First and foremost I enjoy this site. I like helping others where I can, and I know I can have strong opinions, but with no malice towards anyone and in the spirit of helping others.

Having said that, I have had a few sarcastic and rude comments come my way, which I Flag as such. Today I had a comment go my way where the commenting person specifically mentioned me by name for no good reason. I flagged it, and the comment is still there....

So, my question is what does it take to get a comment removed? Are there guidelines I have missed? I am specifically interested in content\context, not how long it may take a moderator to catch.

  • What is the status of your flag? If it is still pending, then a moderator just hasn't gotten around to it yet. If they have declined to act on your flag, they will usually leave an explanation. – David K Mar 1 '17 at 17:31
  • @DavidK How can I see if my flag status? – Neo Mar 1 '17 at 17:32
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    Go to your user profile, on the far right is "# helpful flags". Click on that and it will show you all of your pending, helpful, declined, and disputed flags. – David K Mar 1 '17 at 17:37
  • Good to know, it is still pending. My question still stands though. :-) – Neo Mar 1 '17 at 17:38
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    Moderators don't patrol the site 24/7 watching for the little icon to pop up and squash the flag at first notice... we are people ;-) – enderland Mar 1 '17 at 17:49
  • @enderland My question is more about the type of or content versus how long it takes for one of the elders to get to it. I will update the question. – Neo Mar 1 '17 at 17:50
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    They must have some automated stuff going on as I have seen Spam or Rude go away immediately when I click. I imagine a moderator can back that out. On spam they probably can also evaluate the content. – paparazzo Mar 6 '17 at 16:00
  • Possibly related to your 20K+ rep... – Cullub Mar 13 '17 at 18:00

We do try to handle flags promptly, but sometimes either we're busy or there are a lot of flags.

If your flag is fairly recent, a moderator might not have seen it yet.

Sometimes a moderator has seen it, but it's one of 17 flags on 35 comments on that one post, so there's a much bigger situation that requires more time to disentangle. We don't intend to let rudeness stand, but sometimes flags are mistakes, sometimes the flagger is actually trying to do damage to another user, and sometimes there's more context that makes something look less (or more) rude. (All that said, I think we'll all nuke a clear, direct personal attack on sight; we just might not see it right away in the sea of other flags.)

Sometimes we aren't sure what to do with a situation and consult each other, which takes time.

If your flags are declined and you want to know why, or if it takes more than a day for them to be handled, then feel free to escalate via any of: chat in ping if somebody's in the Water Cooler, flag on the post to explain the situation in more detail (which also allows us to reply to the flag), raise on meta.

Thanks for helping to keep the site clean. Sorry for the delays.

  • what does "disputed" mean with a flag? I saw that about four or five times in my history – Old_Lamplighter Mar 1 '17 at 19:00
  • Delays are no big deal too me. I was more interested in the criteria piece, which you addressed too. – Neo Mar 1 '17 at 19:11
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  • @PhilipKendall thanks! That was very useful. I'll be much more careful with my flagging. – Old_Lamplighter Mar 1 '17 at 19:57
  • The moderators here do a splendid job, much of it behind the scenes. We should all remember that we only see a tiny fraction of what you all do. – Old_Lamplighter Mar 1 '17 at 20:10
  • No doubt, they do a ton. – Neo Mar 1 '17 at 21:50
  • Please do not take this as a personal attack because it is not meant as one. This does not say what is considered rude. I would really love to see a Canonical answer that we can point people to who are consistently or repeatedly rude perhaps unintentionally, or just want to understand and avoid behaviors that are considered rude. I think this would help reduce the number or rude flags you need to decline and probably deal with. And probably improve the quality of the workplace in general as I know I would actively avoid doing anything on the list. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 2 '17 at 18:28
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings don't we have other meta posts about this? No time to look right now, but there's the "what's rude" post that was linked previously, and the "keeping the site professional" one that I think is tagged faq, and I think some others. – Monica Cellio Mar 2 '17 at 18:56
  • Yeah that post is evidently confusing now and while it was all moderators at the time pretty much none of the contributors are mods now. And things that used to be considered rude are now being rejected. So what would be incredibly helpful would be a canonical post from the current mods on what is rude now. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 3 '17 at 16:06

In addition to everything Monica Cellio♦ in this answer (and considering to the amount of flags they receive), keep in mind that a comment must be pretty obviously and objectively rude to be removed.

Stack Exchange moderation (AFAIK) tends towards a light handed moderation style and things that offend individual sensibilities or opinions usually won't be enough to require removal.

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