I am the founder and first moderator of the Learn Russian community on LiveJournal — for a while, the only resource of its kind in all of the internet. Basically a distant precursor to this.

Around 2005, I resigned voluntarily, realising I had become the classic trigger-happy mod and it was doing more harm than good.

I am calling on you, shabunc, to do a similar thing and simply desist from making more of those extremely contentious judgement calls ([1], [2], or the "unclear" verdict here) on closing/deletion that literally no-one else is making.

I know how easy it is to see this as good, useful, indispensable garden-weeding work; but it's not. That's just how we trick ourselves into not realising we're making it all about ourselves and the petty power we've been given. People matter more than rules, especially in a relatively small community.

Best regards,


  • 1
    Hi Nikolay, can you please, be more specific. I'm totally opened for any kind of criticism it's just that I'm not sure this is a question at all rather than rhetoric statement. Can you please be more specific in both why you believe that my moderating is inadequate (for instance, list of cases when I've closed something deliberately and ignored further feedback from community).
    – shabunc Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 4:21
  • An old episode: meta.russian.stackexchange.com/questions/372/… Apr 24, 2016 at 4:22
  • Another question I can't find now since it's gone completely; currently, the это вам не это one you almost closed. As I understand from the discussion in the meta post I've linked, there've been more. Apr 24, 2016 at 4:23
  • Please, don't add comments - I strongly suggest you to collect evidence and edit your question (and make it a question actually). The less subjective you question will sound, the more convincing you'll appear.
    – shabunc Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 4:24
  • @shabunc You find it important whether someone adds a comment or edits the question. I rest my case. You are taking it too seriously to not be a self-serving rule enforcer. Apr 24, 2016 at 4:29
  • Nikolay, I assure you, I'm taking seriously the fact that a valuable and active member of community find something so bad that he writes open letters. OK, let me try to do it this way, let me provide you with answer. May be it will be helpful to all of us.
    – shabunc Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 4:32
  • Ух, сколько драмы в метарусском, оказывается!
    – bipll
    Jun 6, 2016 at 11:54
  • @bipll С оперативностью вашего комментария сравнится только его содержательность. Браво. Jun 6, 2016 at 14:09
  • Где под оперативностью понимается — что? Если я сегодня первый раз глянул форум, а это top post (геометрически)? :-O
    – bipll
    Jun 6, 2016 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


So OK, so far this is not a question per se (rather than a statement) it's quite difficult to give an answer but let me mention the list of thing that are, as to me, important, regarding this issue.

  • Any moderator - not just me - literally any moderator - can either delete the question or put it on hold. I'm deleting questions in extreme cases - moreover I'm doing it on a more and more rare occasions actually.
  • When I'm putting a question on hold, that actually means that I have strong, very strong doubts about whether this particular question belongs here or not. The opinion of all the other moderators (as of now it's only @Quassnoi actually) is important and crucial to me in this cases. The voice of community is as important as well. Quite often, after I'm convinced, not only I'm reopening the question but sometimes editing it to try to improve it.
  • In fact, talking of moderated-related activity the majority of actions from my side are editing the title (gosh, people way too often are not specific in titles at all) and converting to comments some answers that are, well, comments.
  • The rest of the time I'm enjoying Russian SE just like all the others, asking and answering questions. When I like question or answer - I upvote it (as of many of you answers actually but whatever) when I don't - I downvote it. That's it.

In your comment you've mentioned two questions. Let me give you a response regarding both of them, but first, I strongly encourage to follow the same policy on meta as on regular SE site - seek for a single answer. Examples:

  • I want to discuss why this particular question was closed. (Actually your very first question is an example of such approach).
  • I don't like how this particular moderator is serving to this community. What could be done in such situation? (see how it differs from an open letter format?)

Now, as of question "Это вам не это" - actually it've been reopened and edited before you question on meta.

In short, tend to ask one question per post, tend to edit your question so that it will be always obvious what answer you are looking for, raise your voice when you don't believe that particular action was not fair.

Hope that helped.

PS I'm leaving an answer about "vedic" question in the relevant post. PPS And well, thank you for being active member of community.

  • Thank you too. I've added the links in the question body (including the other deleted question that I initially couldn't find.) And I'm aware that "это вам не это" was reopened; what struck me there was the subjectivity of judging its "how do I use it" part unclear; I find that it would take a single paragraph to concisely explain. Anyway, I'm considering this resolved since I see your logic now, though I personally still feel that voting to close is doing a good enough job on its own. Apr 24, 2016 at 6:05
  • @NikolayErshov can not agree more - from my experience voting to close is almost always better than anything more restrictive, this gave me additional evidence of that so thank you too )
    – shabunc Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:07
  • But you still resort to deleting at times. The thing about direct moderatorial action is, it doesn't just make things disappear; it's always a kind of door-slamming in somebody's face — not just the poster's, but also anyone who got involved. I feel that, on a social interaction level, it's only justified if the initial question/answer/comment had the same 'slam' or 'slap' quality to it towards the general audience — offensiveness, spam, or blatantly not knowing what this site is for (as opposed to the more "read the fine print" cases.) Apr 24, 2016 at 6:15
  • @NikolayErshov well, let's see how it goes but I've heard you, that's for sure.
    – shabunc Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:29

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