First of all, I'd like to apologise if I offended anybody here by asking for the second opinion about my removed answer (I really do). Usually when you go to the doctor, you've right to do so. And this post isn't aiming for it either.

I'm one of the first users during private beta who was trying to help here by keeping the beta alive and answering the questions longer than 1-2 sentences by giving the people a good example and raising the bar here (and it wasn't for rep, but by giving the chance for this site to go forward into the public beta). And now I think the bar was raised too far.

Why am I not here?

Since the beta site got into wrong hands (this is in my humble opinion and I'm not trying to offend anybody), things got worse here and into wrong direction and as result: many private beta people left (I had many vote adjustments, because of removed users), I've been banned for a week for unclear reasons by discussing quality our answers on meta (by having good intentions), my answers on which I've spent several hours got removed (for unclear reasons which we even can't discuss) and further more.

What's the point here? I was not participating here for over 4 weeks (a month)! and observing how the site is going forward. The results? It's actually going backwards.

Evidence? I'm still the most active user here! Which gives something to think about.

enter image description here

Who is behind? Of course the mods (who obviously won't remove their own answers for obvious reasons, because they've power to not do so)!

Which is I think the main reason why people are not participating here anymore, because they don't want to spent hours of answering something which is criticised and send to the bin anyway. The site was much active during the private beta than now.

I was thinking what we can do here to improve our site, see below:

enter image description here

and I don't think promotion of ads or asking who are you would help here for obvious reasons. Comparing the other SE beta sites, something definitely is wrong here and it's not about the topic that is too narrow or something similar, but simple - the site is badly managed and people are not encouraged enough.

I understand the following post is quite controversial, but I don't see any other solution for our outstanding problem here. If we won't change anything, this site would be dead very soon. And obviously we should do something unless it's too late. Seems nothing else worked so far.

So basically I'm requesting re-election of our Pro Tempore mods. I'm sorry if I can't request that. However I remember it very clearly how people behaved and how badly they wanted to become mods on chat for their own personal reasons (pleasing people to up-vote them and badly searching for down-voters), and now we have what we wanted, the deadly site.

If you don't care about the site, go on and down-vote.

P.S. One of the very few people who joined later on and is trying to help here is @michaelpri (as well as on LifeHacks, which has some activity problems as well), who's trying different methods to push the site forward (here, here and here) which I appreciate.

  • 1
    The post has been archived just in case, so don't worry.
    – kenorb
    May 30, 2015 at 21:20
  • 4
    Just a reminder: you that you can vote to close on any moderator's answer. I would certainly not object to the community closing any of my answers. I would, as you did, ask why in meta, though. May 31, 2015 at 17:28
  • @HomegrownTomato - brain blip, you're right. Any user can down vote an answer. 3 votes will grey it. With enough rep, one can vote to delete any answer with a -1 or more. The point is, the user here is not helpless in the system. Jun 1, 2015 at 18:20
  • After 4.5 months the site still looks pretty dead for me. Only 5 users above 2k rep and they're all mods (apart of me). Why we need so many mods for the dead site? All other users left because of the bad attitude and destructive influence and I don't think this can be fixed. This is the price you pay when you treat people like that, I hope the lesson has been learned.
    – kenorb
    Aug 11, 2015 at 9:55
  • 1
    2 out of 4 community mods resigned last week: meta.health.stackexchange.com/q/492/43 Dec 18, 2015 at 15:53
  • @FranckDernoncourt Seems reasonable. Post an answer if you can, so I can accept it.
    – kenorb
    Dec 18, 2015 at 17:34
  • 1
    @kenorb done~~~ Dec 18, 2015 at 17:36

3 Answers 3


2 out of 4 community mods resigned last week: State of the site - moderators


If I understand you correctly, your argument boils down to this:

  1. You've been very active in posting answers here.
  2. You disagree with some of the moderators about how answers should be constructed.
  3. Therefore, we should replace all of the moderators with people who agree with you.

I don't find this logic particularly compelling. You're currently responsible for roughly 15% of answers on the site; that's impressive, but hardly gives you a majority vote in terms of who moderates here. Furthermore, that's based nearly entirely on your activity before moderators were appointed here - you've been mostly inactive for the past few weeks, while the number of other active users has increased.

And that's the critical metric here: a site like this isn't one person answering questions, or even 5 people answering questions; a healthy site welcomes anyone with the expertise to answer the questions being asked, even if they only ever post a single answer. Health is not such a narrow topic that you can expect a small handful of people to provide good answers to a majority of questions; that long tail is as important (if not moreso) than the few users with the most answers.

And that is the big fat problem this site has to solve, of which the moderators are acutely aware: there aren't enough people answering here. It doesn't matter if you or the mod team are answering tons of questions; if y'all are the only folks active, this site is not going to do well.

I strongly encourage you all to work together to find ways of better welcoming new answerers, introducing them to the site, and helping them to write answers that will be rewarding to the author, the asker, and those who come after.

I intentionally appointed a fairly diverse group of moderators specifically because I knew this would be a challenge - my hope was and remains that these differences in experience and background will allow them to work with the community here to find productive ways of communicating and growing.

Throwing this out and starting over isn't a solution; it's giving up. On the site, on the community that formed it, and on any hope we might have for its future.

  • 3
    Thank you for your objective response. I don't feel that I've any majority vote in here, but I wanted to share my opinion by highlighting the problems which this site is having in order to keep it alive. I'm participating in over 30+ SE sites and this is the only place where I feel something is wrong. There are too many mods for too few active people. I think most of active people stopped answering here, because mods managed to discourage them by removing the answers without consulting them first. I just think the site should have better experienced mods such as @michaelpri for instance.
    – kenorb
    May 30, 2015 at 20:35
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    You didn't highlight any problems; you highlighted the fact that you want different moderators, and then attempted to justify that desire by sketching out a problem. If you want to discuss the challenges facing this site, then do that; if you just want to cover your personal dissatisfaction with the mod team in a veneer of concern for others, then keep doing what you're doing.
    – Shog9
    May 30, 2015 at 22:11
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    Me too I'm quite upset about how this website is going: too much criticism, often questions are downvoted (and also answers) or closed or even removed without much explanation.. The general attitude should be to animate and make people feel enthousiast for their participation, but as you note this site is having less and less participation because of this negative attitude. Me too I'm slowly abandoning the participation because I don't see any satisfaction in continuing. I feel this is a shared feeling that I've read several times already, expressed by other people also.
    – Attilio
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:03
  • Where does it say "we should replace all of the moderators with people who agree with you"? I cannot trust someone who exaggerates like that. Jan 16, 2022 at 3:30

First I should say that I only will ever have periodic participation in any SO site, this one included. That's simply due to busy life of a clinical researcher and basic scientist.

I will also note that I have had little engagement one way or the other with negativity that might manifest in this site/community.

I will say negativity has nothing to do with my lack of involvement here. This is the only SO site where I feel like I participate solely to help out, and don't think I can get anything out of it as a professional. For comparison, I think I can ask a doctoral level (practical or theoretical) question on .Biology, and get an equal quality response.

With the loss of Susan and anongoodnurse we are now down two more MDs. There's a good chance MDs don't make good moderators and I'm not sure I have an opinion on their departure (I would actively not want to be one). While I'm not leaving per-se I don't have a particular desire to slug through several of the questions at a high level, if the site is not operating at a high level as a whole.

I will also be the first to say that people with doctorates have many faults and are just as human as the public, but they are also a corner stone of modern Health/Medicine. I am no way wanting to diminish the work of nurses, technicians, engineers, etc, as they can often have better advice or more knowledge on any particular subject (a long time ago I was an EMT-P).

I am concerned, rather, that this site doesn't seem "worth it," to people I have shared it with who do have doctorates, myself included.

  • 2
    (The main issue I have with sharing this SE with other colleagues is arbitrary deletion of content.) Jan 13, 2016 at 23:08
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    @FranckDernoncourt I can see how that would be a problem if it happened, but my point is that for me, and the colleagues I have shown this to, there is an overarching problem of no benefit for clinicians. I don't know how well this site can survive without users that have MDs, DOs, ODs, DSNs, PAs, PhDs, etc. SO can keep professional users as can .Bio, and I want to hope that this site can but at the moment it doesn't seem to.
    – Atl LED
    Jan 14, 2016 at 0:46
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    No clinicians I've invited to the site have asked or answered a question. It's hard to convince someone that this is a serious site after one look at the front page. As you say, clinicians would ask better questions, but the way most users prefer to answer isn't going to help the more knowledgeable users. (Your great question sits unanswered.) Someday this may change, but it may not. I personally don't think this is a good fit for the SO model where users expect votes to determine the best answer. Jan 14, 2016 at 5:03
  • @anongoodnurse I would say most clinicians I have share this with are not interested in any SE site. However ones who came to value SO independently through programming, have come to value some other sites (Bio, parenting, cross validated). Not one of those has told me they thought health was worth it. More than one compared it to yahoo answers which is unjust, but I think shows where we are
    – Atl LED
    Jan 14, 2016 at 12:26
  • @anongoodnurse also, I would be happy to write an answer for that question, but that would defeat the purpose of it trying to help our tour. It is perhaps concerning that no one else is qualified or motivated to answer it
    – Atl LED
    Jan 14, 2016 at 12:27
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    Well, I have been reluctant to tackle that question because of the meta discussion around it - a short answer was called for, and I have no idea how to write a short answer for that question that can do it justice. So I just left it.
    – YviDe
    Jan 14, 2016 at 12:49
  • @Yvide to me that adds fun to the question. It's like an intellectual puzzle when given the character limit. I may try to knock out an answer on my meta question, sometime soon for someone else to repost. I still don't think it meets the rep requirements though
    – Atl LED
    Jan 14, 2016 at 13:07
  • @AtlLED - Answering one's own question is not only akin to some weird performance art, but asking a question backfires when someone actually posts a wrong answer and it gets heavily (for this site) upvoted. Then answering correctly and selecting your own answer looks bad. It's just not a site with enough medically savvy users, enough high-rep users to help moderate (or willing to), etc. Jan 14, 2016 at 17:33
  • After some deliberation, I upvoted this post, because I agree with its content. But I still have a nagging feeling that it's not in the right place.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 14, 2016 at 21:49
  • @rumtscho I put it here, as opposed to say it's own Meta to address an alternative reason for participation problems that have nothing to do with mods or voting. All of the discussion above won't actually help the lack of value t o a health professional.
    – Atl LED
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:05
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    I am not saying that placing it elsewhere will make the site more attractive to health professionals or anybody else. But neither does it serve any visible purpose here. And I guess that years on the network have taught me to react strongly against finding information where it does not belong. Or to say it in a different way: this is a very true post about a very large elephant in our room, but it has nothing to do with kenorb's complaint that he was not made a pro tem moderator.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:19
  • @rumtscho Where is kenorb's complaint that he was not made a pro tem moderator in the question? Jan 15, 2016 at 22:36

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