I recently answered a question, to which this comment was made:

This is a horrible answer. Company cars are simply a part of your benefits and in OP's situation is it perfectly normal and expected to push back considering people at an equal level are getting drastically different levels of compensation

I think the first sentence is insulting and rude. And when you consider who made the comment its even more so. If we are trying to build a more of a "nice" community, I think the leaders should help set the example.

UPDATE: This comment has since been deleted. It is still an appropriate reminder that we are all on occasion in need of reminding of the be nice policy, myself included.

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    Hmm. Usually saying that the answer is horrible is not considered a personal attack. It's a comment on the answer rather than the answerer. – Joe Strazzere Apr 30 '18 at 0:05
  • @JoeStrazzere Good to see you active sir! – Neo Apr 30 '18 at 11:28
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    @MisterPositive - thanks! Not really very active these days, just a few minutes here and there for now. – Joe Strazzere Apr 30 '18 at 12:29

Is this comment adhereing to the be nice policy?

It did not no. It was across the line and not at all in line with our Be Nice policy or the standards that I should set as a moderator. While I may have disagreed with your answer, this kind of flat criticism isn't called for. It doesn't give you actionable feedback and isn't far removed from a personal attack.

I knew after posting that comment that I was being overly harsh and should correct it but ended up being interrupted and then forget to go back to remove it. But that's not much of an excuse as it should never have been posted to begin with. I do want to stress that this was never intended as a personal attack on you, though I can see why it came across that way. You were certainly not alone as the comment ended up being removed automatically due to comment flags before someone else on the moderator team saw it (who would have rightly removed it).

So to summarise: mea culpa. I dropped the ball here.


I always flag any comment that says to an answer that it is wrong, horrible, awful, etcetera. The appropriate thing to do is flag. If chat is active, let people in there know as well.

Comments are not meant for debate and are certainly not meant for disputing an answer.


I think you've earned this wording because you're an active high-rep user, you've a bit of a reputation as a cage-shaker and the person leaving the comment assumes that you have a thick enough skin for this not to bother you.

However, it's a public community and new users use high rep users (and moderators) as a model by which to behave. If things like this are ok for high-rep users to say, then it's ok for everyone else to follow suit.

But it's not (in my view). In my long experience of using online communities, the watch word for "be nice" is:

Attack the idea, not the person

When attacking the person, you make things personal. While this may be okay between people who know each other, I don't think it's right for this to be acceptable across the board.

Disclosure: Yes, I'm a friend of Mister Positive, but I'm addressing the wider picture here and not defending a friend. I don't feel comfortable allowing borderline personal comments like this.

  • Attack the idea, not the person -- This is the crux of it – Neo Apr 28 '18 at 17:49

You can push snarky some times yourself.

I think I have been pretty clean here but I have faced time outs (some deserved and some not) on some other sites.

I think the person that posted that just reacted and later removed it.

It was more a reaction to the question than an attach on you.

It did violate the be nice policy but it got taken down. I say no harm.

  • At the end of the day, this answer is also true. – Neo Apr 30 '18 at 11:23

Snow mentioned

Attack the idea, not the person

I very much agree with that. This is not a personal attack.

That said, I think insulting is never nice, it doesn't matter what is being insulted. I think calling something "horrible" is an insult and as such not nice. It doesn't matter that the target is not a living thing. It is (imo) not a nice thing to say and should be removed because of that, for the same reasons that we do not tolerate swearing.

I think the network should be free of insulting language.

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