Well as a search gave no direct advice I'll post, because I find myself at my wits end.

I have a problem with one SO user who continually seems to seek out any answer I have submitted and post comments that distract from the question/answer as it were.

While I would try to ignore, having someone more or less leave a comment saying "Your answer is wrong!" without qualifying why it is wrong is surely going to distract from the OP reading the answer.

Don't get me wrong. Constructive criticism is fine, but I'm talking about an all out attack.

How to deal with this without engaging when the comments cause this distraction?

  • 2
    Do you have any examples where this is happening?
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:31
  • @Joe Well I have submitted flags, and they have been accepted. I really don't want air dirty laundry by posting links. I guess on the flags side, nothing seems to get done.
    – Neil Lunn
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:34
  • 1
    I just looked at your flags. All I see that could possibly be related to your question is one that was raised an hour ago - and that one is still pending. Suffice it to say, uh, there sure is a lot going on in there. Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:35
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn thanks for that. And there is a history of it. I try to stay away but as I said, how do you deal with that? The responses are wrong and they naturally detract. If I try to correct, I get the same thing back every time. Ignoring does not fix it. Responding does not fix it. I'm powerless here. And it's not helping people.
    – Neil Lunn
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:40
  • 2
    I've only had comments a few times like that, but if mainly pointless and not a legimate concern I just ignore and don't bother replying. It just wastes time and if it doesn't highlight a particular problem it's better to have one meaningless comment on your answer instead of a whole stream that may make others doubt it.
    – PeterJ
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


You are under no obligation to answer comments. If it is rude or non constructive, flag it. Moderators know what to do if someone is consistently getting their comments flagged. But the most important behavior change is not to engage, not to rebut. Specifically, do not

  • add comments of your own that refer to past interactions
  • add comments of your own that challenge the commenter to do something (such as post their own answer) or imply their comment is invalid only because they haven't done something
  • be rude or impolite in any way (other than ignoring someone which is technically rude)
  • add meta comments like "I have flagged your comment" or "stop commenting to me like this" - these do not change anyone's behavior and certainly don't help the question or answer

Consider editing your answer to cover areas the commenter says you aren't covering, or to explain why you're not covering them. If the commenter has misunderstood something you wrote, see if you can reword it; other people might also misunderstand it. Remove your own comments if they were only for one person who has clearly read them. You can also flag a comment as obsolete - say it points out a typo and you've corrected it - which helps to keep the question clean.

  • Very good. I doubt I'll see a better response than that.
    – Neil Lunn
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 13:58

I actually know I am the person in question, however, I would like a chance to defend myself.

I am not actually "serial", this is actually regarding 4 questions only out of this 311 questions on his SO account.

All the comments stated here are most likely deleted due to them being offensive and me flagging them.

On the first question: Run javascript script (.js file) in mongodb including another file inside js

If you look at the edits he wrote the wrong answer and then edited it after receiveing the downvote and then placing a comment along the lines of stating that downvoters are cowards and then calling the guy above him a coward. I responded stating that his comment was quite disrespectful to other answerers, especially Sumeet which he then responded with calling me pathetic and other such things.

Edit: He also tried to accuse the guy above him of copying, which I was quick to point out that actually his original answer was wrong.

On the other question: how to install mongodb binary package on linux

I questioned his logic in recommending to install an unstable beta version and redirecting the user to the link he actually lists as having a problem with and he began to verablly abuse me again calling me a whinnig bitch, idiot and a couple of other things if I remember right.

On the third question: How to update mongodb document

He came to my answer (yeah, I wasn't actually gong after him all the time, his answer on that question is a good one) and then said I most likely got the downvote because my answer was less than his and the OP couldn't implement my answer. At this point I noted that the OP was implementing the same answer but in PHP as his and then replied that I most likely got it because I misread the question at first. With this he wen't into verbally abusing me again, the stream has, of course, since been moderated.

On the fourth question: MongoDB - How does it avoid full collection scan?

I had some serious doubts about the accuracy of his answer which was translated by the OP as well.

Again he commited to verbally abusing me as soon as possible.

Even in Meta: Should there be a flag condition for people "changing the goalposts" on questions

He verbally abuses me and then says that I am the rude one while all I have done is questioned his logic. I am sorry but isn't one of SOs abilities is to collaberatively audit knowledge and logic as a community?

Apparently according to his last response, calling me a bitch and an idiot and verbally abusing me is being constructive.

His final response to me asking him to give me a little respect being:

Give it up. Ultimate response yes I am smarter and wiser than you. Go way young troll.


I am also disturbed that the moderators have taken his side, as he claims in that Meta thread (of which I know that moderators don't without hearing both sides):

Actually it is you who seems to be the one being offensive if you are not reading back your own response. The only person I have ever lost my temper with, I took the time to take a long talk with moderators who completely agreed.

  • Thank you for taking the time to explain your side. I don't have enough reputation to get the whole record due to things having been deleted. (Although looking at the first case you mention, I can readily see that he first posted an answer that was flat out wrong.) I'll be curious to see how mods respond.
    – Louis
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 12:58
  • 3
    I would give the same advice to you as the OP. Don't engage. If someone is rude to you, flag it and move on. If something is wrong, provide your own answer or comment on theirs - don't say "this is wrong" though, be specific (this will blow up if the file is missing, this doesn't consider negative numbers, this doesn't work in leap years, whatever) or neutral (those are not the parameters listed in the API documentation [link]). Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:00
  • @KateGregory I can actually say that if you really looked through this history of the commentary on the posts you would see the inflammatory nature of of how this poster has approached commentary on issues. Not only that but there has also been extensively ridiculous behavior of seeking out commentary that is not directly associated with this person (i.e Comments to other users) that in his mind has been taken as offensive to himself, evn though no reference was made. Why else on earth would the post that you are replying to even exist, if this were not so? Consider.
    – Neil Lunn
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:31
  • @NeilLunn Because you believe it is so, this post was not written by anyone else and nor has such a post ever been written about me before. The only reason I am here is because you decided to escalate this
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:37
  • 6
    You two are both engaging. Practice not engaging. Do not continue a conversation here that you both claim you wish you weren't having. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:55
  • @KateGregory at the end of the day I cannot question any of his logic without this occurring, though he freely questions my logic without me being abusive, you say to stop but at the end of the day not continuing with it breaks a part of SO, it breaks the social, collaborative aspect of this site. What am I to do, never question and as such just let his knowledge be unquestionably supreme?
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:29
  • @KateGregory I mean this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/22276988/… is one I wouldn't mind knowing the answer to alongside the OP, so really I felt as though I had as much stake in the answer as the OP as does anyone who takes knowledge from this site, right?
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:34
  • 3
    Telling someone (repeatedly) that their answer is wrong and arguing with them about whether it is right or not is not a strategy for getting an answer. You want an answer, that's cool, but I fail to see how arguing with someone on the internet is a way to get that. If you tried the answer and it didn't work, you can comment to say that. Heck, even if you only think it won't work, you can say that, but winning the argument with answerer A is not going to magically cause answerer B to tell you what you want to know. Let it be. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:43
  • @KateGregory but I mean I am only trying to bounce what the documentation and other sources say about how this is supposed to work in an attempt to get an answer that explains it. Where do I specifically argue rather than debate?
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:46
  • 4
    SO is not a forum. It is not for debate, and nor is it social or collaborative in the way you are trying to use it. 30+ comments on one question, most just arguing with earlier comments, is insane. Are you seriously trying to lead this person (who you're in a fight with) through a process that will get you your answer? Not going to happen. They have answered what they know. Perhaps someone else will answer if they know. Perhaps all the energy that the pair of you have put into this thread could have been put into some experiments to get the information you're trying to find. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:49
  • @KateGregory If they answered what they know then they have not answered in a manner that helps the OP as you can see within the comments, the OP sides with me on many subjects. I mean this kind of auditing is nothing new to me, I have people question my knowledge normally 90% of the time. On a site where knowledge is not questioned how can you be sure that it is true? As such how can you be sure it is factual, as such how does SO fill its purpose
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:52
  • @KateGregory there is only 30+ comments because that's what it took for me to explain, repeating myself quite often
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:54
  • 8
    I will now demonstrate disengaging Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:57
  • @KateGregory very well just one last thing, I got verbal abuse 3 comments in not 30 comments in.
    – Sammaye
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:02

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