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I see many "thank you" and "welcome to Hinduism " kind of comments in this SE Site, below both question and answers.

And it is expected on SE Site that (AFAIK) , if you find such comments that don't add any value to the question or Answer, it should be flagged appropriately.

From my experience in last 3-4 months in this Hinduism SE is that when I do flag such comments which are eligible for "too chatty" or "not constructive", they are almost always ignored by the moderators and are mostly REJECTED.

Here is one such example: Rishi converts poor dog to lion and then to dragon which tries to eat the Rishi

I am attaching the Screenshot of my declined flags so that anyone can visit the Link and see it on their own and decide if it is valid to remove those comments or not.

enter image description here

I flagged first 2 comments below the Answer as "too chatty" and one of them is from Hinduism site's moderator and both are declined, most likely by the same moderator as he is the only ACTIVE Moderator AFAIK from last 3-4 months on this site and I am not alone who thinks it this way. Below is the quote and the link:

This particular moderator is over-zealous and unfair and seems to be the only active moderator which means that all decisions are unilaterally conjured up and implemented.

Voting to have Keshav Srinivasan take a sabbatical as a moderator

And I am almost 100% sure that the same moderator is going to answer this question too!!

I do have fair record of raising helpful flags on other SE Sites such as stackoverflow (as of this writing I had 281-helpful flags on SO),and hence I do not need teaching/training about flagging and although SO is programming related site, mostly I do flag things such "thank you" kind of comments.

But I can clearly see, that this Hinduism site is not following those rules of flagging or has entirely different rules which just allows "thank you" kind of comments to just hang around without cleaning.

I understand that this Hinduism SE is still in Beta and participation is low compared to other more mature SE Site, but that is not an excuse to have junk all over the place by new users.

Why flagging is not as per general SE Site here in Hinduism SE?

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    I agree with you. First of all, thank you for concerning about this site. The guy Keshav is doing a great work (only active mod). if you blame him there will be no other mods available. BTW, I can give you thousands of comments from SO where there are welcome or thank you messages.
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 13 '15 at 10:03
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    @Mr_Green if there is only 1 mod. then we have a serious problem to be honest. And I don't blame an individual, but only tried to bring it to notice to whole community about the practice followed on this site, which is clearly against the site's rules. stackoverflow may have many thank you messages too and as a user we are suppose to clean them, when we notice them, that is why flagging system is in place. Just bcoz SO has junk does not mean we should allow junk in other SE Sites, specially when we notice it. Jul 13 '15 at 11:58
  • I completely agree with you. I will leave to Keshav to reply to this post.
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 13 '15 at 12:12
  • I dont know about your specific comment, but most of my 'thank you' or 'welcome' comments have been successfully removed by someone! I dont like it but that's how the site works. I am not sure why yours was rejected.
    – Sai
    Jul 13 '15 at 15:52
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    Regarding active mods, I think we should have a new election to decide Keshav's teammates for the next year :) because the others are not active
    – Sai
    Jul 13 '15 at 15:55
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    Well, I think Moderator is also a human being, who cannot remember everything every time. Btw, I have myself seen some times in Hinduism SE when there were comments saying that Thanks, etc comments are not supposed to be made. So, I think action has been taken, but people still do it sometimes, including me too. In a way Thanks comment is a signal that things are clear now or the answer was helpful. But anyways, i think if it is to be followed to remove such comments then a moderator alone cannot do it. We all have to help by flagging such posts which do not add any value to the post.
    – Aby
    Jul 13 '15 at 16:37
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    @Aby: The issue that I tried to raise was Although I did flagged comments such as Thank you etc. but they were REJECTED. Now, only MODERATOR has the the rights to accept/reject flagging based on the rules of the site. You are right in saying that moderator alone is not supposed to clean all junk, it is responsibility of whole community to clean the site by raising helpful flags. But when such flags are raised to help clean the site, the ownership then comes to moderators to be unbiased and take action in the best interest of the site. Jul 14 '15 at 4:02
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    @Sai I added an image to show which flags I am talking about.At the time of posting this question, those comments were still there despite both being of no value to the post and that is the reason why I flagged them. As far as moderator elections are concerned then I guess we should have it ASAP as having only 1 active moderator is not good for the overall development of site and also will be too much of work for 1 person to do. Jul 14 '15 at 4:14
  • @Sai We're a Beta site, so moderators are appointed, not elected. Jul 14 '15 at 6:00
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    @KeshavSrinivasan appointed by whom?
    – Sai
    Jul 14 '15 at 14:14
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    @Sai : I agree! We don't know why NO Action is taken when rest 3 are simply not contributing! And almost ALL know this fact that they are NOT Active. If they are not interested, then when will they be replaced if at all they are REPLACEABLE! Or here also do we have different rules where once you are moderator, You are moderator for life no matter how you fair! sorry if I sound pessimistic but not sure how this site will sustain with 1 Active moderator :( Jul 14 '15 at 15:25
  • @Sai They're appointed by the SE Community Managers. The first three moderators were chosen by the SE team close to the beginning of the site, after a bunch of nominations were made (I nominated senshin, Mr. Alien nominated himself, and cheenbabes was chosen for his high participation.) And then months later Mr. Alien recommended me to the SE team, after noticing all my flagging and Meta activity. During the Beta period the SE team chooses pro tempore moderators to shepherd the site until it graduates, and then when it graduates out of Beta moderator elections are held. Jul 14 '15 at 19:54
  • @KeshavSrinivasan so basically we're stuck with three inactive mods until we graduate :). Alright. Thanks for clarifying. :)
    – Sai
    Jul 14 '15 at 21:34
  • @Sai Yeah, moderators are usually not removed except for exceedingly long absences; here's what someone on the SE team told me when I became a moderator:"if you disappear for months at a time we'll email you and if you disappear for a looong time - 6 months, usually - we'll de-mod you. Nothing personal, you understand - stuff comes up, this ain't your main priority. No, we're not gonna badger you if you miss a day or something. You're an adult and this is volunteer work; none of our business what you got going on." In any case I have plenty of free time on my hands, so its not a big deal :-) Jul 14 '15 at 22:17
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    Note that Stack Exchange does not have a strict policy against thank you comments. Read meta.stackexchange.com/questions/145551/… for more info. Jul 16 '15 at 16:29
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Let us talk about the flag system first. I checked the flag history of the post which were flagged by you and it seems like they were declined by @Keshav. Now lets not play the blame game here because even moderators are humans. Indeed it's pointless to preserve such comments and I thank you to point that these flags were declined instead of approving them as helpful.

I had a talk with him and I don't think this should repeat henceforth, incase if it does, you are always free to raise an issue.

P.S Comments are now deleted.


Coming to activeness of moderators. Since the site had started we were having issues for moderator activeness

Where are our two pro tem mods?

Later on we decided to elect Keshav Srinivisan as our fourth moderators as he was well informed as well as active. We still have inactive moderator crisis but I used to feel the same but not anymore. If we see, the amount of activities going on here are very less compared to other Beta sites. Moderators are not the only one who should be active to keep the site in good shape.

We can always help closing off-topic questions faster or handling flags and taking appropriate actions but I feel that users of this site should drop in and contribute as well. For example if I take consider your revisions. It shows you've made 7 revisions, I further investigated and saw that out of these 7, 5 of them were on your own post. So you visited 143 days you have 2 revisions.

I've no intentions to blame here but am just representing the statistics that though every site has moderators, its also the duty of other users to keep the site neat and tidy. This is the reason SE allows you to edit the posts and make the grammar better, review edit suggestions, close queue and so on.

About me, I am still one of the active user on this site, its just that the flag handling has changed a bit. I have stopped handling flags(most of the time) if the flags are on answers which say wrong and similar. I let Keshav decide to handle them as he is well informed than me. I usually used to handle other flags to keep the community clean but if they are flagged on night UTC +5.30 and if they are handled by other moderator there's not much other mods can do except for going around and searching for those comments and getting rid of them which I often do.


Conclusion: Your point is completely valid that those flags shouldn't be handled the way they were and I've discussed with other mods about it. Unfortunately we cannot turn your declined flags to helpful but I will assure you that flags will be handled wisely henceforth. Sorry for the inconvenience again.

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  • Fair enough! My intention of raising this issue was obviously not to blame Keshav or anyone but to bring it to notice to whole community that there is room for improvement when it comes to consistency in flagging system! Let's focus together on making OUR site as clean as possible!! Jul 15 '15 at 4:15
  • @AADTechnical I appreciate that you posted your concern on meta and would like to have such active and caring participation from other users as well. And yes, if you see my meta profile I've wrote that in most of my questions that content on this site should be as clean as possible. Thanks again.
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 15 '15 at 6:49
  • @Mr.Alien [off-topic] Please have a look at this post. meta.hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/378/93
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 15 '15 at 13:13
  • @Mr_Green I had asked to the SE staff and they said that our rules should be drafted properly and they should be clear inorder to change the help section of the site. I had questioned for a similar thing before meta.hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/207/… but as I said, moderators cannot do things alone all the time, it takes equal efforts from community as well to drop in their suggestions
    – Mr. Alien
    Jul 16 '15 at 4:31
  • @Mr.Alien but only mod can update the help section and other those stuff, rest of user only can suggest as done for that question. For the off-topic question of your, you can always use "feature" tag on meta. I will surely post some answer to it later. Jul 16 '15 at 7:38
  • "I will assure you that flags will be handled wisely henceforth" -- thanks much.
    – Emacs User
    Jul 23 '15 at 22:55
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Let me respond to your points one by one.

I see many "thank you" and "welcome to Hinduism " kind of comments in this SE Site, below both question and answers.

Yes, and I think such comments are fine. It's fine for the person who posted the question to have a brief note of appreciation. What's more discouraged are "+1" or "Me Too" comments, which have the potential to clutter up comment sections. But since there's only one OP, a note of thanks won't really clutter things up.

As far as "welcome to Hinduism.SE!" comments, I think that should be encouraged. Even a small amount of politeness to a new user can make them feel more at home.

And it is expected on SE Site that (AFAIK) , if you find such comments that don't add any value to the question or Answer, it should be flagged appropriately.

Yeah, flagging is certainly encouraged, and when comments are cluttering the comment section without adding any value, then it would be a good idea. But that doesn't mean that "small talk" must alwats be deleted as soon as it's posted. We're a community, and it's OK to have some informal communication here and there and then delete it after some time when it clutters things.

I flagged first 2 comments below the Answer as "too chatty" and one of them is from Hinduism site's moderator and both are declined

Well, if you had flagged those comments now, I probably would have deleted them. But considering that it was only a couple days after they were posted, I probably didn't think it was necessary. A note of thanks from a questioner isn't particularly egregious, and there's nothing wrong with welcoming a new user to the site. Deleting a welcome comment would be premature if the user hadn't seen it yet.

I understand that this Hinduism SE is still in Beta and participation is low compared to other more mature SE Site, but that is not an excuse to have junk all over the place by new users.

Well, we certainly encourage users to flag when there's junk comments on the site. Your flags may not always be approved, but flags are taken seriously here and are highly appreciated. Note that a bit of leniency in a site like this is more tolerable than on a site like StackOverflow, so comments have less of a potential to clutter the site. But I agree with you that that's no reason to leave up junk that adds no value.

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    it seems this site is totally against the rules of SE site and seems to have it's own rules, like " thank you" is fine when posted but NOT FINE after couple of days and same "thank you" is entitled for deletion: Can you mention where such RULE is mentioned or followed in any other SE Site :) check this post for SE Rules for flagging meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… Jul 14 '15 at 5:29
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    @AADTechnical Well, that's a different issue, namely the inclusion of statements like "Thanks in Advance" within the post itself. Regarding the issue of thanks comments, this Meta question is more relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/a/126184 "There is nothing inherently wrong with writing "Thank you" in a comment. It would be preferable to thank good answers with an up vote and the best answer by marking it as accepted. If on top of all that you also want to post a "thank you" comment, that's nice (I guess). However, a comment saying just "thank you" isn't really what comments are for." Jul 14 '15 at 5:34
  • @AADTechnical So it's not like there's an ironclad rule that all "thank you" comments must be eliminated as soon as they're spotted. I don't really see a major problem with leaving a comment like that up for a little while. A bit of informal communication isn't a big deal, and it can always be deleted if it becomes useless clutter later on. Jul 14 '15 at 5:40
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    "I don't really see a major problem with leaving a comment like that up for a little while." : You think this way, but that is not necessarily the opinion of community! And that is where there is BIG Issue: Only 1 person with moderation rights is calling all shots: and you seems to have your personal choices overriding this site's own rules! Good Luck Jul 14 '15 at 5:44
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    @AADTechnical "it seems this site is totally against the rules of SE site and seems to have it's own rules, like " thank you" is fine when posted but NOT FINE after couple of days and same "thank you" is entitled for deletion" Well a moderator's job is to be a "human exception handler" - we're supposed to use our judgment and discretion to do what we think is reasonable in a given situation. We're not meant to be robots Jul 14 '15 at 5:50
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    Agree! but the BIG Issue here is since NO other moderator is ACTIVE it is ONLY YOU whose judgment and discretion takes decisions on what YOU think is reasonable in a given situation. AFAIK, this SE Sites are all about it's USERS and not about it's moderators, whose role should be to provide helping hand to run the site and NOT to impose their PERSONAL views/rules on community! Jul 14 '15 at 6:05
  • @AADTechnical Yeah, the StackExchange sites are definitely all about the users; that's why we have Meta, so that we can discuss things like this and make sure the site is as good as it can be. And I'm not imposing my own rules on the community, I'm just explaining my thought process. I'm always open to suggestions on how I can improve, which is why threads like this are so valuable. Jul 14 '15 at 6:10
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    you don't need to explain your thought process instead as a Moderator, all you need to follow is the PROCESS and rules ALREADY set up by SE Site instead of coming up with your OWN rules such as " thank you" is fine when posted but NOT FINE after couple of days etc. How this comes under human exception handler term I don't know and I don't want to know. And remember this Line from the link that you posted : But what do community moderators do? The short answer is, as little as possible! The ideal moderator does as little as possible Let the community drive the site not moderators! Jul 14 '15 at 9:46
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    @AADTechnical, I think what Keshav has said is justified and answers your question. I don't think a one liner comment on an answer for few days can bring SE's servers down. Infact, I think that for a beta site with less users it should be ok as a new user doesn't feels all bound up by rules. If a new user comes and he feels homely he will come again and with time he can be mature enough to understand why his comments are getting deleted, etc. In the beginning if rigidity is followed then it is often seen/felt as arrogance.
    – Aby
    Jul 14 '15 at 13:40
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    @AADTechnical, One more thing, sometimes a thank you note itself tells other new users that a particular answer was useful, instead of just leaving the answer without a comment. In a way, it is saying that no more doubts are there and it is a satisfactory answer. Without any comment on the answer, there is always a point of doubt whether everything is clear or not, whether questioner has seen the answer or not, etc, so i think it shouldn't be a problem having such comments atleast by the questioner.
    – Aby
    Jul 14 '15 at 13:45
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    @Aby so does that mean all the rules of flagging of more mature sites like stackoverflow are non-sense? what would happen when this site grows? Shall we than ask community to clean up this whole mess? My point is simple: unhelpful comments should be removed, no matter if new user or old user posted it. To encourage new user, we need to upvote questions and answers if they are useful, and not just because they are from NEW user. PEOPLE Are smart enough to know if post is useful by seeing no.of views and upvotes. If site contains Value, people will come and Stay here! Jul 14 '15 at 15:34
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    @AADTechnical When did i said that all the rules for mature sites are non sense. But something of common sense is that there are always different parameters, setup requirements, performance requirements, etc in even a small application and big application, so why not here. These rules are made in order to lessen the load on database that is growing much bigger like SO (see the no. of questions there). Hinduism SE is still in Beta stage with approx 1500 questions only. On top of that, I don't think there are too much of such thanx comments also, so i think we are still in manageable state.
    – Aby
    Jul 14 '15 at 18:54
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    Completely agree with you, Keshav. thanks for keeping some place for human feelings. :)
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 15 '15 at 12:58
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    I honestly never thought about it this way. But now that I do, I feel it is correct. Surely the questioner's "thank you" comment isn't doing anything bad. And deferring of cleanup for a few days makes utmost sense. I understand that this is not the policy of rest of the Stack Exchange network, but I think we should bring this up on Meta Stack Exchange and see what other communities think about it. Jul 16 '15 at 16:23

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