Religious sites are among the most challenging moderation tasks. Before I was hired as Community Manager, I was an active moderator on Biblical Hermeneutics, so I feel I have some justification in saying that. One problem we see time and again is the tension between Truth and Knowledge. We each come to the sites with a predetermined understanding of what it is true and those beliefs are often in conflict with what other people belief is true. As humans, we have a deep commitment to Truth even to the point of violence.
Stack Exchange is geared to propagate Knowledge, not Truth. Pandya makes the case very clearly in Concerns about brigading:
We know that among all the religions, Hinduism has very much diversity, there are various beliefs and philosophies. The problem we often face is due to the difference in thoughts and beliefs or different Sampradaya. Let me tell you that proving particular beliefs superior than others is not the objective of this site. We should respect all Sampradyaya, their beliefs and philosophies.
In the context of you own Sampradyaya, there are statements that are true, statements that are false and statements that have not been decided. It's tempting to go through and answer all the questions from your own understanding of Truth. But that is unhelpful since each question would end up flooded with contradictory answers. Voting would mean that whichever Sampradyaya has the most users on the site would always appear to be the right answer.
Fortunately, every question of truth may be converted to a question of knowledge:
Are there multiple universes?
Why do modal realists believe in the concept of the multiverse?
The second isn't really asking whether the multiverse theory is true, but rather discussing a particular group of thinkers and their teachings. The beauty of this system is that:
- Anyone can ask and answer these questions with equal authority.
- Disagreements can be resolved with evidence (by looking at the texts held sacred by the particular Sampradyaya).
- Visitors to the site will have greater understanding of Hinduism in general and the Sampradyaya in particular.
I bring this up because I'm looking at a handful of complaints about moderators on this site and I think it'll help to understand my point of view. If you want to listen, I can talk for hours about the difference between the sensus plenior and historical-grammatical methods of biblical interpretation. But everything I know about the Shiva vs. Vishnu debate, I learned right here on meta. Fortunately, I have an easier task than sorting these two (or maybe more?) positions. Good moderation strives for Knowledge even at the expense of Truth. This job belongs to everyone and not just the appointed moderators. If you are willing to put aside your own beliefs for the sake of helping others understand Hinduism, I honor and respect that sacrifice. If your own beliefs are too important to be set aside, I respect that too, but would suggest this is not the site for you.
If you've contacted us about the site and moderators in particular, I'd like to apologize for taking so long to answer. (It's been busy around here lately.) Moderators are human, have their own biases and might slip up from time to time. If I see any examples of that, I'll contact them and let you know what I found privately. One of the reasons we have three moderators is so they can watch out for each other. If it seems the moderator team isn't keeping each other accountable, I'll coach them through that too. My goal is to help this community productively field all sorts of questions about Hinduism.
I should also take special note of what I call stump-the-chumps questions. These are questions asked less out of a sincere desire to know the answer and more out of an attempt to advocate a particular point of view. These questions can be very enlightening, but I've seen a few examples on this site that ended up sparking debates in the comments that seem more divisive than constructive. Since diamond moderators are tasked with handling comment flags and since their tools are somewhat limited to delete some comments or delete all comments, it's not surprising when comments supporting a particular position are removed.
If you want your writing on the site preserved:
- ask a curious question or
- write a supported answer.
Comments are prone to deletion. It would be an unusual circumstance to cause me to think a moderator is hopelessly biased because they deleted some comments.