Since this site is so fond of statistic in general and not in technical resolution to posts - can administrators let the people who just post "policy requirements" to STOP that? Freedom of speech is great , but these posts do not contribute to solutions. These posts are just egotistic vents of administrator wannabes and clutter the airways. If the OP does not fit this site format the original poster will figure it out eventually, no need to nag him / her about it on his FIRST post. Perhaps add to "be nice " policy -"do not nag about site policy "


2 Answers 2


I think there are a couple of big differences between Stack Exchange and your typical forum that you've brought up here:

  1. This site aims to be a focused Q&A site about the Pi rather than a general discussion forum and as such there are a few more requirements here than other sites—for example, questions need to be clear, potentially useful to others, and specific enough to be answerable.

  2. Stack Exchange specifically encourages the community to join in with moderating the site. A lot of other sites would consider "backseat moderation" a bannable offence, and greatly discourage it. But here, users who've spent a bit of time on the site can earn privileges and help to keep it clean and focused.

I guess a lot of what you're seeing on the site isn't intended as "egotistic vents of administrator wannabes" but people trying to do their bit to let users know what the expectations here. The Code of Conduct encourages supporting new users:

If you’re here to help others, be patient and welcoming.
Learning how to participate in our community can be hard. Offer support if you see someone struggling or otherwise in need of help.

If you see rude, dismissive behaviour, you can of course flag any comment for the elected ♦ moderators to review. Remember that people here are generally trying to be helpful, because there is a big learning curve here.

Sometimes it can be easy for people to forget why they're enforcing policies in the first place, and it can seem like some users spend more time curating than answering, but all of the policies here do have solid reasons behind them, and people commenting will generally try to explain if possible.

I feel it's generally better to let people know if they've done something wrong—in a polite and friendly tone—and help them to fix whatever's wrong, rather than just leave their posts to languish with no hope of being answered.

In short: there are a lot of policies here, and they are enforced more than on other forums, but it's all intended to make this site a better resource rather than just to nag people. Sometimes people are a little rude, and you should flag any inappropriate behaviour when you see it... but assume good intentions.

  • Fair, just make sure the "offenders" are notified to "cool it" .
    – Jan Hus
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 15:53

Since this site is so fond of statistic in general and not in technical resolution to posts

For me there is a non-sequitur in that sentence -- I think it would make more sense to say that because SE policies and mechanisms are often statistics driven that we are especially mindful of technical resolutions to posts, even if this resolution is sometimes not the one the OP wanted.

The imposition of policy and technical mechanisms to enforce are there in part to help avoid the arbitrary wielding of power. A few reasons for the significance of statistics in that pursuit:

  • The SE data explorer, which is available for use by anyone with a little bit of familiarity with SQL (which most CS students probably have to gain at some point, so at least WRT the programming heavy sites, this is not all that exclusionary).

  • By and large the users of the technical exchanges (such as this one) are very likely to have a decent regard for empiricism and logic, and the idea that the structured application of such can be used to create a clear and objective framework for collaboration, research, education, etc.

can administrators let the people who just post "policy requirements" to STOP that

Of course not -- that would be ridiculous. There is no point in having rules and policies if everyone is just going to ignore them. Thus they sometimes need to be pointed out and explained. While ignorance is a rational defense or explanation, it not a free pass. We do not let new drivers blow through red lights or drive as fast as they like because, hey, they're new, give them a little leeway.

Instead we try to make it as clear as possible as early on as possible that they are to stop at red lights and obey the speed limit. Preferably, this would be before they actually get behind the wheel, the equivalent of which here would be perusing the help pages and taking the tour before you ask a question, and thereby hopefully saving other people the trouble of having to post "policy requirements".

If the OP does not fit this site format the original poster will figure it out eventually, no need to nag him / her about it on his FIRST post.

To re-iterate my last point, the opposite is in fact true: It is precisely when someone makes their initial posts that it is most important to indicate, clarify, and explain our policies and rules. This has nothing to do with being mean or power obsessed, and everything to do with being helpful, keeping in mind that the recipient of such helpfulness may be the community as a whole and not just one person who wants _____ right now and who cares about anyone and everything else.

At least a few new users a day here actually post questions as answers on pages where it might be on topic if this were a less structured "discussion forum" style site, where questions and answers are often interleaved chronologically. Although new users are encouraged to take a quick tour which I think explains pretty clearly what the format Q&A format means, we all probably know what it is like to want a solution to a problem now and skip the blah blah blah.

I mention this because it is a simple example of how addressing a user as an individual directly and explaining the rules benefits them. After all, we could just ignore this and downvote the "answer" -- which is actually a question that will never receive appropriate attention as is. Then after a few days of finding no help what-so-ever, the unfortunate new user will probably leave and never come back.

By simply saying point blank, "That's not how it works around here," we save everyone some grief and confusion.

The wider significance of all this is something I've written about at length in another meta post, where I discuss the management of resources on a crowd sourced platform such as this one:

What does it matter that my question is "unclear" or "too broad", etc?

The point being, something which is free of charge (such as technical help often is on the internet) does not mean it has no value or is in infinite supply. All it means is that money does not play a role in structuring the relationship between the definitely-not-infinite supply and demand.

Perhaps add to "be nice " policy -"do not nag about site policy "

Requests to modify or extend that policy really belong on Meta SE, since we are not empowered to do that here.

You might want to consider, though, that the "be nice" policy is not for application purely to the way long active users treat new ones. It also about how to react to criticism -- politely please. You're new, you're frustrated, everyone gets that...but becoming indignant and rude is not going to improve the situation.

Ironically, your own (as in you, Jan Hus) attitude, tone, and use of language here and in a number of other places in fact indicates a complete disregard for the be nice policy. It seems to me you have no interest at all in being nice except as it suits you -- and that's as nicely as I can put it.

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