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Or rather discouraging rude comments.

I've noticed that people tend to be quite polite in their answers. Perhaps because reputation is at stake.

It happens rather frequently that people tend to be rude or disrespectful in their comments. The rudeness is rarely enough to be worth a flag, but enough that it brings down the level of conversation. Rude comments tend to encourage other people to make rude comments or cause the target of the rude comment to respond. Rude comments rarely provide any value to anyone.

Perhaps people leave rude comments because there is no consequence?

I think it would promote politeness and civility if there was a way for people to vote to indicate that a comment is unnecessarily rude and have a consequence to the commenter, such as decreased reputation.

Here is one proposal:

  • An icon can be added after each comment to allow a person to indicate that the comment is rude.
  • For each person who does that, another icon will appear to show that a person designated the comment as rude (up to a maximum).
  • After three people vote the comment as rude, the content will be removed (though it could appear with the show more comments link) and the commenter will lose one reputation point.

The idea is not to punish the rude commenter, but to give them some feedback and hopefully nudge them towards being more respectful to others.

  • 3
    Comments can be flagged for being rude or abusive, just like posts can. And I'm sure if a user gains a lot of "rude/abusive" flags on their comments, the moderators will have a word with them! – S.L. Barth Jan 20 '16 at 12:26
  • Looks like this is dupe of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/105338/… then – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 12:51
  • @ShadowWizard, that post is about notifying users if their comment is flagged or deleted. That is different from giving users another way to provide feedback on comments. I'm going to flag your comment as not constructive and see what happens. :) – gaefan Jan 20 '16 at 13:16
  • Nothing will happen, until few others will flag too and then it will be auto deleted. :) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 13:22
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    Possible duplicate of What are valid reasons for flagging comments? – gnat Jan 20 '16 at 14:21
10

There is already a flag, exactly for this:

Really no need in another flag, or making it more complex.

Seen a rude comment? Flag it as such. Move on. Done.

  • And if it's not that rude, it's probably "not constructive". – ale Jan 20 '16 at 12:31
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    @AlE. true, though 99% of the comments can fall under "not constructive" so usually I'm not going down that path... – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 12:34
  • I'd love to see the percentage of comments that have ever been flagged. I suspect it is very low. The flagging system doesn't seem to be working if it is never used. – gaefan Jan 20 '16 at 12:39
  • @Jeff and what makes you think your idea will make it better? It's exactly the same. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 12:48
  • @ShadowWizard, small user interface details can make a huge difference. That is why Amazon created one click shopping. I don't know that my idea will work, but the current flagging system doesn't seem to work so it is worth looking at how to make it better. – gaefan Jan 20 '16 at 13:18
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    @Jeff so you'll have better chance by suggesting to improve the current flagging system, instead of replace it or add new layers to it, e.g. adding visible indicator to a comment flagged as rude or offensive. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 13:24
  • @ShadowWizard, good point. That IS basically what I am suggesting. – gaefan Jan 20 '16 at 14:37
  • @Jeff not too late to edit your question then, make it only such a request, maybe even with a mockup, and I can delete this answer as it would become obsolete. (And reverse my vote as well :)) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jan 20 '16 at 14:40
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    @Jeff - I can say that hundreds of comments are flagged every day on Stack Overflow for being rude or unconstructive. The comment flagging facility is used by a lot of people, from brand new users on up. In fact, some people have complained that too many of their comments are being deleted. We do occasionally have to inform people that the flagging facility exists, but it seems to be discoverable for most folks who visit these sites. – Brad Larson Jan 20 '16 at 16:00

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