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Occassionally I come upon a question which seems rather obvious to me, but was nevertheless closed as either "not focused enough" (example 1) or "unclear what's being asked" (example 2).

Well that's fine then, but a common theme across such questions is that they were closed single-handledly by a moderator just a few minutes after it was asked, without attempting to ask for clarification through comments, and without actually giving anyone else who does understand the question a chance to properly answer it.

I believe that the "unclear" votes only make sense if multiple people cast them – it does not make sense to close off a question to everyone just because one mod fails to understand what's being asked, and I do think that this is becoming a misuse of moderator powers. It is not the job of a moderator to say "if I cannot understand this, then nobody else can either".

And that's not even counting the posts that ask "How do I find out which hardware suits my needs" and immediately get closed with "Try asking how to find out what suits your needs" 5.

Or the posts which are closed as "seeking learning material recommendations" 6 even though the question asks for a very specific explanation; it would be difficult to give an opinion-based answer to that. And of course, the moderator happens to provide links to learning materials in a comment – despite closing the question for allegedly requesting the same.

Or self-answers where OP explains how they solved their own issue – getting deleted because "they do not provide an answer to the question".

It's not that I'm writing this post because I disagree with a few specific actions – none of those are my own posts, and I'm not looking for explanations for each and every example. Honestly I don't even care for explanations. Rather, I'm posting this because it feels like the same has been going on for well over a year, and even with my addiction keeping me here, it's really disheartening to see actions from the same moderator that seem to go against the spirit and the word of the rules over and over and over, and I want to get this off my chest.

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    with respect to 1 and 2 Both these questions seem incredibly low quality to me - so after the fact, it makes for 2 moderators. 5... eh I'd say making a case for it to be reopened wouldn't be out of line. 6 - kinda shows a lack of research? . – Journeyman Geek Apr 5 at 0:24
  • You might be completely right, yes. – user1686 Apr 5 at 0:50
  • .... What happened to 3 and 4? – Journeyman Geek Apr 5 at 0:58
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    @JourneymanGeek looking at the source - 3 (superuser.com/a/1530286/1686) is a comment not an answer. 4 (meta.superuser.com/questions/14007/…) is a meta question re a question that was subsequently reopened after editing (it was asking for software) – DavidPostill Apr 5 at 8:10
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    I posted most of the same sentiments a few weeks ago, for my own posts, regarding the same moderator, and was met with downvotes and a two-line answer from another moderator handwaving the issue away. For that matter, I've been posting these sentiments on this meta over the last few years. What else is to be expected, the moderators are good friends and there's no independent process to hold them to standards of any sort. This community isn't what it used to be, not even for such basic things as consistency, and there are much better places that I'd rather dedicate the majority of my time to. – Prometheus Apr 5 at 18:20
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    @Hashim If you read through the responses and comments to your many meta questions about your own questions you will see explanations from many other long time users who are not moderators but give exactly the same reasons and explanations as to why your questions were closed. – DavidPostill Apr 6 at 0:03
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    @Hashim Your questions get closed because they are not (initially at least) a good fit to the standards for SU that have been decided by the community (not the moderators). Nevertheless you consistently keep trying without apparently learning from what you are told. – DavidPostill Apr 6 at 0:04
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    I've seen this happen many times and recently again with this question (stackoverflow.com/questions/60234816/…) and it was closed as a recommendation question, which I heavily disagree. Eventually I decided to take it to Meta and managed to get it reopened, but the discussion spiraled out of control (because I raised this same issue as the OP's here on the same Meta question) and people started mass downvoting the question, eventually leading to its deletion. – andre_ss6 Apr 6 at 13:25
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    @DavidPostill I referred to SO as an example, the post itself was applied to SU. You only confirm my criticism by deleting my post that literally mentions moderators deleting my critical posts. – OverLordGoldDragon Apr 6 at 13:37
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    @Andre - The question being deleted has little to do with the downvotes. So was your example deleted by the community or self-deleted? – Ramhound Apr 7 at 0:02
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    Happened quite a few times to me. – Franck Dernoncourt Apr 7 at 6:00
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    @FranckDernoncourt - What happened exactly? Care to provide specifics? – Ramhound Apr 8 at 5:35
  • So, this question has occured to me again and again: Can moderators close-vote “normally”? Or do their votes always close the question immediately? – Daniel B Apr 12 at 10:29
  • @DanielB Mod votes on close/reopen/delete etc. are enough to trigger the action without waiting for other users' votes. – NVZ Apr 12 at 12:28
  • Is it just or is the items 3 and 4 missing in the question!? Can't find 3 and 4 here. – NVZ Apr 13 at 3:39
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Occasionally I come upon a question which seems rather obvious to me, but was nevertheless closed as either "not focused enough" (example 1) or "unclear what's being asked" (example 2).

Here is a screenshot of Example 1:

enter image description here

Here is a screenshot of Example 2:

enter image description here

Both of those questions are not clear. The first question cannot be answered with the information provided. The author of that question could clarify their question at any point. The second example has one major problem, it absolutely not clear what the author means by "IX", based on my research I can only assume they mean internet exchange point. The author really should have made that point clear. I absolutely agree that those questions were not clear.

Here is a screenshot of Example 3:

enter image description here

Here is a screenshot of Example 4:

enter image description here

Example 3, of course, is a comment and should have never been submitted as an answer. Example 4 is not well received due to the author's tone, I have purposefully omitted the author's name, from the screenshot to avoid drawing attention to that question.

I believe that the "unclear" votes only make sense if multiple people cast them – it does not make sense to close off a question to everyone just because one mod fails to understand what's being asked, and I do think that this is becoming a misuse of moderator powers. It is not the job of a moderator to say "if I cannot understand this, then nobody else can either".

A moderator is still a member of the community. While their vote is binding, they should still be allowed to vote to close questions, they believe are out of scope or are unclear. Community members can reverse their decision by voting to reopen or undelete any question.

Here is a screenshot of Example 5:

enter image description here

Here is a screenshot of Example 6:

enter image description here

Example 5 could be improved and reopened. Example 6 showed no research effort, it is not currently deleted, it could be modified and reopened. Honestly in any of these cases, the close reason is not perfect, but that is the system we have.

Or self-answers where OP explains how they solved their own issue – getting deleted because "they do not provide an answer to the question".

I typically vote to close any question, which contains the solution to their problem, as being a question that is already solved. I have found asking the author to submit an answer, typically results in the author of the question, responding in such a way that is rude or is not supportive of polite discourse.

It's not that I'm writing this post because I disagree with a few specific actions – none of those are my own posts, and I'm not looking for explanations for each and every example. Honestly I don't even care for explanations. Rather, I'm posting this because it feels like the same has been going on for well over a year, and even with my addiction keeping me here, it's really disheartening to see actions from the same moderator that seem to go against the spirit and the word of the rules over and over and over, and I want to get this off my chest.

I suspect the moderator is becoming aware of these low quality contributions through the flagging system. In fact there isn’t a single one of those contributions where I disagree with the outcome. A moderator does not stop being a community member, once they are elected to become a moderator, this means they should positively contribute to the community. The only thing that changes is their vote is binding, and while I expect a moderator to take that into account, they should not stop being a community member.

While I have provided an explanation for each and every example, my viewpoint is not going to easily be changed, I do not agree with your conclusion. I do not see the overuse of moderator rights in the examples you provided.

Indeed I am one of those community members that rather delete low quality content then try to improve it. I have very specific reasons for that, if you have ever attempted to get a question answered on Microsoft Answers, you can understand the frustation of trying to read a question and expecting a clear concise detailed answer.

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    "Having to wait for multiple community members to flag a contribution seems like a waste of time" - then stop moderating. A mod's impatience isn't warrant to degrading user experience. If better tools are needed to enable efficient moderation, then those should be demanded. – OverLordGoldDragon Apr 6 at 13:42
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    It is not necessary to be a moderator type to vote. I agree with the original poster. – John Apr 6 at 21:55
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    The OP is user1686 at the top here. I only agreed with the OP - that is all. Not all of the content deleted is low quality. – John Apr 6 at 22:26
  • Quick question. How did you get the items 3 and 4 from the OP. I can't find them in the Question. It goes straight from 1, 2, to 5, 6. – NVZ Apr 12 at 12:31
  • @NVZ - I looked at the contents of the question itself. The author still linked to it for a reason. I thought it was important to address those examples. – Ramhound Apr 12 at 18:42
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    @OverLordGoldDragon its not a waste of the mod's time, its a waste of the community's time to have low quality content on the site when it could be closed/hidden immediately. Its even a waste of the original content poster's time: low quality questions attract low quality answers, and closing questions until the asker edits them to be better is doing them a favor, even if not everyone sees it that way. – mbrig Apr 17 at 19:35

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