6

I entered in this site on 5th October 2015 (as per your log records), as somebody on Quora.com suggested to interact with the people active in this site, so that I can get more enlightenment here.

So I did not join here for badges/upvotes, etc.

I posted some questions that have been haunting me since long, but I could not get answers for them at this site also.

I posted answers to some questions posted by somebody else.

During the period between Oct 5, 2015 to till date, I found that this site is a little bit extension of Facebook, wherein we can interact with our friends only, whereas here we can interact with many people with some restrictions.

  1. There is no Messages option available in this site, as is available in Quora and Facebook, through which we can send our message direct to the person concerned

  2. This site is dominated by Vaishnavites, a sect in the Hinduism and who are not tolerate towards others opinion. Many a time my answers are downvoted just because they are against the principles of VAISHNAVISM.

  3. I think the problem cited at Sl.No.2 may be major impediment for hampering the growth of the site.

  4. These 2 problems that I have identified are brought to your notice. It is upto you, to decide as to what action to be initiated for the improvement of this site.

  • 2
    It was me who suggested you to visit this site. – The Destroyer Nov 18 '15 at 13:28
  • @TheDestroyer I'm glad you are recruiting from there. Quora has so many bad answers on so many topics. It is like a long-form Yahoo Answers, IMO. – Rubellite Yakṣī May 3 '18 at 13:36
  • OP, perhaps the community has improved, but I haven't experienced intolerance from Vaishnavas—nor any particular sect. I have been given potentially contradictory information from different perspectives, sects, or philosophies, but these have only helped me synthesize a more complete answer in my own mind. Hopefully your experiences have improved. As for me, this is the most flexible and tolerant SE site. – Rubellite Yakṣī May 3 '18 at 13:36
6

One major reason for the site not expanding is the unreasonably restrictive rules and their what-appears-to-be rancorous enforcement. The rules are detrimental to the growth of the site and keep people away rather than encourage fruitful participation.

  • I agree. If a tree need support, you can tie it with rope. This is how rules ought to be used. SE is strangling the tree with so many ropes and the tree cannot grow; it is being choked. – Rubellite Yakṣī May 3 '18 at 14:14
5

Let me answer those points one by one :

There is no Messages option available in this site, as is available in Quora and Facebook, through which we can send our message direct to the person concerned

Seems the short answer is No and Never, and has been explained in great detail here :

Any way to send a personal message to another user?

This site is dominated by Vaishnavites, a sect in the Hinduism and who are not tolerate towards others opinion. Many a time my answers are downvoted just because they are against the principles of VAISHNAVISM.

I am a relatively new user at hinduism.stackexchange, and have been a while at other stack exchange websites. I see that this observation of yours, may be truly felt by you, but unfortunately, it's a subjective one and cannot be established by data.

There are only two sources where one can look for substantiation, profile description and answers-comments.

The profile description at any of the stack exchange websites do not require the declaration of certain faith or sect or programming language, or adherence to it. One can pretty much write anything in the profile descriptions and still not adhere to it. Yet others may write nothing and but still adhere to it. For this reason, I twinge when I see references in the comments that say, aren't you a Saivite, aren't you a Advaitin and so on. How does it matter what I profess or practise, the answer or the comment should be judged by its own merit and relevance to the question.

Similar is the inference drawn from answers. For instance, Joe may believe in all kinds of things at the same time, some Vaishnavism, some Saivism, some Vedanta, and some modern masters such as Ramana, Ramakrishna or Sivananda. Even if in your specific context, you are able to establish that all your downvoters have an X inclination, that is not enough.

I think the problem cited at Sl.No.2 may be major impediment for hampering the growth of the site

The key issue is : how can a website like Stack Exchange, which is totally community-driven and community-moderated, determine algorithmically or by a set of volunteer processes, that such-and-such sect is dominating such-and-such forum ? The problem is all the more complex in the case of Hinduism. It's not like the Python language, where the Python language manual is the final reference for all things under the Python sky. Masters, doctrines, scriptures and texts have come and stayed and gone, some of them, historic and some of them not, so how do you establish that a certain viewpoint is Saivism or Vaishnavism or not ? The only source, in addition to the assertion of the post-writer, is the scriptures and they can vary hugely into lanes and bylanes of text that were specific to geographies, times, and languages and contexts in which they were composed. For instance, the Ramcharita Manas, the Kamba Ramayana or the Adhyatma Ramayana narrated by Shiva to Parvati, is as much Hinduism as the Valmiki Ramayana, so which of these is considered a final version of the events ?

In comparison, consider Stack Overflow, the programming forum. It's known that some programming languages are widely present, widely asked and widely answered. But that's all driven by the people who sign up, the ones who post and the ones who moderate, which is again driven by their activity and their editorial volunteering.

The subjectivity of determining this is hampered by the fact, on the Internet, people can present themselves to be what they want. For instance, see the discussion on male domination here:

Stackoverflow is male dominated

How does one know who is male or female or Saivite or Vaishnavite or fake theist and more importantly, how to determine it programmatically ?

So there would be no point blaming that your downvoters belong to a certain species. The forest is such. Let's all enrich the forest by making a more diverse ecosystem.

These 2 problems that I have identified are brought to your notice. It is upto you, to decide as to what action to be initiated for the improvement of this site

Whether it is fortunate or unfortunate, many of these are standard constructs of Stack Exchange fora. It's well-known outside Stack Exchange that SE does provide X,Y and Z elements of a Q & A environment and does not provide A,B,C features by Quora or P,Q,R features of Facebook, and there is resentment about it. The oft-heard response within SE, tends to sound like, 'we are what we are, this is what we offer, if this is what you are looking for, this is the place for you, otherwise, there are a lot of other places'.

This can sound a tad harsh, it sounded like that to me in the early days of SE. But then, the overall goals of SE, seems to be to keep: (a) the quality of questions high (b) the quality of answers high (both of these require downvoting and flagging) (c) what is high and low be determined by the user community and (d) may the best users in the community, as seen by their acts of contribution and by other users, rise up to be the moderators.

Once we understand this model, and it is we who build the model, we can hopefully try to work within those borders to build a great one-stop shop for all Hinduism-related answers. Like others have said in the comment, stay with the site, because, if your complaint is that the site is not diverse enough, the best way to address that is to add to it by one's own presence and consistent contribution.

  • Can you write an answer to this post? – sv. Sep 27 '17 at 1:41
  • Had to take time to think it through. I just placed an answer to that question. – Whirl Mind Oct 4 '17 at 17:53
  • Thanks for taking time to write a thorough, well-researched answer! Just read it. You presented both sides of the argument very well. – sv. Oct 4 '17 at 18:36
5

As far as private messages go, it's general policy of the Stackexchange Network to not allow private messages, because the Stackexchange sites are supposed to be places to ask and answer questions, not a medium of personal communication. Still, if you want to talk to a specific user you can always go to the chat rooms - you can ping a user in the main chat room or you can create a new chat room (assuming you have sufficient refutation). Now only thing is that there's no privacy.

As far as voting goes, in your case I don't think the downvotes you've received has much to do with Vaishnavism. I think it's broader than that - you happen to reject all or most of the content in the Puranas as interpolation, whereas almost all other Hindus accept the Puranas as Sabda Pramana or scriptural authority. So this would lead to most users on the site, whether Vaishnavas, Shaivites, Smarthas, etc., vehemently disagreeing with a lot of your answers.

  • 1
    Yes. I do accept that I rejected the material from Puranas as interpolations. Whenever I said that the puranas were interpolations, I added that why I presumed them so. If you think that this site is only for the people, who accept Puranas, then you should have intimated me so. I could have made an exit then itself. Why did you remain silent? Remember - Hinduism accepts all types of theories, including atheism also. – srimannarayana k v Nov 17 '15 at 10:45
  • Did the Shaivites, Smarthas, etc., who are vehemently disagreeing with a lot of my answers, communicate to you so? – srimannarayana k v Nov 17 '15 at 10:47
  • 3
    @srimannarayanakv I definitely do not want you to exit the site. This site is open to users from all points of view, whether Hindus, non-Hindus, atheists, etc. This is a website about Hinduism, not a Hindu website, so anyone who wants to learn about Hinduism or wants to share their knowledge about Hinduism is welcome to participate. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 16:05
  • @srimannarayanakv Personally I have not downvoted any of your answers, and I haven't spoken to anyone who has. From my knowledge of the different sects of Hinduism and what they believe, I'm just surmising that the reason for the downvotes is that most users on the site would vehemently disagree with many of your answers. For instance, if someone asks about the reason why someone in some Hindu story did something, and one user answers that they did it for this reason and another user answers that the story never happened, many users would be inclined to downvote the second answer. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 16:09
  • 3
    @srimannarayanakv Still, I encourage you to continue participating despite the downvotes. Users upvote and downvote answers based on which answers they believe to be correct or incorrect, but the fact that some people disagree with your answer doesn't mean you shouldn't post those answers. Even my answers have been downvoted, both by Vaishnavas and by Shaivites, and by Smarthas. But that hasn't stopped me from being one of the most active users on the site. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 16:15
  • 1
    @srimannarayanakv So as I said, I encourage you to continue posting on the site. Your posts on this site have already been seen by 7,000 people: hinduism.stackexchange.com/users/3869/srimannarayana-k-v I expect that's a much bigger audience than you've gotten from your Hinduism posts on Quora and Facebook, because users on this site come for the sole purpose of learning about Hinduism. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 16:17
  • I know that SE isn't meant for socialization, but I have had several occasions in which a good question-answer session made me want to be able to communicate with someone outside of SE. I value learned minds and would like more such people in my social circles. So, it would be nice if we could PM people to become friends offsite – Rubellite Yakṣī May 3 '18 at 14:11
3

I posted some questions that have been haunting me since long, but I could not get answers for them at this site also.

One should not stop posting questions because no one is answering them!

This site is dominated by Vaishnavites, a sect in the Hinduism and who are not tolerant towards others opinion.

When you ask a question, you should not be offended simply because you cannot get "the answer you are looking for" from them (persons of different beliefs) that suits your beliefs.

Many a time my answers are down-voted just because they are against the principles of Vaishnavism

So what if your question or answer is down-voted? Ask 'why the down-vote?' in comments and just move on to the next one.

2

I was going to write a comment here, but thought it would be more appropriate to start a separate thread as I think the concerns are more serious than just the fact that it is not expanding. My post, however, does pertain to your question.

Excessively Harsh Moderation in Hinduism Stack Exchange in Comparison to Others

2

One of the reasons I have noticed is that people are resistant in participation. When I say participation, I mean asking questions and giving answers. Many users who have been here for a while are interested more in fringe activities like editing, commenting etc. Although, these activities have value, they are but secondary in nature.

This is a Q&A site - so asking questions and giving answers is primary. (In my personal case, I ask a question even though it might appear very simple. And, people have objection to that! It is funny that I am being asked to read more texts and then ask a question! If I can go read, why would I come back to ask a question?! The whole purpose of the website is lost with this kind of approach. Also, I give answers even though they might be incomplete or not 100% relevant to the question, as long as they add some value.)

I am not sure how statistically significant this trend is, but it might be one of the reasons why the website is not expanding.

One of the reasons for not getting involved in Q&A might be that a user doesn't have a question to ask or answer to give. In that case, it is okay. Although, if it comes from some sort of inhibition, then that is not in sync with the spirit of this website.

To sum it up, the way this website has been designed is that it encourages participation via the primary activities of asking questions and giving answers.

PS: I would like to end on a positive note that this site has a lot of helpful experts on various topics under the purview of Hinduism. And, I have learnt a lot since I have been here. :)

  • 1
    Disagree.. Main Purpose of this site is to provide quality answers. Quality is the paramount thing. If we follow what you said, answers will devoid of quality. The reason many users post comments might be they are not very sure of particular topic or scripture or answer could be easily found by google search. Google can answer some questions easily and asking for complete or full stories from Mahabhartha (Sacred texts), Ramayana (Valmiki Ramayana) and Bhagavatam (Veda Base) which can be easily be searched in google, is not good according to me. – The Destroyer May 14 '16 at 14:54
  • 1
    I feel there's no use if anyone asks "complete story of something" if it is very famous and can easily be found on net (from authentic source). It would be merely act of copy paste and it would be just for sake of reputation and nothing else. – The Destroyer May 14 '16 at 14:57
  • @TheDestroyer I do not agree to the part that you can find these things easily on Google. e.g. if that were the case, everyone would know that Lakshmana Rekha is not found in Valkimi's Ramayana. Also, increased participation and quality need not be anti to each other. And, virtual reputation on some website holds no value. :) – Amit Saxena May 14 '16 at 17:44
  • 4
    I agree that even 'simple questions' should be welcomed here and not frowned upon because everyone one of us is at different stages of learning. But even with simple questions OP should show some research he or she has done, e.g, the question should be on the lines 'I went through so & so Wiki article and its references but was unable to verify the source of the story'. The research could simply be even searching for a similar question here on Hinduism.SE. – sv. May 14 '16 at 21:24
  • @sv. Agreed! :) – Amit Saxena May 15 '16 at 4:52
  • 1
    @TheDestroyer Agree. – user1195 May 26 '16 at 5:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .