I have provided an answer to "Why is my MacBook Pro stuck on mute?".

This is simple, this is Apple fault. I'm using Ubuntu now on my macbook pro, it never suffers from the infamous headphone jack problem. Removing the headphones, the internal speakers work, plug it in, the headphone works.

On OS X, it just doesn't work. If I dare plugging in the headphones, I know that when I take it out, internal speakers will stop working, they will be muted, and not come back after a while. I've stopped plugging stuff in and out trying to make it work.

I just installed a new OS that works.

stuffe moderator has just deleted the answer, and commented, "this is not an answer".

I really would like this undeleted. Because I've digged this problem so much, and when I installed Ubuntu, it just didn't exist.

  • 2
    I'm not able to ping @stuffe - but it's in need of an edit. Let's undelete it and make the answer you propose more clear. You'll want to add a link to your research as well as describe what version of Ubuntu works to avoid the issues you think are happening in this case for an ideal answer. We still might eventually decide to delete it, but let's see if it can be edited to a point where everyone sees it as a valid attempt to answer the question.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 16:16
  • @bmike ok for me.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 16:19
  • 2
    Also, +10 for asking about clarification here and showing some research.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 16:20
  • @bmike as someone mentioned in the chat on apple.stack you are generous.
    – Deesbek
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 6:13

3 Answers 3


Thanks for posting this up here - we always answer and would much rather have a civil discussion here rather than a to and fro in comments.

Here are my thoughts:

Your answer as originally posted could essentially be boiled down to "It's Apple's fault. The headphone socket does not work on OS X, use Ubuntu". I could have used a couple of reasons for deletion such as "Not Constructive", or I could have added a formal post notice to it. In my haste, I didn't explain it fully (for which I take one on the chin without prejudice) but believe me I feel confident that it would have been flagged by another user if I hadn't happened to see it first so soon after you posted it.

I think you will agree that in the form against which I moderated it, it was not really an acceptable answer, and more of a rant, unless you were genuinely of the opinion that telling the OP that it just doesn't work by design and to use a stop using OS X on an Apple Q&A site was being helpful.

While your edit is much less combative it's still saying more or less the same thing, and using some language that isn't necessarily required which adds a negative tone to the content; "If I dare plug in the headphones", why not simply state "When I plug in..."?

Even with further modification, I think there are still issues with the answer, namely:

  • Your own contribution is still "Doesn't work; Use Ubuntu", and the external links are simply links with no summary or overview

  • Your summary is incorrect, it's a hardware problem, and nothing to do with the OS. Just because Ubuntu doesn't support the extra functions and defaults to normal headphone mode doesn't mean OS X is at fault. Even the links you provide state for example:

    • "Inside the jack is a very small switch that turns on and off the optical audio output while simultaneously disabling the internal speakers. The switch can be turned on by simply using headphones."

    • It seems that when removing the headphones with a yank after editing some audio, I must have accidentally flicked a switch inside the port. The MacBook Pro thought that there was still a TOSLINK connector attached even though there wasn’t anything plugged into the port.

This sort of thing is common in a variety of devices that use headphone sockets. Here is pretty much the same issue on someone's iPhone (Not directly caused by a toslink switch, but caused by a gummed up socket that has the same end result - the socket thinks something is using it): Apple headphone remote doesn't always work (I would suggest trying the accepted answer and seeing if it helps if you still have an OS X install on the machine).

I hope this helps explain why I removed it. I notice that it's been undeleted, and has since received an up vote; I won't perform any other moderation on it, as though while I feel it's borderline useful it's not actively poor any more, so it's now down to the community to accept or flag as appropriate.

Thanks for your time, and feel free to pop into chat or engage further in Meta.

  • 4
    I too scratched my head a bit. If the problem is a flakey or faulty hardware switch - what would make ubuntu better at overcoming that failure than OS X. I suppose they could code in some extra awesome driver mojo - but part of me suspects it's just in need of a cleaning or unsupporting the switch detection masks the hardware failure on another OS.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 21:16
  • 5
    The fact that Ubuntu works is likely because it has no awareness of the toslink switch and as such the dual-use of the port, ergo regardless of if the tiny switch is stuck or not, it simply ignores it. Not extra driver mojo, but missing driver mojo, as it were.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 21:19
  • I've changed the headline of my answer, since was @bmike who authored part of it. I do believe, if ubuntu can handle the hardware the way I want, why not OS X can do the same? That would fix it. About my tone I just used that language because it's exactly how I feel, and I wanted to pass it. I almost never dare plugging the headphones because I know the frustation that is gonna be afterwards.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 22:22
  • I get you, and the post is back up, I'd just re-iterate that it's not that Ubuntu "can handle it", it's that it ignores it, precisely because it can't handle it - this is they key difference between OS X and Ubuntu in this instance; as Mike said, Ubuntu's failure to recognise the switch and it's usage is just masking the issue. You have a gummed up port, it happens, it's a hole that is open to the environment with about 5 switches inside it that are prone to being affected by dust and debris.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 22:29
  • About Ubuntu/Linux being able or not to handle both modes of audio output, I dunno, I just speculated that because I thought it were fair. But anyway, maybe there're ways for enabling it, who knows. This issue is common, looking around at the web, people just get annoyed by this. If it were easely solved by taking out dust once, ok, but it's not like that on a great amount of cases.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 22:39
  • I think your speculation can be confirmed, and the extra use can be added to Ubuntu with the correct hardware drivers, but in your case that would merely reintroduce the problem for you. I know it's fairly common, for many devices not just MBPs, hence the link to the same issue on an iPhone above. It is annoying, but for the majority of people I have helped with the issue, a 1 time clean generally solves the problem long term; I myself had the issue on my MBA, and only ever fixed it one time with no recurrences.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 9:43
  • However even after considering this with the millions of these devices out there (and hundreds of millions for some devices) even a tiny percentage will still result in a lot of people who, by the very nature of their products, are likely to hit up the internet looking for a fix. If this happens to 0.01% of Macbook owners, then that's potentially a whopping 400 from last quarter alone...
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 9:52
  • can you realize the nature of the word software here? if that's true, and ubuntu is working because it doesn't have any notion of the dual-mode of the output port, if it could get the dual-mode working by additional software, it doesn't necessarily means that it needs to be hardcoded, it could be optionally enabled, and that, would keep the issue away... that's what I ultimately meant by "why not OS X can do the same?" I restate, as in the article I refer, this is Apple fault, and has been for years. And the number of complains and articles around it doesn't seem to represent a minority...
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 21:36
  • Yes, I believe I am aware of software. However all this could this and could that is not relevant to the question as asked. You asked why it was removed, I explained.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 21:59
  • Even though you explain the deletion, you're right about the end result not differing much from the initial answer, and that's on purpose, that's what I meant as an option. Apple software doesn't provide an option for disabling detection of dual-mode, so, use a software were that's meaningless but works as expected. I provided a empirical, factual, answer, which was pretty helpful for me.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:24
  • It just got decorated with this and thats and got back online. There's no more improvement, it was an answer from beginning, and got removed because of such assumptions like: "it's incorrect, it's (solely) a hardware problem".
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:25
  • I would accept your answer (this one) right away if you said the deletion was because of such assumptions when you deleted the answer, and not stating them as definitely correct.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:30
  • 6
    I think we are clear that your solution works for you, I still think it's a poor solution for someone asking the question on an Apple Q&A site. Your answer is anything but empirical, is not a solution, but a workaround that few if anyone will actually find useful and the voting currently support that. Yes, it is an answer, as I state above I should have stated "not constructive" instead. You are welcome to continue to labour the point further. Having this answer accepted isn't important. I don't care about scoring in Meta, I'm responding because it's my responsibility to do so as a mod.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:34
  • If what I describe at the original quoted answer is anything but empirical, I think I must revise what is to be empiric.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:39
  • 2
    We should avoid extended discussions in chat, and there is nothing more I can add, so I will clear up that last point and then leave the room because I am not sure what is to be gained from further discussion. If suggesting to a Mac user with a problem to use Ubuntu is an empirical solution, then I can solve my flat tyre on my car by riding a bike. Technically accurate, practically useless. Getting hung up on wordplay and semantics helps no-one. Please accept that you had a timely, polite and extensive response from your question above, and a resolution to your request, and leave it be.
    – stuffe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 22:48

No. Nobody can explain this to you because you're already convinced that you've provided a quality answer and are unpersuaded by arguments to the contrary.

Open debate is good for the community and I'm glad you raised the issue but every respondent has pretty much told you the same thing. Mike, as is his nature, went (in my opinion) above and beyond to try to coax a quality (or at least inoffensive and somewhat useful) answer from you. You have, in my eyes and apparently to those of others, failed to meet the challenge. No champion for your side has emerged and it's time to let this one go. I know I speak for everyone responding in saying that I hope you stick around and that I look forward to up voting future answers you provide—if they merit the vote.

  • "I would accept your answer (this one) right away if you said the deletion was because of such assumptions when you deleted the answer, and not stating them as definitely correct." IMO, that's the right thing to do in META, that's was what needed to be explained, just that, put oneself in third person, expose why you deleted it, and not continue to reenforce wrong assumptions about the original answer.
    – oblitum
    Commented Sep 29, 2013 at 15:09

I've been there many times, in different StackExchange websites. Got many of my questions deleted. Got few of my answers heavily down-voted. It's very frustrating indeed. But I've never been on the other side: being a mod. So I can only assume...

To me, the moderators are doing a very heavy job, most of the time. All of the ones I've crossed by are highly skeptical and knowledgeable people. Almost always they know much more than I do on the site's subject. That's how they got so interested on the subject to dedicate so much time of their life writing and reading about it.

That being said, not all mods are the same, but most of them like to keep things clean. Thus, deleting. Simply put, it was deleted because he thought it was actually a bad answer for the site. He said it so in his own words.

I disagree with his position, but I understand where he comes from. Your answer is indeed and already proven, even today, not well accepted by the community. Almost nobody with a Mac OSX will want to install any other OS. It makes very little sense to do so.

If I were to be a mod I think I'd never delete anyone's post, unless it's plain spam. Ever. You see, I don't mind if things aren't perfectly clean. I love [kbd]CMD[/kbd]+F, gmail and google for the same reasons. That's what makes it even more frustrating when someone does it. It seems to be very inconsiderate.

But, truth is, stuffe wasn't ignoring you at all. I'd say probably no moderator delete any post without some consideration.

In the end, I think this is all just 2 very different worlds colliding and, if you want to "be accepted" in any of the SEN sites, you have to forego many of your pre-conceived concepts. First, about other people hurting you. Nobody here is trying to get that personal. Then, about feelings, emotions and even opinions. Not really welcomed here. As I see it, SEN is about consensus and focus.

I find it unfortunate in some cases, but well, nothing is perfect. Quora is a good counter example in which you can ask much broader questions and, thus, get much less specific answers.

In any case, wish you the best dude. I'm thankful your answer got undeleted already.

  • 2
    It's interesting that you try to imagine what it's like for a Mod, because it really does look very different once you have not only the power but the responsibility to delete stuff. The answer in question (as it were) is by far not the worst answer this question received. Even after reopening this one there are still 3 deleted answers there that you don't get to see. For every one of them someone had to weigh up all the options I considered and try to act appropriately. Trust me when I say that you would not appreciate the mess that would be here if we did not try to keep a clean house.
    – stuffe
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 14:19
  • @stuffe Wow, is that an average? 3 bad deleted answers per good question? Maybe allowing us to see them, with a hidden link such as the timeline or something, would help to appreciate your work even more!
    – cregox
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 16:25
  • You would not believe how many deleted answers some q's have (one from today has 21 and counting) but to our credit very few are ever contested. In the last 4 weeks the number of deleted/closed posts is closer to a 4 figure number than 0, and none are removed without due consideration, although as above sometimes we don't have the time to give each individual attention when providing close reasons (in fact we don't actually have to give any when taking direct action, but those done through a user flag will get marked with the flag if we agreed). It's not easy, and you can't satisfy everyone.
    – stuffe
    Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 17:59
  • @stuffe I think just renaming "closed" by "on hold" would help a great deal already. We would know we can and should take action before it gets "officially" closed, although it's already as closed as it happens today. Then, after a certain while, a day, a week, a month, I don't know, it changes the title from "on hold" to "closed". What you think?
    – cregox
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 2:03
  • It works exactly as you describe already, changed recently.
    – stuffe
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 6:18
  • @stuffe I'm glad I can't contribute with new good ideas because you're already quite ahead of me! :P
    – cregox
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 7:11

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