I've just been very insulted by a comment in a question and it's not enough to be able to flag it for moderator attention as 'rude'. I want to make a formal complain about a user and their comment and know that someone has actually done something about it.

Just in case it gets deleted (spoiler tag so you don't have to read it if you don't want to):

@ClaraOnager I am sure your english and logic teacher would revoke your school gruaduation for your failure to recognize an answer put into the form of a rethorical question. It seems "mastering langauge" was not on your course? The answer I gave is that I think that it is not available under professional. THanks for showing the downfall of culture in your country.

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    I guess somebody has a very bad day... But you are right, it is not an answer. Feb 5, 2013 at 11:36
  • @MartinSmith good spot - enough to earn someone the deputy badge there, I reckon
    – 410 gone
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:38
  • @ToonKrijthe - Participating in the SQL tag this is not just a one off. I've noticed it before. Feb 5, 2013 at 11:38
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    @ClaraOnager earn the user some time in the 'penalty box'. > now you look like to search for revenge. I say that is better to give him some love if you looking to make him better. Some warning first. And at the end, you are NOT what the other say that you are. Also maybe he did not have bad intention, after all have give 1600+ answers try to help around.
    – Aristos
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:41
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    User didn't deleted the post. It was automatically deleted after being flagged as offensive by enough users.
    – Himanshu
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:43
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    @aristos I did point him to the meta question about rude behaviour and asked him to delete the comment but I still feel dissapointed that someone with such a high rep can get away with being so rude Feb 5, 2013 at 11:44
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    Welcome to The Internet. You're not going to like everything you see here. Some things may hurt a bit, but flag it and let the mods deal with it and they'll dish out the punishment. I'd link to the "something is wrong on the internet" XKCD...
    – tombull89
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:46
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    Best advice? Don't take it personally. Keep and eye over that user and when you spot more offensive posts flag for moderator attention. Feb 5, 2013 at 11:56
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    I'm dealing with this now. I am terribly sorry for that tasteless demonstration of ignorance.
    – user50049
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:58
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    With all due respect, at first I felt sympathy to you in this situation, which I now find a bit more difficult to do looking at how persistently you seem to be trying to call some form of judgement upon the person for you to be satisfied. Being or not being insulted is a matter of personal attitude, it shouldn't depend on the offender being or not being punished. Also, not trying to justify the insult in any way, I want to note that the answer was a comment initially. The user posted it as an aswer after the OP said the comment might be the answer.
    – GSerg
    Feb 5, 2013 at 12:13
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    @tombull89 The answer was posted on June 13, 2012. Clara Onager commented it two hours ago.
    – GSerg
    Feb 5, 2013 at 12:23
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    Long story short, you can't. You flagged for moderator attention. At that point walk away. Retribution (which this post reeks of) is petty, and we certainly aren't going to give you a way to enact it. Just know that once the moderators take care of it, it's taken care of. If it happens again, then flag again.
    – casperOne
    Feb 5, 2013 at 13:28
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    @casperone & others I made a single comment about the penalty box which has been blown up out of all proportion. I was not seeking 'revenge' or 'retribution' but a way to actually make an effective complaint. Feb 5, 2013 at 14:38
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    @ClaraOnager Fair enough, but you have your answer, a post on meta is not the way to do this. Flag, and move on.
    – casperOne
    Feb 5, 2013 at 14:42

3 Answers 3


We generally discourage calling out a specific user on Meta, as doing so generally leads to an even bigger mess to clean up. You have two ways of raising a formal complaint about a user and indicating that you'd like something done about it:

  1. Flag for moderator attention - We're your best bet. There's generally at least two or three of us active at any given time. If the behavior being reported is indeed blatantly toxic, we will take action. We can't really discuss the particulars of our dealings with the user, but we will take the appropriate action.

  2. Fill out the contact form and let the community team know what's going on. That form reaches a lot of people that can help you, but there may be more of a delay in resolving the issue depending on the time and day that you submit it.

You're also welcome to do both.

Related to the matter at hand, I'd like to apologize for the rather indignant way you were treated. That's not what we're about, and I've addressed the matter privately. Please, however, try to let it go - it's simply not worth wasting any more minutes of your life on.


Flagging the comment as offensive is still the correct first step. This will ensure that the comment gets removed once enough users flag it or a moderator sees it.

In cases where the comment is especially offensive, or if the user regularly posts offensive comments you can flag the parent post (not the comment) with a custom flag. The comment flags get dismissed automatically if enough users flag, they don't necessarily arrive at a moderator. Such custom flags are useful to make moderators aware of a pattern of user behaviour.

The main reason to do that would be if more consequences than just deletion of the comment would be appropriate, I would do that if I thought that the behaviour of the user warranted a suspension.

  • What is a 'custom flag'? I know it shouldn't be the spam one should I use the 'not welcome' one? I don't want to waste a mods time with the wrong flag Feb 5, 2013 at 11:36
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    The "other" option in the flag dialog is for more complicated cases. You can add an explanation in that flag, which is useful if you e.g. want to inform the mods that a user regularly leaves offensive comments. Feb 5, 2013 at 11:40

Just flag it for moderator attention. The mods can decide what needs done about it (if anything).

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    Sorry but thats not enough in this case. I really am very insulted. Feb 5, 2013 at 11:24
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    That's all there is. Let a moderator handle it and walk away.
    – Bart
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:26
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    @Clara don't be. The user was being a massive dick, for no good reason and with no valid case at all. You were clearly in the right. Flag for mod attention, and shrug it off. There is nothing else you can do. That's people on the Internet for ya
    – Pekka
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:27

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