I asked this question, and got some decent help in the comments. Unfortunately, that help came with a slew of insults hurled at me. Whenever I ask a question, I try really hard not to be wasting people's time, so the whole experience has really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm wondering what the greater community's take on this is.

  • Am I off base in thinking this was abusive?
  • If not, is there something I can do when someone does this kind of thing to me? I flagged one of the comments, and it has been recently enough that probably a moderator just hasn't gotten around to looking at it yet.
  • But how would a moderator even handle this situation? I mean, I got an answer. It just came with a bunch of insults. What can a moderator really even do here?

In short, I guess I'm wondering if I should be recalibrating my internal expectations of how much abuse I should have to accept in order to get an answer on StackOverflow. Right at the moment, this mostly just discourages me from wanting to ask questions.

  • 3
    Chill out a little! Information technologists are not always the most personable folk.
    – Bathsheba
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:49
  • 4
    @Bathsheba: I found the tone to be somewhat non-constructive, actually. I went to flag the comments but they've already been removed. Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:51
  • 4
    Can a screenshot be added to the post so we have an idea of the context? Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:52
  • 13
    @JeroenVannevel: It's the usual, "Go hire a consultant, we don't do people's work for them. How can you call yourself a programmer" BS.
    – user102937
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:52
  • 1
    @MartijnPieters: I concur (and +1 this question accordingly). I saw them myself. The comments were terrible and I'm glad they have been removed. But you still have to try to rise above this kind of behaviour, however hard that might be.
    – Bathsheba
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:54
  • 2
    @Bathsheba As long as "rise above" does not mean "ignore and hope it goes away". The appropriate thing here is still definitely to flag for moderator attention, because the comments in question likely would not have been removed if the OP had not flagged them.
    – Hannele
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 17:10
  • Absolutely. Always flag inappropriate comments.
    – Bathsheba
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 17:17
  • 2
    This is something I need to keep in mind, too. The bad apples are very much in the minority here. It's just that they are more likely to make noise, by virtue of the 'bad' part. It's easy to think someone like that represents the whole community, but that just isn't true. Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 17:18
  • 5
    Charlie, @RobertHarvey's post below nails what you should do, but I'll echo what others in the comments here implied even more directly: You shouldn't have to put up with abuse or rudeness to get help here. One of our founding rules was "Be Nice," and it's frustrating when folks like you are exposed to the tiny percent of grumpy misbehavers, rather than the masses of generous devs working hard to both be nice and to help share they're knowledge. Illegitimi non carborundum!
    – Jaydles
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


When a user posts comments that are rude or unconstructive, just flag them for moderator attention, and a moderator will take care of it.

Then, disengage. It takes two to tango.

  • 11
    Gotcha. I'll step away from the keyboard for awhile next time. Thanks. Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 16:53
  • 6
    @CharlieKilian Unless it's friday. Friday is fight night. :/
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 20:44
  • 1
    @LowerClassOverflowian Couldn't agree more
    – asheeshr
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 3:52

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