In this question Remove multiple header from csv file I have been informed that I should go to Meta (Here I am!) by a moderator in the comments (hope that they don't get erased).

So, I wonder: why is the problem that generated such request?

  • The comments have indeed been erased and moved to this chat room since they were neither asking for nor providing clarity to the question which is what comments are for.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 4, 2022 at 9:41
  • Amazing: The comments were asking about data of the question and how the decision to remove that data was reached. How is that not asking for ... clarity of the question ? @terdon Sep 4, 2022 at 10:54
  • Please read the comments that were left under the question despite being moved to chat and you will see that the ones that were requesting clarification are still there. The ones deleted are your discussion with a moderator about your actions. And even those are still available in the chat room. Here's a screenshot for ease of access: i.stack.imgur.com/bPiwo.png
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 4, 2022 at 10:56
  • Discussing My actions? Was it not His actions?. But what I am commenting here about is about your reasoning to delete/move/remove/change the comments. My comments were also requesting clarification. Call it what it is: for whatever reason you didn't like my comments, so, they got removed. That part is completely clear to me. What is amazing is the reasoning used to explain it. @terdon Sep 4, 2022 at 11:05
  • As you wish. You have been convinced the mod team have it out for you for years now, across all of your many deleted accounts. I don't really expect that to change. As we have told you so many times: if you feel you are being wronged, you can contact SE. I will only say that none of your deleted comments were requesting clarification since none of them were even addressing the OP. The one comment that was, is still there: Remove multiple header from csv file.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 4, 2022 at 11:09
  • Ah, and thanks for undeleting in that image previous comments about other comments also erased. Sep 4, 2022 at 11:11
  • The question here is "why have I been asked to come here?" not the other stuff you are distracting everyone of the real point with. @terdon Sep 4, 2022 at 11:24
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    @terdon Is the comment about past deleted accounts really appropriate for public consumption? It seems to me that, if you have information that leads you to state this as "fact", then that's probably something that should be kept to the Mods. On the other hand, if it's speculation (even if strongly supported), then that should be stated, right? Honest question here, because I'm not quite sure -- It's just something about the comment isn't sitting right with me. Sep 8, 2022 at 20:48
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    @NotTheDr01ds this is at least the fourth time this user has deleted their high rep account in a huff and then created a new one pretending to be new to SE. I don't know this because of any privileged mod information, I simply recognize the style and pattern of behavior after all these years. At least one other, non mod, user has also made the connection. I will not play this game yet another time and pretend I don't know, and since no mod info is involved, I also don't see why I should help the charade.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 9, 2022 at 9:12
  • Thanks @terdon! I do completely agree with that approach then. Sep 9, 2022 at 12:26
  • @terdon Yes, sure, you are the moderator (police), the jury, the judge and the sentence executor all in one. But your goal is to track individuals and judge not what they actually say but what your feelings about that individual (correct or not) are. Perfect, that is (and has been made) very clear to me. Sep 9, 2022 at 13:29
  • @QuartzCristal Since you obviously feel strongly about your deleted comments and reverted edits, and since getting input from other users on the Meta site did not resolve any issues for you, you have the option to await further comments and answers from others here or to bring any perceived injustices to the attention of the StackExchange team. There is no need to further rant in this or any other comment section. We are all fully aware of how you feel.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Sep 9, 2022 at 13:54
  • @Kusalananda No, I don't feel strongly about some erased comments or edits. Those are everyday issues. It is not about edits I care about. But I do feel strongly about not understanding you. And being treated as here for asking clarifications doesn't help the least bit. No need to re-iterate, I have heard you, repeatedly. Sep 9, 2022 at 14:00
  • I am not ranting, terdon is twisting the dagger in the wound, I am answering to his (whatever you call it). @Kusalananda Sep 9, 2022 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


You weren't informed you "should" go to Meta, nor were you in any way requested to. You were told that you have multiple options when you disagree with moderator action and one of them is taking it to Meta:

If you feel you have been ill-treated by me and if you, like you insinuate, believe that I have broken the code of conduct, then do not hesitate to contact a community manager, or bring it up in a post on our Meta site. (source)

In any case, bringing it here is a perfectly fine option, so here goes. The problem here was that you added your own example data to the OP's question that did not actually match what the OP really had. This resulted in people wasting their time on data that don't represent what the OP was working on. This is what we had from the OP:

original image of data from OP

And this is what you added, based on what you imagined the OP's data would actually be:

date,edate,c1,c2,c3 s date1,e date1,c11,c22,c33
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 s date,edate,c1,c2,c3 s date1,e
date1,c11,c22,c33 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 

Desired output:

$ cat outfile s date  edate   c1  c2  c3 s date,edate,c1,c2,c3
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3
26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 26-12-2022,26-12-2022,1,2,3 

Yes, this is one possible way in which the OP's data might have been provided, but it is equally possible that the actual file was never an ASCII csv file but was a complex xml excel one. Or it could simply be that the fields were quoted. Or, as you yourself suggested in a comment, it could be a live connection to a database:

@roaima Yes, it seems to me that what the OP is seeing in Excel is a data connection to some database, not a text file, not even a plain worksheet. To change the data that such file presents, the database needs changing. That is not a simple task IMO, nor awk, sed or even perl or phyton will help. That is a task for someone that knows what an SQL query is. – QuartzCristal

Therefore, your adding your own version of the OP's data is not helpful and resulted in various people, including yourself, wasting their time trying to parse data that weren't actually what the OP had. Or, at best, data that we cannot be sure were what the OP had.

In fact, given that the OP later included another image, calling it "Actual file headers :", we can be pretty sure that your text version was not even close to what the OP had:

original headers

Which also explains why your answer naturally didn't work for them: they had very different data. This is why it is important to not try and put words into the OP's mouth. We try to never change the original data in a question since, unlike answers, we cannot be sure if this is actually what the OP has. Just like we might fix say indentation of a script in a question but would never correct the script's logic or fix any bugs since those could be relevant to the question.

So, in future, please don't change questions unless you are actually sure that you are correct. In cases where we need more data, it is better to wait until said data have been provided.

  • Sorry but: I wrote the data yes, but the OP accepted the edit. Assuming good faith, he meant that that was he had as a file. Sep 4, 2022 at 10:33
  • Unfortunately, @QuartzCristal, it clearly wasn't since i) your answer didn't work and ii) the image the OP provided was completely different. That's why we don't do such edits.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 4, 2022 at 10:35
  • (1) How do you get to the conclusion that it was clear? (2) The data was exactly equal to the images that the OP supplied. Was it not? Sep 4, 2022 at 10:40
  • @QuartzCristal 1) I already explained how, see the previous comment. 2) no they were not, see the OP's subsequent image also reproduced here. You recreated one possible interpretation of the original image (but not necessarily the right one for the reasons already explained above) and then the OP showed a new image demonstrating that the underlying data are completely different.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 4, 2022 at 10:41
  • Fine @terdon. Thanks for your time and effort to convince me of your opinions. Bye. Sep 4, 2022 at 10:43

The question here is "why have I been asked to come here?"

@QuartzCristal @Kusalananda @terdon -- Is it possible that there's been a horrible miscommunication here?

Cutting out some of the (possibly) "extraneous" text from the chat, is there a chance (albeit small) that the following exchange was misunderstood by everyone?

@QuartzCristal: Are you assuming bad faith here ? Bad faith on my part for giving some data that (hopefully) would be useful to someone else....

@Kusalananda: If you feel you have been ill-treated by me and if you, like you insinuate, believe that I have broken the code of conduct, then ...

I've read through both the chat as well as the image that @terdon provided of the deleted comments, and I don't see anything that you (QuartzCristal) said that indicated you believed @Kusalananda broke the Code of Conduct. It's clear that you were agitated/frustrated with the edit rollback, as well as the deletion of comments, but nothing ever, that I can see, approached the level of saying (or even insinuating) that there was a Code of Conduct violation.

However, I don't know how common, worldwide the phrase (idiom), "assuming bad faith" is. If @Kusalananda wanted to confirm its meaning and happened to type that into Google, the first result that comes up is:

The malicious intention to be dishonest or to violate the law ...

That could be taken to read your statement as, "Are you maliciously intending to be dishonest?"

Now that's a bad Google result, IMHO, because that's the definition of "bad faith", not "assuming bad faith".

But if it was read that way, even out of context, then that might explain the "escalation" asking you you to bring a discussion of @Kusalananda's actions here on Meta.

As for the topic that was being discussed in the comments, perhaps I can provide a different perspective, and as simply a community member here that wasn't involved in the changes.

IMHO (and this runs counters to the current community consensus) edits to a question should never include "image to text" conversion/translation -- I believe the OP should include the actual data whenever possible as copy/paste. Retyping can introduce errors and/or make assumptions about the data that aren't valid (as appears to be the case here). Stack Overflow even uses edits like this as an audit mechanism. There have been multiple people who have posted in MSO after their edit-review-queue privileges were suspended for approving an edit like yours!

Again, with that said, that's Stack Overflow policy; not U&L.

In this case, it seems that it was opinion of the Mod team that your transcription may not have been faithful to the original data. Edits that change the meaning of a post are not allowed.

The OP's subsequent edit was not IMHO any implicit "acceptance" of your edit. As @Kusalananda mentioned, it could have been that the OP just needed to get your edit out of the way in order to make their next edit. Regardless, the right course of action was to revert your edit back to the image. This is what @Kusalananda did once aware that you were the source of the text-data (rather than the OP) and that your edit made assumptions about the data that may or may not have been the case.

From comments:

for whatever reason you didn't like my comments, so, they got removed. That part is completely clear to me. What is amazing is the reasoning used to explain it.

At this point, you do seem to be approaching the point of accusing the Mods of some level of wrongdoing.

But yes, once that rollback was taken care of it's completely normal for Mods to clean up the comments which refer to "completed actions." I see no malicious intent there.

  • I believe now that any further discussion about "data text" is just distracting everyone from the actual point. I would call it a "red herring". Yes, the point is IMO: why am I here?, yes, English is not my native language. Yes, my descriptions might be wrong, your answer might be misunderstood. The answer for me is: because I was asked to. All this could have been avoided by everyone by just saying: There is nothing wrong with your edit (well, nothing that require a moderator action) instead of asking me to report this in Meta. Sep 8, 2022 at 20:50
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    "All this could have been avoided by everyone by just saying: There is nothing wrong with your edit (well, nothing ..." But there was a problem with your edit, and any user (didn't have to be a Mod) should have rolled it back. "asking me to report this in Meta" But you weren't asked to report this in Meta. You were invited to report problems that you perceived with Kusalananda's behavior here in Meta if you wished. Sep 8, 2022 at 20:54
  • I felt that I was being asked to come here. If that is still not clear for everyone, there is no point in pursuing this any further. Thanks. Sep 8, 2022 at 21:11
  • any user (didn't have to be a Mod) should have rolled it back Ten, please, you should roll back this edits of an image to text (one example found on a quick search): unix.stackexchange.com/revisions/716127/7 Nobody did a rollback, there was no problem (And I have none, as well). No moderator asked the editor to "post to meta". Why is that edit not a problem ? @NotTheDr01ds Sep 8, 2022 at 21:28
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    @QuartzCristal Well, guess what - You're right on that topic, and I'm wrong. I'm taking a Stack Overflow rule and applying it to U&L, when it isn't the "policy" here. In fact, terdon says in this post that it's welcome! So in this case, the problem seems to really have been that Kusalananda felt that your transcription didn't match the original source. I thought it was more a blanket - "Never do that", but I (again) am wrong. Sep 8, 2022 at 21:38
  • The transcription of the Excel sheet image made the assumption that the original was in CSV format and stored as such on file. This was not to my knowledge assumptions that came from the OP. Transcribing image text is otherwise fine and the correct thing to do, if the point of the question does not rely on details that may be lost in the transcription process.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Sep 9, 2022 at 13:53
  • @Kusalananda There was no assumption, the OP himself declared: Unix csv file it is (in this comment, which you can read: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/715975/…). The meaning of such declaration may be now in dispute but it was not at the time the OP said it. Sep 10, 2022 at 12:46

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