At 2am this morning (local time), I posted this answer to a question (not mine) that had also been bugging me for years. I had just figured out how to resolve it, and wanted to share it with the OP (@Stephen_Schrauger).

Then, I went to bed.

After I got up and dealt with my family, I saw a 20-minute-old comment (by moderator @Kusalananda) that said:

This is not an answer, just a plug for your private project. To make it an answer, show how to use your code to actually solve the given issue.

to which I immediately responded:

This is my own solution to my own same problem. Please give me the rest of the day to 'pretty up' this answer, it was 2 in the morning when I posted.

I have since been busy, but was just now sitting down to type up a little installation guide. I was not very pleased to see that my answer had been deleted (by moderator @slm) and he had written a comment in my name.


Now, in all politeness, I ask: wasn't that too rash?

I don't have the reputation to do much of anything about it, but I would hope that reaching out here gives me at least an explanation, if not an un-deletion.

Technically, it's true that this is "just a plug for your private project" -- although I submit that:

  1. I contend that this is a useful answer to the stated problem. That's why I made it in the first place.
  2. This is no more "private" than any other open source project. It's hosted at github and has a permissive license. Calling this "private" comes across (to me) as disdainful or disparaging.
  3. This project addresses precisely the problem being stated.
  4. I don't have a lot of reputation; I still have the "New contributor" flag that suggests to "Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering." Does this not apply to moderators?
  5. I clearly had communication and stated intent of improving the matter within hours.
  6. The question was four years old, with no other answers in the meantime. Is it really that harmful to pitch in with anything at that point, that it warrants deletion?

I went to post this meta question, and the top question (at the time) was titled "Are new users subjected to prejudicial or intensified scrutiny by moderators?", asked by a user with a reputation of 11 -- so apparently also a very new user. Although the subject was entirely different, it saddens me to see the exact same sentiment experienced by others as well. Is this the general experience you wish for new users?


Thanks for asking here and doing so calmly and politely, that is always appreciated! Now, what happened was that slm converted your answer to a comment. He didn't write a comment in your name, he simply used a mod-only tool we have that copies and answer and posts it as a comment by the author of the answer. This was because your answer, as posted, wasn't actually providing an answer, but slm considered it useful so instead of deleting, he converted to a comment.

This is actually the right thing to do. Your original answer was:

Stephen, I'm ashamed for how long I've been putting up with the same annoyance before I figured out how dead simple it really was...!

I've made a little project, which I think you might want to try out. Please let me know either way.

This isn't an answer, it doesn't explain how your tool would help nor how to use it. In fact, it kind of looks like you were just spamming your tool. I realize you were not, but believe me, we get many cases of spammers posting things that look exactly like that, so I can completely understand why slm deleted it. I would have done the same.

Answers should only be posted when they are full answers. If you don't have time to post a full answer, then just don't post anything and wait until you do have time. I see now that you've edited your answer so that it is, in fact, providing a solution. Thanks! I see that another mod has already undeleted it.

Next time, you can just post a new answer. There is no need to wait for or ask a mod to undelete an old one, you can always post a new one. But we do expect all answers to be actual answers and not placeholders, so do please try to avoid posting incomplete answers in the future.


Thanks for getting back to your answer to improve it.

I'm sorry if my choice of words seemed too unfriendly, that was not my intention, but your initial answer more or less only said "check out my project, it will help you", which may be true, but which in itself really isn't much of an answer. What the initial answer was lacking was something that actually showed how to go about addressing the issue in the question.

I left a comment and a down-vote to signal the fact that the answer, at that time, was rather low quality. I did so in the hope that you would improve on it. I was happy to see your comment that you were going to do so at some later time, and it seems like you actually did so too.

At some point meanwhile, slm converted your answer into a comment, which I think was an okay thing to do as it preserved what you had written (which might possibly be helpful or interesting to someone) but not as an answer (because it wasn't one).

Your much improved text reads more like a proper answer now, so I have undeleted it, removed the associated comments (they were no longer relevant), and removed my personal down-vote too.

Again, thanks for getting back to your answer to improve it!

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