Folks, It would surprise me no end if any of you gave a damn, but I've decided to quite posting on Worldbuilding at all.

The latest attempt to make a rule where we're going to persecute (oh, sorry, "encourage") people who answer questions which are later closed is just so obnoxious to me that if the community is so daft or apathetic as to let it take root I see no purpose in being here.


Here's the question : Do any of you give a damn that your site now plans to punish (or "encourage" as the proposer puts it) people for posting answers later deemed inappropriate by a small number of people - just five people can close a post ?

The fault : what five people decide is a bad post. The "cure" : Annoy people who answered before the five people decided to close it.

The thought police have arrived.

We have to think alike and anticipate what these five people will do in advance and we're not supposed to do anything (like post an answer) until those five people are happy. That's what this new rule would mean.

I'm leaving.

You like being told you're doing something wrong by not agreeing with a close vote before it's done : stay.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I am sorry to ask, but what's the purpose of this post, exactly? As I bet you know it, this kind of "I leave" post on the web is rarely well received ^^'. Lot of hot anger, not enough time to cool things down, if you see :). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ In any case, I'd suggest to think why this post bothers you so much as to instantly leave, even though said post didn't receive many upvotes as of now. It could be soul-opening as there're probably deep feelings in there. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ As a mod on some other sites, I can say that encouraging folks not to post on off topic questions really helps. It stops similar questions popping up (folks come here via google algorithms) and it's not punishing/persecution - if a question is deleted nobody is punished. It's an online site where imaginary points can be earned. $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop The problem is bad questions : we're going to be pestering people who acted in good faith answering a question that was LATER closed by just FIVE people. Who the hell would want to answer question on a site that restrospectively punishes them. This isn't like the homework rules on Physics SE and Math SE. This is punishing people for thinking differently on a site that is supposed to reward thin king differently. It's bollocks. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ nah - you're over thinking this. If 5 people vote to close any post, that's fine. Others can vote to reopen. It evens out nicely. In any case, it's not pestering or punishing. It's really not that important. $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop It will be no time at all before we start seeing calls for bans for people who encroach on this new rule. It's by no means the first time I've seen this nonsense here and I'd done. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ It must be very scary if you think that will happen. I've been around this site long enough to know that any proposal that suggested such a harsh policy will not be accepted by the community. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I've seen this sort of thing take over other SE sites (and other sites outside SE, one where I was a moderator). They'll start doing this until it become normal around here and then it will be a de facto rule. Then they'll start down vote campaigns against people who answer questions they don't approve of. This madness has been spreading over all SE for a long time. SE is dying. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ That being said, someone being a jackass towards people who dare to answer a question that they don't feel is worthy has been practiced by many for a very long time. I just ignore them myself, as I only answer questions that I think I have a helpful answer to. If it really does happen that there is more severe punishment for answering a "bad" question, then that's a problem for then. $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings --- YES! And I'll be the very first person to thoroughly excoriate and castigate anyone that tries to turn my simple question into any kind of rule or policy proposal! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I'm not referring to anything recent, I haven't read your question, I'm not talking about you, but interactions that I've personally had in the past, and the term is accurate. Anyone that gets mad that another user dared to just post an answer is not a healthy personality. $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AndyD273 -- Alright, point taken. However, you did respond to this particular post, which has a very specific object. If you're referring to our dear M, and that whole situation, then I'm sorry I misread! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I never saw the original question, and StephenG didn't link to it. No one who read this question without knowing about that post would have any idea that it involved you. Because I didn't have any of that information, I was relating it to my own experiences, especially in the events surrounding dear M, but outside of that too. It is possible that I too am a little sensitive about people who feel they can push others around and impose their will in general, but once again I do not know (or believe) that it relates to you in any way. $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ pretty sure i'm late to the party but I do agree that the voting system isn't fair how could the entire community be represented by a handful of unsung vigilante. Despite having so many of my questions closed prematurely I would not consider quitting, because I can meet so many smart alec and also to polish on my second language ;D $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 3:26

2 Answers 2


I wanted to say a couple of things, all with my mod hat off.

First, you've written some great answers over the years, and I will certainly be sad to see you go, if you do choose that. It's of course completely your prerogative, although I would perhaps suggest taking some time to cool off and think it over. That said, taking a break from a site is both normal and healthy - I've done it myself - and you'll certainly be welcome back if you just temporarily step away.

Second - on meta, I've seen some ideas I really like, and some ideas I very much dislike. Some have gone on to be site policy, and others have been firmly rejected. I haven't had much time to parse this one to the extent it deserves, so I'm not sure which bin I would personally put it in, and I don't know what will end up happening. That said, I see it currently has 51 views and a score of +1/-1, which isn't exactly a rousing endorsement by the community. Maybe it'll be adopted, and maybe it won't - like I said, I don't know where I stand on it and don't want to make a knee-jerk response. But it hasn't gotten off to a roaring start.

At any rate, I definitely want to encourage you to just take a moment and reconsider, if you want, knowing that this honestly might not be adopted - particularly if others feel the same way you do.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion. I enjoy posting here, but over the last while I've noticed this rule-pushing nonsense has started to encroach the site as the bureaucrats (or whatever) take over bit by bit. I'll miss your answers - yours were always great - but lately I've felt discouraged to post here because there are more people who want to complain about questions and answers than to ask them or make them. I'm done on WB SE, for similar reasons to why I left Politics SE and Interpersonal SE. I dare say Physics SE will go the same way eventually and then I'll be done with SE for good. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ Just so we're all 100% clear: I am not asking for a "new rule" to be made or for any new procedure to be "adopted" and this is absolutely and categorically !!!!!!NOT!!!!!! a policy question. I have no idea where all the "thought police" nonsense comes from. StephenG and I had a very civil convo about this regarding a particular query. We disagree on best practice which is fine. I decided to ask on Meta and am met with projectile verbal diarrhoea. Take it with a grain (or a pound) of salt. And be sure to liberally use the cleaning wipes after all this mess! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ HDE, perspective from another stack. We've had a running problem at RPGSE, a certain amount of community tension, having to do with the friction within a community of volunteers on a non technical SE where some are getting a bit overzealous "but that's a rule!" or "this is policy!" and "we need a policy" and plenty of others who are not rule-obsessed providing some push back. Not sure if you all are running into that on this stack, as I don't visit WB meta, but what @StephenG has expressed may have a similar genesis based on what people expect out of a stack versus experienced environment. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast --- While I appreciate your outside perspective, PLEASE don't mischaracterise what is going on here unless you know what is going on here. There is NO "rule" being proposed. There is NO policy being discussed. This is one community member who has taken a civil conversation and a quite ordinary Meta discussion and has decided to turn it into a circus. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas Sure, wasn't certain if you all were experiencing the same thing, and if not, then never mind. I took a look at the other meta, yours, making since that comment. And I'll point you to my words Not sure if you all are running into that on this stack and don't think that I mischaracterized anything, since I am not sure. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast -- Indeed not! Please feel free to read my response to StephenG's ... um rant? ... and also to read the question I posed on Meta! I am honestly dumbfounded that this person is responding this way. It's completely out of character as far I know him! All I can say about mischaracterisation is that if that other forum experienced tension due to rule-obsession or policymongering, please rest assured: my question is NOT a policy question... $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast --- (cont) ...and I am NOT proposing, endorsing or discussing a new forum rule. It's my own practice, and the practice of others. After StephenG's legitimate objection, I felt it best to ask the community. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I felt it best to ask the community is often a worthwhile use of meta. Hope it works out OK. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 13:40


Okay, since it was our quite civil discussion about a query that prompted me to post a Meta question, I think it's only fair that I respond to your rather bizarre rant.

Thought Police // persecute // obnoxious // daft // apathetic // punish // The thought police have arrived. // We have to think alike // You like being told

It's pretty clear that you didn't read my question and it's even clearer that you didn't understand it. But since you decided to spew all over the issue, here's what you missed:

"Thought Police" --- that's your own skewed interpretation based on absolutely no facts or events that transpired during our conversation. Our whole conversation is quoted in my Meta question so you can review (though might have edited some typos).

"Persecute" and all that --- where did you get this from? We disagreed about a matter of best practice. If you think I'm persecuting you, then I can't really help you with that.

"Have to think alike" --- are you sure you're not complaining about a different conversation?

"Telling people what to do" --- In point of fact, the only person who told anybody what to do in all this nonsense turns out to be YOU! Yeah, you told me "You should not (IMO) be telling people not to answer questions..." Your objection was totally fair and that is why I engaged you in conversation in the first place! I thought your objection was important enough (to me at least) that I wanted to gauge the thoughts of other folks on this practice! But where did I actually tell you what to do?

It it simply my practice (and others', because I've been mildly chastised for doing the same thing!) and in light of your legitimate reaction, I thought I'd bring it to the Community to see what others think about it.

Clearly, you've misinterpreted my question so horrifically that I can only assume your intent is malicious.

But just to clarify for you:


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    $\begingroup$ Frankly I no longer care what happens on WB SE. You can run it whatever you and your cronies want - bully people as much as you want for answering questions you don't approve of. That's what you want to do. Saying you don't is a flat out lie as you ALREADY DID IT to someone. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Elemtilas Under the different reflections of lights I use, I could have thought for policies debating. However, I must admit my definitions of policies and practices is quite fluffy blurry. Also, never did I read your text as strict, rigid or obligations thanks to the "Can we" in the title (among other things). If this can reassure you :)... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena You lot post a response or comment to stuff like this and I get a notification. Stop responding and I will be a lot happier. You're the one who chose to address a comment to me $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG -- Honest question: why are you still here? You said you were going to leave 10 hours ago! I appreciate that stayed around long enough to read, and presumably downvote, my response to your diatribe, but why bother to press on with your really quite disgusting attack on what I said? Everything you wrote in your "question" is an outright lie. What gives? You're acting like a seven year old who's been denied a toy or something. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 2:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena -- Thanks for taking the time to read that. I have absolutely no interest in obligating or "bullying" anyone into doing anything. This whole mess is become far more personal than it ought to have been! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenG there are many solutions to notifications }i{ : disconnecting from SE, not going to SE, clicking on the notification button to pop the red bubble, not answering (answering could continue a discussion)... Guess there's even an option to leave a specific community. No one's forcing you to come here, read and answer, you know :)? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 7:17

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