8:00 PM
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Q: Physics is rotting into a bad situation, a request for community manager intervention

Vanished UserPhysics Stack Exchange is experiencing the throes of very bad days. Lots of main and key users (compared to the total number of them) have left or are leaving. Examples of the community destruction include, with the leave: Have we lost the necessary critical mass of professional physicists? I...

 
He's saying, if you don't like it here you should leave, @DImension. Which is... pretty good advice. It's a big Internet; why do something that makes you unhappy?
Read my answer, @Vanish - then read this and this. I can't "save" P.SE - heck, I'm not even convinced it needs saving. But if it needs anything, it needs the folks who make up the community there to sit down and talk to each other, calmly, respectfully, and work out the problems with the site among each other. I'm sick to death of every discussion I see on that site, no matter how trivial, being clogged with juvenile drama... So, will you be part of a solution, or part of the problem?
 
@Shog9 Everybody tried it first before they contacted the higher powers, I am sure also in 2013 and also now, 4 years later. 1) In my opinion, you should be able to differentiate an unmoderated site from an overmoderated one. 2) You should check the questions closed as "homework" while they clearly aren't. It doesn't require a physics Phd to differentiate them. 3) Typically the overmodder won't even understand the problem.
@Shog9 4) I only suggest to compare the core community of the MathSE to the PSE, compare the typical attitude of the site to the new users, and ask, what is the difference. Here lies the answer to the difference between the stats of the sites. | Continuous destructivity, content destruction, user expelling is the common behavior of the core community there, and not the expelled (or, often caged) users did it. All of the expelled people I knew there were friendly and cooperative people there, while the overmoderators exactly opposite.
 
I find it amusing that you picked an old complaint about the proliferation of homework on PSE to lament the closing of homework on PSE, @peterh. My answer remains what it was 3 years ago: this is a problem y'all have to solve together. You can't force people to accept - or reject - questions if they want to do otherwise.
 
@Shog9 Now, the site has shown its wonderful "pedagogy" by simply banning a young child for "low quality posts", while he produced a lot of good content as well, and the system could hande his bad posts on the usual ways. The same situation on the MathSE hadn't even reached the level of the meta site, his bad posts had benn downvoted/closed/deleted, his good ones had been upvoted, he had got the answers to his questions and you probably hadn't ever heard the he exists. Because the community on the MathSE is friendly, bound by the love of the Math. While the PSE is based on networking.
@Shog9 Yes, I think I understand that also your possibilities are limited. I think, a division of the PSE to a professional site (like Mathoverflow) and to an enthusiast one (like MathSE) would solve the problem. I suggest the professional site should get a new name, because the PSE name probably doesn't sound very well in professional circles. | Another idea: if a contact network governs a site, yes they do this very stable and organized, but this site won't be a nice place for newcomers. I think a community should be bound by the love of the site topic and not by a nepotist mentality.
 
The person you're probably talking about here has asked 60 times the number of questions on Physics as they have on Math, and yet even with only three questions has managed to hit a temporary ban at least once on Math, @peterh. There have been considerably more temporary bans and warnings on Physics, to no avail. There is a proposal for a site where these questions might be more welcome, if you wish to support it.
 
8:00 PM
@Shog9 Yes, but it was always a temporary, automatic ban and never a mod-provided one. | Any similar initiative would be closed on the Area51 as "PhysicsSE clone", there were numerous tries already and the result was always a ban in the definition phase. Also myself started one or two times, and toke part in others initiatives many times, all of them were closed, mainly as pse clones. I am surprised that this initiative lives even now. Maybe there is some shift in the policies?
 
The critical factor, @peterh, is that a new site has to have a topic and audience that aren't currently being served. We're not going to set out to build a "crap questions site", but if you can identify good questions in an area that won't be accepted by current sites, that's an opportunity. Also, all bans are temporary.
 
@Shog9 No, a yearlong ban for a 14yr old boy is essentially forever. The automatic suspensions are much shorter. | Check the deleted area51 "pse clones", you have access to them and I can remember. They were closed not in the lack of audience, but they were closed as different reasons (mainly as pse clones). At the time as I toke part in such initiatives, it was clear to me that you have some policy that we can't start a new se site even from the topic who are regularly closed on the pse.
@Shog9 If you want wellgoing sites with growing stats, try to avoid the frozen, feudal-like vassal hierarchies. They are absolutely not interested in making growing stats, they are interested to cement everything which results unavoidably cemented site stats. This is the reason of the "we are not a homework-solving service" histery. On the MathSE, somehow nobody asks if a question is homework, until it is interesting. They simply don't want the site to grow. Yes, I understand that you can better communicate with stabilized "governing teams" but it is not a job for them as for you.
 
A year-long ban at 14 seems long because it represents such a large portion of the life lived thus far, @peterh... But let's not trivialize this; I've helped folks work out of bans during what was actually the last year of their life - one would hope that is not the case here. A year is an escalation from numerous shorter bans, and certainly not a first-resort approach. Also, I feel that you're ignoring a rather long and tumultuous history on Math, full of strong arguments and bitter rivals; this trivializes the work they've put in, and sets up bad expectations for Physics.
 
 
2 hours later…
9:43 PM
uhh
I fon't know the mathse internals very well. I only know, that there is a friendly treatment there and I meet mostly faces liking math and this bounds them together. In the Pse, I see a hierarchy of fudal vassals.
feudal
And, I know, being participant of the vtc/vtr votes, that they are mainly hostile to the new members of the community.
Furthermore, I can see stats of both sites. Not the official ones, but runned some data SE queries. And, the correlation between them is obvious to me.
A professional physicist once said me, that this difference between the general attitude between the physicists and the mathematicians are known for him also in the academian sphere.
Well, this weekend was somehow better, probably because most of the regular roboclosers weren't online
But not this is typical.
I have also some... well... indirect impressions
I send you a link on the team contact form.
 
10:12 PM
@peterh earning 10K on one or both sites would give you more insight into this
This is what they look like on Physics over the past 365 days:
Total questions closed
----------------------
11324

(1 row(s) returned)

Total questions asked PctClosed
--------------------- ---------
34657                 32.67 %

(1 row(s) returned)

Name                                       Closed     Closed->Edited Closed->Reopened Cl->Ed->Re
------------------------------------------ ---------- -------------- ---------------- ----------
duplicate                                        2193        281             36               13
off-topic - appears to be about **engineer        510         33              4                3
 
Only to see the deleted posts, why would it help so much? Maybe it could make possible to salvage some destroyed content.
 
Note that the largest single category of closed questions fall under the "homework" reason
@peterh it would give you the full picture
For example, while Math closes a smaller % of all questions asked, they close a much, much larger number of questions
A substantial number of questions are also deleted without being closed
(author deleted / automatically-deleted)
Nearly half of all questions closed on Math are closed for this reason:
> off-topic - This question is missing context or other details: Please improve the question by providing additional context, which ideally includes your thoughts on the problem and any attempts you have made to solve it. This information helps others identify where you have difficulties and helps them write answers appropriate to your experience level.
This should suggest a few productive approaches on Physics
...which, I feel, is what is needed here. Hand-wringing accomplishes little.
 
In the beginning of my SE activity, as I was a newbie, one of my questions was migrated to a different site, and it got some upvotes there. This is how only learned that not the SO is the only existing SE site. Until that I thought that the other SE sites have the same content, but maybe with some tagfiltering.
Why the heck couldn't these questions have been migrated to the engineering SE?
Yes, it is right. This what also the PSE should do.
The handling of the hw questions is extreme. You can see that it is the most popular reason, and it is a false reason in most cases.
One is sure: if you, as a newbie, go to the mathse with your problem, and you are at least capable to explain your problem on English, you will get friendly treatment and an useful answer.
On the PSE, your chance for that is very little for that.
And, in my opinion, this is the reason, why the mathSE is the second largest SE site, while the physSE stagnates.