I have a question about my The Workplace Stack Exchange post: Update: Subversive behavior of colleague

On posting, this heavy user shows up and says:

Nothing but a senseless rant


  1. Did not contribute, does not tell me how to fix the content

  2. Seems to insult me

I responded in kind with:

Nothing but a useless comment

This comment kept getting removed (I suspect because it embarrassed the user in question)

Not only that, someone actually came on there and told me my comment keeps getting removed because it was 'rude' and 'did not contribute'.

Oh and your friend's comment up there is praising me to seven heavens and totally adding onto the content, isn't it?

Tell me, is everyone here brainwashed to act like this and bully new users? Shouldn't that comment have gotten removed first since it is blatantly breaking all the rules which the second user came in an highlighted?


I'll include what the other person said, because people have a habit of removing stuff:

@PontBlanc I suppose it was removed as it was rude and had nothing to do with your question. Comments are not for that, nor insulting other users. Remember to Be Nice :) – GrayCygnus

Are you seeing this? This guy even gave me a link in the 'Be Nice' section, yeah your friend up there really needs to see that link though

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  • I can't find your original question either, which suggests it might have been deleted. – Erik Oct 16 '17 at 8:12
  • "Nothing but a useless rant" (brisk, not rude) actually tells you what's wrong. The reply "Nothing but a useless comment" is not rude either but it doesn't help; going down that path would quickly devolve into back-and-forth retorts that don't lead anywhere. I'm not in favor of removing comments (the voting system is sufficient to hide irrelevant ones) but Workplace is famous for arbitrarily deleting them. – Brandin Oct 16 '17 at 8:22
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    Related: What “comments” are not . . . – Brandin Oct 16 '17 at 8:34
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    I agree that the question was 99% rant. The only real "question" part was "So there you have it, I still have to see this guy everyday, but ever since then he's been hovering around me, what does that mean? Is he going to try something else again?" - nothing there can really be answered. That said I think a comment like "Nothing but a useless rant" should have been purged along with the "Nothing but a useless comment" part. Downvote and Close the question, then get rid of all the comments, IMHO. – Joe Strazzere Oct 16 '17 at 11:42
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    @PontBlanc Have you tried flagging that comment? – Masked Man Oct 16 '17 at 11:45
  • @PontBlanc so .. did you read the link I provided? :) I was only trying to help and make you a more knowledgeable user of this site, so you can get quality answers and help. – DarkCygnus Oct 16 '17 at 17:29
  • I have noticed a penchant for deleting some comments, but not others dependent it seems on who made them rather than purely on content. But always put it down to cultural differences. In this case I reckon both comments should have been deleted, starting with the rant one. – Kilisi Oct 20 '17 at 8:58

Ok, I'm going to disagree with a theme that's running through most of the answers and comments here.

Nothing but a useless rant

I would have deleted that if I'd seen a flag on it (or come across it in my normal browsing of the site, which I didn't).

Now your post was problematic, in that there wasn't really a question in there or if there was it's hard to see under the emotions in your post. Putting it on hold was proper; I would have done the same. But you didn't come here to ask why your question was on hold; you came here to ask about comments.

You both received and posted comments that were over the line. Lots of posts have problems, and pointing out those problems constructively so that people can fix them is appropriate. You should expect to get comments that say things like "I can't tell what you're asking" or "please clarify X" or "please trim this down to the core question and cut out the long backstory" or "what happened when you asked your manager?" and so on. Some people might find some of those comments uncomfortable and read in criticism where it's not present. We don't have to sugar-coat feedback, but we do have to remain constructive and professional.

"Useless rant" is not constructive and professional. Neither is responding in kind. If someone is being rude, flag it -- and disengage. You responded in kind, and then people responded to that, and you responded to that -- that sort of thing never ends well.

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    Thank you. I agree with this 100%. I would have written an answer like this myself, but didn't have the energy to fight off the comment-storm that would follow. – David K Oct 16 '17 at 18:10
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    "I would have deleted that" To be clear, I'd have done the same. It's unnecessarily harsh and dismissive which often makes these comments counter-productive as it leads to people becoming defensive. But I do disagree with the OP that this constitutes an outright insult, which seems to have been the cornerstone for his follow-up responses and his post here. – Lilienthal Oct 16 '17 at 21:09
  • I would upvote, if new users were allowed to do so. But you have a manual upvote anyways – PontBlanc Oct 16 '17 at 23:15

What did you expect?

You obviously know how Stack Exchange works, so you should know that posting this kind of material here just isn't appropriate. It's not a question, there's no goals to be addressed here. We have so many readers here that no one will recognize your previous question.

If you had an outcome to a previous question, there's nothing to stop you editing your existing question with an update, or answering your own question.

But posting this as a new question, when there's no question at all is just against how Stack works, and hence the down-vote/close/comments you received.

If you believe that comments are insulting to you or against the "Be nice" policy, then please flag them as such and impartial moderators will take the appropriate action.

Having a large reputation score does not result in preferential treatment here, despite the impression that it does; everyone is governed and constrained by the same code of conduct for the site as a whole.

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    @PontBlanc Paparazzi's comment was a bit curt and would have benefited from being a bit more verbose but it doesn't come off as bullying or a violation of "Be Nice", it was an explanation as to why your post wasn't being well received - It was a rant not a question. You could rework it into something which is a suitable format for this site, your edit to the post shows you can probably do that and make something useful out of it or you can carry on having a snit in the comments and here on meta. – motosubatsu Oct 16 '17 at 8:24

Did not contribute, does not tell me how to fix the content

Yes it did. It explained why you were getting downvotes and closevotes. Perhaps he could have been clearer but posts like yours rarely lead to anything productive and often result in arguments from the OP.

Seems to insult me

Not really. It's a bit harsh perhaps, but this site is intended for a mature audience that can take criticism. Your post had legitimate issues which made the entire thing nonsensical and you were indeed essentially just using this platform to rant. Those are simple facts and if you find that offensive perhaps you should have decided to improve your post instead of slinging insults.

Tell me, is everyone here brainwashed to act like this and bully new users? Shouldn't that comment have gotten removed first?

If the comment had been over the line, the only way moderators will see it usually is if someone flags it, like people did, repeatedly, to your comments. We don't always open the post to check out the conversation and we certainly wouldn't for clear-cut noise like the comments you've posted.

Not only that, someone actually came on there and told me my comment keeps getting removed because it was 'rude' and 'did not contribute'.

That would be because you actually asked why your comment(s) kept getting removed. So someone told you. It's up to you how you handle that information.

oh my god are you seeing this, this guy even gave me a link in the 'Be Nice' section, yeah your friend up there really needs to see that link tho

Have you actually checked it? The comments you're leaving here and the kind of stuff you've been putting in this meta post are pretty clearly in violation of that policy. So far the only one who's been rude or abusive here has been you.

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  • You do realise that "he started it" doesn't really ever work? And especially not when everyone but you disagrees that the other person actually started anything at all? And I'm not sure why you think mods were involved here: all the comments and some of the deletions on your original post came from community users, not moderators. I highly suggest that you take a break to calm down because wild claims about hive minds and bullies are far from productive. – Lilienthal Oct 16 '17 at 7:11
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    If everybody except you sees the same thing, there are only two possibilities: everyone on this site is wrong, or you are wrong. Given that this is a user-governed network, technically it doesn't even matter which of the two it is, because the end result will be the same either way. – Erik Oct 16 '17 at 8:15
  • On Workplace comments are pretty much temporary or volatile. They could disappear at any moment. The ideas is to put your actual text into your question and/or answers; when people start vandalising your QA's then you might start to talk about bullying, but that is not happening here. – Brandin Oct 16 '17 at 8:32
  • "Not only that, someone actually came on there and told me my comment keeps getting removed because it was 'rude' and 'did not contribute'" - that must have been me @PontBlanc I took the time to explain to you why your comment was being removed, as you seemed confused about it, so you could improve your experience in this site. I also said so hoping that you will get the message, and refrain from trying to repost an unnecessary comment. In the future, I suggest you take a break or a walk before posting questions here, so you can vent out your frustration and post constructive questions. – DarkCygnus Oct 16 '17 at 17:27

The workplace is a full-contact site.

Here's how to better navigate it.

  • ASSUME GOOD INTENTIONS. We have an interesting mix of people who's communication skills leave them coming across as blunt, overly harsh, and even borderline rude. This is due the fact that many in here are not native English speakers, or have autism or some ohther disability that impacts their communications. So if you assume that the person means well, it will make it easier on you

  • Don't get into battles in the comments. It makes people take you less seriously. If you think a comment is rude or abusive, flag it and let the mods handle it.

  • Don't whine. If you do need to escalate, put things as "XYZ" was rude due to ABC, please remove

  • Don't comment that something is a useless comment, flag it and move on.

  • Nobody is brainwashed and nobody is bullying new users, and it is very rude and insulting to say as much. If anything new users are given a good deal of leeway, as demonstrated by the fact that we are actually addressing your concerns as opposed to dismissing them.

  • Leave the moderating to the community and to the moderators, things are done very well here.

That said, obvious rants will get tagged as such, fighting with other users is frowned upon, and getting into a bickerfest in comments will only get mods and other users to think "Well, this one isn't innocent either." Flag rude or unhelpful comments, step back, and leave it be.

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