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I just received the "access to moderator privileges" tool. Looking at the anonymous feedback, there are some posts that have almost as much negative feedback as upvotes. What should I do about these types of posts?

I considered downvoting, but I have already upvoted some of them and my vote is locked. Others are not wrong, and I'm not sure why they have so much negative feedback. How should I respond to such posts?

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Luke, you should simply use your best judgement in deciding how to address these. Basically, as a moderator I don't act on these unless the community at large indicates the need to do so. There are a couple of exceptions, such as a post that obviously doesn't meet with the SE guidelines in general, or a post that is generating a lot of discussion instead of answers.

In the first case, if it is obvious that the question or answer doesn't follow our guidelines, I will usually leave a comment asking the person who created the post to modify it to make it fit. If it something that is an abvious and major issue, I will close it and ask them to modify it. If they do so, then I will consider reopening it.

In the situation where there is a lot of discussion, I will usually freeze it for a while and post a comment advising folks to take it to the chat room. Once the freeze is lifted, if the discussions start back up, then I will either extend the freeze or close it to further comments.

Again, just use your best jedgement. If you have already voted on a question then don't worry about the negative feedback it is getting. That is part of the community process. We don't want to create a situation where we start following the herd. If the community as a whole decides to downvote it enough or recommend it for closing, then we act on that, and only that.

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Well, as someone with the same set of privs...

I can't say as I see what exactly your issue is. If you think the question/answer is fine (which you clearly did or you wouldn't have upvoted it), then clearly you disagreed with the downvoters. Let one of them get enough rep to do something about the supposed "low quality" item. That's part of the system too.

If the people with a problem with the question have a decent point, the first thing you should probably look to do is edit the question to make it better.

As an example I just went and checked and found What factors contribute to the fact that only a handful of countries manufacture aircraft jet engines? on the list due to two close votes. IMHO the core of that question is perfectly OK (if perhaps a bit under-researched), but it was phrased in a rather emotional way. As it was, it looked an awful lot like the questioner had some kind of nationalistic axe to grind. (A bit more research shows the the questioner, while a useful contributor, is not a native English speaker, and does have an unfortunate habit of posing his questions and answers that way). So I just edited it. Perhaps that doesn't fix the problem, but if not I'm sure other users will say so.

Failing that, I suppose you could always take the hacker's way out and just edit the entry a smidge so you can change your vote...

  • Well, I wasn't talking about the close vote lists. I was talking about post feedback. We're not going to get out of beta unless we have more questions; we're not going to have more questions until we get more dedicated users; we're not going to get more dedicated users unless we can attract them with good-quality information. 10+ negative feedback isn't just one person not being helped. There's a whole lot of potential users seeing those questions and getting a bad impression. – American Luke Nov 9 '12 at 20:17
  • I figure we should do something to fix this problem, but I didn't know what. As to the question you linked to, the first whole paragraph is shown wrong by Yannis Rizos' comment. That doesn't leave much meat to the question. It should stay closed unless there is more of a foundation to it. – American Luke Nov 9 '12 at 20:18
  • @Luke - Hmm. Can't say as I've ever played with that particular tool before... On my example question, personally I'd rather have seen Yannis' comment as an answer. – T.E.D. Nov 9 '12 at 20:20
  • It is rather hidden away. – American Luke Nov 9 '12 at 20:24

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