My question, "SSL error 14090086 "certificate verify failed" in browser and in curl: how to troubleshoot? [closed]" was closed as "opinion based".

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Would anyone be willing to explain in a little more detail what and who determined that it's "opinion based"? (The supplied "opinion-based" KB article isn't really explaining much.) E.g.:

  • Do people who take such action have to explain or document why they're taking it?
  • Is there a precedent or a process for determining the threshold between opinions and facts? (Any fact including 2+2=4 can technically be construed as "opinion" because even basic arithmetics is based on assumptions and abstractions - which are technically "opinions" and not facts.)
  • How do I appeal what I believe is an incorrect closing?

In my specific case, the question was "what steps would you take troubleshooting SSL cert errors in a specific situation?", and while there certainly could be opinions on how to go about it, fact-based answers (not opinions) are invited:

  1. What are the possible root causes?
  2. What are the steps to confirm or rule out each one?

... with the above two steps being the basis of any diagnostic fact-based process.

See also this: Inappropriate opinion-based closings

  • “Users who racked up reputation score sufficient to close questions are rarely ones with any moderation experience.” - The moderator who closed your question has been a moderator for several years and has answered hundreds of questions. Think there is an easier explanation, you asked a hypothetical question, and it was closed because hypothetical questions aren’t allowed
    – Ramhound
    Oct 21, 2022 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


The site seems to suffer from frivolous moderation (closing questions as "opinion based" or "duplicate" or "off topic" without providing valid reasons), with lack of accountability and clear moderation policies.

The root cause I believe is a conflict of interest. Users who racked up reputation score sufficient to close questions are rarely ones with any moderation experience. This invites bias where users interested only in answering simple (for them) questions would close ones they have no experience in, or ones that take more than a minimum effort to answer.

I believe this is what happened in this case (read the comments for some context). This happened to me and to others more than a few times, and is likely a systemic issue:

Inappropriate opinion-based closings

This is regretful.

P.S. Moderators and I exchanged a few comments under the question, and most of them (all of mine and some of moderator's) were deleted w/o notice or explanation. Those deletions are also not showing up in the question history - at least not in one visible to me.

screenshot of the comment area with a reason for comment deletion

So in addition to closing a question as "opinion based" and then explaining that it was actually closed for a different reason ("hypothetical question") - the comments get deleted w/o notice or explanation either.

What a great site this is! :)

  • I voted down because you jumped to conclusions without evidence (if you can get any is another matter). (1) "… are rarely ones with any moderation experience" – How do you know? Even if, how else can one get moderation experience? (2) "users interested only in answering simple (for them) questions would close ones they have no experience in" – It may happen one misjudges a question because he or she doesn't really understand it, but I see no benefit for a voter in closing a question he or she finds good but beyond expertise. Where is the "conflict of interest"? What do they gain? Oct 25, 2022 at 21:25
  • oh that's alright - thanks for the comment and stating your reasons. How do I know? Based on 30+ years of experience moderating various online and offline communities. I'll be happy to expand more into it stating actual symptoms and "evidence" that led me to my conclusions - yet given comments are getting deleted because they're "unnecessary" - see no point. (The comments that did get deleted - had answers to some of your questions, including "conflict of interest" and the "why" of it. Cheers!) Oct 26, 2022 at 23:53
  • Let me rephrase my comment, which you have apparently now quoted. I flagged the comments as unnceasry and by doing so, one of the moderators on the community moderator team, either decided the flag as valid or invalid. So if you have to be angry at somebody be angry with me.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 29, 2022 at 4:17

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