An hour ago, I had a chat room discussion with another user regarding a political issue, and yes! it was about the 9/11 incident and what we thought to be the real culprits of those terrorist attacks. Besides all the possible prejudices surrounding this issue and whatever anyone's particular position in regards with it, all along we conducted a civil, respectful albeit very serious and opinionated debate on the issue, prompted originally by the other fellow user, as evidenced by chat history that must be accessible to moderators.

But later on, when the discussion was already terminated with no inconvenience felt by any of us, the moderator goldPseudo came in deleting all the messages and reminding me in particular of the site policy about being "civil and respectful" as if I had violated those principles at all! He added:

Spouting off anti-anything rhetoric IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR HERE. You are free to hate whoever you want, be it zionists, or jews, or Americans, or whatever, but KEEP IT OFF OF THIS SITE. That includes the chat.

But that's again even a greater libel! If one reviews the whole exchange, he would instantly confirm that there was no indication whatsoever that I was "sprouting off" any hatred of any ethnic group or nationality! I was clearly not expressing hatred of neither Jews nor Americans nor even the Zionists in the broad sense of the term, or any other nationality, for that matter, except describing some Zionists involved in a myriad of various criminal actions as 'demonic' and it was particularly clear to the fellow user (who is by the way a Jewish himself and I think a former Israeli citizen) that I was referring to Zionist ELITE involved in serious violation of Palestinian rights and lives, and carrying out, as many critical researchers reasonably believe, the 9/11 false flag attacks. I was not directing it against any category of people but Zionists particularly involved in crimes and atrocities. Apart from that, the discussion was all along about reasoning and argument, sharing of respective evidences for our opinions and responding to the other side's objections to the points.

So I don't see how conducting a discussion involving evidences, reasoning, as a part of intellectual quest for knowledge and learning can be condemned in those derogatory terms and be punished by a two-week chat suspension!!

Please note, if there could've been any complaint by anyone, it should have come from the fellow Jewish user who was willingly following the discussion without ever raising any objection along the charges made by the mod. So what does the community think to have been the particular problem with the discussion to warrant such an aggressive measure by the moderator? Was his decision justified?

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    The distinctions that you are making here were a) not apparent in the chat and b) kind of nonsensical
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 18:31
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    @daniel, Can you be honestly specific? Because at least for others the chat conversations are not accessible. This prevents other parties except moderators to have a chance for their own respective assessment.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:02
  • I don't know what happened but I am confused and worried that one of the last active Shia contributors is put in the sandbox
    – Jeschu
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 10:25

3 Answers 3


That was nowhere close to an intellectual/academic debate. Your tone was loaded and you were charging. You had a condescending tone and were not professional (or light-hearted/humorous, which we usually want and try to be).

That debate could have had a place in chat if it were not loaded with anti-X rehtorics. No problem being dogmatic in your opinion either, so long as it's done in a civilize and professional manner.

The suspension is justified and as Jon said lenient given previous such instances.

Consider the suspension as means to learn from what you didn't do right and improve on them, not some sort of punishment and/or a spot on your reputation.

Cheers! :)

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    I agree that my tone might have sounded condescending but that's because I was evidently much more informed on the topic I was debating and the fact that our opinions were radically opposed naturally promoted rhetorical language. But responding with such an aggressive heavy-handed measure to a debate done in good faith and with the purpose of understanding is completely unjustifiable and offensive, and goldPseudo in this site is known for such aggressive unsympathetic attitude!
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 14:49
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    Had this been the first instance of such behaviour then yes.. but that's not the case. You have been warned time and again. And if you can't resist not having that tone and language I advise you to walk away from the chatroom. As you were advised here. Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 19:34
  • In the post you linked, there was, again, a clear case of moderator unilateral over-use of power based on sectarian prejudice, and that was what provoked my protest! Sorry, but it seems to me that moderators in this site enjoy impunity to make arbitrary decisions, and once there's finally a dissident voice all the site technicalities are selectively exploited to suppress it! This is while the moderators have even a greater responsibility for fair and accurate application of community rules and consensus so that they don't provoke repeated protests.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 4:28
  • If you respond to a strong but reasonable opinion by a two week suspension, then expect users to also to miss out some nuances of the law! But the outcome would be accumulated grievance and grudge instead of good-faith and trust!
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 4:29

To start, chat rooms are public artifacts. So it doesn't much matter who your correspondent was and whether they were offended. What matters is if the conversation in chat was appropriate for the forum. If not, then we expect moderators to delete the chat messages. Chatrooms are public resources and we want them to be comfortable places for all sorts of people to participate. Here's one of the deleted chat messages you wrote:

Zionist policies are unjustifiable! You should detach yourself from your political and cultural affiliations if you want to examine the matter objectively!

While that certainly sounds like a debate, I don't see how it's intellectual. I have no dog in this fight and I generally think that Zionism is misguided. But Zionist policies are not so much "unjustifiable" as justified by a different set of core beliefs than I possess. It seems to me that you need to take the advice of your second sentence and try to put yourself in someone else's shoes to be objective here.

But that's beside the point. Since chat is a public venue, it's important to be aware that other people, people not even involved in the conversation, have a right to an opinion about what is and is not appropriate. For instance:

Not everyone in the main chat room (for example myself) is interested in politics and discussing politics in length on main chat room might discourage those users from participating in main chat room.


There's no reason politics needs to be off-topic in chat. The problem is, some users were unwilling and/or unable to discuss that particular topic reasonably and professionally, and despite multiple warnings I still needed to flag and suspend multiple users for behaving non-constructively while discussing it.

As I see it, the problem with chat items such as the one I quoted near the top isn't that they are intrinsically offensive. Rather, if repeated over a long period of time, they are fatiguing. It's just tiresome to read the same rhetoric over and over again.

As for the suspension, I thought it was rather lenient given your final (now deleted) message:

I have to leave for now! Time for prayer!

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    Jon sorry but your answer is not logical and fair. It is better to shut down the chat section if you or goldpseudu or a few others don't like to read the items you don't like. It's just like dictatorship not moderatoring.
    – Fatemeh
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 8:32
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    @Fatemeh: Read the meta posts I linked to. Both suggest creating a new chat room for political discussions. As far as I know, nobody has tried that plan. Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 15:37

To Jon Ericson

To start, chat rooms are public artifacts. So it doesn't much matter who your correspondent was and whether they were offended. What matters is if the conversation in chat was appropriate for the forum.

Alight, by saying that you admit the charges specified were irrelevant and unfounded. So what would be the fair measure for a vicious libel?

But Zionist policies are not so much "unjustifiable" as justified by a different set of core beliefs than I possess.

That is as you said besides the point since it requires getting into a new argument over the very topic we were discussing but since you brought it up, it must be obvious that in a moral assessment of a conflict involving various religious and political parties, the most basic ans universal notions of human rights and moral norms can and should be used for evaluating the merits and the vices of the parties involved, otherwise the Ku Klux Klan violent activities, for example, would have to be accepted as justifiable for it complies to their respective ideology. For the same reason, I didn't argue for the least point based on my personal religious beliefs either, already putting myself "in the other persons' shoes!" So objective approach was fulfilled on my part!

As for politics in chat room, the survey of opinions on this site so far don't show any consensus over banning politics in chat or even limiting it. Daniel in the same meta discussion you quoted finds no fault with discussing politics in chat and his post is also highly up-voted. The only possible problem as rightly agreed, is that it could turn out to become non-constructive, unprofessional and unreasonable which clearly doesn't hold for the discussion in question.

As I see it, the problem with chat items such as the one I quoted near the top isn't that they are intrinsically offensive. Rather, if repeated over a long period of time, they are fatiguing. It's just tiresome to read the same rhetoric over and over again.

Alright, but if the mere repetition makes a subject unfit for chat, then the last and the only other time we discussed politics (and the same topic to be more meticulous) in chat was more than ten days ago! The intervening multiple discussions involved mainly site policies or site activity trends. And as for the recent discussion on politics, as far as my record is concerned, I was not even the one starting the discussion this time! So if we have to agree that it was such an awful thing to have a new rare case of intellectual and informative political discussion, it was not started by me! So why should I shoulder the blame?

As for the suspension, I thought it was rather lenient given your final (now deleted) message

Sorry but I really don't understand!! Do you mean that leaving an ending message for a an already waning conversation is what warrants such an aggressive angry response and measure by the moderator?! Sorry but it seems to me that you have once again found yourself in trouble justifying a wrong radical measure by your favorite moderator!

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    No, he's saying that you were leaving anyway and thus the suspension shouldn't have affected you - indeed, perhaps the moderator was doing you a favor by preventing the discussion from interfering with your prayers. As for the rest of this... Please remember that this is a site for sharing information about Islam - politics and 9/11 conspiracy theories are off-topic by default, and will remain so unless someone comes up with a good argument for making them on-topic - which to date no one has done.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:42
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    @Shog9, I was leaving for the discussion was prolonged. But I could've catch up later. So I don't see the point in your sarcasm and it fails to justify the repressive measure. As for politics being off-topic by default, that's not the consensus that this site have worked upon so far! According to the consensus politics have been agreed to be appropriate for chat if done professionally and respectfully.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:46
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    @Shog9, Also note that such measures which have precedence almost unanimously come from one single moderator. Other moderators have seldom originally found any fault with regards to my discussions in particular or political discussions in general but they apparently always have to weigh behind and endorse their colleague every time he makes an unthoughtful decision which jeopardizes the credibility of the SE.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:51
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    Yes, this agreement could be some moderator conspiracy. Or you could just be wrong. (Hint: you're wrong. Accept it with grace and move on.)
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 20:04
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    @Shog9, I was not wrong Shog! And I refuse to accept that patronizing ungraceful language! If you really care for the integrity of your decisions and building trust then you should admit the fault by your moderator and don't sacrifice fairness for making things look rosier than they are! I demand the nullification of the chat suspension as all the charges leveled against me were disproved! This would serve as a test for the integrity of you and other moderators! There has to be justice for moderator wrongdoings and I demand that!
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 4:21

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