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The vanishing of the whole thread "Do we agree with [insert-here-the-user-who-shall-not-be-named]'s Suspension?" has been for me the straw that broke the camel's back. I had shared my thoughts there, together with other physicists, and we deserve some respect. I can't remember the slightest thing that could be wrong there, no rude language, nothing wrong at all.

This seems to me more and more everyday, a personal crusade of a specific moderator against a specific user. And now the traces are being covered.

I am not one of the great users here. I don't pretend to be one of them, and of course I don't expect my decision to have any impact. It is only that I cannot accept this any more. I leave the site. Thanks to those who answered my questions and discussed some ideas with me. I hope that my few humble answers were useful to somebody.

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    $\begingroup$ It's just a Q & A site. Don't worry so much. $\endgroup$ – user31346 Oct 29 '13 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth regrettably, I am quite positive that Phys.SE will collapse in the near future. Well done, mods! $\endgroup$ – user215721 Oct 30 '13 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ Okay, take care. Hope you'll drop by on occasion. Thank you for your contributions (very interesting and compelling reading) $\endgroup$ – user29350 Oct 31 '13 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ I was around when that whole thing happened. You're basically defending a guy who, while unarguably intelligent (maybe even brilliant), squandered that intelligence by promoting crackpot ideas, claiming censorship, insulting other community members, and defying any attempts at reasonable moderation. Rather than consider the possibility that a sense of order might provide some sensible discourse, he did exactly the opposite by advocating anarchy and chaos. You can't let that go on and expect people to take the site seriously. $\endgroup$ – Robert Harvey Oct 31 '13 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertHarvey: Sure you can! What can make people take this site seriously is the quality of the answers provided. I much prefer good answers from obnoxious or arrogant people (he was both at times, obviously), than poor answers from nice people. He certainly provided several of the best answers on this site (as well as some much less satisfying, of course). People who get offended too easily should avoid using the internet: they might get hurt! $\endgroup$ – Yvan Velenik Oct 31 '13 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ @YvanVelenik: Assuming you want high-level experts at Physics, you would do what Math Overflow has done, since they have been wildly successful at attracting and cultivating a culture of advanced math experts. Math Overflow jealously guards their community, and vigorously defends it from these kinds of distractions; they would never put up with this kind of crap there. The Physics mods are very lenient, in comparison. $\endgroup$ – Robert Harvey Oct 31 '13 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertHarvey: Right. Except that MathOverflow has a much, much larger number of experts contributing than this site. They also have infinitely less low-level questions. They can afford being more picky. $\endgroup$ – Yvan Velenik Oct 31 '13 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @YvanVelenik: You're confusing cause with effect; MathOverflow was strict from the beginning, and that's why, in part, it has been successful at attracting experts. Their success is also due in part to a campaign effort to attract expert users. Perhaps Physics should do the same things, and stop worrying about the members who are prima donnas. $\endgroup$ – Robert Harvey Oct 31 '13 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Yvan Velenik: When you say "People who get offended too easily should avoid using the internet: they might get hurt!" are you saying that it's OK to be a jerk, and it's the "victim" who's in the wrong? $\endgroup$ – The_Sympathizer Nov 30 '13 at 8:56
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    $\begingroup$ @mike4ty4: No, just saying that some people should grow a tougher skin. $\endgroup$ – Yvan Velenik Nov 30 '13 at 12:30
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As I recall, user DImension10 Abhimanyu made some comments there to which I replied to, you then made a comment about me that I flagged, and the whole thread then got deleted.

So I guess the moderator(s) decided that the thread was being resurrected and adding to an already ridiculous amount of discussion in the comments, leading to a bad atmosphere where people could end up getting suspended. As usual, the right thing seems to have been done under the circumstances, IMO. But this is my take on the matter, and I don't know the facts for sure.

At the very least, I hope you can see that the moderators are fair and very skilled in dealing with stuff like this, and there's no need for you to leave.

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I'm sorry to see you go, though I don't quite sympathize with the reasons you have listed in the post.

I can't remember the slightest thing that could be wrong there, no rude language, nothing wrong at all.

What was wrong was that it was a public discussion about another user, one who wasn't even around. It was deleted due to that. Not to remove any discussion -- there are plenty of posts mentioning the suspension that are still around (some of them yours).

This seems to me more and more everyday, a personal crusade of a specific moderator against a specific user. And now the traces are being covered.

The user wasn't even suspended by the same mod each time. As mentioned before, it's about the site rules, not any personal vendetta. And I think there has been enough discussion about the rules, though if you want them changed then you'd have to bring them up on the main meta (where I think it's been brought up before, not sure).

I don't think this was done to cover the traces of anything. Not in the sense you mean, at any rate. We had a good member who is no longer here. Is there any point leaving a post around that discusses his suspension? One that contains various dissections of his character? And things that border on personal attacks to him? Is that really something we should preserve?

We don't think that the suspension was wrongly carried out1, and the mods will never claim that the user in question was never suspended (and we know that the community will remember). With this in mind, there isn't any reason for us to do this to cover our tracks.

I am not one of the great users here. I don't pretend to be one of them, and of course I don't expect my decision to have any impact. It is only that I cannot accept this any more. I leave the site. Thanks to those who answered my questions and discussed some ideas with me. I hope that my few humble answers were useful to somebody.

Again, sorry to see you go. Thank you for your contributions.

1. This is not the place to discuss this, please don't.

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    $\begingroup$ What I really don't understand is why such threads get deleted instead of locked. Removing information (mostly valuable though with some rough edges) can only bring about further discussion of the same issue as there isn't anything that says 'OK, we had this discussion, let's move on'. Such removal does feel unilateral and disrespectful to those that posted there, whereas locking has a much more moderatorial feel. If it's the prolonged discussion that's the issue, locking solves it. If there's off-limits answers or comments, those can be deleted individually. I really, really don't understand. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 30 '13 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Firstly, that discussion shouldn't have happened in the first place. It was a pretty icky one, with attacks being thrown around and whatnot. So no, if someone wants to have it again, they can't. Also, if you read the linked meta post, the deletion was more or less a courtesy to the suspended user (besides keeping off topic discussion off). Most people wouldn't want a dissection of their character hanging around within a Google's reach. The prolonged discussion was only part of the issue. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 30 '13 at 2:18
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    $\begingroup$ Usually, you're right, such discussion gets locked. I agree that a lot of users had put their time into the post. But besides thinking that we as a community should move on, there's not much reason that a post full of attacks and whatnot on a user that's not even here anymore should be kept. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Oct 30 '13 at 2:39
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty, in addition to what Manish has already said, the history of the moderation of that thread was this: (1) off-topic and abusive comments were deleted, with notice from the mods; (2) the thread was closed when the mods deemed it no longer relevant; (3) the the thread was locked because people wouldn't leave it alone; (4) the tread was deleted because people still wouldn't leave it alone. The mods escalated it slowly, going through every option they had. $\endgroup$ – Colin McFaul Oct 30 '13 at 16:10

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