I've seen this a number of times, so thought I'd ask if there was a consensus on it.

I see your regular interpersonal questions, and in the comments somebody injects a heavily political comment. Imagine a "How do I not argue with my boyfriend" kind of question, and in one of the comments someone soothes "Don't worry honey, we're all human beings here (except [specific politician] supporters)".

This is annoying because it's out of place, and because one can't jump in and challenge the assertion without further derailing OP's actual problem. It's ... unseemly.

Doesn't even matter if [specific politician] or whatever is one that I like. It seems like an abuse to bring the politics in knowing that others will be reluctant to respond, and it's also kind of a heavy statement to leave unchallenged.

What does the community do in such situations?

  • 2
    It's really best if you could link to at least two comments made by two different users. Frankly, I've not seen any like the ones you have described but it is very plausible considering the tense political times we live in. BTW This is not about naming and shaming users since their comments are visible to anyone who visits that page. Or take a screenshot of the comments and delete the users' names before uploading the image(s)
    – user3114
    Sep 30, 2017 at 18:51
  • @Mari-LouA thank you. I will take a look and see if I can dig up some examples, time permitting.
    – akaioi
    Sep 30, 2017 at 19:08

2 Answers 2

  • Don't react. Comments are to ask for clarification or add more information
  • Flag the comment as 'in need for moderator attention' and add a custom message. If the comment is politically loaded and might spark a discussion, a good message could read: "Comment doesn't add any value to the question, instead, it is likely to spawn a discussion comment thread."
  • Thank you, I did not know there was that little flag icon there!
    – akaioi
    Sep 30, 2017 at 18:53

The best approach is to flag the problematic comments and move on. Any other involvement will further the pointless debate in the comments.

Simply choose "no longer needed" in most one-off situations. The flag reason explains: "no longer needed; this comment is obsolete, chatty, or otherwise unnecessary."

If enough users flag the comment, it will be removed by the system without having to involve the moderators.

If you see a rude or abusive comment, then flag it as such.

If a thread of nonsensical comments are observed under a post, flag the post itself with a custom message briefly explaining the situation so that a moderator can investigate the comments and follow some corrective action such as purging the entire comment thread and, if needed, privately warning the abusive commenters.


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