The FAQ of all main sites and Meta Stack Overflow have a section which states:


Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated.

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.

Why is this missing from the meta FAQs of all other sites?

Is there more leeway, when it comes to civility, being nice and being tolerant, on meta sites?

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    Oooh... sooo tempted to post a really rude comment ;) – Oded Apr 26 '13 at 14:17
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    I just Shipped my pants – Jake1164 Apr 26 '13 at 14:18
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    Anything that sparked this question? Just the absence in the FAQ? Maybe because other Meta's are not really a separate site as in the MSO sense, the FAQ is only in addition to the main site's FAQ? – Bart Apr 26 '13 at 14:19
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    No, now shut up. (j/k) – LittleBobbyTables Apr 26 '13 at 14:20
  • Well, the lack of it being there doesn't mean it isn't expected. – Oded Apr 26 '13 at 14:22
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    @Bart Yes, sort of. (Not the absence) – asheeshr Apr 26 '13 at 14:23
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    It's likely that the attitude towards "lost" posters (i.e. posting here rather than SO or other sites) or "ranty" posters (i.e "I got question banned so I made a new account so why can't I do x") doesn't come over well because there's just so many of them. – tombull89 Apr 26 '13 at 14:36
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    Well, at least one comment here has been flagged as offensive and has now been removed... answer your question? – Oded Apr 26 '13 at 14:38
  • @Oded I expanded the question slightly. Being nice comes under civility to an extent, but tolerance is somewhat different. – asheeshr Apr 26 '13 at 14:40
  • Ok, explain what you mean by "tolerant". We don't tolerate programming questions here any more than SO tolerates rants about the evils of corporations or Seasoned Advice tolerates recipe requests. – Shog9 Apr 26 '13 at 15:56
  • @Shog9 Example : Would direct attacks on Python users or on the Python Community by C purists be tolerated here on MSO ? – asheeshr Apr 26 '13 at 16:12
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    I think you're trying to address something specific without actually being specific, @AshRj. – Shog9 Apr 26 '13 at 16:33

The per-site meta FAQ is a shortened one that mainly emphasizes the differences to the main site. So I would argue that the main site rules about civility still apply to the per-site meta, even if they are not listed again.

I think keeping the per-site meta to listing the differences is more useful, else nobody will read the whole thing anyway. And civility is something that I would expect anyway, I don't need that written down anywhere explicitly.


Is there more leeway, when it comes to civility, on Meta sites ?

There shouldn't be, but yes.

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    Do you have any examples? I think we're a little more cut-and-dried here, but certainly not uncivil - that wouldn't really be tolerated as an ongoing thing, maybe a couple of incidents by the odd user. Any user exhibiting uncivil behaviour as an ongoing attitude would soon be ousted out, I believe. – Grant Thomas Apr 26 '13 at 14:24
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    I don't have any examples, now leave me alone jerk (there) – juan Apr 26 '13 at 14:26
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    Well, jest and discourteousness are two very different beasts. – Grant Thomas Apr 26 '13 at 14:30
  • @Mr.Disappointment: Uuhhhh...that depends I fear...I read and participated in discussions here on Meta which were pretty harsh towards the OP and were borderline...but mostly because the OP started it! I remember one question from someone who was offended by some triviality, we had a nice field day with that one. – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 26 '13 at 14:33
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    @SulfurizedDemonbobby Indeed there are going to be incidents - we're (most of us) human - but it's not the modus operandi. – Grant Thomas Apr 26 '13 at 14:35
  • @Mr.Disappointment: Yes, that's for sure! – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 26 '13 at 14:35

Civility is required at all times on all sites. Formality and professionalism are required on the main site, encouraged on metas.

There may be more joking and fooling around on Meta sites, but that doesn't mean being rude or insulting towards a person is encouraged. You might come across many in jokes that seem like they are intended to insult and demean, but most are merely cases of people who have known each other on the site for a while loosening their collars.


The rest of the FAQ is more or less imported.

Personal attacks are not tolerated anywhere. On meta, you tend to see a slight amount of abrasiveness allowed, but it should not be much. Meta is meant to be a more informal environment -- joking and heated discussions are both OK, but the discussions should not get too abrasive.

Main is not a place for opinions. Meta is a place for opinions. Due to this, one does need to allow a bit of leeway when it comes to expressing one's opinions. Not much -- if a user feels that a subcommunity or entity is harmful to the site, they may voice their opinion in a constructive manner.

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    Directly attacking a community is fine then ? (There havent been any constructive comments by the user towards a subcommunity as far as I can see) – asheeshr Apr 26 '13 at 16:14
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    @AshRj: define attack first. What you mean by "attack" may vary :/ – Manishearth Apr 26 '13 at 16:20
  • Is this in any way, not intended to be offensive? meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/2944/… – asheeshr Jun 9 '13 at 15:30
  • @AsheeshR: Certainly not constructive. And probably intended to be offensive. Not sure if it's actionable though. – Manishearth Jun 9 '13 at 16:49
  • Frankly, if there a few more comments like this, I am going to escalate this. Offensive, has just one interpretation in my book. – asheeshr Jun 10 '13 at 4:14
  • @AsheeshR: Of course. If has one interpetation in my book, but from the SE side there are various levels. I had actually flagged the comment yesterday :) – Manishearth Jun 10 '13 at 5:40
  • EE-Meta has a different level for what qualifies as offensive and it certainly doesnt match my scale. (2/4 flags declined) – asheeshr Jun 10 '13 at 6:11
  • @AsheeshR: It may be a good idea to collect a bunch of such comments and ask TL/EE mods/comm team about it. (Or post a meta question, though calling out individuals isn't good) – Manishearth Jun 10 '13 at 6:19
  • Escalate == Comm Team or TL. I am not going to start another "be polite" thread on EE. There have been enough of those, both before and after we started making noise. Also, I have brought it up with EE Mods. – asheeshr Jun 10 '13 at 8:35
  • @AsheeshR: Ha. K then, cc me as well if you're going to do it. – Manishearth Jun 10 '13 at 8:44

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