be taken into account if they are relevant? Their mere existance should not contribute to the deleting of an answer.
    – Ben Cohen
    Jan 5 at 21:24
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    @political_noob Perhaps poor wording - I mean to say that my attention was brought to the answer by the flags on it.
    – CDJB Mod
    Jan 6 at 16:10
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    @CDJB I have tidied up my answer and made it clearer how it answers the question. Can you please undelete it now? Jan 10 at 12:50
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    @StandwithGaza I'm on holiday at the moment but if you flag it then one of the other mods will be able to look at it
    – CDJB Mod
    Jan 10 at 13:17
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You make a meta post about that post asking why it was deleted. In that post you should include several things to help it get answered.

  • An explanation of why you think it shouldn't have been deleted
  • A link to the post in question so that users can see it and understand what is being asked about
  • A screen shot if possible for users who are not able to see deleted posts

Posting like this will allow moderators (including the one who deleted it) to review and explain why the action happened. This can also include undeleting the post if it is determined that it was improperly deleted.

This also allows for other users to provide feedback which can be useful in getting a post undeleted either through a change in opinion or providing information on fixing it enough to get it undeleted.

And it should be noted that the person who deleted it did explain why they deleted it.

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Your answer was a frame challenge to the question. In general, frame challenges on this site seem to be accepted. I have come across many highly voted answers that challenge one or more premises of a question rather than directly respond to the query. Here for example is one such.

Perhaps if you make it clearer at the start of your response that your response is a frame challenge and how, the answer will be undeleted?

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    I was going to post this too - Yes, it is a "frame challenge" as the OP does say in the answer "but your question is flawed in that you assume freeing the captured Israelis and eliminating Hamas are Israel's primary goals. (Interestingly, the most upvoted answer is also a "frame challenge"). In such cases, OP needs to edit the answer to mention that in the beginning of the answer itself, and click Undelete. This will bring it back to the review queues where the community will evaluate the answer again. (And I think people can comment and offer more feedback).
    – sfxedit
    Jan 5 at 18:39
  • Can you explain what you mean by "frame challenge"? I'm not familiar with the concept but I can guess. E.g if you ask "What fruit other than apple can Mike eat?" then a frame challenge and a sound answer would be to state that "Mike can eat any other fruit" even if you don't say whether that fruit is pear or banana. Jan 5 at 19:07
  • I wouldn't really consider your example a frame challenge. From my understanding a frame challenge is where you question one of the premises a question is built on. So to take your example and continue with it, it would be to respond by saying something like "Your assumption that Mike can only eat fruit is wrong. He could have a carrot."
    – Ben Cohen
    Jan 5 at 21:21

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