Final note: The meta.meta.se new question has been deleted again while in the works by user animuson. Enough.

Your question was closed because you're rambling on about a process that already exists just not in the exact form you desire, and your reasoning for wanting it are based on a false premise that you'd done absolutely nothing to try and resolve the correct way. We're not having another discussion about this where you don't listen to anyone. It's very clear from your behavior that you just want to ramble and ignore everyone's feedback. You did it for many hours yesterday.

I wrote yesterday about the existing procedure, you can find it searching for "Update2" on this page.

Update2: some user noted in the comments that a recall procedure already exists. But 1) The procedure can be initiated by moderators and the company team only, the victims are excluded from the chance to initiate the trial, 2) there's no jury for decision making, again: the potential victims are excluded from the trial, 3) there's no guarantee that the trial will be properly anonymized and then published (the minutes could be published IF undefined needs arise). 4) there's no accessible archive of previous judgments. In general: someone could even question the existance of this procedure, because there's no way for the community to access it before, during, or after.

As animuson is a Senior Product Support Specialist at Stack Overflow... well, alea jacta est. I think is fair to say that StackOverflow took a definitive decision. And would be pure unsolicited bothering to insist. Not in my veins.

There's no point to contribute to SE if the judicial part is badly lacking minimum quality standards. And bad enough this is a common problem on all those modern platforms where a relatively small team of people must take care of a huge user base. They always tend to walk the shortcut, cutting down individual rights to save on time/costs. Then beautifying the democracity of the electron they are consuming. Time passes, some things didn't change (yet). But nowadays plenty people collected enough experience about reputation-based systems; thanks to the past bad happenings on similar platforms (example: Dave Jones' bitter Discovery ). The more bad stories, the more people awakes. Hopefully anytime soon there will be enough critical mass (of disgusted users with good ideas in mind) to force those companies to adopt what we once called "digital rights": privacy already got a step forward recently thanks to Edward Snowden. Freedom of Speech has been helped by the adoption of modern COW filesystems and flex information architectures, in the way censorship is shallow (ie: you don't see my messages any more, but there's good chance they still exist on multiple disks). And Bitcoin haven't been strangled in its baby cot like have been for DigiCash 20 years before. So, after all, things are going better. Despite small accidents like this one.

From now on, I won't be following the comments unless some good news from StackOverflow management. Please write new answers only, in the case a well grounded procedure for moderators removal has been established.

So I adapt myself: good luck on SE, bye bye, and thank you for all the (past and future) fish.

(I've been deleted AGAIN, on the way to split the issues. The following is what was in place.)

Author's note: After 2 days of discussions on 2 different topics, I'm re-editing the whole question(s) in order to make easier to partecipate. Thanks to all that helped pointing out existing procedures and resources. Here you find the aruino.meta.se issue (alleged moderator abuse). On meta.meta.se you'll find the proposed general solution. If you don't feel like being serious at the moment, just get some pop-corns and enjoy a quick and dirty representation of the following story: "The Orville - Season 1, Episode 7, Majority Rule"


(please, report in comments if some detail is not fairly reported in this storyline; I linked all I could and survived the censorship, in order for anyone to be able to freely and indipendently shape his own idea)

  1. I posted a question about the CH340 chips found on some arduino clones. The question has been put on hold first for being off-topic, deleted right after the second comment from me, asking for claryfication and quoting the on-topic list page stating the whole board and clones being in scope of arduino.se.
  2. I asked myself wheter was worth or not to keep spending time helping others on this reputation-based social Q&A platform, because wrong judiciary officials can destroy your long lasting efforts in a second. I've been reading solutions on SE for a decade: do I really need to give back some of the goodies I got or it is better for me to keep leeching in silence and go back to the dear old RFC1855-based forum/ml/ng? Let's think positive, and try to solve the judiciary issue before going back to work: I owe to SE community, after all. So I opened a second question on the general meta.se portal in order to ask for a well-known procedure that could mitigate this risk. Given the higher abstraction level, the meta.meta.se looked the best context to post it. Right? Wrong. The second question has been first put on hold at first (voted off because "question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network."), deleted right after. So I moved the question back to arduino.meta as required by the meta.meta.se users/admins.
  3. In the while time I privately contacted the community team but I got 2 messages from a bot and 1 from an ostrich (or an italian mafia guy: "Noooothing I'vve seeeeen, capisc'?", can't really tell what was on the other side). Then nothing more... anyway, I hope you're laughing. Cause this wall of text is huuuuuge and we need to relax sometimes. Back to work: at this point of time I want to think that the ostrich sent a signal to the Almighty Community Team, and the Benevolent Community Team had a chat with the moderator that had closed my arduino.se question. Sweet dreams are melodies...
  4. The moderator attempted an answer here on this arduino.meta.se question, missing the whole point like many other users did: the point is not "why" he put on hold my original question, but the act of deleting the question instead of make it clear why he put that on hold; we are 1 step ahead now. We are at demanding the "power of recall", not let me post my question. Anyway: his off-topic, and rationale-less typing has been recorded, and his effort/time appreciated. It should be appreciated, at least: many commenters on meta.meta.se insisted that by not having the original question, they couldn't judge the situation because the other side of the story was missing. That's why judicials can't be taken at large: judging at large easily becomes lynching. Anyway, now we have the other side of the story; long story short: when I posted the second comment insisting on comparing the on-topic list with my case, he decided it was not worth discussing with me, and deleted the question just for fun. Basically he doesn't want to accept arduino.se rules (on-topic list and code of conduct) and instead of talking to other moderators and community managers in order to change the rules he doesn't like, he first harass the users and then delete their questions in order to not be questioned. Because whoever discuss his moderation "is just one of those many whiners like you, he met in his long time here in SE" (rephrased to shorten). Honestly yesterday I granted him the benefit of the doubt. Now his intention is declared instead. I know many politicians, some cops, and all the judges I know, having the same attitude. And criminals as well: "Your Hoooonor! Please, let's forget about the past and be friend all togheter!". That's why long time ago the Magna Charta was bloodily requested and unwillingly signed...
  5. The best thing to do would be to undelete both the previous questions, and edit those; in order to not loose the history; but I don't have the privilege, the ostrich is busy, and the moderator would like to be an ostrich. So, in order to avoid the same confusion many users did yesterday, I've split the two issues in two separate questions, as reccomended by some users/admins in the 2-days, multiple-threads, discussion: I leave here on arduino.meta.se the meta-discussion on the deleted arduino question, and open a new meta-question on meta.meta.se strictly tailored on the more general topic of the "power of recall" procedure that could benefit the entire SE network.

Given the previous events:

- can my question be undeleted so I can slightly update instead of opening a new one working around the previous issue?

- because this single issue isn't that important after all, can we now (after the moderator expressed his side of the story) focus on the real topic (the need of a "power of recall") so that these obnoxious abuses and the following excruciating discussions can be reduced making SE a bit better than already is now?

Thank you.


(Original question posted on meta.meta.se, I couldn't move it back there)

I've just been the victim of a wrong moderation decision. Before going to the point, I try to summarize my case because it is the perfect case study for requesting the introduction of the "power of recall" in Stack Exchange. Long story (short, if you read bold words only):

  • Arduino Stack Exchange, I post my first question (note: the question is deleted, the link can't be accessed) about how to program a variant of the companion chip that comes on some arduino boards. The original arduinos come with an USB-serial converter from the company FTDI, arduino clones instead come with any cheaper chip can do the job (usually CH340). I swapped the onboard CH340C chip with a CH340B variant, making it a different arduino clone. The change I made is exactly the same change between an original Arduino NanoV3 (with FTDI chip) and my unbranded NanoV3 clone (with CH340C chip). Actually, by swapping the "C" variant with the "B" variant I basically re-added a functionality that the original board have and the clone (with "C" variant chip) doesn't. I called mine Frankenuino NanoV3, clone (with CH340B chip). Nothing fancy has been added or removed from the clone board.

  • after a couple of minutes moderator Majenko put the question on hold for being off-topic. So I went to check the on-topic page because, being a new user, I had the doubt to really be off-topic and wanted a better understanding of my wrongdoing. But I've found to be perfectly on-topic: "On topic: Specific questions about Arduino boards, ..., clones/counterfeits/derivatives" (quoted from the on-topic page just linked). Note that the arduino stack exchange covers the whole board (ie: not the main chip only) AND the clones (ie: not the original arduino only). So I couldn't follow the first part of the guideline on the closed question page: "Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope.", because the question was already well inside the scope. But I could follow the second part about asking in the comments to the moderator why the question had been closed

@Majenko Why did you tag this question as off-topic? "On topic: Specific questions about Arduino boards, ..., clones/counterfeits/derivatives" ( arduino.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic ). The USB-serial converter is part of the board and strictly needed to access that kind of board.

and he had replied

No, the Arduino software and the MCU on the board are on topic. What makes you think we would know anything about custom programming of a proprietary chip that is not used on any official Arduino boards? If there is no tool in apt or on github then you're probably stuffed.

This is evidence that the moderator didn't read/understand the on-topic page (where it is clearly stated "board" instead of "the MCU only", and "clones" instead of "official Arduino boards"), or is involved in some kind of copyright/patents devoted religion, or simply doesn't pay attention when reading. In any case, the moderator doesn't fit the role.

So I insisted:

@Majenko did you read the on-topic definition page before closing questions like this? I quoted the page in the previous comment. 1) It says "board" not "AVR MCU", 2) It explicitly says "clones/counterfeits/derivatives". In other words you are not allowed to close this question. Please vote for re-open.

And he simply... deleted the question.

As a result:

  • By closing the question he denied me the chance to partecipate to Stack Exchange.
  • By not accepting discussion, he denied Stack Exchange (ie: us all) the chance to have better moderation by having moderators that know the common rules we all have.
  • By deleting the question I've lost the time I've spent to produce it. Because I've lost access to it: I can't discuss further, I can't link it to another context, and as soon as I close the browser page I'll loose that text for ever.

It's a sluggish form of censorship very common nowadays in many different contexts, and always unacceptable.

Now, because Stack Overflow is run by me (together with you all) by public elections and increasing the hierarchy depth (user->moderator->super moderator->mega super moderator->and so on...) is an endless game that increase costs, never solve 100% of the issues forcing the introduction of more depth in the hierarchy in order to refine the selection process for moderators, I'd like to see the introduction of "power of recall" in Stack Exchange in a similar way it has been done in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2015: "proceedings are initiated only if an MP is found guilty of a wrongdoing that fulfils certain criteria".

So there's the need to define such criteria to define "wrongdoing". The first criteria that should be taken into consideration is the one I violated here: privacy, the name of the misbehaving moderator, OR his wrongdoing, shouldn't be known. Because the goal is not to lynch someone; the goal is to improve the community. But it is not our case study.

The second criteria that should be took into consideration in all reputation-based information systems is about the Freedom of Speech: "if, after a mistake, the moderator enact another privileged action in order to conceal the previous mistaken privileged action, and by doing so denying himself a chance to learn and preventing any chance of further investigation by the community for the community". And this is our case study: by deleting the question, the damage increased, instead of giving us the chance to understand what's on-topic and what's off-topic.

That's just a draft. And there might be further criteria that can automatically trigger a recall procedure. The point I'm trying to do is that there must be a way to get rid of people unfit for the role, in the same way there is one to elect them in that role. So, if you are willing to keep going with moderators election, you must introduce a way to make those moderators think twice and more in general to make them a better moderation class.

Because the general public can't be expert of a single topic (in our case "arduino"), there must be a procedure to vote the moderator off, accessible by all the users (over 100 reputation?) of that portal only. In our case study is pretty simple as the on-topic page clearly states what's on-topic, but in some cases there could be the need of more peculiar knowledge. And the users of a single stack exchange portal are the only one supposed to understand the issue.

1) Feature request: Who do I have to write this note to? Any advices? Toughts?

2) Solving my issue on arduino portal: I'll try to re-post exactly the same question. But I guess it will be censored again. This is what the "unfit administrators" usually do. Is there any other existing procedure I didn't find in my investigations?

Update1: this is not a duplicate of question n.28867. That question is asking what options exist already. I'm asking if a particular procedure can be implemented in the (near?) future. Moreover, my concerns are not only about my single case - as I can ask questions in other contexts (ex: arduino forum) - it's about making stackexchange better, and in particular prevent moderator abuses. Low quality moderators bring to users leaving stackexchange in search of better options.

Update2: some user noted in the comments that a recall procedure already exists. But 1) The procedure can be initiated by moderators and the company team only, the victims are excluded from the chance to initiate the trial, 2) there's no jury for decision making, again: the potential victims are excluded from the trial, 3) there's no guarantee that the trial will be properly anonymized and then published (the minutes could be published IF undefined needs arise). 4) there's no accessible archive of previous judgments. In general: someone could even question the existance of this procedure, because there's no way for the community to access it before, during, or after.

Update3: some users noted in the comment that the question is off-topic, and it isn't:

If your question is about:

- Stack Exchange 
- Support, feature requests, or bug reports for the core Stack Exchange engine that powers all Stack Exchange websites

… it is welcome here.

( https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic )

Update4: it looks like many commenters aren't reading the title, or can't understand the issue. From the comments: "you keep saying that a moderator is unqualified for deleting one of your questions". This is spam: I challenge anyone finding me asking even once to remove the delete privilege from moderator's role. Please avoid commenting without reading, or driven by reasons different from contributing to the solution of the issue in question.

  • 2
    Related: Toxic moderation harms the community
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Sep 6, 2019 at 3:56
  • I note that your post on Meta Stack Exchange has been put on hold. Rather ironic, as you are complaining about posts being closed and now your complaint is put on hold. The reasons given are that the complaint is (they say) specific to this site, however I'm inclined to agree that complaints about moderators in general are not specific to this site.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Sep 6, 2019 at 3:59
  • @NickGammon I feel like Lt. John LaMarr in the 7th episode of The Orville ( orville.fandom.com/wiki/Majority_Rule ): landed on a planet called Sargas4, filmed while dancing with a statue for fun, bound to the electric chair watching the reputation counters going up/down and shitting my pants because the 10 million negative vote triggers the electric chair. Eheh. Yes, rather ironic. But it was a while without some sparring with a tons of minions. It's fun, after all.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 4:14
  • @NickGammon I got Reputelectrocuted! I'll have to do the Apologies Tour!
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 5:23
  • 1
    @NickGammon, I found the Question. I don't understand why Majenko deleted it. It could be by mistake? arduino.stackexchange.com/questions/68446/…
    – Juraj Mod
    Sep 6, 2019 at 6:00
  • @Anichang - The link to the "question on the general meta.se portal", item 2. is invalid because the post was deleted (off-topic). You did manage to get -17 rep for it though. Well done.
    – VE7JRO
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:40
  • @VE7JRO Thanks, I'll fix it when I go deleting the left overs. I'm currently editing the quesion on meta.meta.se in order to move out the stuff from here. I'll checkout everything once the split is completed. About the -17 rep: I expected to get between "N(N-1)/2" and "2^N-N-1" (N = moderators number on SE network) negative votes, so the result is well beyond my best expectations.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:46
  • Can you give us a link to the question on meta.meta.se?
    – VE7JRO
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:48
  • I can't! The old question has been deleted, the new one is still in the making. We are talking of the meta.meta.se questions, not the arduino and arduino.meta ones.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:50
  • But you said you were "currently editing the question". I'm confused.
    – VE7JRO
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:52
  • There isn't much yet. But here it is: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/333127/…
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 14:59
  • That link also gives a 404 error...
    – VE7JRO
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:06
  • Just the time to post the draft, copy the link and switch tab to give it to you and ... it was deleted again. Unless the community team clean up their mess, there's no point to keep going. Nor to enrich SE with free content.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:06
  • 2
    now I see why Majenko deleted the Question on Arduino SE
    – Juraj Mod
    Sep 7, 2019 at 6:04

3 Answers 3


Your question was blatantly off topic.

If you buy a Dongfeng car and rip out the factory installed stereo, then buy a Fony™ stereo and fit it yourself, would you then go to a Ford dealership to ask how to tune the stereo to your favourite station? No. You'd get laughed all the way down the road.

You do NOT presume to dictate to us what wuestions we are and are not allowed to close. I have met many many people like you in my time here. You live to complain (as evidenced by the fact that your "complaint" question is far more detailed than your actual question...!)

Off topic is off topic is off topic. No amount of complaining on your part will change that. The moment it became apparent that it was the start of a long, drawn out whine by you, I deleted the question. I refuse to get into arguments with moaners like you about what is and is not on topic, when what you are asking is blatantly off topic.

Be glad it was only the question I deleted.

I can guarantee that, if I hadn't closed the question, within a matter of minutes it would have been closed as "off topic" anyway by others - because it was off topic. 100% off topic.

"Queri ego cogito ergo sum"

  • So much text, and no reasons why it was off-topic. I ask you again: did you read the list of on-topic items for the arduino SE? I don't dictate anything: I've no provileges to enforce my words! My naked keyboard only! That page instead, passively does. Those kind of pages are called "rules", and are published in order to make clear in advance what can be done and what not. Here there are multiple pages like that, example: the code of conduct page. And you should read them all before deciding yourself alone to declare war to arduino clones, or put-down someone that complaints of you.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:01
  • 1
    How can I put it more simply: The CH340B and its internal workings are not on topic. Programming said chip through its external interface is off topic. Just because you stuck it to an Arduino does not make it magically on topic for an Arduino site. It may fit on the Electrical Engineering SE site, but it is NOT on topic here.
    – Majenko
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:06
  • Dude, on arduino.se there are 2 pages of questions tagged CH340. The B/C/T/S/M... chip have the same CH340 datasheet. I've some of those Nano with the CH340B on them (that's why I bought more). I bought some Dongfeng cars and they sent me some with blue stereo LEDs and some with red stereo LEDs, so I went to a mechanic shop with a big blinking sign outside "Dongfeng car repairs HERE" asking to change the red leds into blue leds. Does it sounds good to you?
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:14
  • Yes, and NONE of them have anything to do with the internals of the chip and programming it. Using it as part of an Arduino and getting it to work WITH ARDUINO, fine. Using the chip itself? NO!
    – Majenko
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:16
  • Anyway, your answer doesn't answer the question. The question advices a well known method for recalling elected administrators, requests for comments and wheter or not is possible to introduce something similar in SE. You are off-topic.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:17
  • 1
    You see, this is exactly why I deleted the question. Whatever anyone says will be wrong. You are right, and everyone else is wrong. I refuse to argue with you - it is pointless. The question is off topic. Final answer. DO NOT ARGUE.
    – Majenko
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:17
  • Dude, again: that chip (and its internals) is ON-BOARD! And the on-topic list clearly says "board" not "MCU". This SE is called "Arduino" (board), not "AVR MCUs". Please stop jumping from the branding issue to the board/mcu issue, and back. They exist in your mind only, as they both are well placed in the scope of arduino.se. Look: the FTDI chip on the original arduinos have the same features of the CH340B. And same of you FTDI made a campaign to discredit their competitors! They even developed a virus to break the CH340 chips and pushed it as driver for CH340 chips! You are doing the same...
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:24
  • 2
    I refuse to engage with you any more. You just won't take no for an answer. Goodbye.
    – Majenko
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:27
  • "I refuse to engage with you any more." I'm glad you wrote openly. Because that's exactly the abuse of privileges that makes you an admin bad enough to need the "power of recall". To make a mistake is fine and human; I do at least one minor and one major every day. To refuse to discuss a potential mistake instead is unacceptable. To delete the traces of the mistake is the worst you could do. When you don't want to discuss any more - and in this case you have to, because you have some responsibilities; I don't, I've due diligence only; you do - you can simply stop writing. Deleting is too much
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 11:44

There is a way of contact the Community Managers who are the ones that manage moderators. I think the form here goes to them.

See also Handling Calls to Remove a Moderator and What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused their privileges?.

I do not think you are completely powerless here. Those links outline the process for dealing with problems with moderators.

  • And yes, I read those questions too and updated my question accordingly. See Update1 and Update2 at the end of my question.
    – Anichang
    Sep 6, 2019 at 4:24

I would like to chip in my support for the Arduino Stack Exchange moderators (both past and present). They are volunteers who donate their time to keep this stack exchange running and spam free for all of us to enjoy. A heartfelt thank you.

@Anichang I would have voted that your question was off-topic if it was in a review queue. Granted, you were modifying an Arduino clone by replacing a chip with another (more advanced) chip, but the question you ask is how to create a Linux command line tool that lets you access the advanced features of the new chip. It wasn't really about the Arduino clone - it was about programming the advanced features of a new chip only.

If you had of asked about using the Arduino clone, programming a sketch into the Arduino clone or a problem you were experiencing using the Arduino clone that didn't happen with a standard Arduino, then it would be on topic.

A good way to test if a question is about Arduino is to remove the Arduino references from the question. If the question still makes complete sense and the references to Arduino don't add any value to the question, then it is off topic.

If you had of asked how you could identify your Arduino clones on your USB hub, then that would have been on topic.

It is very likely that in the current form your question would have been closed as off topic by the community. Like the moderators, we volunteer our time to answer people's questions about Arduino.

Instead of the long post you put up here (and on Meta.SE) because you disagreed with your post being closed, imagine the good you could have done if you had of put the same amount of effort into answering some of the Arduino questions here.

  • Once we have the on-topic page explicitly placing ON-TOPIC clones and derivatives. what you "feel" and what the moderator "felt" is irrelevant. Moreover, the moderator made clear that his concern is about branding, ie: it's a copyright/trademark/branding crusade - it's censorship - not a well placed reasoning making spam of my question about a derivative board. Please, as I stated, don't add more off-topic answers. I kept this question on hold until a reasonable way to remove admins by the people, for the people, has been added.
    – Anichang
    Sep 11, 2019 at 16:15
  • About donating time for no-profit activities: I'm not questioning the good hearted behaviours. I, myself, created my account as I felt to owe something to SE community after about 10 years of finding solutions on these pages. Check my history: I created the account to help others. My first question was after I answered a few questions, and was just a way to figure out how the system works. Unfurtunately, my final evalutation is: no worth using SE to help others, because it lacks the same features lacking on all the other modern "socials". Tried, dumped.
    – Anichang
    Sep 11, 2019 at 16:22
  • 1
    It is clear that you just want to argue and not take on any feedback whatsoever.
    – sa_leinad
    Sep 12, 2019 at 15:05
  • That's obvious: it's a Q/A system! And this is the meta side of it: Q about the Q/A system, ends in itself. Pure arguing. More in general, plenty functional illiterates complaint of others not listening/reading/accepting other's opinions; it's pretty common nowadays. Many go searching for "Communication for dummies" or more fancy Schopenhauer's "Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten". Instead of refine their reasoning. I can't know wheter you didn't read or you didn't understand, in any case your discussion points have all been exposed before you posted. There was no need for you to write answers.
    – Anichang
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:13

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