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Folks,

There has been a murder. A question was just minding its business and it is now dead. What happened to it? "Who done it?"

There are no other clues. Just very mysterious.

Credit to Bozman for a dramatic way of asking a meta question! :-) But this is SERIOUS.

The question is here. It was posted by a supposedly new user who'd just joined the site. As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with the question as a question. The punctuation and grammar isn't wonderful, but it's not spam, offensive, or a duplicate, and there's nothing to suggest it's too broad or primarily opinion-based. But within 3 hours of being posted - with a neutral vote count, no VTCs, one answer, by me and currently only a single comment (from him, speaking to me) - the question was DELETED by the Community user!

WHY? I hope the members of this community have a right to understand the actions of the Community user.

Also, why was the deletion done in this way? Did whoever deleted the question (I believe this can only be done manually and by a moderator?) wish to preserve their anonymity, and if so, why?

The poster of the question also appears to have had their account deleted! They appear now only as 'user7422', but previously they had a username (something beginning with 'Triang') and a profile picture. There is now no user whose name begins with 'Triang'. Not only the question but the user's account has been deleted.

I am deeply shocked. Is this the way we are now treating new users at the Puzzling Stack Exchange? I'm posting this question in case there's an innocent explanation, but if not, this is the final straw - I'm definitely leaving this site for good.

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  • $\begingroup$ To the downvoters: WHY? As I said to Emrakul, "Do you think my concerns weren't valid? Even if there's an innocent explanation which you have to keep private, you can't deny it looks bad." My faith in the community spirit of this site is going down by the day. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 23 '14 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ Why did the community user delete a question? The timeline shows that the question did receive a downvote at some point. $\endgroup$ – Josh Caswell Dec 23 '14 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ Looks undeleted now. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ Scratch that, Emrakul saw my comment, it'll be redeleted after... $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ Seriously, rand al'thor? You posted this knowing full well this was a sock puppet of a suspended user. You were even complicit in this rulebreaking, posting a comment welcoming them. Yet you made accusations you know to be false. And what really gets me is that the target of your deception was not the mods (who already knew the truth) but all your fellow puzzlers, the very community you claim to fight for. $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 24 '14 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor This has been edited out by warspyking, but originally I made clear in my question that I had posted a comment welcoming the new user. I have since been assured that in fact the new user was a colleague of, not the same person as, the suspended user. The mods say otherwise, but we all know the mods are capable of 'dun goofing' as Doorknob himself put it, shooting first and asking questions later. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '14 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ Benefits of doubts seem to be very scarce around here. People like xnor and the mods are always assuming the worst of me. I don't know why you hate me so much, but at least I have somewhere better to go. If the mods want to suspend me for posting this question ... well, I can't stop them. I already know they've suspended people unfairly before (and no, I don't mean me, nor do I mean the suspended user now accused of sockpuppeting). $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '14 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ You started your post with "there has been a murder". If you want others to assume good faith on your part, you might want to try doing the same toward them. Whether for effect or simply carelessness, you made a lot of bad assumptions in this post, assumptions that you had good reason to doubt prior to posting it - that's not going to go over particularly well. You might find this advice useful in the future. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 24 '14 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 If you'd spent more time on this site, you'd know that "there has been a murder" was a reference to an earlier question with a similar title. But if you think it might be offensive to users of a gentle disposition (which clearly doesn't include yourself), I'll remove it. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '14 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 I wonder if you ever supply links to useful posts not posted by yourself. Modesty much? And by the way, I think your style of posting has offended a LOT more people than mine has. "I gotta tell ya, you talk too much" ... "Hitler or Stalin" ... "my job not yers" ... and that's only from one post. "Y'all" this and "y'all" that also gives a bad impression; I've stopped using "y'all" at all after seeing the way you've used it. Just a bit of advice on making yourself more likeable :) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '14 at 17:23
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The account was created to circumvent a suspension, and the question was posted in a manner bypassing a suspension.

Unfortunately, this is an edge case where we can't actually explain what happened, as we can't go into details about how these things work, but suffice to say this question looks the way it should, Community deletion and all.

As this is a matter of private communication, that's all I can really say about it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've purged the comments here, as the discussion was founded on intentional misinformation. Please see my answer. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 Some valid and interesting points were made in the discussion here. Please reinstate the deleted comments. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '14 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think your ability to feign surprise for hours on end is all that interesting at this point. I covered or linked to coverage of the relevant points in my answer; if you haven't finished reading those yet, there's no need for discussion. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 24 '14 at 15:22
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It was posted by a new user who'd just joined the site.

No, it wasn't. And you know this, because you greeted the user in the comments - and then deleted your comment after it was acknowledged.

So you're not being honest here. You already know the underlying "why" of all this.

The person responsible has been giving the option to return to the site if he decides to participate constructively. That option is still available to him; whether he opts to avail himself of the opportunity is his decision, not yours or mine. Therefore, there's no point in our discussing this further.

Reference:

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you allowed today who it is? Apparent rand knows..? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Allowed? Sure, @warspyking. But that'd be kind of rude given the person responsible isn't here to defend himself, don't you think? $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ True, could you at least say how long this suspension is? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ No, because I don't know the answer to that; it depends heavily on the person himself. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ What? What do you mean? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ I mean suspensions can end early if the person suspended and the moderator team come to an understanding. And suspensions can continue indefinitely if the person suspended goes out of his way to make more work for everyone even while suspended. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ At the current moment what's it scheduled to? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking For the sake of the privacy of users involved, moderators don't reveal any of the internal/private/revealing details of a suspension. $\endgroup$ – Aza Dec 23 '14 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Not even the length..? Why would the length even matter to "privacy"? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Besides @Emrakul The length is published on the user profile anyway isn't it? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ Because that'd amount to telling you who we're referring to here, and as i already said... That'd be rude. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 How? It's not like I'm going to search through all our users to find who it is -_- $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ @shog9 Well? You were last seen 3 min. Ago, are you going to respond to my 1 hour ago comment? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 23 '14 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ Heh, that definitely doesn't sound like the sort of attention to detail that'd correlate with comparing suspension lengths and user accounts. Would that information help you at all? No. Would it potentially enable you or anyone else reading to harass another user in the future? Yes. So I'm not going to provide it. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Dec 23 '14 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 Alright I see your point. Thanks anyway. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 24 '14 at 1:46

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