Dear 100 Hour Board,
Not my question, but on the subject of Board Question #91358, how is it the editors have allowed an answer as flippant as Cognoscente's to pass as acceptable (to what is a question that actually raises a good point)?
The fact that certain answers are let through at all is like...does this site have any standard? If I expect to find memes and insults or misinformation I can go to 4chan.
I understand we don't hear from the alumni as much, but the editors of the Board ought to ensure that well thought out questions are given well thought out answers rather than immature insults in response - otherwise, how can any discussion be fostered? Is it right to just flippantly dismiss another opinion? It's also frustrating because there's no opportunity to respond to such answers. It reinforces the idea that such questions are worthless, despite bringing up an alternative perspective that break the echo chamber. I don't think this fosters any good-will towards the board, that they both insult the site's users and dismiss their questions.
I suppose the question is this: the Board can veto any users question for any reason. Why don't they do that for the answers the Writers give, especially when the answer is insulting, demeaning, or dismissive of the users of this site?
I say the editors aren't doing the best they are able.
I know all the editors personally. I am definitely more familiar with all of them than you are. I am also more familiar with the goings-on of the Board than you are (unless you're secretly a writer, which I am quite confident you're not), and more of what it entails to be an editor. And I say the editors are doing an amazing job. It's true they aren't perfect—no one is; but they are doing dang fantastically from my point of view.
We've been found out. It's true: behind each and every sensitive and thoughtful 100 Hour Board writer is a flippant and cynical bad person.
We do indeed have standards. I would invite you to look at our Policies page, found on the right side of your screen. Per that page, we offer double your money back for the money you spent on receiving an answer to a question you didn't ask, so feel free to email us to collect your $0. We also have a page of Writer Policies (only available for writers) with the standards we expect them to keep in their answers, and to which we try to ensure all our answers adhere. Occasionally there may be questions or answers in a gray area, and in that case it's up to our discretion whether to post them or not. In recent years we're trending toward less censorship, both of questions and of answers, which may result in content you disagree with.
At the core of your correction you seem upset about the Board not having enough dialogue. If you don't like that, we apologize, but that's just the nature of the Board. It is not a chat forum, nor a place for people to have extended discussions. It's a place for people to ask questions and get answers. Sometimes those answers may be offensive to some people, but if we were to censor everything that might offend anyone, we probably would never post anything. But if you're upset about the Board being an echo chamber, I would also invite you to re-read the answers to Board Question #91268, the question that started it all, because the writers who responded did not all agree with each other. It's not that we don't like differing opinions on the Board, just that because of the nature of a question and answer website, the readers don't have as much opportunity for an extended conversation about every single topic we write answers about. As you see, though, if you're upset about an answer, you're welcome to either ask another question or personally email the editors at email@example.com.
You also seem to believe that all editors do is approve answers and delete reader questions. However (in addition to our normal lives) our responsibilities are actually far broader and include a lot of things that as readers you aren't aware of (asking writers to reword parts of answers, editing grammar and HTML bugs in answers before they post, working with the webmasters, checking every single link in every single question before they can post, answering emails, dealing with writer applications, going through the inbox to push out unanswered questions, building writer unity, approving corrections, taking care of specific requests from writers/readers, thinking of ways to generate more traffic to the Board, writing our own answers, etc.). During Alumni Week our workload is even bigger; the quantity of answers we have to approve is astronomically higher, and we also have to scroll through pages of unfinished answers to respond to any questions directed at us via flagette or placeholder. That may not sound like a lot, but I can tell you that this past Alumni Week I spent so much time scrolling through Board answers on my phone in every break I got from work that it actually made the joints in my thumb sore. Because of the quantity of our workload and the fact that we have limited time to dedicate to the Board, sometimes we don't do a perfect job of all our responsibilities. We apologize for times when you may be dissatisfied with our work, but ask you to be patient with the nature of a student-run website.
As for the assumption that we censor readers, we virtually never edit or delete questions. We do on occasion if a reader is flagrantly disregarding our policies (for example, using multiple accounts to ask questions beyond the weekly limit), but that doesn't happen often. In fact, it's much more common for us to ask a writer to revise their answer, or delete an unfinished placeholder left by a writer so a question can post with other answers.
Again, we apologize for any distress the answer in question may have caused you. It's never our wish to be rude to our readers, but we also try not to censor our writers when at all possible, and occasionally it's a fine line to walk.