This question is about this answer by gnasher729 on a recent question.

For <10k users:

I'm not sure what your intent is: Punish him for the same thing you did, or protect your company from someone who you think should not be hired, when you did the exact same thing. Either way, not something that will work in your favour if your company finds out.

You say he looked like the best qualified for the job, so presumably he knows that. So what will this young man do if he knows that his interview went well, he recognises the woman he had a one night stand with, and for some mysterious reason he is rejected? If it was me, I'd be pretty annoyed and think how I could do maximum damage to you.

Seriously, try for a second to put yourself in the opposite position. You are looking for a job. You travelled to another town, everything seemed to go nice, you found a woman with appropriately low morals that basically forced herself on you for sex, and then she is present at the interview, and it looks very much like she doesn't want her colleagues to find out that she likes one night stands, so she must have told some story that cost you your job.

This answer was deleted as offensive by community flags twice now. When it was first deleted, it was undeleted by a moderator. Now it has been deleted again.

Do we consider posts such as these actually offensive, and, if not, could we get some guidance as to where to draw the line?

This issue is exacerbated by the fact that only 3 flags are necessary to delete and auto-lock a post here, rather then the usual 6.

It is worth noting that getting an answer deleted like this carries a -100 reputation penalty for the poster, too.

  • 12
    It seems like the best action here would have been a minor edit to remove the offending parts of the last paragraph. Simply changing the wording to "you found a woman willing to have a one night stand" would have removed the offensive pieces while keeping the intent of the answer nearly untouched.
    – enderland
    Mar 1, 2017 at 14:20
  • Hopefully we can increase the 3 flag rule as the community grows...It doesn't make sense to have magic numbers like that
    – Prodnegel
    Mar 1, 2017 at 14:58
  • 4
    For the record if you can find enough 20k + users willing to vote you can get it undeleted... Good luck with that, I will not be voting to undelete unless the content is changed to make it constructive and useful. Mar 2, 2017 at 17:24
  • 1
    I agree with enderland, removing the whole post benefit less to the community than removing the offending part because the aswer is accurate, despise the offending part.
    – Walfrat
    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:30
  • Not up to Gnashers usual high standards, but doesn't seem all that bad. Minor edit only would have fixed it.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Mar 18, 2017 at 12:51

4 Answers 4


The deletion and undeletion was a mistake from me. I meant to add a mod note to the answer, and instead flagged it. My flagging it as a moderator auto deleted and locked it, which was not my intention as I wanted the community to make the decision to delete it rather than by moderator intervention.

After I accidentally flagged it (it had one existing flag when I did), I immediately reopened and unlocked it as I felt it was not my place to make that decision in this instance. Unfortunately it had the effect of clearing the existing flag.

The error was mine. You'd think after being a mod for 18 months that I could take my training wheels off, but apparently not yet :)

  • 8
    Everyone makes mistakes. Thats why most moderator actions are public and the community can review them. So I suppose the answer stays deleted as offensive, now?
    – Magisch
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:38
  • 4
    If it's now been deleted by the community, then yes, it stays deleted. That's what I'd intended all along but messed it up.
    – Jane S
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:40
  • I'm surprised that the first deletion is marked as deleted by Community and not by you. I would think a moderator hammer should be logged as such. Is this a bug, or was it marked as Community because there was already one user flag?
    – David K
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:42
  • @DavidK If a post is deleted by a mod flag (rather than a straight deletion), it always shows as being deleted by Community. The same thing happens if we flag spam posts.
    – Jane S
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:43
  • @DavidK Thats what happens when a post is destroyed by spam/abusive flags, regardless of where those flags come from. 3 community flags or 1 moderator flag will do that.
    – Magisch
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:45
  • So would we expect this scenario to ever play out if there weren't any wrong button clicks? (deleted->undeleted->deleted again) Or if an answer is deleted by the community, do mods just leave it gone?
    – David K
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:49
  • 3
    @DavidK I've never done or ever seen any of us unilaterally undelete an answer if it's been deleted by the community. If the community has decided to delete an answer, it stays that way.
    – Jane S
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:57
  • 1
    You might want to incorporate your above comment into the answer. The current answer only covers this specific example, but the question also asks for the general rule when this situation arises. Your above comment sort-of covers that aspect.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 3, 2017 at 6:28

I never voted or flagged this answer, but I find it offensive as well. I don't agree with the first two paragraphs, but those aren't the offensive part. The last paragraph is really what does it for me. The poster is essentially calling the OP "a woman with appropriately low morals that basically forced herself on you for sex". He tells the woman she has low morals, simply because she decided to have a one night stand. Then he accuses her of forcing herself on the man with absolutely no basis in reality. If this isn't slut shaming, I don't know what is. This is a clear violation of our Be Nice policy, doesn't actually answer the question, and has no place as an answer.

  • 3
    I undeleted it because my deletion was not what I'd intended to do. I had wanted to leave that to the community and royally messed it up :)
    – Jane S
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:39
  • @JaneS - Honestly, if you see something like that and feel it should be deleted, I would prefer you delete it, then wait and see if there is backlash if the community wants it back give it back to them. But I would rather mods trusted their instincts and prune the bad leaves before they have a chance to impede the growth of the good ones. Mar 2, 2017 at 17:26
  • 1
    @IDrinkandIKnowThings I did go with my instinct, which was to watch it closely, but let the community handle it rather than start a (yet another) unnecessary flame war about mods unilaterally controlling things. The issue was that I hit a wrong button. Had I not done that, the post would have been flag-deleted by the community anyway and we wouldn't be having this discussion :)
    – Jane S
    Mar 2, 2017 at 21:20
  • 3
    "He tells the woman she has low morals, simply because she decided to have a one night stand". I have trouble understanding why this is gathering so much controversy. One-night stands don't necessarily radiate of high morality, will anybody even try to argue otherwise? I understand this is inappropriate due to not being constructive but that is understandable from the nature of his post (Trying to represent the personal point of view of the victim) but I don't understand THIS much controversy. Mar 2, 2017 at 23:40
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    @SlavaKnyazev Maybe a one night stand does not line up with your morals, but I see nothing morally wrong with them. It is her choice what she does with her body, and it is completely inappropriate to tell someone they have "low morals" because you may feel otherwise. It would be akin to someone who keeps Kosher telling me I have low morals for eating bacon for breakfast.
    – David K
    Mar 3, 2017 at 0:05
  • 1
    @SlavaKnyazev : Yes, David K seems to rather assume the position that "slut shaming" is negative. This is a position I disagree with. The answer to your question (identified by your question mark) is that yes, David K (and many others) do. On the other hand, that stance is not universal: I consider keeping silent to be inappropriate; doing so seems to encourage such harmful sexual immorality. Regarding the Kosher example, I'd applaud the boldness & helpful intent of such a commenter (although would favor slight re-phrasing for that particular issue). Morality requires being vocal.
    – TOOGAM
    Mar 13, 2017 at 3:50
  • 3
    @TOOGAM So you want to insult other people based on your morality. Fine. This isn't the site for it. We generally don't insult people here.
    – Magisch
    Mar 13, 2017 at 8:17
  • Based on his morality? You're going for moral relativism, aren't you? Mar 13, 2017 at 21:37
  • Slava : What are you doing? Your "his" and "you" are unidentified pronouns (me about David, or Magisch about me). Your "moral relativism" phrase is also ambiguous (Wikipedia on M.R. identifies types of descriptive/meta-ethical/normative. Notice how me pointing out a contrary opinion led to @Magisch vilifying me as malicious. (My goal is not to insult, even if a feeling of insult is an unpleasant result of taking a stance of truth: calling a spade a spade.) But is your comment truly aimed at clarifying, or just opening a can of worms/debate?
    – TOOGAM
    Mar 14, 2017 at 6:16
  • 1
    @TOOGAM I'm not villifying you. I'm pointing out that if you want to spread your particular version of morality you still have to adhere to the be nice principle of this site, which includes not insulting people, including OP.
    – Magisch
    Mar 14, 2017 at 7:08

To me the post seems fine if the following is removed:

with appropriately low morals that basically forced herself on you for sex

That's the part that went over the line. The answerer is directly insulting the OP. The rest seems rather offensive but does not seem to directly insult the OP.

I feel like a delete is 100% justified for as long as it was un-edited. And it doesn't take much to edit this. So to me, both sides could have improved the situation. The community could have edited out the offensive parts, and the moderator could have done the same or could have left it deleted.

  • This isn't my answer and I'm not advocating for it to stay, by the way. I opened this because it was deleted as offensive, then undeleted by a mod, and then deleted as offensive again.
    – Magisch
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:39
  • @Magisch Sorry, I've gotten in the habit of using "you" as in towards the posts I've been refering to. I'm sorry if I made it seem like it was directed towards you. that was not my intention :)
    – Migz
    Mar 1, 2017 at 13:41
  • 1
    Yes it insults the OP, but considering the self-victimisation that went on in this question (hardly regarding the consequences for the interviewee) it seemed justified.
    – Weckar E.
    Mar 2, 2017 at 13:58
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    @WeckarE. Insults are never justified, ever. If I were to punch my own arm, would you also punch my arm? Just because someone victimizes or insults themselves, it does not mean that you can insult them and make them even more of a victim.
    – Migz
    Mar 2, 2017 at 14:47

It's difficult.

On the one hand, the point the answer (appears) to be trying to make is "This is how it could be interpreted from the other person's point of view". Which is a useful point to make.

My issue is that, as written, the language is not "It could be construed this way", but rather "This is how it looks to the other person.". It's a subtle distinction in framing, but it makes a huge difference to how the answer comes across.

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