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When is it acceptable for a moderator to make a unilateral decision to close a question?

Hey Jeff, why not letting the community decide about this question?

The question has a purpose. I want to understand how people projects themselve in the future. I know that it's impossible to answer, and that's why the question is very valuable to me.

Where can we discuss psychology of programmers if not at P.SE ?


1 Answer 1


The first thing you should always do if you are confused about what's happening on a Stack Exchange site is to check the FAQ. From our FAQ (emphasis mine):

Programmers - Stack Exchange is for expert programmers who are interested in subjective discussions on software development.

Subjective does not mean "anything goes". Please keep it professional at all times. If this is a question you'd be uncomfortable discussing with your colleagues in a work environment, it's probably not appropriate here, either.

All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. How do we define that? Constructive subjective questions …

  1. inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
  2. tend to have long, not short, answers.
  3. have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
  4. invite sharing experiences over opinions.
  5. insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
  6. are more than just mindless social fun.

Questions that do not meet enough of these six guidelines will be closed as "not constructive." Please see the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective blog post for more details and examples.

After that, you should check the tags colored red on the meta-discussion site. If you did, you would've found this question:

Questions are being closed in accordance with the guidelines for this site. If you're confused because this is vastly different from the Area 51 proposal which has a lot of fluff questions, this redefinition was discussed on Meta.StackOverflow.com:

And discussed on this meta-discussion site:

I'm sorry you missed all of the discussion we had about the definition of the site, but the decision has already been made to redefine the site as it currently is in the FAQ, and the time for discussion is over.

If Programmers.SE no longer appeals to you or your question does not fit within the guidelines of this site, you might want to try to find a different site, like Yahoo! Answers or Quora.

  • I think you should revise your final paragraph. Pierre does not mention anywhere that Programmers.SE does not appeal to him. To imply that he has said that and then tell him his option is to leave is unnecessary. Oct 8, 2010 at 18:20
  • Additionally, to say that someone missed all the discussion and no longer has the opportunity to influence the direction of the site is absurd. You may have forgotten this but this site is in Beta, which should imply that things can still change. The idea that the very few people actively involved on meta.programmers while it is in Beta have somehow called the shots and made a permanent decision is unwise. Isn't figuring things like this out the whole point of a Beta? Oct 8, 2010 at 18:24
  • @Paddyslacker many other things can change, but this particular thing has gone through extensive discussion and is now strongly enforced by the owners of the system itself. It's done. It's not going to change. Move onto other issues.
    – user8
    Oct 8, 2010 at 20:15
  • I'm sure there have been many things that people thought were not going to change and did. For example, the very questions voted as on topic in the proposal phase have now been deemed off-topic - who knew that would change? I think healthy communities should allow and even welcome dissent. I'm not being rude or disruptive; I'm simply stating my opinion. Dissent and differing opinions is how we make the site better. And unlike you, I'm not telling other users to move on or to go elsewhere if they don't like what's happening. That is dismissive and disrespectful. Oct 9, 2010 at 4:22