13

In reference to badp's comments on this:

How does Jigglypuff's Rest work?

I was wondering if there was a limit on how many question a user can post at any given time?

This is assuming that they are all legitimate questions and not random spam.

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    I have flagged this question for moderator attention, not specifically because of the question itself, but due to the never ending stream of non-constructive comments it has attracted. – user27134 May 29 '13 at 13:30
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    After going through a whole lot of input, the bottom line should be that there is no limit assuming that the questions are legitimate. The main debate here would be what are considered legitimate question or illegitimate questions. And no matter how you try to answer this, there is no black and white. Obviously there are questions which the general would consider spam, while others which are appropriate. However, a gray area exists which would be a source of continuous debate. In my opinion, reaching a general consensus would be quite challenging. – WToa May 30 '13 at 9:00
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    If this ends up going the way of "You can only ask X questions in Y time frame" then the site can probably expect to see more questions within questions. Also, while I don't get why users would ask batches of questions rather then as they come up, those that do should end up having better questions with more research, as they have had more time to create, revise, and research each question. – Batophobia Jun 6 '13 at 14:52
6

There's no hard line here (literally; the 6 questions/day limit is currently disabled on this site), but if you ask 11 questions in a hour in a tag that's otherwise gotten 4 questions in ~47 months... you're likely asking too quickly.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of our answerers for this tag. If you have one question like those today, and another in a few days, and another in a week, you can give each of those the time they deserve and maybe even have some fun in answering. Instead, you're just presented with 11 questions. That probably means you're going to eleventh-ass the answers to each question because your free time today doesn't magically multiply by 11. That also mean you're only going to have an eleventh of the fun you could've had in the process.

On a Q&A site, you have to optimize for pearls (answers), not sand (questions). Askers have the moral duty to put answerers in the condition where they can get the best answers to their questions, lest they get shitty answers if any — and that's a disservice to the internet. We can have answers without questions, but questions without answers are worthless.

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    Thanks! That cleared things up! – WToa May 25 '13 at 7:38
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    For the record, I put full work into all my answers to those questions. :P – Toomai May 25 '13 at 18:28
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    I disagree. this is completly ridiculous. Too many questions? Better put that in the faq. "Welcome to Arqade. Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms...unless you have a lot of questions." – Ender May 25 '13 at 23:23
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    @ender just because we don't enforce the six questions/day limit it doesn't mean it's not a good idea. – badp May 26 '13 at 0:30
  • No, but there are other reasons it's a bad idea. – kotekzot May 26 '13 at 8:39
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    @badp There have been concerns mentioned about the active question queue. If that's a major part of the problem, why don't we just flow limit the amount of questions a user can have in that queue? If we feel like even valid questions from a single user don't deserve the whole page, why not limit them to 2-3 questions and programmatically mask questions above that number, for 1 hour, 1 day, or whatever timeframe makes sense? – EBongo May 28 '13 at 14:15
  • @EBongo It might make sense, and if you proposed it on meta chances are we could see it happen in six to eight weeks™ if ever. I'm afraid, however, that it's wiser not to rely on possible engine changes when "deciding" how to "run" the site as it is here and now. – badp May 28 '13 at 17:46
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    The emphasis on the shoes of the answerer is a bit lost on me since I didn't know that that's how people "consumed" this site. It's a bit lost on me because I still don't know the extent to which the propositions are true outside of their introduction to me in this answer. I can agree with their plausibility. I guess part of the part of the problem is how pretty much all of the activity that I've received from the tags that I've subscribed to, in terms of questions asked, has only come from me. – NiteCyper May 31 '13 at 7:55
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    I disagree too. There's no requirement for answerers to answer every question (other than the desire to get more rep) so framing this from a point of view of not being fun for answerers is looking at it backwards. Good questions will get good answers in due time. There's no reason to limit questions unless you're overly concerned about garnering the most rep from those questions. – mechatankzilla May 31 '13 at 11:34
11

I personally do not see a problem with asking that many questions in a day (I'm pretty sure I've gotten close over a 24 hour period in the past) if they're about problems you're actually facing in a game you're playing.

However, asking that many questions within the space of an hour is quite blatantly seeding, which is something we discourage. The user in question basically asked a question every five and a half minutes for an hour, which means it's unlikely anything to do with a problem he's currently facing in game - since he wouldn't have been able to actively play the game during that time.

There is of course a potential additional problem with asking that many questions in such a short period of time; had they all actually been of a high enough quality that they had been upvoted, many of those upvotes would have been reversed after being caught by the script, leaving a nice big "serial upvoting reversed" on his account.

Many StackExchange sites have a six questions a day limit, I'm not sure why we don't and I'm not going to suggest that we have it enabled since on release day for a big game, it's quite possible to pass that limit (and many people have asked more than six questions in a day) so this would inconvenience other users.

The final point I question about all of these questions is based on one of the comments;

If this site has a Draft feature, I might. But really, you haven't convinced me to slow down.

If a moderator asks you to slow down, you don't need "convincing", just do it - that's what the moderators are here for. They can choose to moderate you if they feel it is necessary (although that didn't happen in this case as far as I'm aware) but adding comments like this doesn't help the situation at all.

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    Mods aren't gods, and "moderating" NiteCyper in that case would've been a blatant abuse of power. – kotekzot May 26 '13 at 8:38
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    @kotekzot I beg to differ. Keeping people from disrupting the site is totally part of what moderators are supposed to do. – badp May 26 '13 at 9:30
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    Moderating somebody who his actively flooding the site in any way is not abuse of power, it's fullfilling the duties of the role – user27134 May 26 '13 at 10:42
  • The serial voting script is probably not something to worry about with this, although it can be a concern when a group of topic-enthusiasts flash-mob a site. FWIW, there's a hard limit of 5 minutes between questions for low-rep users which likely applied to the person being discussed here - tweaking that particular limit might be the best way to prevent annoyance on a site like Arqade. – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 15:52
  • @Shog9 The serial voting script did kick in, undoing all of four downvotes. Just saying. – badp May 26 '13 at 15:58
  • @badp: yeah... Those votes weren't exactly cast as the questions were coming in. If you see someone's name on the front page and decide the proper response is to downvote all of them as quickly as you can open each one up, you should probably expect that to get noticed. – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 16:01
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    @badp: I'm just saying... The guidance is to vote on the content, not the user. This implies you take time to read the question before voting on it. Is it possible to do this and still trigger the voting script? Sure. But it's not nearly as likely. In particular, kalina's "too many awesome questions too quickly" scenario is probably more of a theoretical problem, and likely overshadowed by the actual problems caused by the script when dealing with fans of folks with a large back catalog of really great posts. – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 16:47
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    @badp except the site wasn't being disrupted. – kotekzot May 26 '13 at 17:56
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    @kalina quantity and quality are different categories. As long as the questions are individually good there should be no consideration for how many there are. – kotekzot May 26 '13 at 18:01
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    The questions were individually average though, many of them amounting to lack of research. I had to go and format most of them to remove the "block of text" feel they all had to them, which to me is a clear sign of rushing and likely a lack of care in itself – user27134 May 26 '13 at 18:03
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    @kalina: well, there are two different concerns then. #1, lots of average questions (useful to folks with the same problem, the meat & potatoes of any SE site) in a short time are a distraction to folks who don't share the problem / aren't interested in the game being asked about. #2, lots of low-quality questions create an annoyance even for folks who are interested in the game being asked about. The former is almost a separate issue: popular new releases tend to dominate the site for a while even if everyone involved exercises restraint. The latter may call for mod intervention. – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 18:05
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    @Shog9 very much the point I was making, I have no issues with somebody raising a bunch of useful questions about problems that people are going to actually face, but when we're talking about tripling or quadrupling the questions for a decade old game with questionable quality questions it's a different story. As for moderator intervention, a mod did get involved and the user in question displayed a lack of care about the fact, which was the final point I made in my post – user27134 May 26 '13 at 18:07
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    Yeah. The concern should be over respect (or lack thereof) for the community, not how it influences voting. If someone's abusing a limited resource, then that's a real problem (and one we can solve). – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 18:11
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    Voting was never my main point, more of a "this will probably also happen" – user27134 May 26 '13 at 18:20
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    Yes - you make some interesting points in the stuff you've just posted and it would be much better in an answer so that people don't get the "eugh wall of text" feeling and actually read it – user27134 May 31 '13 at 9:04
8

I think the key is in the statement you made:

This is assuming that they are all legitimate questions and not random spam.

If your questions are legit, interesting, and useful - it does not matter how many you submit per day. Good questions are good questions, not matter how fast they are submitted.

Before you get too excited, consider a few things. Per the FAQ:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

If you mouse over the upvote you'll also notice:

This questions shows research effort, it is useful and clear.

Rather than an arbitrary number, these policies enforce a quality standard that your questions must meet to be "good". When you submit a bunch of questions at once, it will arouse suspicion that you aren't researching adequately enough, or submitting real problems that you face, so bear that in mind (hence this discussion).

Also, as badp points out, if you are submitting questions for a game we don't have as many experts for, it may take longer to get your answers when you submit a bunch at once. For this reason you should submit those questions you are most interested in knowing the answers to first. While you wait, take a look around and see if you can help out others on the site.

  • I was coming to this question to essentially say "I don't give a crap how many you ask, as long as they're good" - I can point to plenty of instances (cough-contests-and-grants-cough) where a lot of us asked a lot of questions in a short period of time. – agent86 May 28 '13 at 14:21
3

Preface: This was intended to be posted as a response to kalina's answer, but kalina suggested that I make it its own answer considering its... magnitude. As a result of its original intention to be in comments, lesser thought was given to format. There are a couple of things that I am querying about the contents of this post:

(1) Define what is meant by "actively playing a game".

(2) Your (kalina's) assertion that "I don't need 'convincing', just do it" reeks of dictatorship. Following orders without explanation has been a problem of the ages.

(3) I voiced that I wasn't convinced, to coax the moderator to elaborate on the reasoning behind their suggestion. The error in this and my initial response, I'll admit, is that it should've been taken to the meta after their suggestion, though I don't believe that that invalidates my defence.

(4) Re: "block of text" feel:

Given the opportunity to post the same question, I don't feel pressed to change my formatting much from that which it was to what you edited to be. The only difference I might make is moving the questions to a new paragraph. I feel that your decision to double space all of the questions diminishes the integrity of the questions as a collective represented under the one hood of the title question, misleading others to gather a worse image as my question asking too many individual questions, which has occurred here and, albeit not possibly by your influence, in a previous, notorious question of mine.

While one may argue that given the evidence of this problem reoccurring, the problem lies with me, I defend that my sub-questions only mean to aid answerers to craft a comprehensive answer, just as a school assignment (particularly demanding a composition or oratory on a topic) may.

I also like to keep the sub-questions single-spaced as their own paragraph for ease of reading. While this question's content only has one type of paragraph other than sub-questions, if I choose to add another declarative paragraph beneath the questions, the principle that each sub-question deserves its own paragraph (i.e., double-spacing) clutters. A suggestion that my sub-questions be listed using the bullets format would be something with which I would agree to be a solution.

I'd also like to add that I keep my own journal, and the style to which I've taken to typing in it is separating ideas simply by line-breaks and only creating a new "paragraph" if the addition is sufficiently important. I suppose that I can agree that my definition of a "wall of text" can be considered abnormal. Thus, as you can see in this answer, my formatting is usually limited to line-breaks, having adopted a spartan style limited by the .txt format to which I am most accustomed.

Upon review of the other edits made to my questions and an answer that I made on the day in question, I am more amenable to those edits and admit that my decision-making when it comes to moving text into a new paragraph can be defined as curmudgeonly.

(5) Re: lack of research:

When I ask these questions, sometimes I struggle to provide information that does not obviate aspects of an answer at risk of repeating what I have stated in the question, i.e. that does not answer the question but leads to the question. Certain questions, I find difficult to add information to.

Each of the questions that I asked on the day in question are questions in which I have a legitimate interest. Allegations to any failings of will to provide a quality answer are slander against my skill, as I will testify that I did my best to make meritorious questions. I deplore mediocre content as well and am very critical to myself. My self-criticism is evidenced in the amount of self-edits that I make and my warning of so as in my profile.

(6) Re: lack of care and respect:

This is related to my second and third point. You assert that I "displayed a lack of care about the fact that a mod" suggested and requested my "slowing down". To the contrary, I was interested to learn the mod's reasoning behind this.

A decent amount of times, I have clashed with the powers that be in Arqade. Therefore, I am not a stranger to their adherence to form and the power that they wield. One may argue that this fact does not prove that I respect Arqade, as a community as Shog9 defines the concern. Indeed, this clash is to bump the invisible walls, learn the length of the chain, see how much a user is boxed in. This may lead to reactance, in the psychological definition.

However, respect should be earned. The times that I've clashed, they were usually due to conflicts about ambiguity. I usually play in the grey, if only as the gadfly.

Addenda: The following comments apply to comments in kotekzot's answer that received at least 42 comments thus far.

To the assertion that I don't care about the answers, I disagree. I critically review answers to my questions and up-vote if they are contributive, but you may find that I am reluctant to accept answers. As I say, I am rather critical, and I like to leave questions open with unaccepted answers if I feel that an improvement can be made. I have even commented so on several of answers provided to my questions.

To the impression that I only stopped after I was asked to, I would say that I stopped because I couldn't think of any more questions. I recall posting one more question after the moderator request.

For the record, I haven't counted how many questions fill the front page nor do I recall being particularly fussy about viewing the front page to confirm my saturation thereof. To fully qualify the second and last clause, I do not recall an urge to "fill the front page" or an act of checking the front page to confirm so. As a result, I am convinced that that was not a motive of mine.

  • In regards to points 2, 3 and 6: if a moderator asks you to do something, it's usually out of courtesy before escalating to further action being taken. Any questions or disagreements relating to these kinds of requests should be bought up on meta (here) rather than arguing them out on the question in... question. – user27134 May 31 '13 at 10:05
  • In regards to point 4: since we only allow one question per post on the main site, it is generally automatically considered that any sub questions posted in the post are a "collective represented under the one hood of the title question". The spacing makes your post easier to read, and legibility is just as important as having a valid question. – user27134 May 31 '13 at 10:16
  • In regards to points 1 and 5: it was my opinion that raising as many questions as you did, in the time frame that you did, was likely due to you seeding questions. It's also perfectly possible (as pointed out in one of the comments) that you could have simply saved up many questions and asked them all at once and from your statements in the above post that seems to be the opinion that you have on the situation as well. If this actually is the case then I apologise for making an assumption about your intentions. – user27134 May 31 '13 at 10:26
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    The problem with "playing in the gray" and "seeing how long the chain is" is that here is that most of the times are no walls basically by design; that doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, but it means that we don't tie ourselves to rules that make sense in some scearios and don't in others. Asking many questions in a short period of times makes sense, is not very disruptive and is desirable in some scenarios (newly released games in high activity moments like a contest, e.g.) and makes less sense & clashes with site engine in others (game from 2001, early Saturday slump in activity). – badp May 31 '13 at 10:52
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    @NiteCyper Since I've argued my opinion on the topic enough in this thread, let me simply say "bravo" for a well composed answer. Somewhat to badp's point (thought I disagree with his conclusion), there are very few (if any) rules on Arqade that can't be changed with a rational argument backed by sufficient community support. Stick around and make your voice heard. – EBongo Jun 1 '13 at 3:39
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    Regarding point 5, the site heuristic is whether the question demonstrates any attempt at research. It is not our responsibility to develop ESP, but the question poster's responsibility to mention their research in the question. Regarding point 6, this is fixed by making "non blocking" responses. A statement like "I am not convinced" is a block in form (regardless of intent): it invites the other to either back off or push harder. To invite a discussion, you have to explicitly do so, e.g., "I'm not convinced. Can you explain?" (This is easier said than done, I know from experience!) – SevenSidedDie Jun 5 '13 at 16:57
1

Go ahead and ask any number of valid questions that you have. Maybe you had a bunch of questions that you wanted answers to, but only just decided to post them, or maybe the game is new and very complex and there are many things about it that aren't adequately explained. In the end, it doesn't matter - the bottom line is that if your questions are good, holding back on posting them is a disservice to the community and yourself.

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    @badp I think the fallacy is that someone could keep posting X good questions a day and somehow create a backlog for the site. If the questions are good, we want them, period. If someone is engaging in spam, or some other rep whoring behavior, I don't believe they'll be able to generate "good" questions - and then all "bad" question policies apply. If a game is old, and some awesome user comes to fill in our portfolio of questions for it great! I don't see why getting more good questions on an old game would be bad, even if they take some time to work through. – EBongo May 26 '13 at 12:14
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    @EBongo That's only part of it. There's also a few less philosophical (or, as you say, "fallacious") and more mechanical reasons like trying to vote on those posts; voting on those questions will likely be seen by the system as targeted voting to be invalidated: many votes in a row against (or for) the same user. This doesn't seem to have happened; I imagine it's because those questions aren't being really voted on to begin with. Maybe they aren't that great, or maybe people don't feel like clicking through 11 questions in a row. – badp May 26 '13 at 13:59
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    Considering that the questions in question have gathered few answers (only one of which has been accepted by the asker) and few votes, this is a textbook example of why flooding the front page is a bad idea. It doesn't matter how good the questions are if they get no answers, or no good answers, and the answers are ignored by the asker because it's too many for even the asker to care about. – SevenSidedDie May 26 '13 at 21:27
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    There are many viable explanations, and yet I find it fairly convincing that it exhibits the characteristics of a textbook example of why not to flood. Occam's Razor applies. – SevenSidedDie May 27 '13 at 3:04
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    People are already convinced just fine. I see you swim against the current; I point out where the current is. Now I shrug and let you swim as you wish. – SevenSidedDie May 27 '13 at 3:17
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    @SevenSidedDie I guess that also means the Earth was flat until the majority decided it wasn't. Just because a belief is widely-held doesn't make it true. – kotekzot May 27 '13 at 3:23
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    That's true, but immaterial. The injunction against flooding is a practical injunction, not one that requires it always be true that badness will result when it's ignored. "No dogs allowed" doesn't require that all dogs are necessarily misbehaved; just that enough are for the rule to be useful. This dog did pee in the frozen foods aisle though, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to be an exception that should overturn the rule. – SevenSidedDie May 27 '13 at 3:32
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    @SevenSidedDie is it useful, thought? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me the extent of the "damage" caused by those questions is that, for a short period of time, there were slightly more questions about a single game than statistically probable. The damage caused by the enforcement of this rule, however, is dozens of man-hours wasted arguing about it. The cure seems to be worse than the disease. – kotekzot May 27 '13 at 4:03
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    We're all volunteers here, we can argue all we like and we're doing it for leisure, unless someone's being paid and didn't tell us. That's not damage, that's the site functioning as designed. The damage the rule is meant to avoid is exactly that which is displayed by those questions: a whole lot of questions that have not gotten enough attention to get answered properly. Despite the extra attention they've gotten from arguing over them, they're still low-vote, low-answer questions. Which we aim to avoid. With rules like that. "No dogs allowed" seems useful. So does "Don't flood." – SevenSidedDie May 27 '13 at 4:05
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    By all means, if you know something about SSMB, go answer them. I don't. Just like everyone, we put our time where our skills lie. Whether it's an old game or not, there's still a rule against flooding for good reason. That's the point. These questions don't serve as a counter example in any way. Maybe it's because it's an old game that isn't played much anymore (it's not—pro players still do), or maybe it's because it was a flood. Irrelevant. Flooding is contrary to quality. Finding an actual counterexample to champion would make more sense than defending a good example of why not to. – SevenSidedDie May 27 '13 at 4:28
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    @SevenSidedDie Need we mention that this site has contests where it expressly encourages folks to ask questions in rapid succession? I agree with kotekzot too that there has been no evidence presented that shows that questions asked in rapid succession fair more poorly than the other questions asked about the same time, on the same tag. The fact that we are talking about an old game is hugely relevant in that a) The user could have been wondering about these questions for years b) The questions have not received as much activity as hot new games. – EBongo May 27 '13 at 12:44
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    @kalina have you never encountered more than 1 problem before getting around to asking about them? I know I have. We already have tools to deal with posts that aren't up to snuff, judging a user's posts by his other recent posts seems like an unnecessary exercise that only muddies the water and contradicts this meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/a/7241/19827 – kotekzot May 28 '13 at 10:40
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    I think the situation was handled fine, @badp noticed that the individual in question was raising a large number of questions and asked him to slow down - this is a key point since he didn't even ask the guy to stop, simply to slow down. Anybody can agree that 12 questions in an hour is a lot of questions. I'm not sure that anybody here has judged any of the questions on anything other than their individual merit. – user27134 May 28 '13 at 11:07
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    @badp the problem is that, in my opinion, you have misrepresented a hitherto entirely undocumented guideline, which, to an observer, seems like a case of "because I said so", and i don't believe a mod is entitled to that. A mod is a representative of the community, and thus responsible for acting in a way that is both unambiguous and representative of the community's wishes. – kotekzot May 28 '13 at 11:26
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    This massive comment thread is going around in circles and is no longer constructive. Many valid points have been made in these comments and they've been ignored or counter-argued with points that have already been invalidated earlier on in the comments. Everything that you want to know is already covered somewhere in the answers on this question, the comments attached to the answers on this question, or the additional question that you asked about how people find questions so I suggest you read them rather than perpetuating this constant going around in circles and not getting anywhere. – user27134 May 29 '13 at 13:27

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