1. To people who downvote because this is "useless": This question stemmed from actual conflict which arose on a child SE site between several users.

  2. To people who downvote because they assume the purpose of the question is allowing the OP (me) to engage in such behavior: opposite. I was the one who called it out. But I didn't have a meta policy to back up my opinion that "this is bad", thus I created this question.

Example Discourse:

User 1: My post XYZ is stupid

User 2: Your post XYZ is stupid.

Now, in isolation, the second statement is a clear violation of "Be nice" policy:

Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person. That includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to posts (like "lazy", "ignorant", or "whiny").

Question is:

Does the fact that the second statement merely quoted the very same thing the target of the statement said about him/her self (or their own post) earlier, make that second statement less of "not nice"?

P.S. I also asked a largely independent but related question of whether statement from User 1 is considered "not nice" in the first place, despite being self-directed

  • 5
    Well, maybe not violating any policy, but surely and utterly childish. Sep 13, 2016 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


"I get to be not nice, because the other user was self-deprecating" is not gonna fly. User 2's statement isn't nice, and they shouldn't make it.

Granted, there are scenarios one could consider, where from context most would think it's users poking fun at each other. But even then they still accept the risk of being flagged or of the offending content being edited out.

Bottom line, be nice.


That's not a quote, though. It's a restatement of what User 1 said, but done in a manner that shows, or at least strongly implies, that User 2 believes it.

I'd say that's not nice for the same reason that just coming out and saying "Your post XYZ is stupid" unprompted is not nice.

I would distinguish this from an actual quote, like

You said "My post XYZ is stupid."

which is fine... possibly pointless, depending on context, but it's probably not really rude. It's hard to imagine a context in which an actual quote of the statement would be inappropriate, I think.

  • Replace "stupid" in the quote for something a little more offensive and it would probably be inappropriate, regardless of wether it was quoted or not
    – Cai
    Sep 13, 2016 at 10:30
  • 1
    @Cai No, I quite strongly disagree with that. [ninja edit] Well... with something more offensive, I still wouldn't consider the quote rude or insulting. It may be unnecessary or ill-advised, though. The difference is that I would simply delete an unnecessary message, but I would issue a suspension for a rude/insulting message.
    – David Z
    Sep 13, 2016 at 10:31
  • Well it depends on the context and what we mean by inappropriate, my point is just putting something in quote marks doesn't make it OK to say.
    – Cai
    Sep 13, 2016 at 10:55
  • The specific context that prompted my question was indubitably the former (NOT a direct quote), but I appreciate the completeness.
    – DVK
    Sep 13, 2016 at 11:27

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