I was wondering how could I improve the question here: non abelian string in QCD? It looks to me the question is not too broad, all sub-questions are related.

But one of our moderators puts it on hold. Then I decided to remove the SUSY part.

Also I am not saying any moderator can be a dictator.

But it looks to me that a single person holds such a power to decide the fate of a question, and he/she also decides the fate of each individual user (for example, they may check your personal private data) -- this sounds to me like the big brother in George Orwell' 1984, wearing the dark glasses, watching all of us. Some of us can befriend to moderators to maintain a good connection to moderators and to each other, but not all of us prefer to do that.

Moderators may stay on the site for a longer period so knows some physics. But Who knows you or me or any of us may be a famous professor or Nobel laureates like t Hooft or Weinberg that simply asks a naive stupid question sometime? In this sense, a profound question can be easily on hold/closed by any moderator if he does not like it for any reason (or he does not understand it).

If this site is moderated by the moderators (who hold long term non-ending positions), then who are the people moderating the moderators? if the moderators hold too much power interfering the academic activity of site?

Of course, I understand that there are benefits to have moderators --- they also do good things, but they can also do the opposite, the bad for the site?

Does the freedom of moderators interfere the freedom of other users to ask greater questions?

I am asking people's opinion about the running of the site and how to get feedback on my question.

  • $\begingroup$ Also the non-ending positions is actually false. There can be term limits (we've had one step down in the 5ish years, other sites have more frequent elections) $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not aware of participation by Weinberg, but 't Hooft mostly contributed answers before he became inactive. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Jun 20, 2017 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah. If there's one Nobel laureate I'm reasonably certain is not contributing anonymously, it's 't Hooft, for the simple reason that he contributes under his own name. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2017 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because George Orwell' 1984 $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2017 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ @AlfredCentauri please close vote using reasons that can be understood by everyone and with legitimate reasons. Your whim or fancy is not a reason to vtc. $\endgroup$
    – auden
    Jun 25, 2017 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


It seems it does not behoove me to comment on my continued role as a moderator, so let me here only explain why I put OP's specific question on hold as too broad. A question that I btw generally like. OP asks (v3):

  1. What does it mean to say "non abelian string in QCD?" Does "non abelian string" happen for pure Yang-Mills (say SU(N) or SO(N)) without any fermions? Or do we require additional fermions?

  2. What is the most accessible Ref to introduce this topic on "non abelian string"?

  3. Does "non abelian string" have any thing to do with the quantum statistics of strings are non abelian? Like non abelian Majorana for certain solid state systems?

  4. Should the string form a worldsheet in the spacetime, thus it should be descried by some 2-form field locally? Any precise math formulation?

The problem is not so much an extra SUSY question or not, although Phys.SE do generally discourage more than one subquestion per post, mainly to ensure that the post fits the SE Q&A format. The main problem is that Phys.SE usually do not allow to mix explicit resource recommendations (subquestion 2) with actual physics questions (subquestions 1, 3 & 4). Resource recommendations posts are restricted on Phys.SE and made into Community-Wikis (CWs), cf. this meta post and links therein; while actually physics questions are not. This leaves OP's post somewhere in between.


Is it possible for moderators to unilaterally close questions? Yes, and this is by design: moderators are there to implement site policies as decided upon by the community, to make sure the site is held to the high standard that makes it a valuable resource.

Are moderators infallible? No, they're human, obviously. Are moderator actions final and unappealable? Not at all: questions can be reopened (see here and here for more information), and if five experienced community members disagree with the moderator then the question gets reopened. The moderators' power over the academic aspects of the site are subordinate to the community moderation and if the community agrees that a moderator action was incorrect, then it gets rolled back, as simple as that.

Do moderators control the fate of all users on the site? Not at all. I just had ice cream the other day, and there was nothing a site mod could do to stop me. (Or, to put it another way: maybe that statement of yours was a bit of hyperbole?) Moderators can indeed access personally-identifying information that you've provided to the site and which is not publicly available, but access to that information is logged and it is reserved for instances where it is necessary. Inappropriate access to or use of user PII is grounds for revocation of moderator privileges.

Moderators are managed by the Stack Exchange Community Team, and if you suspect any abuse of moderator powers you can contact them directly via the Contact link on the footer of every page. If you are uncomfortable with this moderation structure, it's important to point out that Stack Exchange is a commercial company and that it's them footing the bill for the servers that host the content (as well as huge investments in the software that powers the site); if you're really not OK with them being arbiters of what happens with your PII, I would suggest not giving them any.

It's important to note that the community team is there for actual abuse of moderator privileges. If it's just a unilateral closure that you disagree with, you should edit it to address any concerns that have been voiced. (In the specific question you're referring to, you failed to do that. You were pointed out that resource recommendation questions are subject to specific policies, and you failed to act on that information. It's therefore natural for the question to remain closed.) If the question does not get reopened after you have addressed any concerns, you can ask a question on this meta to ask why it was closed or to argue that it shouldn't be. If you want examples of this in practice, see e.g. the closed-questions tag on this meta.

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    $\begingroup$ Wait, the mods can't stop me from eating ice cream!? BBL, going to stuff my face of frozen treats... $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Jun 20, 2017 at 22:02

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