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The question is simple but I think the problem is not so simple. Recently the rate of answering on meta is very poor.

For a beta site, meta is like heart. It's where the site decisions are taken, policies are designed, guidance for users is written and much more. But there's no active participation in answering. In the past 3 months, 20 questions were posted out of which only 8 received answers. The answering percentage is around 40. Out of these 8, 5 are answered by moderators.

Out of these, there are some questions. Discussions are important for a beta site like ours. We are a site looking for graduation. We have to be very active in meta designing more policies and updating existing guidelines if needed. But in practice, it's contrary. Such posts are left alone without an answer. Due to inactivity, some questions might get deleted by Community user also. I had such experience with my question Unsourced answers need more time before getting to VLQ queue . This was deleted twice but undeleted by users again. The questions are getting votes, sometimes a comment or two. But answer is once in a blue moon.

Some genuine queries about Code of Conduct, scope, style of questions and answers were raised on meta in the past three months. But the response was minimal.

Unfortunately, there is no participation in answers from moderators also. There were some issues which need answers from moderators. Those questions only received comments. Last time a moderator answered a meta question is a month ago. Unsourced answers need more time before getting to VLQ queue.

It's a question which was easy to answer. Any avid user of SE would answer the question easily.

But discussions are not that way. They are site specific and play important role in our site growth. We need participation from as many users as possible and as many inputs as possible and chose the best. Almost all questions received a single answer which is low as per meta standards. Meta discussions are supposed to get many answers.

Moderators are rarely answering discussion questions. I'm not name calling or pin pointing. For info, newest discussion answers (active) from moderators

The Destroyer February 22
Paṇḍyā August 16
Keshav Srinivasan Feb 27

(These discussion questions include community friendly questions like Favorite questions and answers from 2nd quarter of 2019 and Which texts have you read?) I understand that moderators sometimes discuss in their private rooms and write answers but moderators might also have some opinion differences. If all are answering from different points of view, then it would be better. I feel scope discussions are better to be held on meta than private chat rooms.

If there is a situation of not answering on meta from both users and moderators, how can we expect the growth of our site to be equal with our fellow communities? Other communities are far better in creating meta discussions time to time and trying to bring some consensus through discussions.

I think we need to remember meta is not a site only between moderators and the OP. It's run by and owned by "Community". I have noticed that some think only mods should answer discussion questions which is completely wrong.

  • Why are we not answering questions on meta?
  • Particularly, why are important discussion questions are not answered by moderators?

Note: More info on site activity is available on site analytics for users with 5k reputation.

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Here are some possible reasons:

  1. Users and mods alike on this site fear public humiliation if they consolidate and post their arguments as answers which other users can vote on. So they feel much safer to post their views as comments and argue in chat rooms and under others' posts. As comments cannot be downvoted, this mode of "answering" works best for some users.

  2. Writing answers on meta, especially ones concerning site policies, takes considerable amount of time. This being a beta site, one needs to research what other established sites (with large user presence on their meta) are doing and sometimes you just don't have enough time to do all this.

  3. Some users find it difficult to keep their personal views and emotions out of the way when determining what's best for the site. So they are happy to silently vote on answers if someone else dares to present their views (even if against general SE policies) in the form of an answer.

  4. Lack of appreciation for constructive criticism on both main and meta sites. Discussions easily turn to flame wars because users here tend to focus on who is saying vs. what is being said.

  5. Lack of accountability for some mod actions. Bringing controversial actions of mods to notice of others to get a second opinion is construed as public shaming and such posts get immediately downvoted. If questions themselves are downvoted it's easy to imagine why no one will dare writing an answer questioning wrongful mod actions or suggesting corrective actions.

  6. Lack of awareness of H.SE meta and low user participation on meta.

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    Accurate. Sad to see our communities so fear-based these days. 1, 3, & 4 in particular are against the spirit of a Stack Exchange. Why even participate? Better off lurking on message boards – Rubellite Yakṣī Sep 27 '19 at 5:20
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    Mods are not supposed to fear of downvoting. – Paṇḍyā Sep 28 '19 at 1:03
  • Why are you doing guess works or can you read minds of others to know why they do something or don't do? Do you think this Q is giving you an opportunity to take a dig at other users and in particular the mods? – Rickross Nov 2 '19 at 6:21

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