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Yesterday there came this question: Gulp in Bootstrap child theme. I flagged it for being off-topic and provided a helpful link in the comments.

One of our diamond mods provided an answer to it. I downvoted this answer for being rather a comment than an answer and for answering an off-topic question. I also wanted to be fair and provided feedback about that in the comments to their answer.

This brought up some dispute in which the diamond moderator blamed some unrelated answers I gave to other unrelated questions from others for being off-topic as well.

Eventually despite considering the debatable question on-topic in the comments the diamond moderator suddenly closed it for being off-topic after they received 3 downvotes and deleted their answer. But I made a screenshot of it.

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So far so good. Today I checked my account and became aware of a number of 4 downvotes to answers and question made by me to issues which the diamond moderator blamed being off-topic in the comments of the debatable answer, documented in the screenshot above. One of them dating back to 2014.

And one answer to prevent display duplicate titles on main page being edited by them with an unnecessary edit to have an upvoted retracted (which without the edit would have been locked).

For a diamond mod all of the above is absolutely unacceptable in my eyes. How does the community react to such events? Is there anything I can do to be protected from further actions by them against posts I made?

  • Yep, my statement was that such question is on-topic. Based on your arguments, I re-thinked it and closed it. As for downvotes - I voted around 20-50 times since yesterday, sorry if you got 3 downvotes, but I don't think these answers are good ones (for example this one: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/38740/…). But you've also got a lot of upvotes from me lately for other answers. – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 23 at 12:36
  • @KrzysiekDróżdż – How do you explain the retracted close vote? And the minor edit made prior to it to unlock it? – leymannx Apr 23 at 12:40
  • retracted close vote? You mean retracted upvote to your answer about wp-cli? It's easy - you convinced me that giving points for answers to off-topic questions is a bad idea. – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 23 at 12:41
  • Retracted upvote, yes. So you consider it being OK to misuse your privilege to submit an unrevised edit to retract an upvote? – leymannx Apr 23 at 12:45
  • I've came to your answer again, fixed something and later thought that to be honest it shouldn't get an upvote (it's a thing I do sometimes when I came to an answer which got and upvote prematurely). I didn't downvote it though, AFAIR, did I? I'm sorry if you got the idea that it's targeted at you, but seriously - you're currently one of most active users in here, so it's hard not to vote on your answers, unless I'll start ignoring them - but it's not what this site is about, right? – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 23 at 12:52
  • @KrzysiekDróżdż – Not very convincing to be honest. You are a diamond mod now. All your actions now are seen under a different light. You may find a logic explanation for every single action you took yesterday, but in a sum your actions may be seen as harmful. I might be willing to forgive you if you are able to acknowledge exactly that in a proper answer to this post. – leymannx Apr 23 at 13:03
  • It's always hard to see everything from someone else perspective - and to be honest, I rarely look at the author, when I'm voting, especially when I do it on mobile, where the person/avatar is placed way below and I don't always even scroll down to it. Feel free to catch me on chat - I'm online pretty often if you have any more questions. And I'd be happy to chat - you're active answering person, and you have strong opinions regarding "bad" questions - I'd be happy to hear these opinions. – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 23 at 13:09
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    @KrzysiekDróżdż – This issue is not about my opinions about "bad" questions. And if you are unable to recognize what's it about and how your actions can be seen as harmful, and if you are unable to promise improvements in your behavior since you are a diamond mod now representing this community, then this is nothing between you and me anymore. Then this is a really ugly thing and I definitely need to know more opinions about it and how this is going the be handled by the community. Because otherwise knowing this will go without any consequences then for me this indeed is crossing borders. – leymannx Apr 23 at 13:45
  • again, I’m sorry on how it looked from your perspective - I’ll definitely have to take more care when casting votes now, because you’re right, these votes may be in different light now. I’m a lot more careful while closing questions and commenting, since I’m a mod, and maybe I’ve overlooked the voting part... – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 23 at 13:50
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    @leymannx If the SE software agrees with you it will reverse the votes. – Rob Apr 23 at 18:19
  • @Rob – You think the software kicks in here? Is the critical mass reached already? Plus these votes being cast by a diamond mod... – leymannx Apr 24 at 7:02
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    We can't say exactly how it works but if they were going to be reversed it will happen within the next day, that the person is the moderator isn't considered AFAIK. If there appears to be a pattern of this it will be caught later and reversals made then. You ask if the critical mass was reached, yes that's a good question. What I'm certain of is that the two of you have discussed this, further input from me isn't going to further your complaint. – Rob Apr 24 at 12:36
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Revoking diamond is not something taken lightly. It's also not something the WPSE team can do but would need to be escalated to the higher ups. If this is something you feel needs escalating then please refer to this meta post regarding contacting the SE team. They would be able to investigate the issue further and take any actions they deem necessary.

That being said, I personally don't think that this issue needs escalation though I do understand you feel this is targeted specifically at you. StackExchange has pretty good tools for finding, reporting, and reverting serial voters (up or down) which it sees as vote manipulation.

If you find your question/answers not receiving expected responses that is an opportunity to edit your post and expand upon it, adding more information, and ultimately making it better than before. Regardless how the immediate response to a post is, a good post will get the attention it deserves over time.

Being a moderator is just as a learning experience as anything else. Almost anyone on WPSE has the chance to become a moderator during an election. It does not require any previous moderation experience or even WordPress experience for that matter. We are all volunteers here giving our free time to keep this community afloat. We are human. Mistakes can be made of which we must learn from them and do better over time.

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    I appreciate the offer to see this as a chance on both sides. Maybe some of my answers can be updated. Maybe this other person becomes more aware of the "luminous range" their actions have as freshly baked diamond mod. – leymannx Apr 24 at 16:10
  • This is absolutely not about what the moderator did in terms of down-votes which might be completely accurate. It's the way he acted that's the problem. – coolpasta May 8 at 20:05
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If you cast 10% of your daily votes as downvotes on one pretty active user and claim this happened merely by accident you are not capable of being a diamond moderator.

If you start a dispute with counter attacks you are not capable of being a diamond moderator.

If you don't recognize that what you are doing harms the community you were elected to represent than you are not capable of being its representer in form of a diamond moderator.

If you cast premature upvotes and then do unrevised neglectable edits to unlock your vote and retract it you are not capable of being a diamond moderator.

I don't think this person should go on being a diamond moderator and vote for this role being revoked from them.

  • If that's one of the most active user, then that can be the case. But this way you should feel exactly the same way when you've got serial upvotes (but maybe they were harder to notice...). And yes - I'm still convinced that the answers that we're downvoted are not good answers. But yes, I understand that it may looked bad from your point of view and I'm sorry if you felt targeted. I assure you it was not the case though. – Krzysiek Dróżdż Apr 24 at 15:55
  • He's perfectly capable of being a moderator as history shows, he did a human thing to do which you would also do, if you had the power and were put in the same situation. Most of humans aren't capable of separating themselves from their emotions. First offense, good track of helping the community, let it go. The people who would decide if he's removed do the same thing as well, it's just a game of power dynamics and you just happen to be on the losing side right now. I know how it feels and the only solution is to obtain more power so that the cycle repeats itself. – coolpasta May 8 at 20:08
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I have, as impartially as possible, analyzed the moderator's activity.

He's objectively doing a good job (in terms of activity, accuracy measured with having a good understanding of community rules).

I'm nor supporting him, nor against him but I acknowledge the mistake(?) he did. Why he did it is simple. We're all humans with an ego and whenever someone does something against us, the only thing that's stopping us from going against that someone is either our lack of power or the constraints of the situation, in this case, the moderator decided to give in to his instincts.

Does this make him a bad person? No. We all have this. Yes, some, him included, might argue that the user's activity startled him to go on a very lengthy investigation, but come, on, we're not 12, although his down-votes might be accurate, the motivation is clearly ill.

It was his first mistake. Let it go with just a warning. He'll now understand that if he does this again, he's out, so, lesson learned, well, at least until the next incident as we're constantly playing a game of power with each other where the players constantly change their positions.

As I've said, it's all about your constraints and people will act very differently when they think they have power / the upper hand, so, to take action, on the first offense, for what is just human nature is a bit too steep. We all have this type of behavior because everybody wants to own the world.


As a side-note to anyone engaging in such behavior: whether or not it was a weak moment, I can't tell, but I've never seen any of my successful friends, me included have these outbursts because we understand how the game works. If you don't understand this, then you're not playing "the game" and this is one of the biggest factors to your lack of success. Exercise objective & composed thinking at all times.

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