I have been a top contributor for the year on the Ebooks SE for the last 2 years. I have gone out of my way to provide useful information to people who ask questions. I have done my best to follow SE guidelines and to make people aware of guidelines. I have contributed to several other SE, so it's fair to say that I know SE expectations and SE culture.
I run an ebook publishing company and I have written about the ebook industry for a while. I know a lot of things about ebook technology and standards. I format ebooks everyday and work as an editor in Katy, TX . I also am a writer and geek. I have gone out of my way to publicize the ebook SE on another websites and on social media.
I have tried my best to be helpful and polite, especially to newbies who may be unfamiliar with SE rules.
At the same time, I see a lot of effort on this SE to remove posts and answers even when it is unwarranted. This has happened to me several times. Sometimes the judgment is questionable or based on an alleged infraction which is borderline or debateable. I am an advocate for loose enforcement of SE guidelines -- mainly because strict enforcement of guidelines is usually unnecessary and alienates people. Also, I feel that way because I understand that it takes time for newbies to learn the SE mores, and I want to be helpful.
Today, moderator Ed Cotrell deleted my answer to explain to a new user about the right way to find an answer to his off-topic question. My answer was appropriate, polite and still helpful. HERE IS THE QUESTION WITH THE DELETED ANSWER: I NEED RECOMMENDATIONS
So why was it deleted? Because somehow my "help" was not appropriate or in the appropriate form.
I call b.s. on that.
First, I answer ebook questions on this SE several times each week, sometimes even daily. According to Ed Cotrell's profile, he hasn't answered a single ebook question in almost 2 years on this SE. He mainly does moderation: deleting answers and voting to close things.
Second, according to Ed Cotrell's bio data, he doesn't even work in the ebook field.
Third, my answer was helpful and polite. Cotrell's response was classic deletionism.
There is a technical reason I chose to post an answer below and not as a comment underneath the question. I needed more space, and the answer field allows that. Please note that I did make a comment to the question, as is customary on SE. Additionally, I posted a longer answer. That is beyond what is necessary.
This deletion action by Mr. Cotrell is infuriating to me. It attempts to make the ebook SE less helpful to readers and questioners. It mis-applies a SE rule. It is deeply hostile both to new users and frequent users.
Furthermore, I might have brought this up individually with Mr. Cotrell, but apparently he's keeping his email a secret and the SE application doesn't have the functionality of direct messaging. Posting something on META is literally the only way that SE allows you to protest a moderator's action.
If this were the only time this sort of thing happened, I would let it pass. But this happens to me and others on a semi-regular basis on the Ebook SE.
For this reason, I have decided to permanently leave the Ebook SE. Please note that I will continue contributing to the Writers SE and some of the other SE. But I grow weary of this nonsense. Why bother trying to contribute if there's someone else who is deleting my answers for dubious reasons?
You can find me at https://www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish/ , the Kindle formatting forums and on #eprdctn
Robert Nagle firstname.lastname@example.org
OCT 21 UPDATE: I have made an offsite response to Mr. Cottrell's answer below (PS, sorry about the misspelled name).