So, today we had a flow of rude comments and behavior by a specific user on meta, I flagged a total of seven comments and there might even have been more that I didn't get.

Three of these flags just showed up in my status as declined, and are still up and visible here on the actual post, and here in the comment bot chat transcript. The first one is basically making fun of someone for seriously answering a post, the second is insulting our community for speaking in terms of 'we' and the third is even cursing (Geez is used as an alternative curse word for Jesus Christ).

Even if you disagree on the cursing, all of these comments don't match the Be Nice policy: Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you.

The other four flags are still pending, and I'd like to know what is not rude about this behavior, and if I should retract these flags.

  • 4
    Wow. I didn't realise just how many pointless angry comments this guy had actually left. All this just because he couldn't answer his closed question and he didn't think to just ask nicely for it to be re-opened.
    – F1Krazy
    Feb 20, 2018 at 14:56
  • 7
    "the third is even cursing" Really? Can you show me where? You don't quote the comments but I don't see how the third one is cursing. Please help me understand.
    – Catija
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:45
  • 2
    For what it's worth, the comments on that post were tangentially aimed at me, and I wasn't particularly offended. I didn't think the user's attitude was fantastic - they certainly came across as snarky and sarcastic - but it didn't seem outright rude to me.
    – HDE 226868
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:47
  • @Catija, as far as my knowledge of English goes, Gheez is similar to shouting Jesus Christ, which is cursing?
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:49
  • And @HDE226868, could you please enlighten me how these comments would match with our be nice policy? Quote: Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. for me, this wasn't?
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:50
  • 12
    No. Five-year-olds say "gheeze". It's really not a curse word any more than "darn" or "Gee whillikers" is.
    – Catija
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:51
  • If I'm correct, darn is also used as an alternative for God damn. I've never heard of gee whillikers, although if pronounced right it sounds like just another alternative for Jesus Christ...
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:53
  • But even if it's not cursing, the entire tone isn't indicating respect toward someone else, especially when viewed in combination with the other two comments.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:54
  • 4
    darn as an utterance is only related to goddamn insofar as people use them in the same way. The latter is only offensive to the extent that it's religious profanity, mild at that, and the former isn't rude or profane at all.
    – Nij
    Feb 21, 2018 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


IMO, it's all rude.


  • It speaks to the person and not the point, it's rude.
  • It doesn't address the issue at hand, but distracts, it's rude.
  • It is argumentative, it is rude.
  • It is another answer under an answer, because it undermines the answer, and cannot be down-voted. This is VERY rude to the person who took the time to compose an answer.
  • It is irrelevant, it may not be rude, but should be deleted.

If some sort of cut and dry standard isn't applied, people IMO, are just going to stop flagging.

What we as a community can do is alert each other and throw multiple flags on something. I think if three rude flags are thrown, the comment is deleted regardless of moderator action.

This shouldn't be undertaken lightly, but it is an option if several people feel a comment is rude.

per comment below.

Being argumentative is engaging in a back-and-forth or posting criticism without remedy.

Examples of being argumentative are:

  • "No, it's not"
  • "That won't work in all cases"
  • "What about 'X', huh?"

or, when someone clarifies, and then there's another follow-up dispute on the same point.

Unconstructive criticism:

If you post: "I think you should also consider 'ABC' because" is constructive. "This is horrible advice", is not. "I disagree", is not. If you disagree, you should post your own answer instead of arguing on someone else's, especially since comments can not be down-voted.

  • Can you clarify where you think the line is between expressing disagreement and being argumentative is?
    – sphennings
    Feb 20, 2018 at 18:11
  • @sphennings done
    – user4548
    Feb 20, 2018 at 18:27
  • 1
    Downvoter: reason?
    – user4548
    Feb 20, 2018 at 18:52

I didn't think he was being rude, and it seemed like a sincere attempt on his part in understanding what IPS SE offers.

I read both questions (and its comments) of his on Meta last night, and I would objectively say that some of you censored him and chased him away, probably, at a time that was critical for him to learn what IPS SE was all about. It was an opportunity to show him the ropes, but instead you guys imposed heavy moderation against him - or at least it felt that way. In particular, a moderator from another SE site, Rory, seemed to continue to just agitate him, telling him that he's "ranting" -- but the thing is, he did the right thing by taking the conversation to Meta, and yet you guys still chose to silence him, rather than walking it through with him. His initial reactions are certainly going to be one of surprise, and you guys didn't handle that well. You have to be ready for surprised reactions from new users and put yourselves in their shoes. They could be coming in here seeking people with a set of minimum requirements; he mentions "mental health professionals", specifically. It takes some time to explain to him that that's not what this site offers. Expect more new users to come to IPS SE feeling this way.

(I can't see the deleted question, since I don't have enough rep, so I can't recall exactly who the users were that were responding to the OP.)

(I get that censoring is somewhat fundamental to Stack Exchange sites, and perhaps that's what makes SE sites better than other Q&A sites. But, again, he came to Meta, which was the correct first step to take. He should have been treated better and with more patience.)

  • 3
    You're not answering the question asked, which is 'what was not rude about these comments'... I'm not asking how to prevent them, I'm asking what wasn't rude about them
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:18
  • 2
    Also, you might wanna get your timelines straight, because right now you're twisting events around just to match your answer, instead of sticking to the facts
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:19
  • 5
    It takes some time to explain to him that that's not what this site offers. Which is what I answered on his question, which was met with more unconstructive ranting. The user very much gave me the impression that they didn't want to understand what we were trying to say.
    – JAD
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:30
  • 2
    Can you explain what actions in this situation were "heavy moderation"? In particular HDE's answer linked in the question here seemed very reasonable and even-toned to me. (An ordinary user's comments are not moderation.)
    – Em C
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:31
  • 1
    @EmC He is probably referring to this meta question
    – JAD
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:33
  • @JAD thanks for linking to that question. Yeah, while I can't truly speak for him, I felt that those comments were still a part of his first reactions - mostly surprise. It takes time, and it's a learning process. He certainly won't be the last person to come to IPS SE and then feel this way, initially, so people should be more ready to respond to this type of reaction; and remember, he came to Meta, which was the right thing to do, so I don't question his intentions all that much and would give him the benefit of the doubt ... Feb 20, 2018 at 15:36
  • 9
    As one of the users involved there, it looked to me like everyone tried to explain how things work for a good long while before voting to close or taking any moderation action
    – apaul
    Feb 20, 2018 at 15:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .