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;; The sample I'm referring to is this answer.

First of all, why is there no reason provided for a deletion?

Second, isn't -100 penalty for a deletion on the answerer too excessive?

Third, isn't SO getting "too sensitive" in general?

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I don't think anyone has linked to it yet, so here's the Offensive flag FAQ entry. Spam and offensive flags both seem to get used more often than was originally intended, but that kind of thing happens on a community-driven site I suppose –  Michael Mrozek Sep 29 '10 at 7:45

4 Answers 4

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Well, you do start off:

What a load of garbage on this page.

You guys couldn't even introduce tree -CFft after all these hours? Seriously, if you don't know the answer, just don't say anything.

Additionally, the answer doesn't actually seem to contain anything helpful or relevant to the question; so it isn't even mitigated by valuable content (in which case I would hope someone would just edit out the diatribe).

So I'm guessing the reason is that multiple people flagged it as "Offensive, Abusive or Hate Speech". The only other reason for "Community" to delete it is "Spam", and it isn't spam.

Re getting "too sensitive" - no, I think it is about right. We expect civility. It would perhaps have been wiser to rephrase your answer (when you saw it being received negatively) to be a little less... obnoxious.

Re "too excessive" - no, not really. It is designed to be a small sting, which it is. You've taken notice! Great! It worked exactly to design.

In the general case (I'm not talking about you specifically here), if such is part of a pattern of abusive behaviour, then I would expect the ♦ moderators to step in at some point, recommending a change of approach/attitude re the site.

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have you tried tree -CFft yourself? it's such a nice little command to see the structure of the source tree. also, you are not quoting my entire post. im also suggesting the questioner to use grep to find function applications and sort by the number of applied functions and to read README first. it does contain helpful information. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:02
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@OTZ - 9 people thought otherwise. Actually, speaking as a dev I also don't think any of those points would help me understand the structure in any sensible way. But perhaps the bigger point here is - be courteous in your answer, or it will be perceived negatively. You don't have to agree with people, but be civil, or the community will flag it. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 6:07
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@Marc I recommend that SO implement a feature to put up the exact reason for deletion. If it is noticeable, which you say is by design, then it is natural for the answerer to seek the reason for it. RIGHT? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:45
    
I love you, Marc. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 7:12
    
@OTZ - I will feed that back to the team. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 7:14
    
Marc is da man! –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 7:39

I'd like to digress for a minute and take note of the text you have opted to put in your profile OTC...

My user-views-to-reputation ratio is pretty high, topping 0.88 (anybody beat that?).

The proudest answer I've ever posted to SO is this, which is an "accepted" answer scoring -7 at a time. Try to beat it -- you'll soon find it sooooooo difficult to accomplish!

The record (low) score I hold is currently -10 (WooHoo!). It was the score on this question itself just before one of the mods intervention.

Now, maybe it's just me, but you seem to be glorying in rubbing people the wrong way. I can't say I'm the least bit surprised that people are not responding positively.

You've been with us for three months (two when you wrote the answer we are discussing); that's time enough to get a feel for the culture of this place, and for most people that culture is "nice and helpful". Your answer was not nice; it might have been helpful for users that happened to have tree installed (neither my Mac OS X nor my Debian system have it in their current configurations), but you didn't bother with the usual business of providing a link of some kind, rendering the answer less useful than it might have been.

You seem to like to tweak people. Well, now you're learned what provisions are in place for when you really succeed.

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I'm aware of my self-torturing tendency as one of my defense mechanisms. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 7:36
    
i think SO needs to be more open-minded and accept slightly darker sense of humor like mine, don't you think? just read my answers -- you'll start to love it. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 7:55
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namespace humor{ assert(abrasive != dark); } Seriously. –  dmckee Sep 29 '10 at 8:11
    
dont think ive ever made any abrasive comment on SO, but that's for u to decide. 'humor' can be dark && abrasive btw. so you are excluding more than desired. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 8:32
    
(This comment is not directed at you, dmckee) Why is it that this answer, providing essentially no information to my questions, is getting so many up votes? Are the up voters blind? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 8:39
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@OTZ - because it makes very valid points that may be of much more long-term use than simply addressing the points you actually asked. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 8:59
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@OTZ - such things are subjective; you may not think it was abrasive, but the community is telling you (by multiple users going out of their way to flag it) that they disagree. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 9:00
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@OTZ Your answer got 0 upvotes, 9 downvotes and 6 offensive flags/votes. What is there to complain about? Seems like another case of "my opinion matters more than everybody else's" Sigh –  NullUserException อ_อ Sep 30 '10 at 3:26

After reading the whole discussion in the comments, I cannot but wonder whether

  • a: you do this on purpose, or
  • b: you really don't understand

For what it's worth, the public at SO is rather civilized, and in general passed the teenage years already. This has implications for what is considered acceptable behaviour. For one, the way some kids talk to their highschool friends is frowned upon on this site. It might be acceptable on some fora and websites like 4Chan, but this isn't 4Chan. This is SO, and if you don't like it, nobody obliges you to participate. But if you participate, you play it by the SO-rules.

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Thanks for reiterating what I've heard a hundred times from others. –  OTZ Sep 30 '10 at 1:39
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Perhaps Joris was just hoping that on the 101st time it would actually sink in. –  Lawrence Dol Sep 30 '10 at 15:20
    
@OTZ You're welcome. You just love the attention, don't ya? –  Joris Meys Sep 30 '10 at 17:56

First of all, why is there no reason provided for a deletion?

Your answer was deleted because 6 people thought it was offensive, abusive, hate speech or just spam.

Second, isn't -100 penalty for a deletion on the answerer too excessive?

No. People thought you were a jerk. That's why you earned a nice -100 rep.

Third, isn't SO getting "too sensitive" in general?

6 closes and 9 downvotes, that's a total of 15 people who thought your answer was just plain bad. I can't read the answer but I'm going to err on the side of safety and say no, it isn't. From thine FAQ:

Be nice.

Treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you. We're all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor.

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Is that so? I'm seeing -9 on the answer. Why is that? Your answer doesn't answer any of the questions I have btw. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 5:58
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@OTZ - there are 2 completely different types of voting here; upvote/downvote (9 people thought it was an unhelpful answer; 0 people thought it was a helpful answer), and flags (6 people thought it was offensive). –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 5:59
    
that i didn't know. thanks for clarification. but one of my main questions is this: where does -100 come from? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:05
    
@OTZ I thought the other answers received an automatic answer once given the actual deletion reason ;) Next time aim for the Peer Pressure badge instead. –  badp Sep 29 '10 at 6:05
    
@radp "Be nice." I am being nice, i believe. When I get helpful information, i say thank you; if not, your answer is not helpful. I'm just being honest. Is that wrong? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:10
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@OTZ re-read the bit I cited. That really isn't respectful / pleasant / nice. If we can't agree on those definitions then you're going to have a bumpy time on stackoverflow. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 6:15
    
@Marc i know what i'd written. i think that's a nice sensible comment. even if common people take it otherwise, i just wonder why SO community causes such an overreaction to a tiny little answer like that one. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:28
    
@redp "People thought you were a jerk. That's why you earned a nice -100 rep." Please don't go ad hominem against me and change the subject. My question is: where does -100 come from? what's the calculation used to get -100, precisely? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:34
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@OTZ It's not an ad hominem attack. That's the entire point. 6 people flagged your post for abusiveness and the system deleted your answer and docked you 100 reputation. That's all there is to it. –  badp Sep 29 '10 at 6:35
    
@radp So an answer deletion for "Offensive, Abusive or Hate Speech" is a 100 penalty? Good. Now we are talking. Next question is: isn't it excessive? –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:38
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@OTZ: And the answer to that next question is, "No. Civility is really important." Note that radp already addressed the "isn't it excessive" question in this answer, too. –  Jon Skeet Sep 29 '10 at 6:56
    
@Jon whether it is excessive or not depends on how many rep points he/she got. it shouldn't be a constant. it should be a fixed fraction of reps. –  OTZ Sep 29 '10 at 6:59
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@OTZ: Why? It would be the only aspect of reputation that works that way, and it would encourage low-rep users to be abusive, knowing that it would cost them very little. (If you only have 100 rep but lose 10% of it, you can make that up with a single upvote.) –  Jon Skeet Sep 29 '10 at 7:03
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@OTZ: No, because repeated abuse will cause the account to be sin-binned or eventually banned. Also, someone who already has 100K has clearly shown a commitment to the site, and so is less likely to irritate people deliberately, IMO. –  Jon Skeet Sep 29 '10 at 7:13
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@OTZ - no, because he'd be flagged and probably contacted by the site moderators way before that (perhaps to wonder how his account got stolen) –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '10 at 7:15

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