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I'm afraid I have a slight problem with a self-described retired moderator having the last word on commentary implying that the conversation had descended into rudeness and then locking because the comments were "off topic." None of the comments were the slightest bit rude, and although many may have been filtered through the commenters' political views, almost all were about the context of the wording under discussion.

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    <sucks teeth> You're certainly playing with fire on this one! Yoichi Oishi and waiwai933 are probably ELU's equivalent of "national treasures". I don't really want to get bogged down taking sides, but there are a lot of comments there - mostly Off Topic to a greater or lesser extent. Why not incorporate anything relevant into your actual answer (that's what comments are supposed to be for; improving the answer), and perhaps ask a mod to move all the comments to a chat thread (where they should have gone before the comment thread got so long). – FumbleFingers Oct 27 '15 at 17:37
  • The answer is just fine as it stands, and besides that too is locked, a bit strange that the comments are locked, I didn't consider them to be inflammatory, but perhaps they were teetering on the edge. – Mari-Lou A Oct 27 '15 at 19:37
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks for the warning. First, although there are people who can scorch my feelings, trust me, none posts to ELU or any other cyber-outlets in which I participate. Secondly, my expectations are as low as my investment, which is limited to voicing some irritation. Asking a committee of moderators to overrule one of their own is like asking a US federal judge to reconsider his ruling. Sure, there's a formal mechanism for doing so, but it rarely, if ever, has any effect. Except, as I should have anticipated, to provide an outlet for driveby downvoting. – deadrat Oct 27 '15 at 19:55
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    Let me add that I would have had no objection to a warning not to let politically-tinged discussions descend into rude behavior. Neither would I have had a problem with moving the entire discussion to chat. I'm just not pleased that any moderator, national treasure or no, feels free to swan in with a sly (and in my opinion) false implication that commenters have violated rules of decorum and then to lock the thread from further commentary. I am reliably informed that he or she who moderates least moderates best. Just as I do not need to be informed that what pleases me doesn't mean squat. – deadrat Oct 27 '15 at 20:10
  • Actually, I didn't realise until a moment ago that not only can no further comments be added to locked posts - we can't vote on them either. (I tried to upvote your answer there, but couldn't). Yours is clearly the best answer there, since it's the only one that explains exactly why "the whole night" might raise a titter - and of course Yoichi is quite capable of looking up levity in a dictionary, so it's quite possible there was a cultural difference at bottom of his confusion, which you very adroitly cleared up. – FumbleFingers Oct 27 '15 at 20:46
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    @deadrat - While I don't support obsequious veneration as a legitimate reason to refrain from posting a complaint, I can attest to moderating being a fairly thankless job; one is bound to offend no matter how a situation is handled. Mods are supposed to keep sites relatively on-topic and trouble-free, whether it's about keeping things apolitical or asking someone to refrain from comparing pirating videos to cannibalism, slavery, etc. in comments. It doesn't matter if it's a warning, a lock, or moving comments to chat (the easiest solution), someone is going to be offended. I say let it go. – anongoodnurse Oct 27 '15 at 20:52
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    ...cutting to the chase, I'm coming down off the fence to side with you. But now we're both on a sticky wicket - even with my supporting upvote, your meta question still has a negative net tally. Anyway, it's your issue, so why don't you post an answer here yourself, asking waiwai933 to reconsider, move all those (unwanted? redundant?) comments to chat, and free up the "main" answer so it can continue to attract the upvotes it deserves (I will immediately upvote both answers, obviously! :) Bear in mind I'm not a mod, so I've no idea if such action is even possible, let alone easy. – FumbleFingers Oct 27 '15 at 20:54
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    @medica Yes, I accept that moderating is a thankless job. It's also one voluntarily undertaken and in the case of ELU one for which there are clear guidelines. Would someone have been offended in the absence of moderator action? No explanation was given and there's no indication that anyone was offended. In the short time I've been here, I've looked to your posts -- questions, answers, and commentary -- as a source of enlightenment, and I won't stop now. Letting it go I recognize as wise advice, and I intend to do no more than respond on this comment thread. – deadrat Oct 27 '15 at 22:00
  • @FumbleFingers Thank you. The particular issue is mine, but the general problem is one for the moderators to solve amongst themselves. They should hop to it without my having to importune them. In any case, the stakes are low and not worth my turning myself into one of those people I complain about -- The Internet Guy Who Has To Have The Last Word About Everything. – deadrat Oct 27 '15 at 22:10
  • @deadrat - I'm grateful my comment was taken in the spirit it was intended. I understand things from the other side, too. Now, as a mod on other sites, I've made mistakes that I wish I could undo. This does happen to be a mod action that can be undone, so I wish you luck. And no harm in asking. (Btw, people might have flagged some comments. You would have no way of knowing that, though.) – anongoodnurse Oct 27 '15 at 22:10
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    @Rathony When my time-out has expired and the lock is lifted, I intend to take the discussion to chat, where I'll be happy to consider the merits of your views on Clinton's exchange with Roby. I don't think my outright statement -- it certainly wasn't an implication -- was the issue that prompted the lock, and that's the only thing I want to discuss on meta. If my answer were inappropriately opinion-based, the proper remedy would hardly be to leave it in place but lock it. I think the perceived problem was with the comments. I refer you to the last sentence of my last reply to m_t. – deadrat Oct 28 '15 at 5:13
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    Deadrat's well-written and enjoyable answer expresses his personal opinion on the matter in question. This is inevitable when you are to interpret something said by someone (a most famous politician in this case), and makes the whole thing off-topic for ELU. OP has accepted the answer showing that he is just fine with the opinions put forward, but discussions on political issues, which naturally tent to raise contrasting emotions, should be avoided both her and on main. – user66974 Oct 28 '15 at 6:15
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    @Josh61 Thank you, I think. I've reread my answer and I'll have to cop to some extraneous personal opinions (which does not include Rathony's cite), but that's not a suitable discussion here. I don't think the opinions in my answer prompted the lock. An edit, solicited or volunteered, would have done the trick. I refer again to the end of my last reply to m_t. – deadrat Oct 28 '15 at 6:38
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    I agree, the comments prompted the lock, which were in turn probably prompted by the views expressed in the answer. Anyway don't worry, the lock just meant to stop futher off-topic discussions on a 'sensitive' issue. I posted a quick comment as a small warning under your answer, but it was not helpful. Let's turn the page..there are more questions waiting for good answers :) – user66974 Oct 28 '15 at 12:02
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    @Josh61 Not so much that it wasn't helpful but that I wasn't paying enough attention. Page turned. – deadrat Oct 30 '15 at 9:09
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The post will automatically unlock twenty four hours after the lock was applied (roughly 14 hours from now). I should note for the record that my decision was made based on comments that I have deleted, as well as other information not publicly available. As I stand by my decision, I do not intend to unlock the post any earlier, though another moderator may do so at their discretion.

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    This answer has been accepted. But not by me. In fact, I downvoted it not least because of the declaration that you stand by a decision you have clearly abandoned. My recollection of the commentary isn't strong enough to recognize which comments you've deleted, but I notice you've left your own implying that some commenters have violated decorum. They have been released from their toddlers punishment of a timeout, but their trespass remains unnamed as do the complaints of anonymous others. The real problem is one of moderation -- a lack of transparency, courtesy, judgment, and engagement. – deadrat Oct 28 '15 at 18:30
  • I am sorry that you feel that way. Unfortunately, I cannot share further information without breaching confidentiality of communication between other users and moderators. If you would like, you may ask for either another moderator or the Stack Exchange Community Team to review my decision. – waiwai933 Oct 28 '15 at 19:22
  • You are also welcome to unaccept this answer if you are not satisfied with my response; there is no obligation on you to accept a moderator's (or indeed anyone's) answer. – waiwai933 Oct 28 '15 at 19:23
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    And I'm sorry that you feel it necessary to hide behind a duty of confidentiality that I have not asked you to breach. As I am guided by the good sense of the estimable @medica, I will not waste anyone's time asking for a review of a decision that has already been rescinded. Nor will I unaccept an answer that I didn't "accept" in the first place. I wouldn't wish to encourage the extended dispute and adjudication of moderators' decisions, which (as in this case) are rarely cause for great anguish. There's a (small) problem here, but I've explained my disagreement, and that's enough. – deadrat Oct 28 '15 at 20:41
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    Did someone other than deadrat activate the green "accept' mark for this answer? I have always assumed that answer acceptance is entirely and exclusively a prerogative of the poster of the question. If a third party sometimes accepts an answer on behalf of (or in place of) the poster, is this a Meta-only feature or is it sometimes done on the main EL&U site as well? – Sven Yargs Oct 29 '15 at 2:09
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    @SvenYargs Only deadrat could have accepted an answer on this question (without a Stack Exchange developer going directly into the database, but that really would be quite extraordinary). I don't actually have any actual view that would verify that since moderators can't view individual votes, and accepts are just a type of vote to the system, but I would be quite astonished if deadrat hadn't clicked the accept mark (though possibly accidentally?). – waiwai933 Oct 29 '15 at 2:40
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    @SvenYargs It's certainly possible that I clicked where I didn't mean to. Should my re-clicking the checkmark undo the accept? At this point, it hardly matters. – deadrat Oct 30 '15 at 9:06

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