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I recently asked this question: https://physics.stackexchange.com/q/622976/

This question was closed and I was directed to this meta thread by a comment: https://physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/13449/

My question is very simple: Should I try to edit this question so it's appropriate for this site in line with the rules, or should I not post this question again?

I still have a question, but I feel very unwelcome in this community.

Would you prefer that I never post on this site ever again?

If the preference of the community is to exclude me entirely, I will never post on this site ever again for the rest of my life. If the preference is to include me, then why should I bother enduring what I consider to be toxic abuse?

I have a real question and genuinely would like to request help with my research from this community.

I opened this meta-discussion because I thought this was the right place to find out if I am welcome here or not. I don't feel welcome, I feel like you want me to go away. Is meta not an appropriate place to ask this?

I am willing to face abuse and name calling if it means my question will be answered.

How should I phrase my question so that my personality is not the main topic of discussion and I don't keep creating work for the mods to close my questions?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have made some statements in chat with more information about the physics content of my question, in case this is helpful for coming up with a good way to rephrase it: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/121154/… $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 23 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ Hi! (This does not answer your question, so I post it as a comment). If you experience name-calling or similar, please flag these posts/comments for moderator attention or as rude/abusive since behaviour such as this is completely untolarated on this site. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Jonas Mar 23 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, another user found your question interesting and posted what they feel is your question, reworded, here. Though your original question isn't super clear, so I'm not sure if it's asking the same thing as your original question. $\endgroup$ – Chris Mar 23 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonas I feel very uncomfortable about reporting a user who expressed concern to me that their account would be targeted for enforcement. It's my policy to never flag a user for behavior which I consider to be within the normal range of expected behavior on this website. I do not wish for any retaliatory action against any user as a result of my question. I would humbly request that you do not take enforcement action against any user I referred to in my meta post. If I find truly toxic behavior and name calling I will flag and report and not engage. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 24 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ I think it’s important to clarify that moderators don’t “retaliate against” users because of flags. The flag system is just one of several ways that we learn about behaviors that may warrant some type of redirection, and we have several different types of redirecting and communication tools at our disposal. The flag system is nice because (a) it’s private and (b) it leaves an audit trail that we can use later to look for patterns. Users who face suspensions do so overwhelmingly due to patterns in their own behavior — almost never as the result of a single flag. $\endgroup$ – rob Mar 24 at 3:01
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    $\begingroup$ Our code of conduct says right near the top: “Our expectations: ... be patient and welcoming.” If you’re at the point where you’re writing a Meta post about how unwelcome you feel in our community, then something somewhere is screwy, and we want to help set it right. $\endgroup$ – rob Mar 24 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ @rob I struggle enourmously to be patient and welcoming to people who, in my opinion, are behaving in a manner well within the normal range of expected behavior on a social network, i.e. in an extremely toxic and abusive manner revolving around dog-piling and mass downvoting and brigading. This all started on 4chan a long time ago, and every social network has this problem, but on some stack exchange site, the atmosphere is significantly more toxic than a typical social network. This is the result of many factors imo, and is virtually impossible to solve (cont...) $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 24 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @rob (cont...) I understand that we have a code of conduct, and I care a lot about this community and want to help improve the culture. I am completely at a loss of how to handle this. I believe in forgiveness and making jokes and trying to be friends with everyone. I don't like acting like a "hall monitor" and running "to the teacher" to "tell on" other users. I strongly prefer to either not engage, or else come up with a system of rules which will tend to evolve our community towards a more positive and welcoming atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 24 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @rob If I could make one suggestion, it would be to have the owners of stack exchange re-evaluate the psychological impact of downvotes. I do not believe the down vote button should exist at all. Given that we cannot see each others faces, there is not sufficient context to determine why a downvote occurred. For new users (which I am not), this psychological impact can be truly devastating. The downvote button is a major blocker to solving this problem, imho. I also suggest that downvotes should be secret, and shadowbans should be used instead of public bans when possible. / $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 24 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ Any community (and we are a community, even though we are not a social network) gets to decide, whether actively or passively, what kinds of things are “within the normal range of expected behavior.” Here we have decided that toxic and abusive behaviors are abnormal and unexpected. It is unfortunate that your recent experience has been otherwise. $\endgroup$ – rob Mar 24 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @rob As a member of this community, it's important to me to follow the rules of show respect to other users. For me, this means not telling other people what to do. Furthermore, I strongly believe in freedom of speech as an absolute value of a free internet. I would much rather prefer to combat bad speech with good speech, and strongly suggest re-evaluating the effectiveness of censorship and retaliation as a form of speech policing the users of this site (cont...) $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 25 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @rob (cont.) I would strongly prefer that any user who wants to call me "ignorant" and downvote me without explaining why until I ask, (which happened today in the question I asked which was closed because I was called names, and then reposted by a user who called me "people like you") would just use me for target practice. I have been on the internet since before the internet existed, and I am one of the original members of both math stack exchange and physics se (check my profile for my join date) (cont...) $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 25 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ @rob I strongly disagree with your claim that this is "not a social network" but is a "community". Let's agree to disagree about whether or not the word social network means the same thing to us. My philosophy is to lead by setting a good example. I don't tell other people what to do. I lead by following. I don't actually think flagging users who are problematic is an effective strategy for improving the emotional and psychological impact of being on a website with a downvote button and factions among it's user base who dog pile and mass downvote unknown users. Cheers =) ! $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 25 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ @MattCalhoun I think you should show the evidence that factions of users are collectively mass-downvoting posts before making that accusation. Since this is actually not a social network site, there isn't really a way for something like this to be organized between users. It might be possible through the chat rooms, but the moderators would most likely shut that down before it became a serious problem (although you would probably want that chat room to continue to keep the internet "free" like you knew it before it existed(?)). $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Mar 25 at 4:09
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  1. Name-calling or other abusive behaviour is not something we want to see on our site. Users are expected to be reasonably nice even to people they disagree with or find annoying. If you see abuse (directed at you or others), please use the flagging system to alert the moderators of it. It is not something any user should feel required to tolerate. Please also do not respond in kind if you feel wronged - just flag and disengage.

  2. If your question was closed, you are of course free to try and post a better version of it. In order to create a version that will not be closed, you need to understand what was actually the problem with the first version. Questions are usually closed by five users with more than 3k reputation voting to close it, and sometimes by moderator vote. Even if you have experienced unwelcoming behaviour in the comments, it is very unlikely the reason for closure was your "personality". Even if we get the occasional personal grudges, most users interact with posts based on their content, not on who posted them.

  3. For the particular question you ask about: It is extremely hard to understand what your actual question is, and whether it is actually about physics. It starts with three lengthy sections (DISCLAIMER, WHAT I TRIED, REQUEST) before what seems to be the actual question starts, and nowhere does it seem to use any actual concepts of mainstream physics. Additionally, the UPPERCASE formatting is unusual and perceived by many users as the equivalent of shouting - emphasis is usually expressed via italics or boldface around here. A total vote of -10 and it getting deleted also show the question isn't just a little bit unclear - there is broad consensus that it is neither clear nor useful, and the delete voters apparently consider it unsalvagable.

    Questions should be free of commentary irrelevant to the question (in this case, e.g. your experience on math.SE, or what color theme you use in your text editor) and they should focus on a clear, reasonably objective question about mainstream physics. If you think you can do that with your question, then you should post a new question that does that. If not, then not.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 This is solid advice, thanks. I have tried to provide more information in chat, let me know in there if you would like to explore ways to phrase my question properly. I will refrain from posting another question on the main site until we come up with a way to phrase it so its in line 100% with the rules of this site. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/121154/… $\endgroup$ – user442 Mar 23 at 18:25

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