There's a specific moderator who keeps following me around on this forum and unilaterally deleting my useful answers, writing them off as "rants" within minutes of posting with no consideration of the answers' merits or how useful they are. Where can I report toxic behavior such as this?

I also recommend restructuring the moderation system so deletion of a post requires a consensus from multiple people (at the very minimum requiring 2 moderators to delete a post). General practice should be that all posts must be allowed to stand for a few days before being considered for deletion (except in extreme cases calling for expedited deletion such as illegal content/links, dangerous misinformation, and obvious off-topic spam or soliciting).

Just because 1 moderator doesn't think something is an answer doesn't make it invalid. if my answer's crap, let the community decide and pile on the downvotes. There are only a few specific and egregious cases where an answer should be expeditiously deleted.

If nothing is done about this I will stop contributing answers to this subforum/exchange and encourage others to do so in protest.

  • 3 answers deleted
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 20:48
  • 1
    Actually, this is the remedy you have, to bring it to Meta.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 20:49
  • 7
    Well now I want to know what the answers were! Although to be fair, if it was @schroeder who you are accusing of stalking you, I'm dubious. Never seen anything but high-quality posts and moderation out of him. Considering that your first response is to come to Meta and effectively demand that we adjust the rules of the entire site to suit your opinions, I'm inclined to believe that your answers weren't much more than rants. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 20:59
  • 5
    I've had a look at your posts - which I haven't previously looked at. And I entirely agree with Schroeder - your posts so far are ones I would also have removed if I had got there faster than him. Please read our tour and How to Answer pages to understand how the site works and what we expect in a post.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:45
  • 7
    This meta post might not have been the brightest of all ideas - an answer of yours from 1 1/2 years ago just got flagged by the system as "low quality", probably due to the recent piling up of downvotes you wanted to have. As you prefer that over having it recommended for deletion, here, have another downvote.
    – Tobi Nary
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 6:29

4 Answers 4


I will stop contributing answers to this subforum

This may be the source of your confusion and bad experience - back in the day we used to say this is not a forum. In particular, there are no threads. If you notice (try refreshing the page) answers appear in a random order if they have equal votes with top-voted answers moving to the top. Answers accepted by the asker come above all else.

The idea of the site is that each answer should as best as is possible given the question answer it wholly and completely; the more thoroughly the better. You shouldn't need to read multiple posts or pages of threads to put together what is going on: it should be there, in the accepted answer.

Sometimes questions suck, or are impossible to answer. Going off Schroeder's post, it sounds like you answered a question that might sound like:

How does X cyber company know China did it?

and the answer is basically "they dont; attribution is hard-to-impossible". These kinds of questions tend to attract more discussion-y type answers, which might give the appearance of a forum, but the chatter isn't quite in the spirit of the site. We sort of tolerate it because there isn't really a better way to handle the fact some questions just don't have answers, but there it is.

However, this doesn't mean it is OK to post your experience about a handset in 200whenever as an answer to a problem someone faces, because it's not really relevant or interesting. I'm picking on this one example. You did however have some good points (again going of Schroeder's answer):

  • Open nature of the android platform (many manufacturers, questionable-to-non-existent patching policies),
  • Closed nature of the iPhone platform: better QA on their app store includes.
  • Apple hardware and API design is superior in terms of security (security coprocessor for touchID etc).

If you can back these up with some relevant explanations and links, based on facts, you're making a valid argument and this is an answer (provided of course you answer the question the asker asked). But you have to stick to the facts.

Schroeder has actually done you a favour here. The site has a low quality auto-ban filter completely outside of the control of the moderators that will answer-ban new users who consistently post poor quality answers. Moderators cannot deactivate it for you. By deleting your answers, you have avoided the downvote pile-on and subsequent ban you would have eventually arrived at.

But hey, look. Now you know. You can sit back, read a few popular answers, see how the site works and fit right in. Moderators certainly won't hold it against you - there's far too many users for them to remember any except the most problematic of muppets they have to deal with. If you're passionate about security there's plenty of questions to have a go at answering.


Ok, let's look at your 3 answers in question:

Hacker from China:
You conclude what every other answer did, that the hack could come from anywhere. You then talk about why you don't like software or web sites from certain countries. Then you re-phrase the question to something you want to talk about, and end with "No excuses, email vendors. You know who the bad actors are and the painfully obvious way to significantly hamper them."

That's a rant. And you added nothing as an answer.

Encryption backdoors
A rant about how bad governments can be, which completely misses the point of the question about unintentional access to backdoors by unauthorized parties. You do talk about rogue government employees, but the question specifically mentions them as out of scope for the question.

Again, kind of ranty about 'governments'.

Android patching cycles
"I recommend ditching Android and getting a iPhone. Apple has a much better track record of ..."

"In 2012 I got an official Google Nexus phone because it was on sale..."

"Over the last 2 years, numerous quality issues and questionable design decisions further plagued my experience ..."

"This year, I finally got an iPhone ..."

'nuff said

  • The post about avoiding software or web sites from known bad-actor countries is useful because it provides an example of good practices for keeping peoples' computers safe. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 21:12
  • 4
    User1258361 - no it is not useful as it doesn't answer the question. It is that simple.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:41

Since you requested comments from more people: I've read through all of the three deleted answers, and I agree with the assessment of the moderator. The judgement the moderator made is the same as any other moderator would (and should) have made, or most users for that matter. Hence there is no one that is harassing you, and there is no need for new control mechanisms. The moderator was just doing their job here - deleting content of a type that it is the community consensus that it does not belong here.

You have recieved plenty of explanations for why the answers were not on topic, both in comments to the answers and here, so I will not develop on that further.


Your highly selective and chopped-up quote from "Android patching cycles" doesn't do it justice.

Here's the whole answer, with no edits:

I recommend ditching Android and getting a iPhone.

Apple has a much better track record of supporting old iPhones, preventing malware/hack attacks against iOS, and booting scummy/fake/malicious apps out of the App Store before they cause serious damage.

In 2012 I got an official Google Nexus phone because it was on sale and I liked having the option to install any app instead of being locked into a centralized app store. Instead, the promise of a "free and open" ecosystem turned into a nightmare in practice. Most app developers would include adware or spyware into free (and sometimes paid) apps, leaving the end-user with no idea who to trust. I found over the years that Google is generally poor at keeping malware out of the Google Play store, usually waiting for large numbers of people to get infected/compromised and booting out the offending app after a massive uproar. 2 years ago, there was a wildly popular "antivirus/antimalware" app for Android that turned out to be nonfunctional.

Over the last 2 years, numerous quality issues and questionable design decisions further plagued my experience with both Android and Google browser apps - just to name a few: the new Google Hangouts UI removed most of the phone calling functionality, repeated "incoming messages may be delayed" and failure to automatically reconnect, searching in Google Hangouts for phone numbers largely doesn't work, my Nexus phone would repeatedly receive bad updates causing it to crash often, and even simple stuff like the built-in alarm clock app would fail to work. Adding insult to injury: I heard that my Nexus phone doesn't have an automated option to upgrade to the latest version of Android - an upgrade would require a manual sideload (rooting) the phone.

This year, I finally got an iPhone and deprecated my old Google Nexus phone.

Also: Android and Linux reportedly get the worst of the recent KRACK exploit and some devices may have to wait weeks or months for a patch. Microsoft supposedly patched it on Windows a while back, and the latest version of iOS 11 fixes it as well.

Open source isn't a magic solution. While code reviews are nice, it's also nice to have the funding to afford timely and competent updates. Open source only works as far as people are willing to contribute.

Obviously it's dangerous when your device no longer receives updates (except if you have some other practices or tools to properly lock it down in lieu of updates). If you have time to research code reviews and you want to stick with Android variants for some reason then you could go with Cyanogen (as Rory Alsop posted).

Granted, some of it could be considered slightly rant-y. However, there's plenty of useful information in there about why someone should seriously consider ditching Android. At least, consider deleting or editing rant-y parts of it instead of nuking it outright.

  • 6
    None, none of this answers the question. We are not a discussion forum.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:11
  • Can we get several other comments on this? No one elected you to be a dictator. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:32
  • 3
    Uh, yeah, that's what the Add Comment button is for. Do you see me deleting all this? No reason to ask to "get comments". That what all this is for...
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:37
  • 6
    User1258361 - hello. Another mod here. He's right - we are not a discussion forum. If you want to have discussions in question posts, answer posts or comments, they will be deleted.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 22:42
  • 4
    @user1258361 I want to comment about your suggestion that mods selectively edit other people's answers. You really feel that that is a better solution? To co-opt another's answer? That is far worse than deleting the whole post. Mods tend to explain why the deletion, which gives you another shot at an answer. Deletion does not mean that you cannot answer again. You can take whatever on-topic parts there are and try again.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 23:00
  • 7
    Or you can edit the answer that was deleted back into shape and hit the flag button and ask for it to be reviewed. I don't think any moderator would object to undeleting an improved answer - it's so rare for users to correct their poor answers, questions etc it would be a nice change.
    – diagprov
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 23:07
  • 4
    @user1258361 actually, schroeder - as well as all other mods - is elected by the community. And as he is doing moderation, not dictation, this is exactly what everyone elected him to do. Additionally, most moderators do not go around and just delete stuff; it usually comes from flags and deletion votes from the community review queues. This - again - is showing the consensus of the community (or rather: the high rep users of the community.)
    – Tobi Nary
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 6:23
  • 3
    3rd moderator weighing in here - and yes, @Schroeder was well within the parameters of his duties as elected moderator. Personally, at that point I would have gone for suspension - which would have been well justified. Though I am impressed with his soft touch.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 8:38
  • 7
    A tip for life though, don't just drop into a community and expect the entire social structure to change just because they are not willing to tolerate your dickish behavior. That is precisely the reason there are rules, and the rules are the reason the social environment works.
    – AviD Mod
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 8:40
  • I have no concern over a suspension anyway considering it's clear this place is stacked with blind, stubborn morons. I'm done helping out on this SE and it's dubious if I will even bother to ask questions. No hostile presences will be tolerated on any of my devices and in line with my standards, I will be closing out all of my tabs on this SE. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 14:43
  • 11
    @user1258361 Ah yes: the final parting shot. Insult the entire community. It's clearly our fault, after all. So let's recap: Your answers got deleted, you came here seeking to prove that the site consensus would be on your side, found out that it really isn't, and then decided that the site consensus doesn't matter. Rather than considering that your approach to this community might be wrong, you've concluded that we're all idiots. Sounds good. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 18:12
  • 3
    As one of the "blind, stubborn morons", I honestly have to agree with the moderators here. Your answer would fit more if it were trying to answer the question "Which should I get, Android or iOS?", which is not even on-topic. Just adding my own opinion to the mix, as a member of the community (albeit mostly a lurker).
    – guest
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 8:28
  • 1
    Looking through some of your other posts, I honestly have to say that you aren't contributing much to this community. You aren't being "picked on" personally, you're just in the wrong place for the kind of discussion you want to have. You leaving is not some kind of threat that's supposed to make everyone feel bad and beg you no to leave. At most, it'll result in a sarcastic "don't let the door hit you on the way out", given the way you've interacted here.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 1:46
  • @SmokeDispenser Even if they can't cast votes, low-rep users of the community pitch in their consensus through flags and downvotes, which influences the likelihood of the post being deleted by bringing it to the attention of high-rep users and moderators. So even the low-rep community is showing a consensus that these posts are poor quality.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 1:48

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