In light of What about the new user experience here is turning people away? I thought the issue of rude comments should be brought up.

  • Are rude comments okay?

  • How should one react to rude comments?

  • Is there anything I can do to get rid of rude comments?

  • 6
    WHAT ARE YOU STUPID?? (just kidding man, all in good fun).
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 19:38
  • 6
    @bobobobo this is a very scary thing to get in your inbox while moderating two sites :P
    – Zelda
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


Are rude comments okay?

No, rude comments violate the Etiquette section of our FAQ.

Be nice. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you. We’re all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor.

That's not to say teasing or cracking jokes etc. are banned. But don't be clearly rude to anyone, and air on the side of not offending when you are unsure how others would interpret your comment.

How should one react to rude comments?

Don't engage. Don't upvote the rude comment. Remember even if a rude comment is funny to you it may be irritating to others. Telling off the rude user will only make matters worse. If the rude comment also says something useful (e.g. "Hey stupid butt, your question is off topic") consider adding a polite comment that contains constructive information instead and flag the rude comment for removal.

Is there anything I can do to get rid of rude comments?

Just flag them; there's a little flag icon to the left of a comment. Click it and select "rude or offensive" in the menu that pops up.

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The comment will be flagged for moderator attention, a moderator can remove the comment if they agree the post is rude/offensive. However if 3 or more users total flag the same comment as rude, it will automatically be deleted. If the comment is very high scoring it might take a couple extra flags to automatically delete, but it only takes 3 flags to delete most comments.

Note that nothing bad can happen to you or even the poster of the rude comment when you flag. These flags are anonymous. By flagging a single comment you're not getting anyone into trouble, you're just helping keep the site a clean, civil place.

If you feel someone is being persistently and problematically rude, flag one of their posts/comments (or one of your own posts) with an "other" flag and explain the situation; a moderator can privately contact the user about persistent rudeness if they feel it is necessary.

  • 30
    "Don't upvote the rude comment." I feel this is really important. When we do that, we're pretty much giving tacit approval to whatever has been posted and sending the message that the community approves of this type of behavior.
    – FAE
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 1:13
  • @FAE that's why I included it; I think a couple stray rude comments don't look nearly as bad as one rude comment with a big +8.
    – Zelda
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 1:21
  • 6
    @Fae It makes me wish you could un-upvote a comment. I know that I've hit "upvote" when I was trying to hit the flag on other sites. Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 1:34
  • I suppose it might be overkill, but it also makes me wonder sometimes why you can't downvote comments. I've seen a few I'd like to give the old "thumbs down".
    – EBongo
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 1:39
  • 7
    @EbonDreamer you can reverse your own upvotes (which enables flagging on the comment again)
    – Zelda
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 3:22
  • @BenBrocka hwhah? Since when? O.o (Also, good to know!) Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 3:24
  • @EbonDreamer Since mid-april
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 14:18
  • I can't recall exactly if it's happened on this site, but I've had dozens of flags rejected elsewhere because the comments weren't "offensive enough". I think this is the wrong attitude to take. Comments with useful info can be edited to remove any trace of rudeness, and no one should expect any other type of comment to stick around; comments are volatile by nature and it shouldn't hurt to remove some more. Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 7:20
  • 3
    @MatthewRead, I tend to delete most comments that get flagged, personally. I hope that the community support for this practice means all of us feel more empowered to do so. It's tough to look at an upvoted comment that appears hostile and think "the community kind of approves of this?"
    – agent86
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 16:58
  • "consider adding a polite comment that contains constructive information" - this immediately made me think of copying everything but the rudeness and reposting it, being rude to the offender. Which is controversial, but at least preserves the original information, and begs the question about simply editing the rude bits out without going to the trouble of reposting and stealing votes. It's a misuse of the edit feature though, isn't it?
    – Fadeway
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 18:55
  • @Fadeway if a comment was rude, it's extremely unlikely a copy/paste world work anyway. I rarely see "Hey, you're a stupid butt and also please consider adding more detail to your question so we can effectively answer it, thanks." Besides, it's a comment, there's not much to worry about. And only mods can edit comments.
    – Zelda
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 20:38
  • Ah, oops. I was mixing up comments with answers.
    – Fadeway
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 20:48

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