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A user has posted up to 10 comments to his own answer defending his position.

I'm specifically asking about this behavior.

Please not that I had to remove my downvote plus some of the comments because the situation turned unbearable.

What is the best way to treat such a situation.

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If you feel the answer should be downvoted because of errors in the answer or logic, please do so. – Troggy Oct 1 '09 at 18:33
I just discovered that even the core StackOverflow team is unable to receive criticism appropriately. Remember that there's not much one can do to "change" others. You can only change yourself. – www Oct 1 '09 at 18:42
You do know that that statement sounds really weird when using an unknown account name? – Ivo Flipse Oct 1 '09 at 18:58
@unknown: Your statement has no credibility without a real user name. – Alex Angas Oct 2 '09 at 9:37
up vote 16 down vote accepted

It might just be me, but I don't see anything that would make the situation "unbearable," with the possible exception of the user-in-question's first comment (and possibly any comments removed since).

That said, the reality is that there is nothing you can do. He presented an argument, you countered that argument, and nobody reached a conclusion. I don't see anything that is abusive, so downvote and leave, since there is really nothing else you can do.

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Agreed, this seemed to be more of a technical argument, not personal. If he's wrong(& the SO system is employed), he'll get downvoted. – Paul Nathan Oct 1 '09 at 19:40

Write a really long, nonspecific rant in the comments, indicating your dislike of watermelon and your affinity for Madonna. After a while, your opponent will forget what he was talking about and will agree with you that Madonna is a pretty cool guy who signs albums and doesn't afraid of anything because of that kamikaze watermelon that almost ruined your sofa that one time.

What was up with that watermelon, anyway? Do you think someone promised to pay his family a lot of money to attack your Batman-themed cushions? Or maybe it was a matter of honour. I have heard that Batman is disgraceful in the eyes of large, Japanese melons.

Which reminds me, remember that restaurant we visited the other day? What was it called? Shinobu something? Senjougahara something? Well, it doesn't really matter what it was called. The point is the waitress there was amazing. What was her name? Kimono something? Well, it doesn't really matter what her name was. The point is she was amazing. I've never been served tempura so incredibly fast. And the food was so good it was like I was at the opposite of Pizza Hut or something.

I figure the opposite of pizza is rice, with corn mixed into it. But not a lot of corn. If you add too much corn to anything, you end up accidentally making pizza all over again. Remind me to ask my biocheminomy professor about that the next time I'm in class.

I haven't been to class in like 4 years, unless you count that time I went to my friend's class after I had graduated to meet the prof he said was cool. Going back to your old learning grounds long after you've graduated is a pretty neat experience. Everyone looks a lot shorter than you remember. And there are fewer squirrels around the trees. But they're bigger than they used to be.

They must have merged to form supersquirrels. Or rather, they must be in the process of merging to form a single, monumental ultrasquirrel, and supersquirrels are simply an intermediate step in this metamorphosis.

I'd like it if the Japanese made a movie about Ultrasquirrel, with Madonna singing the title theme, but it would probably offend Batman-hating watermelons the world over. You wanna go for some pizza?

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+1 for pizza, squirrels, kimonos, and Batman – TheTXI Oct 1 '09 at 19:18
Too m_ch of a ramble. – mmyers Oct 1 '09 at 19:19
@mmyers: There's no s_ch thing. – JSONBog Oct 1 '09 at 19:21
Of course everyone looks shorter than you remember. It is a scientific fact that memories get smaller as you age. It is an advanced form of compression, similar to when you take your hard drive out and stomp on it to free up some space for MP3s of the latest Madonna album. A corollary is how ENIAC was the size of an Ultrasquirrel, but it only had the power of a wristwatch. The technology got smaller because it got older. This means that the squirrels are actually aging backwards, getting younger as they get larger. Pretty soon we'll be overrun with squirrel fetuses the size of houses. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Oct 1 '09 at 19:23
+1 for censoring the offensive character in your name. – belgariontheking Oct 1 '09 at 19:23
Welb__gging good answer... but needs more self-censoring. – Shog9 Oct 1 '09 at 19:24
Let me put it this way: If Nash were still around, they'd be making a car called the Welbo_g. – mmyers Oct 1 '09 at 19:24
@mmyers: That went straight over my infernal jar, so I'm going to have to ask you to be less of a do_che. – JSONBog Oct 1 '09 at 19:27
@mmyers: You are referring, of course, to New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Walter Nash? I fail to see the connection between that and car manufacturing. Was Nash working to create an automotive industry on the island, taking advantage of the ample supply of sheep to construct cheap, woolen cars? That makes sense, I guess, if you assume that Nash had scientists working on a top secret program to build an all-wool engine powered by mutton. I haven't heard about that before (hence: top secret), but it seems like it would be simple enough to do. My point is: why would they named the car "Welbo_g"? – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Oct 1 '09 at 19:29
@Pesto: Agreed. "Welboug" is one of the most offensive words (if not THE most offensive word) known the man. Definitely more offensive than whatever programming languages are called these days. Naming a car "Welbo_g" would just make people think that the car manufacturer is condescendingly indicating that its customers are too st_pid to realize that there are no effective differences between "welboug" and "welbo_g". Driving a car like that would be the equivalent of flipping everyone you meet off before saying hello. (Note: Welbo_g has been known to do this on a regular basis.) – JSONBog Oct 1 '09 at 19:34, but now you've ruined the joke. That's the second one in the last week. >:( – mmyers Oct 1 '09 at 19:35
@Welbo_g: Did you notice that o_c looks like a happy face? – mmyers Oct 1 '09 at 19:36
wbging good answer, sir! – Paul Nathan Oct 1 '09 at 19:38
@mmyers: You need to inject more f_nny into your jokes. That one j_st sucks. Also, o_c doesn't look anything like a happy face. Are you on performance-enhancing (read: brain-shrinking) dr_gs? – JSONBog Oct 1 '09 at 19:39
@Welbo_g: Exactly. You'd have to expect certain things from a car called "Welbo_g". You know it will be unable to take a direct route to any destination, it will swerve wildly, frequently, and unexpectedly -- wait, if it swerves frequently, shouldn't it be expected? I suppose the times when it isn't swerving will seem like unexpected swerves because it you won't have anticipated your desires actually being carried out -- and it will spew noxious fumes that have the odd side-effect of impregnating all of the women who inhale them. Nine months later they will give birth to little Welbo_gs. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Oct 1 '09 at 19:44

"unbearable"? I see no cursing or name calling from said villain--just long winded disagreement. Without your comment history the context is hard to follow. One might even wonder if they were erroneous. I would suggest you leave them in the future.

I mean this in the kindest way, but it seems to me that you were half the problem. At a minimum, you enabled your nemesis-of-the-day.

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Agreed, DVK is an opinionated fellow, and he's entitled to his opinion. Yes, it can be draining to have an exchange with him, but as they say, it takes two to tango. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. – ベレアー アダム Oct 1 '09 at 18:55
Looking at what's there: he advocated a bad solution and keeps arguing for it, and I noticed no serious discourtesy on his part. I left a comment and upvoted the better answer. – David Thornley Oct 1 '09 at 20:10

When childish behaviour arises, you have a few options

  1. Respond in kind. Call him "poopface", pull on her pigtails, edit "I hate Steve Jobs" into his response.

  2. Remove your downvote, walk away, pretend it never happened.

  3. (My personal favorite). Stand your ground. If you are correct, argue for why you are correct. If you feel that his answer is not good, downvote it and leave the downvote there. If they convince you that they are correct after all, then remove the vote. But, if they remain wrong, then you can't let them get away with such behaviour.

If the critisism is polite, concise and accurate, then there is no excuse for yelling at someone about it. The other part is that if you remove a part of the dicussion, no one has any way of verifying that you are correct. All they can see is the other person's very vehement claims that you are incorrect.

Any kind of rude and childish behaviour should not be tolerated.

If they get out of hand, or serially downvote you, inform a moderator (flag the question) and then the user will be punished.

If you let the childish person win, then they will continue being childish.


As has been noted by a few people (and I agree) the attitude from the post inquestion is not actually childish. At worst it is churlish, but not particularely heinous. My answer should be taken in the general case. It is not relating directly to that user.

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I agree about point #3. Standing your ground in a polite manner is appropriate, although in certain cases people may still refuse to see what you say and may be very defensive. And of course, keep in mind that all humans are subject to such behavior. – www Oct 1 '09 at 18:39
Absolutely true. You should be aware that you are exposing yourself to a certain amount of immature reactions. the user may serially downvote you if they get angry enough. But I say that you should stand your ground anyway. – devinb Oct 1 '09 at 18:42
Thing is, I don't see DVK being childish, only wrong and strongly opinionated. I would hate to see this being seriously punished. I am, sometimes, wrong, and am frequently strongly opinionated. – David Thornley Oct 1 '09 at 20:12

This is not the first time this has occurred. The votes determine the community acceptance of the answer. You can control which answers get up and down voted, but you can't control how an author to an answer will respond. If you have explained yourself clearly and they still don't listen to you, then that is the author's problem if they cannot take critism. This is a community site and they should understand that. Just remember not to aggravate them. Just make your point clear on where they might be misguided and call it good. Everyone can see your comments and can make a judgement for themselves.

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If they are abusive as a result of constructive criticism, flag their comments. If they continue to be abusive, email the SOTeam. If they're just unwilling to hear criticism, but aren't abusive, walk away leaving a downvote.

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