# Why was this on-topic question unilaterally closed and migrated by a moderator?

This question on context-free and regular grammars was unilaterally closed as off-topic and migrated to cs.stackexchange.com by one of the moderators; I should like to know why. We have a long history of answering questions in this area of mathematics — and it is mathematics — and we have a number of regulars who are competent to do so. We also have appropriate tags, two of which were used by the OP.

• This seems like a prime example of something that could have been asked on the Mods' Office chatroom. – Asaf Karagila Jan 30 '15 at 22:34
• @Asaf: Quite possibly — had I been aware of its existence. On the other hand, had the question been closed and migrated for any reason other than request by the OP, this would have been very much the right place to discuss what would in that case have been a real problem. – Brian M. Scott Jan 30 '15 at 22:38
• I’d really like to know the reason for the downvotes; I can’t see anything particularly controversial about a request for information. – Brian M. Scott Jan 30 '15 at 22:39
• Brian, I agree that if there was a problem it would be worth discussing. But it is much better to come with evidence, than with speculations and what can possibly be understood as angry tone (I'm sure you weren't mad with rage when you posted this meta thread). If you had asked on the chatroom and you would have received an unsatisfactory answer, coming here saying "Look, this and that happened, and the moderators did it for this and that reason, and I think this is unacceptable", the case for the thread would have been much stronger. In any case, my remark was for the future, rather than now. – Asaf Karagila Jan 30 '15 at 22:40
• Your original title was inflammatory. You did not ask an honest question, you wrote a complaint. – quid Jan 30 '15 at 22:40
• @quid: I don’t agree. It certainly wasn’t intended to be. In fact, I simply lifted an existing title that was suggested by the system and modified it to avoid title collision. And before posting I rewrote the question to make it not a complaint. (Though had the answer been anything else, it would quickly have become a complaint.) In any case, an uncommented downvote on that basis is worthless: it does nothing to correct the perceived problem. – Brian M. Scott Jan 30 '15 at 22:44
• @BrianM.Scott Before you asked about the down votes, I was going to comment on that. Down votes on meta are supposed to oppose a stance in the post, yet I see people down voting questions which take no sides whatsoever, which are quite simply questions. I can't understand this. And even if in some absolute sense quid right about the original title being inflammatory, I don't believe for one second that even half of the down voters went back to check the title and then decided to down vote. – Git Gud Jan 30 '15 at 22:48
• Brian, that you did. I didn't vote on the post (up or down), but I did feel the tone of the post to be less asking and more accusatory. That's what I meant, and that's probably the reason for the downvotes. – Asaf Karagila Jan 30 '15 at 22:49
• You spent about two thirds of the post explaining why OP is on-topic here. Why? – quid Jan 30 '15 at 22:58
• @Jonas: I didn't take a close look at the revision history. But I completely understand the downvotes that accompanied the original title. (I didn't vote at all on the question; although I did vote Daniel Fischer's answer. Up. I voted it up.) – Asaf Karagila Jan 31 '15 at 0:00
• Having explained my spontaneous impulse to dv, let me also explain what the "real problem" in this an other situations is. It appears you take as some quasi-default assumption that the moderators do something odd. Why did the actual scenario not occur to you? Or, if it did, why couldn't you assume it is likely this and move on? (After all there is not that much at stake here, some users question would have been moved from one on-topic site to a comparable other on-topic site where they even have an account. Really, even if it would have been done just so, what's the big issue.) – quid Jan 31 '15 at 0:57
• Or, what would be so wrong would a moderator decide to move a question that had not received any attention at all over ten hours, which is pretty long for this site, to another site were one can assume it might (and in fact did!) get more attention? (Possibly, it would not the best course of action, but is it really so bad that it would have been a "real problem"?) Perhaps try to change your default for such cases to "likely there is some good reason for that moderator action." It could be more pleasant for everybody. – quid Jan 31 '15 at 0:57
• @qudi Perhaps, because there is a long history of abuse of unilateral / binding votes. But you've only been a member for less than one-third of the site's lifetime, so I don't blame you for not being aware of that. – Bill Dubuque Jan 31 '15 at 1:48
• Something that could have been a two-line exchange in chat got turned into a full blown argument on meta. Usual rhetoric about "unilateral mod actions". General presumption of moderators actively trying to harm the website. Getting tired of some people described in this comment. Trying to push a rant-like question off the front page. All these reasons made me downvote. If a mod was held at gunpoint and forced to migrate a question, I should call the police, but I didn't immediately assume that this is what happened... – Najib Idrissi Jan 31 '15 at 8:15
• @BillDubuque even admitting this, for the sake of argument, it could be beneficial to try to turn the page. The moderator involved is only in service since some weeks and active on the site about as long as I, which is not a long time as you remarked. Why would one want to reproach them actions done years ago by others. – quid Jan 31 '15 at 10:55

• Fair enough. $\;,$ – Brian M. Scott Jan 30 '15 at 21:23
• @rschwieb: No kudos for the unwarranted assumption that a request for information was actually second-guessing. You may not be aware of the fact that it is not uncommon for questions in that area to get comments suggesting — usually incorrectly — that they belong elsewhere. This seems to me quite adequate reason to enquire why one was migrated. As it happens, there was a perfectly good reason, and I indicated my entire satisfaction (‘Fair enough’) very promptly — $11$ minutes before I was even allowed to accept the answer, in fact. – Brian M. Scott Feb 7 '15 at 21:49