I'm having an issue with this moderator


he has been abusing his power in this question I asked


and he has a vested interest of limiting this sort of inquiry due to his livelihood, which, according to his networked profile, he specializes in microcontroller programming (and my question was specifically about controlling a circuit without using a microcontroller)...

I had to flag a couple of other comments as spam (suggesting a raspberry pi) since, regardless of me clearly stating in the OP that I was not looking for microcontroller solutions and that I was specifically trying to control the circuit from my PC (as in I was not asking to find another computer) the advertisement was suggested... I also flagged this moderators abusive comments, but since he is a moderator and I am not, he hid the conversation in a chat room and then put the question on hold...

What should I do?

Here's where he came in

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So you believe the moderator in question has a financial interest in stopping your project? \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Apr 15, 2015 at 2:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ It certainly seems like he's overly biased at the very least... Certainly shouldn't be put on hold, and the question is pretty straight forward if you just try to think about what I'm asking... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 2:23
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ He's also removing my flags of his abusive behavior... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 2:27
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Suggesting an alternate solution is neither spam nor abusive. Though in my opinion this particular post suggesting a Raspberry Pi should have been a comment, rather than an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 4:56
  • 15
    \$\begingroup\$ You asked a crappy question, then got upset when you got responses you didn't like. Any question that limits the problem space in seemingly arbitrary ways is immediately suspect. Since a microcontroller is the obvious answer, not justifying the restriction makes it sound like a religious aversion, which will get ignored, dismissed, or laughed at. The right way to ask the question is to explain what you really want to do, not how you imagine doing it. If you don't want to program a micro because you don't know how, for example, say that, and you might get useful answers. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 14:41
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I would hazard a guess that a significant number of the experts here who are best able to give answers to many of the questions posted on EE.SE are in some way employed in the electronics industry or otherwise financially benefited thereby. Surely you're not proposing that we shouldn't answer questions on these topics and that only the few sufficiently experienced amateurs or hobbyists be allowed to do so? This is not an attempt at a straw-man, but genuinely seems to me to be your position. \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Apr 16, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


I think Nick is acting just fine here. Your question in general is a really good example of an XY problem. Your arbitrary restriction of "No microcontrollers" is very limiting, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the general problem space.

Despite your self-acknowledged lack of knowledge, you aggressively engaged users trying to answer your question, provide solutions, or figure out what you were talking about. You weren't using using the comments to discuss your question or answers, you were using them to argue and berate other users. Deleting the comments was the right thing to do. Obviously your question was unclear and overconstrained, and so closing it also made sense. If community members believe your question is clear enough to be reopened after your edits, then it can be reopened.

Now you're accusing that moderator of a "conflict of interest" because he is an expert in the technology you want to avoid... it seems like the only person you have yet to blame is yourself.

Also, none of the answers or comments on your question are actually spam. Spam is basically links to fake Rolex watches, or excessive self promotion. None of that is going on at all. You may have an answer that doesn't specifically answer your question, but that doesn't make it spam.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, that's nonsense, he launched into personal attacks and completely abused his authority... if he wanted to help me understand, instead of attacking me, he would have explained the problem... he should be revoked as a moderator for his abuse of power \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just asserting that the comment didn't make sense isn't actually helpful, you should explain how what I was asking didn't make sense... aka why is it that parallel ports in older PC's are able to do exactly what I was describing but cannot be accomplished with the normal ports used in modern computers. Sorry, nice try at social manipulation... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 4:58

Original text here

Jacob: Yea... if we were on facebook, you would already be blocked...

That's your response to an answer that you didn't like.

Jacob: Lol, sorry, two people (on the internet) is not enough to rule as overwhelming evidence...

That's your response after I have suggested to update your question and make it clearer.


So what should you do? How about about writing better quality questions? How about learning how EE.SE works (and don't compare it to Facebook)?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea... anybody interested in this, please go read the original text... this person launched deliberate attacks at me for rejecting the idea of buying a whole new computer when asking how to control a circuit with my PC... if you don't find that sort of suggestion patently absurd and an obvious instance of spam... well, you're not thinking correctly. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 2:41
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Try to focus not on what he should do, but on what you could do. You're not perfect. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Apr 15, 2015 at 7:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Camil: Are you saying this to Nick or Jacob? It seems appropriate for Jacob, but your comment is actually addressed to Nick. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 16:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop it is addressed to Nick Alexeev, although I do not disagree with it being appropriate for Jacob as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Apr 15, 2015 at 16:39
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Camil: I assumed you just forgot to address it to Jacob due to the tone and content. That's a rather rude way to behave towards a mod that is doing the thankless work of trying to keep the sight clean for all of us, and then has to put up with crap in response from people like Jacob. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 16:47
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ In my opinion, it's a rather appropriate comment for a moderator who makes no attempt at being accountable for his decisions whatsoever. I would have been less harsh and may not even have left a comment if this would've been the first time. Moreover, I don't know what you mean with 'people like Jacob'. You don't know the guy, you can't judge him. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Apr 15, 2015 at 16:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @CamilStaps - you've been saying this quite a bit. Without trying to start an argument, because I'm not, what do you mean by "accountable for his decisions?" What sort of accountability would you like to see? Frankly, it comes across like "I don't like his decisions", or "I disagree with his decisions". I don't agree with every decision either. I also understand the mods are doing a job I don't want to do in effort to keep the site nice for all users. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2015 at 13:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman the problem is that this moderator repeatedly/continuously doesn't respond to criticism. He makes an on-the-side comment, but doesn't explain his behaviour. In that way, he does not respect the SE system and this community in particular. I disagree with some of his decisions, though not in this case. What is the problem demonstrated in this answer, is that this moderator can't understand he too makes mistakes. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Apr 16, 2015 at 13:07
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @CamilStaps -- Please see my recently posted question. I don't understand how you want him to respond. He's participated in these discussions at a fairly appropriate level, and I think he's heard every one of the communities complaints. For better or worse, he seems to disagree. Sometimes, this is how it goes with decision makers sometimes. In fact, this is why we have decision makers. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2015 at 13:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .