Not long ago this question regarding winning grand theft auto was locked I believe (not sure) because of a humorous title that some people took the wrong way. Yesterday this answer to a perfectly fine question shows up, yet the moderator declines an offensive flag on the answer citing

declined - While the words and the sentiment may be offensive, such language is allowed on a site devoted to language when it answers the question.

I'm curious if there are any guidelines that all sites are to follow in the network regarding offensive content?

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    The former was locked because of a rollback war, which is standard procedure. I'm guessing the latter was declined because it was discussing the usage of an offensive term, not directing that term at anyone. Context is important. We don't delete questions on Stack Overflow that discuss profanity filters and use sample words within them, for example. Feb 2, 2016 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


are any guidelines that all sites are to follow in the network regarding offensive content?

Yes, in Stack Exchange Network Content Policy:

Hate Content, Defamation, and Libel. Hate speech and other objectionable content that is unlawful, defamatory, and fraudulent. Note that an allegation of defamatory expression, in and of itself, does not establish defamation. The truth or falsehood of a bit of expression is a key element in establishing defamation, and we are not in a position to make that sort of fact-based judgment. That said, if we have reason to believe that a particular statement is defamatory (a court order, for example), we will remove that statement.

That said, the answer you linked to did not, in any way, refer to you, or any person. If you choose to be offended by the mere presence of a word, it's your choice. It's by no means SE problem.

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    That really doesn't appear to be the applicable bit; very few posts I flag as rude/offensive are at all libelous in any plausible sense. They're just pointlessly rude. Feb 2, 2016 at 21:09
  • The original got deleted, but I've got a good excerpt here in regards to Gaming, specifically.
    – fbueckert
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:18

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