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After my first 7 days suspension on April 2018, I raised HERE some questions related to the proper use of chat rooms to avoid defamatory actions clearly not compatible with the fair harmony of the community and with our Code of Conduct.

In that occasion, indeed, I noticed and I’ve experienced on my person that while a rude but extemporaneous opinion given during an open debate through a comment can lead to a 7 days suspension, a purposeful, deliberate and reiterate public senseless accusations, perpetrated through public chat rooms, which should be aimed to different scopes, had been tolerated and allowed by the community.

On May a related very useful discussion was raised by Robert Frost with the following OP: Is CRUDE healthy?.

Notwithstanding these discussions, the unfair use of chat rooms has gone on; here some example regarding my person from CRUDE public chat room

1) On July 2, 2018

enter image description here

2) On July 29, 2018 enter image description here

3) On September 11, 2018 enter image description here

4) On September 15, 2018 enter image description here

5) On September 16, 2018 enter image description here

6) On September 16, 2018 enter image description here

7) On September 20, 2018 enter image description here

8) On September 26, 2018 enter image description here

9) On September 27, 2018 enter image description here

10) On September 28, 2018 enter image description here

Recently I was suspended again for 14 days because I engaged “in rude, nonconstructive comments with other users”. Here is the message received from Moderators Team to notify the suspension

enter image description here

Even if mine was a defensive action, I think that the decision for the suspension by the Moderation Team, as for the first suspension, was totally right since my behavior was an infringement to our Code of Conduct.

What I can’t really understand is:

Why are the user suspension criteria applied for unfair comments on the main site currently not applied for unfair use of public chat rooms?

My opinion is that these infringements to our Code of Conduct through chat rooms discussions should be taken into great consideration and prompt intervention by Moderation Team to avoid that users under attack are forced to defend by themselves and to avoid unpleasant escalations and subsequent long time suspensions.

Please feel free to express your thoughts about that issue in the most open and frank way.

Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ Instead of trying to find fault in others actions, you might want to reflect on why you have the reputation that you have. Maybe "it's unfair" is at least not all there is to it. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 13 '18 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Really my reputation (which one?) is not the main point here. The point is that we have some rules and those rules should be the same for all users regardless their reputation. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 13 '18 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ I did not mean the points. But the way you are seen by others. Whether or not it is the main point, is not all that relevant. You asked for my thoughts in the most open and frank way. This is the first thought that crossed my mind. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 13 '18 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ @quid I really appreciate your frankness but maybe the fact that it was the first thought that crossed your mind is a part of the issue. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 13 '18 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ Some of the things asserted are however demonstrably true (especially the part that concerns you). That's not a judgment, but a simple fact. You can still object to it being mentioned, but you should not claim that something is false that is simply true. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ @quid The new material is an example of an unfair use of chat rooms since they are clearly infringements to our Code of Conduct. I'm referring notably to the "No name-calling or personal attacks" part and also "No bigotry. We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples" (reputation?)...and so on. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ I think you should not overstate your case. You arguably have some cause to complain. But I would not go overboard. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think it is accurate to say that they are tolerated. If you care to check, recently, at least two moderators (including me) issued a clarification regarding the admissibility of mentioning who voted on something. Generally, it is more efficient to raise issues close in time. Then, we try to address them promptly. To go over a chat transcript and make a collage of comments made over an extended period of time and to then denounce moderator-inaction is maybe not all that helpful. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 0:53
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    $\begingroup$ "I'm not denouncing moderator-inaction" Maybe it is legitimate that you denounce it. But I don't see how you can claim that this is not what you try to do. What else is your purpose? $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ All I can say is that if members of the forum were bound not to voice (valid) negative views on others as suggested in this post, that seems like a major enablement for exploitation and/or incompetence. If something is bad, let's recognize it as such, even if it's inconvenient or uncomfortable. (All criticisms should be expressed in a civil and constructive way, of course.) $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Oct 14 '18 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should take the high number of (perfectly civil and polite, if unflattering) critical comments as an opportunity to reflect on the quality and type of contributions you make here, rather than trying to complain that other users didn't join your suspension. $\endgroup$ – user296602 Oct 14 '18 at 4:36
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi "Sorry but as usual you really didn't get the point." Since we are all trying to figure out what is and isn't in line withe the CoC, I'll record that this formulation, especially with the 'as usual', strikes me as quite clearly against the CoC.. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi What I can't accept is that a restricted group of persons pretend to adfirm their point of view as the "good one" for the whole community. How do you know it's a restricted group? I have a feeling you are just guessing. The fact that there is a guideline for users to search for their question before they post indicates we want users to follow it, and so answerers who reward not following this guideline are seen in a bad light. We leave a lot of slack for people who simply can't find duplicates. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Oct 14 '18 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ Can I please ask everybody not to vote to close this question. You don't have to agree with gimusi (or me), but they have the right to air this case. It is more important than the individuals involved. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Oct 14 '18 at 14:15
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi: I also think that the interaction is a more important part of the site than long-term history. But I would say that in questions like this there is no real interaction - the OP just posted a homework problem and had it answered, without any real discussion that might have benefitted the OP more deeply. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Oct 14 '18 at 19:38
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For my part I will say the following.

  1. I don't really regret making those chat comments. I mean, I am not willing to apologize for them at the moment.
  2. But I do concede that I'm not at all proud of making them.
  3. The others have analyzed my state of mind while making those comments reasonably accurately. The one addition I will make is that:
  4. I didn't want to spell it out in my resignation speech, but the fact that I was powerless to change the fact that gimusi rakes in upvotes by answering PSQs is the chief reason I am no longer a diamond moderator. I will not want to volunteer my time and effort, if the end result is that people reward each other for laziness. Neither askers nor answerers typically search for dupes. This makes the site worse in my eyes. This is an anathema to all the type 1s.

I concede that targeting gimusi alone here was not fair as the problems the site is facing (the entire network really) are systemic. They just happened to be a most visible source of irritation. Well, they worked hard to get there.

OTOH I am not alone feeling this way. My somewhat related rant has received a mixed response, but mostly positive. I have posted another rant (at a time I was searching my soul trying to decide whether I want to continue), but that is in an area only moderators can see. At that time the wounds were very raw, and it showed. The linked MSE-post is civil in comparison.

Two suggestions/ways forward:

You should refer the case of my comments to StackExchange staff. You see, our per site moderators are not well placed to judge my actions. I have worked closely together with many of them for many years. They are human beings, not some remote controlled automatons who just enforce a set of rules. It is not at all fair to expect them to ignore the common personal history I have with them. Irrespective of whether they share my antipathy towards proliferations of PSQs or not. The key members of the SE staff have interacted with me also, but they are still a bit more detached about the specifics of what's going on in Math.SE.

...and...

I think it's high time we all talk it over, and decide on a binding set of rules re PSQs, granting per site mods the mandate to delete the threads in violation, and to save those that are not. Of course, no set of rules will be cast in stone, but lack of clear rules has caused enough drama already. Even slowly moving goal posts would be better. I encourage everybody to read this response from Shog9. It is intentionally open to interpretation. But, it does underline the need to seek a compromise. You see, curators like me are not going to go away. Neither are the help seekers nor the answering machines. There's more where they come from. And some of the current curator/librarians are former prolific answerers, so they, too, will be able to recruit new users.

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    $\begingroup$ I never understood this mandate thing. I said if elected I will continue to vote as I see fit, several hundred users voted for me because or despite of this, which is more than the votes on most any meta thread there is, and that's that. If there is an actual conflict about a specific thread that's another thing, but to remove clear cases is not a problem, in my opinion and even experience. (Except that it's a lot of work, which is better crowd-sourced.) $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 11:28
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    $\begingroup$ That said, the issue of 'rules should be more clear' comes up with some frequency. It could make sense that you draft a proposal. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ I believe there is a need for making more clear what is "binding", The fact that we have countless users, still, that feel they are entitled to behave according to the following: "My position is that anyone must be free to answer to any question and of course anyone is free to downvote or vote for close or delete questions/anwers." Clearly some users are missing the fact that "free to answer to any question" is a mistatement. (Not to mention:"free to ask any question"...and if there are limits, as there are, to what can be asked, it would seem there are limits to answering what... $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ ought not be asked. (By the way, I'm addressing @quid in these past two comments.) $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy I think the rules are clear in that I consider "How to ask a good questions" as binding (everybody has to decide how far a deviation they tolerate) and there is a custom close reason. I don't know why some think otherwise. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ What is more tricky is how to enforce the rules. Users should not moderate users (but content). Yet, it could make sense to signal significant and perpetuated deviations from what I mentioned above to the moderators. @amWhy $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ I think what is less clear, @quid, is the activity of answering questions which should be closed (some of which should be deleted). That's what seems to be unclear to users who insist that anything submitted as a question is appropriate enough reason to answer it: fair "game", so to speak. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy yes. I laid out my opinion on Theo's answer. I'll elaborate in more detail in whatever, quid // Here is a bookmark Answering PSQs is against the rules $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ I just want to commend you for being so honest and open about this. I'm still determining my own opinion regarding PSQs, but your answer (and meta rant) has really helped me appreciate the stakes involved here. $\endgroup$ – Theo Bendit Oct 14 '18 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ For the record: gimusi handled this question better than I did. 10k+ users can see my since deleted answer and compare. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Oct 15 '18 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen It is admirable that you are going to quite the extent to credit gimusi for a correct answer, in which you believe they handled it better than you, or to plea to keep this question open. Perhaps not admirable, but it shows your integrity. One of the reasons I "loved you so much" as a mod (meaning I thought you made for one of the best mods ever) is your willingness to self-deprecate yourself, acknowledge others' points, strengths. I identify strongly with that tendency. I'm just afraid sometimes you minimize your valid points, and your strengths. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 15 '18 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ So I will maintain my steady faith that you have said something worth saying here, and prior to here, and I trust, will do so in the future of "here". You are a humble and honest man, and I respect you tremendously for both those qualities. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 15 '18 at 21:21
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It is absolutely not the position of the moderators to condone abusive behavior in chat. Chat is less formal than the main site, so there is, in practice, a bit more room for heated discussion there (much like on meta). Still, everything must remain reasonably civil.

That being said, I do not agree that these comments are unfair or abusive. The users are discussing your activity on the site-- votes you recently cast, answers you recently posted. They're allowed to do that. Stating that they feel negatively about those activities is not the same as targeting you.

Even if you have begun to develop a negative reputation in the eyes of these users, I see no evidence here that they have voted on your posts based on who you are, rather than what you've written.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for you answer. I can understand your point but I think that any discussion should always be carried out according to the main principle of our CoC. I'm very open to receive critques when those are discussed in a civil and constructive manner. In the past, for example, I had some discussion with Jyrki Lahtonen and his observations were very useful for me to improve my conduct here; I'm sure that Jyrki is in good faith, his behaviour is fair even if our points of view are opposite about some issue and even if his judgement on my way to stay here is very negative. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ I accept that. What I can't accept is the way he has formulated his point of view in the given examples. Those are useless and offensive comments which do not contribute to "build a community that is rooted in kindness, collaboration, and mutual respect". More in general, in other cases, I can't accept unfair critiques especially when coming from users which are not eligible for my appreciation since they cleraly act in a not honest manner. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi "since they cleraly act in a not honest manner" this seems like a 'senseless accusation' to me. Could you explain why it is not? $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 9:53
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    $\begingroup$ @quid As you noticed, according to our CoC, I didn't mention users who, in my opinion, act in a not honest manner. My point is that some user accusing me to answer some kind of questions have in their records a lot of answers to similar questions which is clearly not honest way to act in my opinion. Anyway it is not the main point in the discussion here, it is just an aside note. I accept and understand also that among the community some user is not completely honest or not completely coherent in his conduct. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 10:23
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi the Code of Conduct is a guideline for behavior. It explains in general terms how users should behave. The sentence "As you noticed, according to our CoC, I didn't mention users who, in my opinion, act in a not honest manner." shows what I think is a misunderstanding. To broadcast general negative insinuations about other users is not acceptable. Arguably, it is more harmful than to address a (perceived) specific problem with a specific user. In any case, it hardly can serve a useful purpose, contrary to bringing up specific issues, which might lead to some action. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 11:06
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To quote the Code of Conduct (emphasis mine),

We commit to enforcing and improving the Code of Conduct. It applies to everyone using Meta Stack Exchange and the Stack Exchange network, including our team, moderators, and anyone posting to Q&A sites or chat rooms.

The code of conduct is clearly intended to be enforced in chat rooms. I would agree that, certainly in public chat rooms, ideally, this should be enforced. The question is, are these examples actionable?

Out of the given examples, I would say that most are critical without actually being rude. The two most concerning quotes (both by Jyrki Lahtonen) are

If gimusi can answer it, it's a dupe.

They [gimusi] have no shame.

Both seem needlessly rude, and the latter needlessly personal. It should be pointed out, from the context, Jyrki was a little frustrated at while posting the second comment, but I agree that he should not have said these things.

Another comment that don't quite fit the mould comes from the user Rushabh:

I think I'm being downvote targeted by gimusi cuz of a not so nice interaction we had

It's important for users to be able to express concerns such as these to expose when such abuses do take place, but such things are better being the subject of a flag. There isn't much call to spread such unsubstantiated negative speculation in public. However, it is worth noting the mitigating factor that such speculation was not presented as fact.

All the remaining comments contain observations about your answering habits, and speculation about your voting habits. You are allowed (in the sense of following the rules laid out for the site) to answer PSQs, and to vote to re-open them. However, there is a large contingent of people on this site who resent PSQs and the people who encourage them by answering them. Such people put a lot of effort into quickly closing such questions before people can answer them (it has been suggested that question from new users should start closed and be manually opened). Subverting this process by answering PSQs, or voting to re-open them, will inevitably cause friction between you and these users. The moderators can't force everyone to like you, and I see nothing good coming from them trying to do so.

All that said, having a large group of influential senior members resent you creates a significant power imbalance. The community, including regular users and moderators, tend to regard users with high reputation and/or seniority more seriously than other users. Your impressive reputation notwithstanding, the community is more likely going to side against you than with you.

But, as I've already said, I don't see any good coming from moderators trying to redress this. I just think it's something that our senior contributors ought to keep in mind when expressing their frustration, no matter how justified they may feel it is.

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    $\begingroup$ "You are allowed (in the sense of following the rules laid out for the site) to answer PSQs" Actually, I think that in extreme cases it is against the rules of the site. That's not a consensus-opinion though and in any case it is hard to establish. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Could you point out these rules? Maybe I'm not as familiar as I should be with them! :-) $\endgroup$ – Theo Bendit Oct 14 '18 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ @TheoBendit Thanks for you answer. Yes, I also think that a self regulation would suffice to make things get better. Anyway I think that the role of Moderation Team is crucial to adfirm the respect of our CoC principles and it can be done without any limitation to fair and constructive discussion about users activity on the site. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ Knowingly answering questions that should be closed according to agreed upon criteria and thus undercutting the processes of the site is at least "not nice," viz. against the rules. Moreover, a default reason for suspension is "low quality questions over time"; I don't see why this should not apply to posts, more generally. Of course one can say that it is not sufficiently agreed upon that PSQs (or which PSQs) should be closed, or that even admitting LQ answers should be grounds for suspension the answers to the PSQs might not be LQ, etc. Thus it's not a consensus opinion. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ @quid That's an interesting perspective, and thank you for sharing it. Certainly knowingly causing friction amongst the senior contributors to further your own interests, or just to spite them, is not "nice". On the other hand, it would make me very uncomfortable to start punishing people for trying to make as many askers as possible satisfied with their interaction with the site. As I'm sure some would argue, people like gimusi have ulterior motives, but I would counter, "so do we all". $\endgroup$ – Theo Bendit Oct 14 '18 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it's subtle in practice, which is part of it not being consensus. Even I would stop short of suggesting merely giving good answers to 'bad' questions should be considered as actionable rule-violation (If the answers are not so good and there is a fuss made about action against the threads the situation changes a bit though.) $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 14 '18 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ I think your sentence "All that said, having a large group of influential senior members resent you creates a significant power imbalance." Is far too strong. Being disappointed with the behavior of a number of users is not equivalent to resenting those users. Please be more careful in your own choice of words, as in this case, being disappointed in some users' behavior on this site does not an imbalance of power make. Furthermore, everyone is welcome to speak in CRUDE. It is not an "exclusive club"; it's an open chat room, and anyone who cares enough to chat there, can do so. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ @gimusi But self-regulation, at least in your case, has not sufficed "to make things get better". Or do you believe the only self-regulation should be from those who find your persistent behavior problematic? Do you want to be part of the solution, or do you just want to be free to answer as many questions as you possibly can, of any quality whatsoever? $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ You fail to also note the amount of time others spend reviewing, cleaning up, and maintaining this site, which would not exist, were it not for that work, while you continue to maximize your rep on this site, and leave its maintenance in the hands of others, until you're goals are hindered, say, by a suspension, or others honest appraisals of your behavior? $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhyI accept we may have different point of view and goals on how act on MSE what I'm pointing out is that we need to follow the same common rules to avoid that these different point of view collide in a unpleasant way but promoting constructive and open discussions about that. $\endgroup$ – gimusi Oct 14 '18 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy I didn't mean to misrepresent you, though I admit my wording was a little lazy. The wording I wanted was something along the lines of "is annoyed by" rather than "resented", but I try to limit passive voice. You're right that it makes more harsh than it should be. But, at the same time, gimusi's behaviour does have a significant negative effect on other users (see Jyrki's answer), so some strong wording is arguably good for them to read. $\endgroup$ – Theo Bendit Oct 14 '18 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, @TheoBendit. I think I better understand your phrasing now. I appreciate your comment. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I do stick by the power imbalance though. It is very hard to contradict an opinion held by so many senior members ("my doubts are probably just a lack of experience with the site"). It's hard to contribute to a debate that has been held over so many tussles in so many meta posts. Getting on the bad side of so many senior members is just not a comfortable position for a newer user to be in. The quoted comments paint gimusi as some kind of bitter running joke on CRUDE. Note how hard it would be to childishly respond in kind. $\endgroup$ – Theo Bendit Oct 14 '18 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ gimusi is no "childish" user at this point in time, and holds more rep than some of the users engaged in the conversation gimusi conveniently left out of their itinerary. gimusi is hardly a new, or novice member of this site. Furthermore, one comment gimusi quotes of mine was actually a defense of gimusi, who had been criticized by another user, for reasons that criticizing user has been guilty of. Hence, my comment was directed at the accusing user, (the user who accosted gimusi), to slow down, and practice what is preached. But we don't see that, as all is taken out of context. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @TheoBendit ^^^ $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 14 '18 at 20:28

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