When flagging a comment, one of the options is

It contains harassment, bigotry, or abuse.
This comment attacks a person or group. Learn more in our Code of Conduct.

and the quoted section of the code is

No name-calling or personal attacks.
Focus on the content, not the person. This includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to content (e.g. “lazy”).

No bigotry.
We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. When in doubt, just don’t.

No harassment.
This includes, but isn’t limited to: bullying, intimidation, vulgar language, direct or indirect threats, sexually suggestive remarks, patterns of inappropriate social contact, and sustained disruptions of discussion.

Does this reason cover attacking, or inciting unlawful violence against, someone who isn't a member of the site?

My understanding is that the "No harassment" section is most likely to be relevant, but I want to check.

  • 3
    Pretty sure this is the answer you're looking for but I'm not going to hammer it: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/286082/…
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 1:33
  • 3
    @Catija thanks. Technically, I don't think it is not a dupe since that question is referencing the now-obsolete Be Nice policy. I'm 95% convinced the CoC answer is the same, but the same answer does not a dupe make. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 1:37
  • Interesting - two people downvoted this. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 4:43

2 Answers 2


Historically yes.

Practically as a publicly accessible site, what we say here, or on chat can get picked up and shared outside the network. This usually ends up pretty ugly.

Unacceptable behavior is unacceptable, whether it's aimed at a member of a site, or a group of people outside the community.This dosen't vary on what our formal rules are.

Does this reason cover attacking, or inciting unlawful violence against, someone who isn't a member of the site?

Absolutely. Whether it's a public figure who will never turn up here or someone who is critical of the community culture here, we treat them with respect. We can question the ideas, but personal attacks are out. Incitement of violence is definitely out and is unacceptable anywhere.

Keep it respectful and constructive, and remember no person, or site is an island. So certainly the tenets of the COC (and the old be nice rule), certainly extend outside our users.

  • 1
    FWIW, the "chat can get picked up and shared outside the network" has occurred and resulted in suspension to the corresponding users (this is to emphasize that it has happened before, not a hypothetical situation) Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 8:16

I'm fairly sure the same applies to non-SE users, only from intuition.

I've seen comments attacking Reddit moderators (emphasis: Reddit) about their policies and actions on SO, and that comment was deleted with a single flag because it contained vulgar words.

That strange case aside, such CoC is intended to keep the Stack Exchange network clean and in a civilized manner, so it doesn't really matter whom is being attacked, as any kind of abuse towards any entity could be considered "inappropriate content for the site".

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