I stumbled upon this comment attached to this question:

It's Benjamin Effing Parker, dammit!

I at first flagged it as "no longer needed" as it does not contribute to the question or discussion in any way. As a reminder, here's what the description of that flag is: (emphasis mine)

This comment is outdated, conversational or not relevant to this post.

This flag was declined...

Later, I flagged it as "unfriendly or unkind" because its use of strong language which may not appeal to many users (e.g. myself) who find it inappropriate.

This flag was also declined...

Can someone please explain to me what value is brought by this comment and why it has remained on this question?

  • I can see why the second flag was declined it isn’t really strong enough to warrant that. The first was probably cos it isn’t doing much harm and any damage it is causing would have already passed now. As far as I’m aware mods can even mark these flags as helpful or declined. Marking it as helpful will delete the comment so the mod probably didn’t think it needed deleting. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Jul 20 '19 at 21:47
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    @TheLethalCarrot - What purpose does this comment bring? It should be deleted if it doesn't help. It doesn't even have any replies! – user112267 Jul 20 '19 at 21:48
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    @Voldemort'sWrath - Which beggars the question, what harm does this comment bring, especially given that they've blanked the offending word? – Valorum Jul 20 '19 at 21:51
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    Whether something has replies or not shouldn’t really factor into it. In fact a lack of replies would probably mean it shouldn’t be normally. And we’re not as strict as other stacks on the network, some fun is allowed. However, I am just speculating here, as I’m not a mod I don’t have the power to delete it myself. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Jul 20 '19 at 21:51
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    @Valorum - Some people (including myself), as I have already mentioned, do not like the use of strong language such as that. If that is required on the question, please let me know and explain to me why... It's also harmful because that's what people look at instead of helpful answers and comments because it has 5 upvotes! – user112267 Jul 20 '19 at 21:52
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    @Voldemort'sWrath - I wouldn't describe "effing" as particularly strong language. – Valorum Jul 20 '19 at 21:59
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    @Valorum - Obviously you wouldn't and obviously I would. Furthermore, I don't appreciate the word "dammit" either. It all depends on what you believe and StackExchange should be a website open to all of these... – user112267 Jul 20 '19 at 22:00
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    @Voldemort'sWrath - We've always been more tolerant of 'jokey' comments than other SE sites. I see that as a huge strength (especially given the site's general subject matter) rather than a shortcoming. – Valorum Jul 20 '19 at 22:04
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    I hate to disagree with my wrath but I concur with Valorum that if we purged the site of every joke comment then we'd be the poorer for it. – The Dark Lord Jul 20 '19 at 22:22
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    @TheDarkLord I’m not saying to get rid of jokes, just keep it clean! Not everybody appreciates humor like that. – user112267 Jul 20 '19 at 23:23
  • @Voldemort'sWrath - Your earlier contention that "I at first flagged it as "no longer needed" as it does not contribute to the question or discussion in any way" would suggest that you objected to its jokey nature, not the content – Valorum Jul 21 '19 at 18:37
  • For the record, I was the mod who declined these flags. I didn't want to say anything here right away, because that might have biased the discussion - if the community had disagreed, I would've happily owned my mistake and deleted the comment. But it seems the community generally supports my thoughts on this. (Although it's a lot of fuss to have over a single comment.) – Rand al'Thor Mod Jul 26 '19 at 14:54
  • It's a curse in disguise, therefore cannot be proven guilty – Meraj al Maksud Jul 29 '19 at 8:54

For my money, you're conflating two entirely separate issues;

  • Whether we should continue to be broadly tolerant of 'jokey' or humourous comments on posts in general

  • Whether the use of 'effing' crosses over the boundary of inappropriate content in specific

Funny Comments: Over time we've developed a culture that encourages, or at least doesn't discourage, the posting of funny comments and responses, especially on questions that aren't especially hard to answer. As well as actually being funny on occasion, these also seem to serve as a cathartic outlet for frustration (preventing people from posting more unfriendly or acerbic comments like "did you even bother to google it?"). Mostly they get washed away by moderators when they run overlong, but in general they're accepted by the community and I think we're stronger for having them.

Saucy Language: This is a site for over 13's and while I think we can all accept that using high grade swearwords (like f*ck) should be discouraged unless they're used in context or quotes, that doesn't mean that we should have a puritanical attitude. Bowdlerised text like 'effing' (or 'SOB' or 'flipping' or 'sugar') are, to my mind, sufficiently low-level that we should show some tolerance when they're used. That doesn't mean that you can't flag them if you personally find them to be grossly offensive, but don't expect a moderator or other community members to agree with you.


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