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I don't think anyone wants to be the thought police, and I'm particularly wary of censorship on a part of the site that is a user's personal self-statement, and is a little off the beaten path.

On the other hand, I'm also concerned that we may not want a site where clicking on a user to see their other posts would expose folks to racist or other bigoted terms that almost everyone would agree are inappropriate for civil discourse.

Don't forget the "be nice" rule".

Note that I don't want a "flag user" rule, which I know has been beaten to death already, and further think that swears and semi-inflammatory opinions, etc. should generally just be ignored - I'm only asking about terms that provoke serious emotions around racial, religious, ethnic, or sexual orientation issues.

What, if anything, is the appropriate response in such cases?

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3  
Mail the SOFU support team would seem the obvious answer. –  nb69307 Jun 6 '10 at 19:07
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Links! -------- –  Pëkka Jun 6 '10 at 19:08
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Ok, I'll email the team. My reluctance to a link is that it may expose the user (who I'd like to hope doesn't know any better) to a defensive debate, rather than a quick profile change. If the right approach is community response, I'd be open to that, but I'm guessing a quiet request for revision/deletion might be more effective in eliminating the problem without fanning the flames? –  Jaydles Jun 6 '10 at 19:13
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No, links and witch hunts –  jmfsg Jun 6 '10 at 19:15
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Yeah! We guarantee a mature, responsible witch hunt, with only a little fanning the flames. Link! –  Pëkka Jun 6 '10 at 19:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Email team@stackoverflow.com or flag one of their posts noting the profile.

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Oh, this user, whose name rhymes with "bosshog", definitely knows better.

Our general approach has been to take a hands-off approach to the user page -- it's for you to place whatever you want there, within reason. Obviously racism, hate speech, any sort of overt evil will not be tolerated. But there is more flexibility in the grey areas on the user page, because it's about the user, not us.

We have much stricter rules about what content can appear on our question pages, we expect a modicum of professionalism throughout -- but the user page belongs to the user. Whatever content is there in the "about me" section reflects directly on that user, not us. And I don't think any reasonable website visitor would expect otherwise.

(In other words, if someone has an intentionally stupid Teh Facebooks profile, that doesn't make Teh Facebooks look stupid to most folks.)

As I read it, this particular user's profile is meant to be a joke. And I think it's funny, at least.

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Oh Him. Yeah. I don't think it's possible for anyone to read that and believe he is an "accurate portrayal of the community at large" –  devinb Jun 7 '10 at 16:13
    
But surely we are not talking about our canadian expatriate from Super Mario Land? –  Pëkka Jun 7 '10 at 23:37

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