Have a look here


I have asked two questions that are identical in their form (Science says A is the best way to act, yet people act B. Why?), one of them was accepted and responded to with no special attention while the other was locked and deleted.

An illustrative sentence in the chat Choosing a useful topic is essential - why do people have children is really not a useful question. We have them in order to survive as a species. Procreation is what life is, essentially. According to this Alsop it might not be a useful question but that is a very subjective stance and therefore must not be the ground for deleting my question.

My original question contains a lot of links to, what seems to be, reliable scientific sources. As I wrote in the chat, if I ask "Why did the Roman empire fall?" there exists a lot of opinions about what would be the correct answer. However, dismissing or rejecting such a questions because it might provoke a discussion wouldn't make sense (and there are several questions like that on SE with a lot of upvotes, answers and comments).

Alsop et al clearly dislike this question for subjective reasons and use their moderating powers to block people from reading and answering it. I have asked him to escalate it but he refuses, which I think says a lot. I have also asked him to, inspired by Popper, define a threshold for what it would take for this question to be "interesting", again he refuses.

  • 3
    You are welcome to "escalate" this conflict yourself by contacting the CM team -- use the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page. However, you may want to review basic site policies before doing so.
    – Acire
    Jun 28, 2017 at 15:38
  • @Erica Any specific site policy you suggest I review before contacting the CM team?
    – d-b
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:15
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    parenting.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask would be a starting point. Since you are committed to a particular position (A is the best way to act) and already have evidence supporting your point of view, you're failing the "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" test. I believe that's been explained, though.
    – Acire
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:21
  • 1
    d-b as provided to you on your question closure and various conversations. Start up in the help link at the top right, and then tour followed by specifics under the Our Model section, including parenting.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice and parenting.stackexchange.com/help/behavior
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:21
  • 1
    it's not just parenting, anyone with an unothadox opionion on any of the SE sites get treated like this. Aug 15, 2017 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


As discussed at length on that question and chat, there were many issues with the approach you took. There is no personal subjectivity from the mods here - the guidelines we have given are very simple, and it appears that you just do not want to follow them:

  • Your initial question was flagged by the community and closed by a mod as a rant that did not meet site requirements in a question. It is inherently subjective and not answerable.
  • When you tried to compare it with another question (one about smoking) I pointed out they aren't alike, other than a superficial similarity, and in fact the one about smoking, while off topic on Parenting, was structured in a way that is objective.
  • Having lots of links does not make a post good. You could have all the links in the world and the topic may be amazing, but if it doesn't meet site requirements (there's that phrase again) then it will get flagged and closed.
  • I don't "dislike" the question. There'd be no point doing what I do if I disliked questions. It's just not a question that fits here.
  • As regards escalation, you have taken the next step and posted in meta.SE, and you will no doubt get some answers. Be aware that now you have gained greater visibility, you may get many more voices weighing in...

In addition to those very basic points, your approach has been rude and aggressive, and to be honest, we just don't want that sort of thing on this site. Insulting people, or ranting will often lead to suspensions or bans - one of the things you maybe don't appreciate is that I am often slower to suspend than my peers - I try quite hard to guide first, even when those around may tell me not to waste my time.

tl;dr - not a good question for Parenting.SE; community flagged it; mods closed it; please be polite in future;


You have only asked one question on Parenting: Why do people want to have kids? Those with enough rep will be able to see the entire question. It was deleted automatically by the system for its negative score and lack of activity.

Plain and simply, the question asked did not fit with our format on this site. It doesn't matter if a similar question was asked and left open on another site; it was a thinly disguised rant, as explained repeatedly in comments, chat, and personal communications.

This is a site about Parenting. As such, most of the members and visitors are parents, and some are children, teachers, or other people involved in caring for children. You picked a site designed to help people with children and asked a rant-type question, essentially, "Having children doesn't make sense, am I right?"

It is no different than, say, posting on Biology, "Studying Biology doesn't make sense, am I right?" (You can try asking that as an experiment.)

The personal feelings of the moderators have nothing to do with the closure of this question. Personally, I don't have any problems with couples who have chosen not to have children. Its closure has everything to do with the question itself.

  • You again? How do you decide it was a thinly disgusted "rant"? And why does it matter if it is a "rant" if it is based on science? Your comparison with biology is not applicable. It would be more like asking "Why does people still study phrenology? It has been completely rebutted." I am pretty sure that question would have been accepted in biology. Do you want me try? None of your arguments are relevant. Even if you already have children you might be interested in if it in fact was a bad decision.
    – d-b
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:14
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    d-b, typically questions that start "why do people do X" are not accepted. Yes, your smoking one was, but that is not a reason for any other one to be accepted. And once again - Be Nice. Starting a comment with "You again" is not being nice!
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Jun 28, 2017 at 18:17

Looking at your question, there are a few problems with it that caused it to get closed.

It's Too Broad

From the help center on things you should not ask one item states that any question where "every answer is equally valid" is not a good one. Asking people to share why they had kids falls under that in my opinion. Every answer is going to be a little different (though there may be some common themes, just about any answer is a valid one). That makes it into a polling question, which is also discouraged. Someone defined "too broad" once (apologies that I can't find it right now) as "if you could imagine a book on the subject, it's too broad. If you could imagine hundreds of valid answers, it's too broad". Your question fits the latter part of that definition.

The Presentation Needs Work

First, it's a bit hard to read. Some parts don't really flow well and it feels like there are little bits missing. I had to read it a couple times over and there are still parts where I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make. Hard to read questions are less likely to be interpreted the way you intended them to be.

Second, your tone and the way you address the audience. You are on a parenting site, so most people here are going to be parents (or in a parenting-like role). Your question could easily feel condescending towards that audience. Your question reads like this "Science (and other arguments) show that having children doesn't make rational sense. Why do you people do irrational things like having kids?" That tone (whether intended or not) isn't going to win over anyone in your target audience. Hence many of the downvotes.

Additionally, your edit changes the way the question is viewed. Ignoring all the previously stated problems, you might have had an interesting and sincere question. It is a lot easier for people to want to answer a question when the asker appears to genuinely want to get an answer. But your edit makes the question appear very insincere. I would hazard a guess that many people, were they to answer, would say they have kids because they bring them happiness. That edit is very dismissive and argumentative towards that answer (which is a valid one for some people). And that makes your question feel like a "rant". It feels no longer like a question, but a way to argue with people as to why they are wrong for having kids (again, I don't know if this was intentional, but it comes off that way). At that point, it isn't a question and no longer belongs on a Q&A site.

One Size Does Not Fit All

You've cited other (somewhat) similar questions that have been accepted on other SE sites (namely this question on Health.SE). There is a problem with pointing out questions on other sites as evidence that yours should stand, specifically that the communities are different. What one SE community will tolerate in terms of broadness, subjectivity, etc. varies widely. For example, a site like Parenting allows questions with a fair amount of subjectivity. It's just the nature of the topic. But on a site like StackOverflow, you would be well advised to not even intimate using a subjective word like "better" or "best". That causes questions there to be closed with ludicrous speed. So just because such a question survived on Health does not meant it works here.

If you had found such a question on Parenting, you would have a more compelling argument. Finding such a question would prompt re-evaluating both questions. We may keep yours, we may close the existing one. It depends on how the site rules and it's community have evolved over time.

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