We're at the point where low-quality entries which did not even follow the contest rules are being selected as winners. We had a proposal with some energy behind it, but a moderator shot it down without offering any viable alternatives.

Contest is definitely dead. Now what? has almost no attention and some lackluster suggestions.

I'd love for some good suggestions to develop there, but in the meantime, for goodness' sakes, please at least stop the dead contest. I flagged for the post to be locked but that was denied, and, worse, my comment explaining the situation rolled back by the same moderator who killed the suggestion to do something active instead.

I would like someone with the power to do so to:

  1. Take the current contest off of life support.
  2. Elect some new moderators interested in positive activity to grow the site rather than just blocking and draining anyone's attempt to do anything

1 Answer 1


The photo in question was posted 3 years ago. After a couple of weeks, it was pointed out that the size was wrong, so he swapped in a different photo. He didn't appear to do this to bump the photo and attract more votes, which is the point of the rule. It happened shortly after submission. 3 years pass and that photo, which wasn't dealt with back then, rises to the top and I used my judgement to allow it to stand. Looks like the size is still wrong, so that's my bad.

That's the only issue with submissions that I can recall in several years as moderator. You make it sound like it's rampant.

As for changing the contest, there was very little consensus on the issue, so nothing has happened. I'm all for it if we can iron out the issues. But I do think the current one, imperfect as it is, adds to the site.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How many votes came in before the photo was swapped? The rules specifically say that swapping the photo for something other than a minor change (like cropping) is disallowed. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As for consensus: there's barely more than two or three votes for anything on meta these days, which is likely symptomatic of the larger problem. I think we have as much consensus as it's possible to get. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anyway, that photo being selected is just the last straw here. That's not really my main complaint. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Also, keep in mind that I wrote that rule about swapping photos, so I definitely know its intent.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ And, Mike, I do appreciate the effort you've put into this over the years. But... no input on what to do next? You gave some feedback on the one real proposal, which I appreciate, but then nothing later when AJ came and stomped on it, which apparently effectively ended the whole thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure about how many votes, I don't think that's visible. I was in Yellowstone for a few weeks when the "what to do next?" post was made. I never saw it. Will go through it and reply. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right, that's why switching isn't allowed. Even if it wasn't malicious, someone might have voted up the spider picture and not intended to vote up the disembodied eye that "won". \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ And also: when we started this, I expected the bar to win to continually get higher. That is, rather than needing 30 votes to win, you might need 40 or 50. That's not where we're at now. At this point, instead of really getting the cream of the crop, we're getting the middle "meh" ones that got some-teen votes over the last decade. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 5, 2019 at 19:59
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm It received no votes before the image was changed. All of the votes were for the eye image, none for the spider. \$\endgroup\$
    – Catija
    Sep 9, 2019 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Catija Again, that's not really my main complaint. Kind of frustrating that that's the only thing anyone showed up to address. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 4, 2019 at 18:50

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