I posted a question not well received by the community. I know that downvotes are not rude, I received comments recommendations and edited the question to improve it and don´t intend to argue to reopen it, as the question is troubled.

But, with that out of the way, I flagged this answer: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/171195/63534

I did that because I firmly believe it doesn't follow the "be nice rule", as it starts with a "sigh", and, in my opinion, shows a lot of contempt.

Why was the rude flag declined? Am I biased and too sensitive?

  • I guess another criticism against the aforementioned comment was "Rand ... oh Rand. He's such a mess."
    – Mikasa
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 15:08
  • 1
    Can you please tell which flag reason you selected?
    – b_jonas
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 15:25
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    @MikasaPinata I saw your comment and was about to say "hey, I had nothing to do with this flag!" ... then clicked through to the answer.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


I declined this "rude or abusive" flag.

The relevant guidance on main meta for when to use the rude/abusive flag is:

If an otherwise valid post contains vulgar words as an expression of frustration, edit the bad part out instead of flagging the entire post as rude or abusive. If this results in an edit war or you expect this to happen, flag for moderator attention instead.

The post has a positive score at this time so it certainly seems to me to be an "otherwise valid" post (I am not familiar with the topic so I can only judge by the voting). It also doesn't contain "vulgar words as an expression of frustation" (just a "sigh", which may not even be directed at you). Personally, I don't think it's contemptuous but others may disagree.

The best course of action seems to be to edit out the parts that you think are insulting (if the answerer reverts such an edit feel free to flag for a moderator's attention). If I had marked that flag helpful the post would have been deleted and the answerer would have been penalized 100 reputation. I think that answer has valuable information which should not be deleted, and I don't think the answerer deserves a 100 reputation penalty over a "sigh".

  • I didn´t know about the reputation penalty. I remember a flag I had for a norse mythology answer and dont recall a penalty
    – Ram
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 16:26
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    @Ram That post was flagged as "other", not rude/abusive. It didn't comply with our policy (which exists to avoid causing offense) so it had to be deleted. However, it was an honest attempt to answer the question and did not intend to cause offense (as far as I can tell) so if it was flagged as rude/abusive I would have declined the flag (so you wouldn't receive the rep penalty) and deleted it separately.
    – Null Mod
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 16:36

I am the guy who posted the answer in question. As to that business with "sigh"... I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I quite liked the question in fact, but was reminiscing on how very, very often that question was bandied about on Usenet groups back in the day.

So... I do apologize for being rude.

For what it is worth, I did not mean to, but acknowledge the offense.

  • Seems I was being too sensitive and misinterpreted the tone of the message. Sorry.
    – Ram
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 22:45
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    @Ram don't even worry about it. Misunderstandings over electronic communication are rife. Looking back I absolutely could have expressed my thoughts better. Let goodwill reign!
    – akaioi
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 0:39

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