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I answered this question with a factually correct answer, providing links and references. It was downvoted and deleted by the moderator with no comments or explanations.

Why was it deleted, and why are moderators allowed to behave in such an abusive manner?


The mod below admits that they were in fact somehow triggered by me mentioning the fact that the US is not very welcoming towards immigrants, but doesn't explain why they think they have the right to delete my post just because they personally don't like me pointing out facts they feel put them in not the best of lights they want.

Saying that US is not very welcoming to immigrants seems pretty on-topic for an expats forum in an answer explaining why it is not easy to immigrate to the US.

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  • Worth noting that while my factually correct answer was summarily deleted, misleading and even plainly false comments still remain and are even upvoted by the community
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 0:07

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I'm the moderator who deleted it. Yes, it did have the correct facts to answer, and I admit to wrestling between editing it and deleting. The downvotes were obviously coming in, and I'm surprised it wasn't flagged. The problem I had with editing it was really a problem that the answer itself introduced, that of being a political/cultural attack. I could have easily edited it (and maybe that was better thing to do - I don't know for sure), but then isn't that then just implicitly applying my own political/cultural opinion by erasing yours out? That didn't feel right either. I eventually decided that deleting was the option I would go with. My thinking was that this could be handled like a question close. If the political/cultural attack is removed, I'm quite happy to undelete it.

So why did I moderate this at all? Well we moderators are human and we bring our baggage with us just like anybody else. I've been highly active on an immigration site that tacitly allowed political and cultural attacks on nationalities. And nobody was safe. Things got nasty, and it drove me and many other long term contributors away. Moderation finally caught up and put the hammer down on it hard. Really hard. But that damage that was done has never really been undone. I just don't want to see that happen to this site. I know that at times there is a thin line between valid criticism and pointless off-topic attacks. This is not a new thing here. Immigration policies and their enforcement are easily intertwined with the politics and deeply rooted culture of any nation. It can be hard to be objective even for those of us who strive the hardest to be so, and usually are very successful at it.

In my opinion, and from my previous bitter experiences, this post crossed that line. If you wish to opine your grievances (which may indeed be justified) about the politics and culture of current American policy with regards to illegal immigration, we can head on over to Politics.se and have at it. This forum is not for that sort of discussion, and as a moderator, I'd like to keep it that way as much as we reasonably can.

(I should note, that even at Politics.se, there's a good chance that your post gets the same treatment over there, likely flagged very quickly. The mods very obviously have their own agendas and politics. Just like us here, they're human. But they do make a rather strenuous effort to also keep this kind of stuff off their site - even stuff they so very clearly agree with -, and with good reason).

Here's a snapshot of the answer in dispute for those who can't see it: enter image description here

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    These are not grievances but statements of fact. Someone considering dealing with the US immigration system should be made aware of them. I have not said anything of opinion, what exactly triggered you? It's not the first time that anything that may be even remotely interpreted as negatively describing the US is being taken here as a personal attack. It's not, it's just a description of the current state of affairs.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 8:50
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    "The US is generally very hostile to immigrants". So this is a 'trigger' for anybody. Just insert the nation of your choice, post some links to back up your trigger, and dare anybody to challenge. It's not even that I disagree with you. I have my own grim opinions about my home nation's behavior toward illegal immigrants. But, your answer, sans this attack stands on its own. I could have edited the attack out, but that felt like I was applying a different political opinion, one which I might not even agree with. No. I deleted. If you want, I'll edit it and undelete. Is that alright?
    – ouflak Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 8:54
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    It's a fact and a clear policy. You'll undelete. Period. Nothing to edit. I already filed a ticket with the T&S team, you've clearly overstepped.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 8:58
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    @littleadv, Fair enough. We'll let them get involved.
    – ouflak Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 8:59
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    The assertion that the US has literally started killing peopleā€¦ plus its hostile tone is why I downvoted the answer. If the answer had just consisted of the first two, factually correct, paragraphs I would have upvoted it. As it stands, FWIW I agree with the deletion.
    – Traveller
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 13:54
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    @littleadv the article you linked to does not support the assertion that the US has started killing people trying to cross the border illegally. It is not definitively known how the person whose death is reported died. The barrier in which his body was found is opposed by the United States, which the article reports has filed a lawsuit seeking its removal. The tone is not the only problem with that part of the answer; it is not as you claim "factually correct." It's also irrelevant to a question from someone seeking a visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 17:22
  • @phoog I have clarified that part. The barrier was installed by Texas government, and includes bouyes and razor wire both designed to physically harm people reaching it. The governor explicitly said that his intention is to prevent migrants from passing, and called them "invasion". Several governors have engaged in kidnapping and trafficking migrants. If that's not hostile then I don't know what is. These actions are actually widely supported in the US and these governors are doing these things expecting rewards election time.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 18:14
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    @littleadv please clarify, did the unfortunate wannabe undocumented immigrant intend to become a "digital nomad"? Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 20:06
  • @DimitriVulis there's no such thing "digital nomad" in the US law. It's a concept invented by people who try to whitewash violations of tax and immigration laws.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 1:35
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    @littleadv OK, but was his intention to become one? Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 1:44
  • @DimitriVulis becoming what? migrant worker arriving to the US without a proper visa? Yes, very likely.
    – littleadv
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 1:50
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    @littleadv You understand my question but refuse to answer... OK. How does your claim that "The US is generally very hostile to immigrants" jive with migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/… "The United States attracts the largest number of immigrants in the world"? Are they lying about this? Is there another country that admits more immigrants than the US? Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 1:54
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    @littleadv, "why is my answer not restored yet?" You said you have contacted the T&S team. I'm waiting for their response and involvement.
    – ouflak Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 7:55
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    @littleadv, I stand by my decision. And you are the one who contacted SE bureaucracy. I've already made what I believe to be a reasonable compromise.
    – ouflak Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 8:19
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    @littleadv, I have heard nothing from T&S on this. Until I hear otherwise, I will stand by this decision. I'm happy to discuss this matter with them at their convenience. They need only ping me.
    – ouflak Mod
    Commented Aug 27, 2023 at 10:04
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The conclusion from the discussion in this thread is that the mod deleted my answer because they didn't like it. The mod admits that it was in fact factually correct. They just felt that it shows the US not in the best light, so it was doomed. Apparently, anything that can trigger an American to think that their country is less than perfect is forbidden and will be deleted immediately even if the mod themselves admits that they're not actually disagreeing with the facts.

I've raised the issue with the SE T&S team, and I hope the offending mod will be promptly removed from the position they so blatantly abused.

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