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All the MP3 links in this post are valid directly refers to Metta and Vipassana: https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/12770/295

Wondering what the rationale behind it being delete? The tradition of Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero as taught in Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery is pretty wide spread in Sri Lanka and abroad. This might not be directly compatible with the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw from the lineage the moderator who deleted the post is from, though the previous post by the same OP does not meet the requirements of the question though this post does.

Also the following has a top level link promoting a site as well as a book:

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I deleted the post because there was a link to the users personal blog. Promotion of ones own work should not be done on this site.

I have now undeleted the post to allow the Metta-links to remain and I have deleted the blog-link.

Let me make it clear that the deletion has nothing to do with tradition or lineage but is purely founded in site policy.

Im referring to this Policy:

Here are some specific behaviors to avoid - even with the best of intentions, these will nearly always result in your posts being flagged as spam:

  • Don't talk about your product / website / book / job too much. Folks will read your answers for their ability to solve a specific problem; if you're good at doing that, then they'll find themselves more interested in who you are and what you're working on. If you respond only to questions where the answer can be something you're selling, they'll assume you're just here to sell.
  • You could have edited it out? Now can you establish it is not to do with tradition? – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 1 '15 at 16:29
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    Since you can link to other sites why not your own if it is relevant. So one link at the bottom is the justification to remove all the other links also along with it (from a different lineage / tradition)? You can also add a link to this policy you referred when deleting and make it clear this is the reason and he can edit it out. Also I like have a link to this reference. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 1 '15 at 16:34
  • Also I see you un deleted it. This is a great start. Make sure these things do not happen again. Also make the OP aware of the site policy and how to correct it. Since you mentioned it I like to see this policy link myself. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 1 '15 at 16:37
  • Also I see you un deleted it few minutes ago. This is a great start. Make sure these things do not happen again. Also make the OP aware of the site policy and how to correct it. Since you mentioned it I like to see this policy link myself. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 1 '15 at 16:42
  • Answer updated. – Lanka Dec 1 '15 at 18:30
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    It says about jobs, products, website, books with motivation to sell. A non commercial blog does not fit this. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 2:28
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    ` Promotion of ones own work should not be done on this site`. In the premise that one one does not promote ones own work directly or in directly (through someone else) then the links related sirimangalo.org and youtube channel should be remove from this rite and resource pages. This is a lopsided decision, where to tolerate positing from some sources but not others. If any promote material is related to Buddhism and not commercial in nature this should stay. There should be equitable treatment. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 3:32
  • @SumindaSirinathSalpitikorala If people want to edit the "Useful resources" topic on the Help page then I guess the thing to do is post the new suggestion[s] as a new answer to this topic. Within that answer, include the hyperlink and a few words to describe the resource. – ChrisW Dec 2 '15 at 4:07
  • It seems the answer was legit to the question -- I agree with Suminda, whether the links are to works of the poster is of much less importance. I just think it lacked actual quotes from the links and explanations that directly answer the question, as advised in the how-to-answer – Thiago Dec 2 '15 at 23:27
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If you read the OP's answers, many or most of those answers don't include links at all.


Of the answers which do contain links, for example this one and this one, many of those links are to specific topics on on the mahamevnawa.com web site. Those links and answers are not deleted because they're on-topic: the links support the answer and the answer tries to address the question.


On October 30th I edited most of the OP's answers, to remove "a signature" like this one which were at the end of every answer. Those links are not on-topic (i.e. not part of the answer) because they're generic link to the top-level http://mahamevnawa.lk/inenglish URL (not a link to any specific article).

I also posted comments, here and here and here, and other comments which I deleted after they were read, to try to explain what what our site policy is for links:

Please don't post links to http://mahamevnawa.lk/inenglish/ except in your profile. You can post links to specific pages or articles or resources within the mahamevnawa.lk site, if the page is relevant to the question and your answer.


The rule about using a generic "signature" in answers for advertising is a network-wide policy -- this FAQ topic says:

In general, taglines and signatures are strongly discouraged, and are likely to be edited out. We don't want to clutter up the questions page with a lot of redundant signature blocks and taglines and so forth.

Please use your built in profile, avatar, and username as your signature; that's what they are there for, and every post you make is already "signed" this way!


In the topic which you're asking about here, the historic sequence of events was as follows:

  • OP posted this answer with links to http://mahamevnawa.lk/inenglish/dhamma-talks/ and his blog: I posted a comment asking for specific links which address the question, and deleted the answer
  • OP posted this answer with specific links, and a link to his blog, again: I posted a comment again, asking for specific links (instead of a link to the whole blog), this time Lanka deleted the answer
  • You saw and wanted to preserve the specific links in the deleted answer: we undeleted the answer but deleted the link to the blog.

Lanka wrote, in his answer,

I deleted the post because there was a link to the users personal blog. Promotion of ones own work should not be done on this site.

This doesn't mean you're not allowed to link to your own posts off-site. It means that you're allowed to do that, if and only when the links you post are an answer to the question.

  • Specific links which answer the question are on topic (and may be up- or down-voted as usual depending on their quality, i.e. depending on whether users think they're helpful).

  • Generic links, by definition, don't answer the question: they are deleted, especially when they only "promote" (i.e. advertise) the site or the blog in question.


In your question, you wrote,

This might not be directly compatible with the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw from the lineage the moderator who deleted the post is from, though the previous post by the same OP does not meet the requirements of the question though this post does.

I hope you understand why the post was deleted: it was because of the "generic" link to the blog, not because of the "specific" links to the MP3 files.

I assume most people want to read specific questions and answers on this site, not "promotional" advertising.

I sorry if you assumed that the deletion was all to do with "lineage". The site's defined policy is that this site is for "all schools of Buddhism"; and I hope that all users (including moderators) behave accordingly.

There are always several moderators who review the site. There are also high-reputation users, like you and Robin and 20 other users, who have a reputation of over 2000, who can view deleted posts to ensure that nothing is deleted maliciously or by mistake.

One of the reason why I think we ought to delete "promotional" links is in order to try to keep the site looking welcoming to people and to questions and answers from all schools: I think it's better to have no "promotional advertising" than to flood the site with advertisements for one specific site or school.

I'm also a bit uneasy about discussing moderation in too much detail. Moderators are meant to intervene if there's a problem, so discussing moderation means discussing problems, and if people learn from past discussion and move on then I'd prefer to not, you know, pick over old problems again.

The Help for your "Viewing deleted posts" privilege says,

Viewing deleted posts

You now have privileged access to posts that have been removed, either by their authors, by users with access to moderator tools, by moderators, or by the system.

Use this privilege wisely:

  • Make sure what is being deleted should have been deleted, and bring unnecessary or harmful deletions to the attention of the community and/or moderator team.

  • Watch for signs of abuse being obscured by deletion.

  • Don't abuse this privilege to stir up trouble when someone has wisely decided to remove a problematic post.

You're welcome to clarify site policy but my experience (including some years of experience as a user on other SE sites) tells me that it's basically never beneficial to accuse a moderator of misconduct.

Does it reassure you to be told that other moderators already review and discuss each other's actions?

Questions like "why was this answer deleted?" and "what is site policy?" are on-topic. Thank you for using meta to discuss that: and I'm glad that you're satisfied with the outcome.

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    I am not satisfied with the outcome as the blog link was deleted. The user has taken the pain to collect many English language programs aired in local channels which can compliment the answer. I feel the link to the blog is also relevant and should be restored. (Further complementing information.) – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 6:01
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    I have seen @Lanka doing just this: 'Generic links, by definition, don't answer the question: they are deleted, especially when they only "promote" (i.e. advertise) the site or the blog in question.'. You practice what you want to enforce before hand. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 6:06
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    Also keep in mind most of the high reputation users you mentioned Lanka Robin etc. are from the same tradition hence there might be dependent. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 6:15
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    The nature of the question buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/12768/… is asking for podcast while the one you edited is not. So the link to the blog is in fact relevant as supplementary information. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 6:41
  • You should not have a sticker enforcing of the rules on on set of users than that of another set of users. Everything should be equitable. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 2 '15 at 7:39
  • If the OP wants to link to his blog as an answer to that question, I asked him to identify the (specific) article[s] within the blog which are "resources for learning Vipassana and Metta". – ChrisW Dec 2 '15 at 9:18
  • This is more strict than what has been allowed for other users in the past. He has identified some resource though not exhaustive but give then the link for further information. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:39
  • How come you are always saying I am glad and satisfied with the out come. What is the basis on these comments? – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 13:32
  • There are a lot of posts which sound promotional by @Lanka worded in a promotional marketing slant! – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 13:34
  • @SumindaSirinathSalpitikorala I said it once, and when I said it I linked to this comment of yours in which you wrote, "Also I see you un deleted it. This is a great start." I thought that undeleting the answer was the outcome; that that was the outcome you wanted; and that you praised that outcome i.e. found it satisfactory. – ChrisW Dec 3 '15 at 13:35
  • I said it a start but not the end or closure. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 13:35
  • @SumindaSirinathSalpitikorala Should I fix my answer (by deleting the last sentence of it which says that you're satisfied with the outcome) and then delete as obsolete these comments (which were associated with that last sentence)? – ChrisW Dec 3 '15 at 13:37
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Suminda, please calm down and focus.

Do not use this behavior of accusing moderators of being biased by their tradition again. Last time it created a lot of turmoil on the site and it ended with you giving an apology to the community for your behavior. Let us not repeat that again.

There is no need to blow this out of proportions and create schisms on the site. Noone here is trying to be unfair. We are all trying to make this site work as best as possible. We all have good intentions here.

As I have already mentioned the policy on referring to own work is well founded and can be interpretated from the policy.

This site is a "best-answer-format" should and not be used to promote one's own work. This is very clear and simple.

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    Lanka, I really don't think we should forbid links that refer to one's own work, if the link in question is a legit answer to a question. Deleting a "also, check out my blog: myblog.com" is fine. However, deleting a answer that links to one's own blog post, or one's own book, or one's own video, or a podcast where one is interviewed, etc...should be accepted, given that these external links provide more details to answer the question. – Thiago Dec 2 '15 at 23:39
  • Thiago, I think we don't forbid links that refer to one's own work. For example Jayarava linked to his own articles, and people didn't forbid that. Lanka has been saying "promote", i.e. "advertise", not just "refer" or "link to". Any reference or a link is OK if it answers the question and is not only an advertisement. But if a link to your blog doesn't answer the question then it is only an advertisement and is less OK ... it might even be tolerated if you want to do it once, but not repeatedly. – ChrisW Dec 3 '15 at 0:34
  • Ok, just checking if everyone's on the same page -- I've found this thread rather confusing – Thiago Dec 3 '15 at 2:23
  • @Lanka please do not use divergent tactics to divert attention real issue. Also will update that thread with the relevant references so it is also in record. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:27
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    This particular reference to the blog does not is not an advertisement! Just that a statement regarding commercial proportions. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:31
  • Also I have an apology in this context to cool things down not because I did not have a strong case which I am not going to present since you brought it up again. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:32
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    99% work in the blog not the users work but what was produced my different local TV channels and aired. Likewise I have seen you making references to to a top level Youtube channel and site also some of you answers. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:36
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    You should be fair to all users! – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:38
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    Good that you brought this up again as I will give proper closure in the previous incident. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 2:49
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    Also keep in mind my previous apology was to avoid Schism. I am sorry you took liberties at interpreting this is the wrong light. Premature closure of it than dragging it though a long process. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 3:21
  • @SumindaSirinathSalpitikorala This topic for example has references to the top-level home-page of video channels (instead of specific references, specific links to specific videos). That's a more generic topic, though, "Where can I find video Dharma talks?" instead of "Can someone provide online resources to learn Vipassana and Metta?" To be an answer to the the latter question I want the links to be, specifically, to Vipassana and Metta resources. – ChrisW Dec 3 '15 at 9:24
  • 1) false premiss (lack of investigation) - says own work when it is not, even even it is if there is relevance it is number of many links which meet the requirement 2) carefully reinterpreting some thing in a commercial setting to another 3) diverting by brining non related topics that what is not what we are discussing 4) enforcing some rules more strict on some users than others – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 12:50
  • Also though ChrisW partly removed what he perceived as not appropriate (net effect is partial censorship) Lanka chose to remove the complete post (net effect full censorship) though later restored when confronted. Also Lanka adamantly claiming and miss attributing the content of the blog as the work of the user and using this as justification to keep the link removed. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 3 '15 at 13:02
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    I suggest you focus on content, on specific answers, and not on people. For example, say "that is not a good answer" and not "you are a bad person". Focus on co-operation ("let's try to define/understand site-wide standards for acceptable/unacceptable content, and then try to apply those standards to specific content) instead of confrontation ("you have no standards! you never follow the standard yourself, you're such a hypocrite! I caught you doing something wrong, I accuse you, you can't escape my blame, you're wrong wrong wrong wrong!"). – ChrisW Dec 3 '15 at 14:39

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