A lot of the discussion that I've seen recently has been concern about whether a comment is "abusive" or whether it fails the welcoming test by being "unfriendly". It's important that users feel comfortable flagging content that is unwelcoming without expecting them to refer to that content as "rude or abusive", so we're breaking the rude and abusive flag into two separate flags.
- It contains harassment, bigotry, or abuse.
- It's unfriendly or unkind.
Determining what's "bad enough" to be considered rude/abusive is tough on users but also difficult for moderators. Conscientious mods may decline some rude/abusive flags while still deleting the comment, often because they may disagree that the comment was abusive but still not worth keeping around. This can be confusing to users who review their flag history and pay attention when their flags were declined.
The hope is that having this second option will reduce this confusion as users can use the "unfriendly" flag to alert moderators of content that is in that middle place between being simply unneeded and outright abusive. That said, don't overthink this. As many have discussed over the last few months, determining this is subjective. The important thing is that problematic content is dealt with - flagged and removed - regardless of whether it is abusive, unfriendly, or unneeded.
To help, here are some examples and how I'd flag them:
Harassment, bigotry or abuse
Direct attacks on a user or the content they post would fall into the first option:
- This code is so bad you should feel bad for even asking about it here.
- You're an idiot.
- &#&@(& you and your little pony, too.
The three keywords are good guides for what falls into this category, so keep them in mind - for reasons I hope you understand, I've chosen examples that are less extreme.
Unfriendly or unkind
Comments that are snarky, condescending, or dismissive now fit well into this option:
- This isn't a do-my-homework-for-me site.
- My question is completely clear! You all are trolling me with these comments!
- I'm voting to close this because it's just a rant.
These comments aren't necessary but they are more than that, so make use of the new flag.
The current plan is to roll this change out to coincide with the release of the Code of Conduct. If you have any questions, let us know!