What is wrong with https://law.stackexchange.com/a/81954 ?


Thanks to all responders, and editors of my post. I did not know that scanning merely one full page would get a post deleted.

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    The answer has now been undeleted. Thanks to user "Someone" who edited it, and to the mod who undeleted it. Jul 11, 2022 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


What is wrong with https://law.stackexchange.com/a/81954 ?

Your answer has room for improvement, although deletion was definitely unwarranted. Your answer deserves to be pondered by the community. It is for that purpose that Stack Exchange implements functionality such as votes and comments.

Some of us have brought up the persistent issue of removal of others' answers. I for one got reprimanded in private for "personally targeting" the same moderator you mention here. Now your post reflects that little or nothing is being done inside SE to address the actual problem. As an outsider, one can only speculate that the controversy about former moderator Monica Cellio backfired so badly that SE decided to henceforth walk on eggshells toward moderators. Regardless, I would expect consistency on applying the egregiousness criterion for non-intervention, especially when the same person stated it just hours prior to deleting your answer.

As for improvement of your answer, transcribing or uploading the excerpts you consider relevant would be more concise than uploading the scan of an entire page of a dictionary. About two thirds of that page are about definitions unrelated to the concept of writ.

Expressions of the type "what an aptronym!" are neither inappropriate nor a good reason for downvoting the answer, yet they are somewhat discouraged on SE. The expression fits the category of friendly, but there was actually no need to include either editor's name. Other information you provide is sufficient for identifying the resource on which your answer is based.

One user did have the opportunity to provide feedback regarding the non-readability "with a screen reader". That is not necessarily a defect of a post, and to my knowledge SE does not prohibit posting scans of texts. In some occasions, uploading a scan of some textbook is more practical, in part because it preempts the risk of mistakes in a transcription.

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    I comment on an aspect of this answer in my recently posted answer. This is just to let you know, sicne pings do not work from inside an answer. Jul 9, 2022 at 18:29

A comment on the deleted answer notes:

I am sorry, but this is not readable at all with a screen reader

In general images of text are strongly discouraged here. If you had used an OCR program, or had re-typed the relevant parts of the text the answer would have been significantly improved. Whether that was the reason for deletion I cannot say, but it seems probable.

In this answer IƱaki Viggers states: "there was actually no need to include either editor's name." While the publications involved can be identified by title and edition alone, the author's or editor's name is always an appropriate and proper part of a citation, for proper attribution and for context, and should always be encouraged, never discouraged. While the comment on the name of editor "Johnathon Law" was not really needed, I do not think it justifies deletion, and i doubt it contributed to the decision to delete.


This post has now been edited to remove the scanned page and replace it with a quote from the source, plus a link. I think this removes any reason to delete the answer. I would vote to undelete it, but a non-mod cannot vote to undelete a post deleted by a mod.


I feel like there's something wrong with the way we're doing things if you even have to ask the question. If someone's good-faith answer deserves deletion, they deserve to know why - if nothing else, so they don't make the same mistake again.

In this case, the answer is perhaps that it was a copyright violation. Fair use demands that you not use more of the copyrighted material than what is necessary. So if you scan a whole page when less will do, it's less likely that it will be found to be fair use. A copyright violation can be a serious legal problem for the site, and may warrant deletion in a way that a simple readability problem may not. (Transcribing the relevant part rather than deleting would probably be preferable, but that takes extra time which a moderator may or may not have.)

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