Yesterday I posted this answer, to this question on the development of LED illumination as an industrial product.

Possibly relevant is that my answer initially contained mention of, and Amazon links to, a specific product. This prompted a quite-valid 'spam' criticism in a comment, in response to which I edited out all reference to the product in question. I had debated about including the deleted material, and so didn't hesitate to remove it when challenged.

Anyways, also in comments, a moderator criticized some of the aspects of my answer. I attempted to respond to this criticism, but the moderator was not mollified. In an effort to put an end to the back-and-forth, I posted an admittedly snarky response (EDIT: now deleted at some point by someone other than myself), the audience of which I intended only to be the moderator in question. The mod then edited my comment, verbatim, into the head of my answer. I rolled back his edit; he re-rolled it back in, and so on. After a couple of these back-and-forth cycles, he rolled the disclaimer back into the post and locked the answer as 'pending content dispute.'


Regardless of the interpersonal conflict underlying these events, I feel a disclaimer of this sort is superfluous. An expert in the field will likely read the answer and think, "Well, duh." A non-expert will hopefully read the answer and think, "Huh! Didn't know that."

My questions:

  1. Is such a 'target-audience' disclaimer required for this question, per site policy?
  2. If so, might I at least choose my own wording for it?
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's your wording. I've pasted it there verbatim. Are you saying that you didn't choose your words to begin with? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1, 2016 at 17:53
  • 36
    \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev: You need to take a step back from this one. This is a blatant abuse of moderator power over a content issue. Unlock the post and leave it alone. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Mar 1, 2016 at 18:43
  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ An edit war initiated by a mod? JFC. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Mar 2, 2016 at 1:29
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev Aren't people entitled to change their mind about their own wording? It's a Q&A site, not a legal dispute where people have to stick to everything they have said verbatim. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2, 2016 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed you might consider keeping "moderator to moderator" comments out of the public eye? I always learnt "praise publicly, criticize privately". I am sure you mods have back channels. If you don't, you should. \$\endgroup\$
    – Floris
    Mar 3, 2016 at 13:51
  • 14
    \$\begingroup\$ @Floris: Yes, we have back channels, and we use them regularly. However, this needed to be said in the context of this post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Mar 3, 2016 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


Due to third-party intervention, the post has now been unlocked.

Further, after reflection, I felt the moderator in question had some good criticisms about my answer. I have edited it accordingly, including working in a milder version of the 'target-audience disclaimer' from which the conflict arose.


I didn't perceive that comment as a snark at my expense.

  1. Is such a 'target-audience' disclaimer required for this question, per site policy?

Required? No.

Is it a good idea to identify your target audience? Yes, it is. And it isn't superfluous. Especially when your target audience is different from the default audience.

You have made the disclaimer. I have only made it more conspicuous for the future readers.

  1. If so, might I at least choose my own wording for it?

You have already chosen your own wording. It's your wording. I've pasted it there verbatim.

  • 21
    \$\begingroup\$ You can't just force your edit when the answer's author doesn't agree with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – MaximGi
    Mar 2, 2016 at 10:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @MaximGi frankly - you can - and should, in some situations (blatant breach of site rules being one); still, the point is that this wasn't such case and thus it wasn't warranted by anything, and with that I do agree. \$\endgroup\$
    – user20088
    Mar 5, 2016 at 22:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "blatant breach of site rules being one" [...] "this wasn't such case". This. Please, don't put my comment in another context to refute it, that's close to dishonesty ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – MaximGi
    Mar 7, 2016 at 7:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @MaximGi That's nowhere close to dishonesty. The original text of your comment is nearby for anyone to read. Besides, your comments aren't sacred text. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7, 2016 at 16:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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