It is a 2nd question I am forced to ask about this question.

The person who asked it doesn't seem to realize that their post is highly inflammatory and continues to attempt to act as if the question is a genuine attempt to learn about the law.

Obviously, it is not. And I tried to point it out in a comment stating that their question was defamatory and any answer to it would have to address the defamatory opinion asserted in the question.

My comment was erased. Why? I can understand why my previous comment (which was deliberately inflammatory from the other political direction) was erased. That comment was clearly meant to demonstrate how inflammatory this question was. So, on its own, it could have appeared to be just inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory.

But the 2nd comment was fairly run-of-the-mill.

Why would anyone erase a comment essentially explaining the reason for my "close" vote?


Your comment:

The defamatory opinion you expressed by comparing the fmr President of the United States to a mafia boss would have to be addressed by any worth-while answer.

I can't see how that explains a vote to close the question. It doesn't reference any canonical reasons for closing questions.

I do see the comment as polemical. It is baiting an argument in comments by (I think falaciously) accusing the question author of asserting a defamatory opinion. If you want to wage that argument you can do so in chat.

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    Pardon? You don't think the phrase "Trump's "mafia don" defence" is defamatory? By asking if such a defense would work in court, the author does what is known as "driving past the sale". They assert it, as a fact, that Trump's defense is akin to stipulating acting like a mafia boss. – grovkin Feb 10 at 16:12
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    @grovkin That was asked and answered here. You can argue that further in chat. – feetwet Feb 10 at 16:15
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    On the 1st point that you made though, it was an explanation to close a question for the reason that "This question is likely to be answered with opinions rather than facts and citations. " This is the option I selected for closing the question. Presumably, these types of questions are discouraged because they turn the site into what is viewed as a forum-like environment here. – grovkin Feb 10 at 16:16
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    @grovkin I don't see how the comment you posted supports or explains that "This question is likely to be answered with opinions rather than facts and citations." Explanations of close votes are welcome, so a comment that did so would be great. – feetwet Feb 10 at 16:20
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    and if you look through the comments on that answer, most of the objections do come from people who complain about the fact that the answer was forced to express opinions. I defended that answer by pointing out that the author had no choice but to express opinions in addition to stating the relevant laws and facts; and that the very reason they had to express the opinions they did was because of how the question was asked. – grovkin Feb 10 at 16:21
  • @grovkin Ah ha: I think I now understand what you meant. Obviously, at least for me, it took some extra explanation to get there. If you want to post another comment to that question perhaps you could make that more clear? – feetwet Feb 10 at 16:26
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    I think I'll just add a comment that the question is being discussed in the meta post. If it takes this much explaining to show why it is bound to provoke an unwanted type of attention, then maybe it can be done here. – grovkin Feb 10 at 16:38
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    @grovkin: I think you're conflating the mafia don analogy. The OP is not asserting that DT is wholly acting like a mafia don, but rather that he engaged in a particular behavior that is also commonly attributed to mafia dons. That's very different. For example, if I say that you work long shifts like medical staff do, that doesn't mean that I'm saying that your perform medical work. I'm comparing one specific aspect (working hours), not the entire job. The same is true of DT/mafia don here. There is no implicit claim that DT is like a mafia don in every way. – Flater Feb 11 at 16:26
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    @Flater there is more than 1 issue at play though. (1) As far as the integrity of this community is concerned, a question should not be phrased in such a way that it encourages (even if it does not outright solicit) opinion-based answers. Of course, it a question also must not outright solicit opinion-based answers. (2) By merely suggesting that the behavior of POTUS is akin to that of a criminal, aspersions are cast on POTUS. Since that suggestion is not crucial to the legal-question component of the question, but merely serves as a rhetoric flavor, it should be avoided because (cont) – grovkin Feb 11 at 17:08
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    @Flater (2)(a) anyone who wishes to address the legal question asked, and who does not wish to endorse casting of such aspersions, would be compelled to add their opinion (a judgement call really) explaining why the suggestion is not accurate. So this would encourage answers which have parts that are relevant to this site and parts which are contrary to what the site aims to host. (2)(b) it would provide an opportunity for eager partisans to "sneak in" partisan content into the overall content of the site under the cover of it being merely rhetoric flavor. (cont) – grovkin Feb 11 at 17:16
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    @Flater (2)(b)(cont) During these times of bitter partisan divide, the compulsion to sneak in partisan content may be too strong to resist, even by the more moderate users of the site, and even stronger for the more passionate ones. In order to avoid a chance of a creep of such content, it would behoove those who care to keep the site civil to nip it in the bud. – grovkin Feb 11 at 17:19
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    @grovkin: OP's question follows a perfectly normal structure. He points out a real world basis for the question, relates it to the most commonly known example whereby someone can subvert the law (as a fiction trope), and then asks how reality can avoid this trope logic. You can't invalidate a question just because you don't like the context of the trope it actually is a good analogy for, especially when the question does not conflate the two and very clearly points out that (a) the analogy is OP's opinion (b) it's clearly an analogy and (c) the concrete question asks how reality is different – Flater Feb 12 at 12:09
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    In the case of this particular question, the trope basis for it is only tangential to the question. And that's not an opinion. That's a fact. If you remove POTUS entirely from the question and rephrase it to be exclusively about a hypothetical mob boss, the legal question in the inquiry would remain the same. In fact, you make the question weaker by introducing, by the way of analogy, an example of a person who (by law) enjoys additional powers and immunities. – grovkin Feb 12 at 20:28

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