I've seen a troubling trend of bad answers remaining on the site far longer than they should. And by bad, I mean really bad. Stuff that not only isn't an answer, but also contains swear words, derogatory terms, slurs, homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. Basically, stuff that's offensive.

The "It is not welcome in our community" flag (A.K.A. offensive flag) works the same way as the spam flag, but for content that isn't spam. We should use it for the same reason we use the spam flag: to permanently remove unwanted content from the site. From my reading on meta.SO, 6 offensive flags will automatically remove a post.

Also, like with spam, do not edit offensive content out of an actual answer. The offensive content still remains in the revision history, and makes it harder to find. Just flag it and carry on.

So to be clear, at least for answers:

  1. If it's offensive (based on my incomplete list above)
    • Flag as offensive
  2. If it's spam (non-solicited advertisement)
    • Flag as spam
  3. If it's not an answer
    • Flag as NAA
  4. If you've completed this previous 3 steps and haven't left a flag, but you still think the post is flag worthy
    • Flag as either VLQ or use a custom flag.

Do these steps in order.

  • See also: Should we flag gibberish answers as spam? Apr 20, 2013 at 13:36
  • See also also: Please, please, please, don't edit out spam links Apr 20, 2013 at 13:37
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    Perhaps we're just not that easily offended. I don't typically reach for the "offensive" button just because someone posted that "xbox is shit" (as someone just did). I don't find it offensive, just inane. Are you saying I should still flag it as offensive rather than NAA, just to get it deleted quicker? This stuff usually comes from unregistered users anyway, so it's not like the -100 rep makes a difference.
    – hammar
    Apr 21, 2013 at 0:31
  • Shit is a borderline word, and so not a great example for these purposes. What prompted this, however is a post that used "faggot", a derogatory and potentially homophobic word that simply isn't welcome. We also want to make the site all ages safe as much as possible (although chat is occasionally excepted from this, and some games are rated M for a reason), so think of a list of words that you wouldn't want your (hypothetical) 5 year old niece to hear, and use that as your basis for offensive.
    – MBraedley
    Apr 21, 2013 at 1:02
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    @hammar The flag is for offens-ive, not offend-ed. Whether you're personally offended or not is irrelevant, apart from just making it harder to notice offensive posts. If it's using language that is offens-ive (i.e., they're trying to offend people), then flag it as offensive. (Of course, if it's an honest answer with some unnecessary offense, then editing is preferable. Those are rare but do happen.) Apr 21, 2013 at 16:31
  • @MBraedley - I would also add that certain countries treat different offensive words with different levels of offensiveness. I wouldn't say 'shit' in polite company. for example. (Oh, the irony of that sentence). Also, obligatory: xkcd.com/75
    – Robotnik Mod
    Apr 22, 2013 at 4:50
  • Personally I think pure giberish answers (asdf asdf asdf etc) should be included in spam/not welcome as well. People nit-pick that they're not "advertisement" but they're garbage should should be deleted immediately and they fit a more general description of spam
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 26, 2013 at 13:37
  • @hammar the offensive flags also help them get answer-banned faster because of the downvotes. And YES, getting this crap deleted immediately is a reason to flag it offensive for the reasons SevenSidedDie and I point out. It's garbage, deliberate, malicious garbage. Burn it.
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 26, 2013 at 13:39


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