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I voted to close a question on the basis that it's asking for assistance writing malware. An admin seems to disagree strongly with my characterization of the behavior as malware, and:

  • deleted the automatically-added comment that came with my close vote explaining why I voted.
  • deleted comments expressing my view that the behavior is malicious
  • deleted an answer I'd written characterizing the behavior as malicious
  • deleted multiple new comments explaining my reason for the close vote, even after I removed the word "malware" and explained more explicitly without words subject to differences of opinion over exact meaning

None of my comments were hostile/combattive.

Is this kind of behavior by admins apppropriate on this site?

I can link the specific question if needed.

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  • 1
    I fixed it for you.
    – schroeder Mod
    Aug 16 at 7:37
  • 1
    DO NOT edit my question that's about things you did. If you object to my characterization you can discuss that in comments. Editing is a conflict of interest and further evidence of your inappropriate use of admin power. Aug 16 at 15:32
  • 2
    Just editing for correctness.
    – schroeder Mod
    Aug 16 at 15:35
  • So, I deleted some comments, but not all, right? Your post makes it look like I purged all your comments and answer.
    – schroeder Mod
    Aug 16 at 16:35
  • Every comment I had written to that effect prior to writing this question was deleted. Only a vaguely similar one written after this question was written remained as of a few hours ago, and I haven't been back yet to check whether you deleted that too. Aug 16 at 18:30
  • Oh, then you didn't see the one that remained up the whole time. I have made reference to that in my answer.
    – schroeder Mod
    Aug 16 at 18:34
  • The one that remained up was the answer you converted and it did not explain my close vote because it was written as an answer not a comment. Aug 16 at 18:49
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If the project in question was not an anti-adblocker, the question would be fine on its own. That you do not like the project is moot. Expressing yourself that you do not like the project is fine, if not distracting from the topic at hand. My actions were to maintain focus on the question and not have you hijack the post with your tangential opinion.

My very first action, once you get the sequence of events correct, was to preserve your opinion. I converted your anti-answer ("you don't deserve an answer") into a comment, which is perfectly fine for a Mod to do unilaterally. You say that there should be discussion and downvoting by the community instead of conversion, but your answer was 14 words long and dismissive of the question, not answering it.

Just after answering, you vote to close it. If you thought it should not be answered, then don't answer. VTC, or answer, not both. Posting an anti-answer then voting to close while focusing on a tangent of the question, is just you wanting to make your voice louder.

I delete the auto-generated comment, because once the answer was moved to comment, it was redundant, and your VTC reason is still maintained in the VTC options for the post. So, your VTC reason is preserved.

My actions were to keep your voice heard, but to a minimum.

I then explain my actions, and then, yes, you do get combative. I keep deleting the elements of our conversation in chat and advise that you come here to meta. You post a calmer reaction, which I leave.

My role as Mod is to help get everyone heard, most primarily, the people asking questions. I do not have to agree with any opinion and I have a balancing act to maintain, and I do always try to explain the reasons for my actions.

And I will prevent users of this site from turning any legitimate question into a protest rally against the asker or what the asker does. Guide, advise, encourage different choices of the asker? Sure. Torches, and pitchforks? No.


And, as Nobody said, it has been the longstanding policy of the site to not close questions just because the answers might help someone write malware. So, while you might not like the project, your close reason doesn't make sense for the site:

  • the nature of the project in question is tangential to what was asked
  • the project is not malicious, even if undesired by many end-users
  • being malicious doesn't make it "malware" (it's site code), which was the wording of your close reason
  • if it was a straight-up bank-cred-stealing malware, it wouldn't matter

So, one of the other roles as a Mod is to maintain site policy and community standards, which I have tried to carry out.


This is not the first time you have bitterly complained about "the abuse of power" from the Mods. It is not an abuse of power, it is the carrying out of power to help the community, and you appear not to like that sometimes you don't get to do exactly what you want.

Just because you don't like something, doesn't mean that it is bad. If you do not like that StackExchange, or this site, has Mods, then perhaps you should go to a more free-form, unmoderated forum.

We are Mods. We moderate.

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deleted the automatically-added comment that came with my close vote explaining why I voted.

I'm not sure if the moderator should have done that. Moderators don't have the ability to retract other user's close votes, so I don't think they should remove the automated comment that comes with it. That said, I completely disagree with your close reason.

deleted comments expressing my view that the behavior is malicious

Unfortunately, I didn't see the deleted comments, so I can't say anything. In general though, comments are for asking for clarification or adding information. Anything else is noise, and you can't complain if it gets cleaned up. However, I see that as of now, you do have one comment expressing your distaste for OPs work, so I'm not sure why you're complaining anyways.

deleted an answer I'd written characterizing the behavior as malicious

Again, since I didn't read the answer, I can't say for certain, but characterizing the behavior as malicious doesn't answer the question asked, so the deletion seems justified. The intended users of the OP's code are website administrators, and as described, the code isn't malicious from their perspective. Since the OP is asking how his users can trust the code, the fact that the code may be considered malicious by people surfing the web is besides the point.


Now to answer what I believe is your implicit complaint: You want to close the question because you consider what the OP is doing as malicious.

Well, the community consensus on this issue is that we don't care about the color of the OP's hat. As long they have asked a proper on-topic question, we are fine with it. Blackhat content can be just as useful to defenders, and vice-versa. And not everybody agrees on what is malicious and what is not anyways.

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    Thanks for your answer. The one comment you mention was added after I posted this question, somewhat "smuggling" the content back in by making it part of a larger reply about context. Prior to that, a number of different versions were deleted. I have a few of the original ones in a screenshot. Aug 15 at 21:33
  • 1
    The comment linked to in this answer was the answer of yours that I converted into a comment. There was no "smuggling". No great victory over oppression.
    – schroeder Mod
    Aug 16 at 16:31

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