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I was pretty shocked to see my answer to this question deleted by moderators within 20 minutes of posting.

Particularly since they were alleging that my answer need to go because it was a "follow up question".

When in fact my answer (if you have the rep to see it) is actually challenging the accepted answer with a new answer. If I did my math right, the existing answer (prominently echoed in the question) is wrong.

So regardless whether I am right or wrong, it raises a couple of questions of process:

  • I had a call out to the person who wrote the current accepted answer, asking them to check my answer and see if they agree. If they do agree, I don't particularly care if my answer gets swallowed up in a revision of the accepted answer. But the point is: can't the moderators at least give the people working on the question more than 20 minutes to sort this out before stepping in with the big guns?
  • so now my answer is deleted because "it should be posted as a new question". I don't agree - I think I'm trying to fix an existing question. Posting a new question seems exactly the wrong thing to do as it will just pollute EE.SE with redundant questions. But it seems I have no right of appeal? How exactly do I do that? [update: partial answer - seems I can flag my answer for moderator attention. Yet to see if that does the trick]
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    \$\begingroup\$ That post ends with a question mark. It has been flagged as "not an answer" 3 times. Was that post intended as an answer for the original question (posted by ZackElec in March 2014)? Was that post intended to have your calculations checked for your own purposes? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 15 '15 at 20:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Or have I screwed it up somehow?" was just my way of a polite sign-off i.e. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all-dick in challenging the accepted answer. All SE answers come with that as an implicit qualifier; I just made it explicit. I've deleted it now. Does this now meet your standards for an answer? \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 15 '15 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Done. This was an honest miss-understanding (or miss-communication). \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 15 '15 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh, thanks a bunch Nick! \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 15 '15 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ It was a high-quality writing on your part in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 15 '15 at 20:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cheers Nick. I'm still not saying I'm right, but now at least others working on the question can have their say. \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 15 '15 at 21:44
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If you have a disagreement with a moderator decision, the quickest way of getting a response is to flag your post. Use the "Other" option and write a short message describing your disagreement with the moderator action.

If you feel like the moderator action is still unjustified, consider making a meta post (as you have done).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @W5VO, figured it out! Wow, that's some clunky UX, probably needs the attention at the SE level. "Flag" is generally understood to be for objecting to nefarious content, not asking for something positive. \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 15 '15 at 22:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @tardate You also might "Flag down a taxi". It's not necessarily a negative. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Mar 15 '15 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ No point, worst case - even demonstrably factually-correct input just gathers the appellation 'fillibustering' when the mod's having a bad (or is that good? :-) ) day. [I have days like that so can understand it happening, but it still happens.] Worst case (not on this SE site) you get Meta posts by the mod slanging you in the title for the search engines to find forever. Better to sometimes just shake your head and walk away from a given furore. This is called "letting the other guy win" - which rankles the testosterated (I resemble that :-) ) but is still sometimes less painful. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Mar 17 '15 at 6:57
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I'll take ownership as an early flagger. You ended the original post with something along the lines of "is this right?" or "am I missing something?", which requires a response, and an answer soliciting discussion is not an answer. Better to post the clean answer, and DV the original answer if you believe it to be incorrect. If you want to have a discussion about it, or are unsure, post it as a question and refer to the original.

Or, perhaps best for this particular case: a comment on the original answer saying "don't you mean 2(Vdd-Vc)?" would have been direct and to the point.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Scott, I get that was your opinion. But I think it led to unnecessary and overly-aggressive moderation. Give the community a chance to self-police like on all the other SE sites I use. But I didn't post this question to argue the point. The question is "How to challenge the deletion of an answer?" not "Why was my answer deleted?". \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 17 '15 at 1:18
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There really was no need to post such a long and elaborate answer in the first place. You should have just left a comment pointing out the specific step you had a problem with, and let Spehro respond when he was able. Note that you can use MathJax in comments, too.

And if you really want to write a competing answer, you should not fill it with a lot of self-doubt and rhetorical questions. Make your points as if you believe in them. If someone disagrees with you, they'll say so. Frankly, on the first reading, it looked to me like a follow-up question, too.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Dave. Fair enough, but the post was not deleted because it was long and elaborate (that's not against the rules AKAIK). Neither was it deleted for having too much self-doubt (that would just make it a poor answer; again not a cardinal sin). It was deleted because it was a "follow-up question". Which I don't think it is, except to the extent it was asking "Are you sure this is the right answer? This is what I think it is.." \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 15 '15 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tardate -- I disagree. The long and elaborate nature of the answer just about entirely masked the point you were trying to make, resulting in this deletion. A bunch of people (three users and a mod) looked at your answer, and said "huh??" in unison, and flagged it as a question where an answer should be. Your point was hidden in your prose, and that's hardly the reviewers' fault. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 16 '15 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Scott, now it sounds like you are trying to moderate "style". My primary objection is to the fact that moderators stepped in to delete the answer within 20 minutes. That was IMHO, overly-aggressive and unnecessary moderation. I suggest a much better strategy would have been to just leave your comments as to why it was a "bad" answer and then give the people working on the Q/A a chance to self-police. \$\endgroup\$ – tardate Mar 17 '15 at 1:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @tardate: You wrote a ridiculously long and dense answer to make what turned out to be a small point. You expect people to wade thru all that to find that hidden point? Really!? Remember that communication is about clarity. Being right is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good communication. You were right, and it was eventually fixed, but the problem was all squarely due to your poor communication. I didn't see your answer before, but I would skipped over most of the math, then seen the question at the end, then flagged as not a answer too. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Mar 17 '15 at 14:28

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