A recent thread of mine on ServerFault has raised an eyebrow regarding the lack of support for server software, which i was intentionally misled here due to search results on google hooking into all those wonderful pages, and meta tag details that these are not just solved threads which were closed, but they are unbashfuly being terminated with prejudice under the pretence that all systems running any of these taboo words, shall be place 'on hold', 'deleted' or otherwise abruptly terminated, while maintaining search ranks on those words.

I do not believe this is healthy for the site as it is a form of bait and switch, however the asker of the question really doesn't have anything to switch with. So if their question is about cPanel/WHM, that will not change until there is a solution for it. Falsely leading them here by hijacking those keywords, doesn't help the person with the question, and it doesn't help those moderating as you just get a flood of more questions.

Further, it creates a decline in the quality of answers being provided. When a topic is placed on-hold or closed, it discourages or blocks further discussion, even when some discussion has already occurred. Keeping a public copy of this for search engines to archive, doesn't provide any viable solution as the conversations are cut off mid stream.

My case to you, is this :

  1. Support cPanel, etc, stricly from a linux administration perspective, not as User CP. But even from the User CP, that can have a single article for each product with a link to the official videos for said product(s) or support page, and suggestions on how to contact their hosting provider for assistance.

  2. Remove support completely, including cached copies of pages where the taboo product was the question being asked (easily found by search for the taboo word, combined with closed/on-hold/etc), as this is only hurting ServerFault.

  3. (Not recommended) - Keep it exactly as is, consume fake traffic under the fear that losing these words would drive off the traffic required to keep ServerFault alive. -- and if this is so, then you really should review #1 again.

I am totally cool with lots of downvotes on this. Regardless of the voting direction, this will not change the facts here-in. The main point of this is to open a discussion as to why you are seeing these types of questions flow in, and offer some options. #3 is not really recommended and is a bit facetious, however it is on point with what is happening right now. If you don't like #3, then there really is a boolean decision to make, keep it -- or nuke it.

Let the discussion roll ....

  • 8
    Sadly it's going to take a long time for our google rankings for cPanel to diminish, personally It can't be too quick as most (if not all) of the questions we get regarding systems it is installed on are terrible and make the internet worse for being asked.
    – user9517
    Jan 30, 2016 at 12:43
  • Correct, there isn't really anything better that does the same thing. Ajeni is good in the regard that it doesn't interfere with the software, but then it is limited in the way that it doesn't provide users with jailed control over their stuff. Plesk = nightmare. If you hate cPanel, then Plesk, is the place Hell would go that is worse than Hell, especially so on Windows. Regarding server admin and 'professional' hosting. If you don't provide users with control over their stuff, you certainly do not offer 'professional' hosting. Jan 30, 2016 at 17:31
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    intentionally misled here due to search results on google Seems like either very poor wording, or some tin-foil stuff. Most people here are systems administrators, very few of us ever come in contact with cPanel machines. When we do, and the machines have issues, it tends to be unsolvable without official support. As such these questions, while they tended to receive support in the past, have with the narrowing of the sites scope lost their grace. It's not a conspiracy, it's also not that big a deal. It's one subject that tends to get closed easier (not 100%) than others.
    – Reaces
    Jan 30, 2016 at 19:16
  • I love the play on words and adjustment of context to make this sound like I am making this up. Your 'not 100%' is a load, as a simple search reveals. While you may retroactively adjust this to make it seem untrue, as of writing this, no such evidence contradicts my statement of fact. Regarding intent on misleading, yes, that is what this is. And 'pro' server admins, right, because everyone here is working on SPARC servers. Running a homebrew install of Ubuntu that happens to have apache, is not 'pro admin'. But that is another discussion. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:21
  • 4
    I feel like you're intentionally using as many English idioms and as much pseudo-legalese as you possibly can. This is noticeable, in part, because you also demonstrate a complete disregard for the rules of capitalization and grammar. Your post reads like the stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a homeless man with a penchant for cPanel. The result stretches the definition of "readable" to its logical limit. I feel less knowledgeable for having read it. Please, please proofread next time. Feb 15, 2016 at 18:59

2 Answers 2

  1. No. The reasons for not supporting cPanel have not changed.
  2. No. We don't ban topics, cPanel included. There is such a thing, although rare, as a good cPanel question. Contrary to your comments on your other meta question, the closure rate for cPanel questions is not 100%.
  3. Yes. We will continue evaluating each question on its own merits, and will not accept nor condemn any question due to the presence of a certain keyword.
  • 2
    serverfault.com/search?q=cpanel shows that your mythical unicorn of alleged supported cpanel questions is non-existant . Keeping this, shows fear that losing said traffic on these words, will end serverfault due to lack of traffic / support. Jan 30, 2016 at 8:50
  • Welp: serverfault.com/questions/tagged/cpanel
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 8:51
  • 7
    Making baseless statements about cPanel-related traffic and Server Fault's reliance on it for its existence is adorable. :)
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 8:53
  • So you only close questions on cPanel that actually get a decent response ? Sorry, but if you travel to serverfault.com/search?q=cpanel that has a higher response rate than serverfault.com/questions/tagged/cpanel does. You also, have yet to prove otherwise. here is baseless. Jan 30, 2016 at 8:53
  • 6
    No, closure has absolutely nothing to do with what answers (if any at all) a question gets. Questions are closed on the question's merits only.
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 8:55
  • I think the point just sailed over you in a jet . The 'closed' questions (inclusive of onhold and other negative flags), have better response than your tagged questions. That response being mitigated/halted by disrupting it with a negative status change. If questions did not have 'merit', and people (as you allege : the community) do not wish to engage, then why do they counter against your reality until forcibly preventing them or discouraging engagement. I do notice you and your buddies downvotes tho. appreciate that :) Jan 30, 2016 at 8:58
  • 7
    Ooookay then. Dude, perhaps you should consider that Sever Fault isn't the place for you. Have a good weekend.
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 9:09
  • I couldn't help but notice how lacking your last comment was in respect to contribution to this discussion. Your use of an exaggerated 'okay' combined with slang, followed up with attempts to dissuade further debate, and topping it off with a facetious sentence, does not look professional at all, nor does it contribute to this discussion in any meaningful manner. I get the up votes from the immature, and the 50k+ rep elect, but please keep the discussion to the matter at hand and refrain from personal attacks. cPanel does get answered by the community, until you guys discourage/prevent that. Jan 30, 2016 at 17:38
  • 6
    There was not a single personal attack from me, nor any other SF user involved in this entire discussion. I was elected by the community to do my job in a respectful manner, and to represent the community's interests. I believe I'm doing that job well, and haven't ever heard otherwise from a single user nor SE staff. If you think otherwise, well, state your case and give evidence.
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 17:49
  • 4
    Additionally, I am not trying to discourage debate. I was merely trying to communicate that I was tired of trying to explain things to you multiple times, to no effect, and that I would bow out. You're free to engage others if you'd like. My wish that you have a good weekend was genuine. Honestly. Perhaps you think that we're out to get you, or that we have a bone to pick with you. That is not the case. I have no reason to not wish you a good weekend.
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 17:50
  • Everything is in context. While you believe the duality of the statement itself being possible to be a positive statement, in conjunction with encouragement to leave the server under the guise of a suggestion, which was preceded by a long noun "Ooookay then" ( urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=okay+then... ), and calling me a 'Dude', gives reasonable context to those statements intention as being anything less than the purity of intent you claim. Further, it did not provide any benefit to this question outside of encouraging the discouragement of this topic. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:02
  • 2
    "I don't care" is precisely what I was trying to communicate. Not about you, but about the discussion and the way you've carried yourself through it. So yes, Urban Dictionary's definition of my phrase is absolutely in line with my meaning. I'm done with this discussion. We are very willing to have debate, but the way you're going about trying to sway opinion is non-constructive and frankly, non-effective. If you would have presented your case, without vitriol and inflammation, things would have gone much differently.
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 19:08
  • 4
    But honestly, again, my wishes for a good weekend were indeed genuine. I am perfectly capable of separating someone's actions from their person. Sure, I don't particularly appreciate your actions in this discussion, but for a reasonable and respectful person, why would I not wish a good weekend for you?
    – EEAA
    Jan 30, 2016 at 19:10

In general, downvotes on a meta SE site mean "I disagree," and/or "I don't think this is a good idea." In this case, I'm sure that's exactly what the downvotes mean.

Let the discussion roll ....

The thing is, we've had this discussion already and decided what we want to do with cPanel questions. What EEAA's been telling you is what we already came up with. Sure, it can be raised again, but most of the people who are active on the site and might be interested in discussing policy agree with what he's saying.

So 1) isn't likely to happen, 2) is impossible by the nature of the site - the "community" can't do what you're suggesting, and 3) you offered facetiously.

  • The solutions provided are not impossible. #3 is current status, and while facetious, is forthright and accurate in description whether this is favorable or not, the intent was to bring to the table clearly, and concisely the predicament serverfault is in currently. #1 and #2 are viable solutions. Keywording your site for content you do not support is shady and primarily used by very slimy places online. I do not feel that this is a 'best practices' measure for this site and what i said in combination makes this a very poor resource when landing here under those terms. Bait and switch. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:08
  • 1
    #2 is "impossible" because it's not how this place works. The community of active users are not the owners, it's not our site, we don't care about the traffic stats. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:11
  • Also, I have seen claims that cPanel is supported under certain conditions. If said conditions exist, they would be listed. Further, there would be historical examples of non-closed (or otherwise negatively adjusted by meta) cPanel threads with healthy discussion. From what I can tell, this has yet to happen. There are a couple here and there open with cPanel, but not about administrating that box, and thus justification for my claim that cPanel is verboten even from an administrative perspective due to lack of understanding. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:12
  • I wish that was correct, but it is well known, when a community on stackexchange fails to meet certain numbers statistically, that community is closed or put under review pending judgement. It is also feasible for meta to remove all such content, including the keyword, as certain ranks can delete keywords, and even higher can delete posts/questions. Jan 30, 2016 at 19:14
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    I don't believe a graduated site has ever been shut down. To get to the point of being shut down you have to get to very low levels of questions which even without the cPanel stuff isn't likely to happen on SF. You are flogging a dead donkey, honestly give up you're becoming a troll.
    – user9517
    Jan 30, 2016 at 19:19

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