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At least two related questions (this and this) a user posted on LawMeta have been deleted by the same moderator, who also heavily edited the underlying post. Both deletions seem unwarranted, and the pertinence of a few edits to that post is questionable.

Not only the mod's failure to state his reason(s) for deletion reinforces a perception of arbitrariness and of lack of transparency on LawSE. The deletions themselves prevent others from suggesting an OP how or whether the underlying posts can be improved.

I only would suggest the OP to avoid making so many unnecessary and heavy edits, since that tends to create a gap between the current version of a post and prior answers thereto. Other than that, the underlying post is good for the most part.

The initial version explicitly states as an assumption that there is some evidence --and therefore not just rumors-- of a hypothetical bias. Accordingly, subsequent edits to emphasize the evidentiary aspect of the question are unnecessary. The OP evidently sought to clarify some users' misreading that the hypothetical is "there are just rumors", but that clarification is more appropriate in the form of comments than by editing the post.

It is also useful that the OP provided some factual --or allegedly factual-- context, since that can prompt us to consider nuances that otherwise would be missed.

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  • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I don't agree that it would have been mod overreach and unwarranted, but I missed the event that lead to this post.
    – Trish
    Feb 10, 2023 at 23:15

3 Answers 3

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Context is encouraged when it doesn't violate the Code. That was the theme of the flags; I agree with them.

The initial version assumed there is evidence to substantiate rumors. That's why, prior to your Meta post, I edited the rollback to reintroduce the OP's intent.

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  • "The initial version assumed there is evidence to substantiate rumors." Yes, and in that same version the OP's statement that starts with "Anyway, assuming [...]" explicitly frames it as an assumption rather than as a fact. That precaution by the OP preempts a defamatory connotation. Furthermore, the assertion "X is racist" is vague and very likely to qualify as statement of opinion whereas defamation entails statements of fact. It is otherwise unclear what you mean by "theme of the flags" or how exactly the OP's posts violate the code. Feb 9, 2023 at 20:40
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I'm all for transparency, but not at unlimited costs. In this case, given the widespread and unusual violations of the code of conduct, it would take more time to document everything going wrong than I think the situation warranted. The user was out of line and not acting in good faith. I would have done the same thing had I gotten to the flags first.

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  • Ok, thanks. In this chaotic and rather cryptic case, what is the right thing for me to do? should I mark as Accepted the answer @PatW. posted? or should I withdraw this post to preclude notoriety of the two LawMeta posts he deleted? At this point I will heed only to the guidance you or he provide. I'm sure you two can tell my inquiry is genuine. Case in point: I myself specified what I find objectionable about the underlying posts (i.e., the multitude of unnecessary edits). I'm realizing I might not have known how to handle the underlying matter if I were a moderator. Feb 10, 2023 at 10:33
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    @IñakiViggers This can stay up or come down as you see fit. The cost to leaving it up is just an extra link to an edited post, which is minimal. Also, when a question is tagged discussion, I'd opine that there's less need to accept any answer.
    – Pat W. Mod
    Feb 10, 2023 at 12:14
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    I vote to retain this, especially since it pointed me to a post that potentially was mutilated again after a moderator had an action on it.
    – Trish
    Feb 10, 2023 at 23:18
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I agree with the deletion decision.

While there are interesting legal questions in it, the insistence by the OP in framing of them in the specific and personal as opposed to the general and hypothetical brought them in violation of the code. They attracted many flags and there were edits that would have made them ok for the site but the OP persisted in an edit war which gave the appearance at least that this was a racially motivated personal attack.

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