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Someone got upset and is following me around arguing in other questions' comments sections, and posting "answers" that are not actually answering the question that's asked. They won't move conversations to chat, and are leaving long comment chains if I respond. I tried not responding for a little over an hour, but they kept adding "answers" to my questions and questions I answered, and is singling me out when they do so. Is their behavior something I can do anything about? How would a moderator decide if they needed to take some sort of action?

I would be open to the idea that this was just a small world issue, but they're taking an aggressive tone, are specifically responding to me when leaving answers and comments, and are singling me out when they do so.

Here are some questions they responded to:

I tried disengaging (as suggested in one of the answers below) but they were still responding to new questions over an hour later. I've updated this question and added links to examples as there were several who asked for that.

Is this sufficient to get the mods involved? Is there some way I can put them on ignore so they won't see my questions or won't keep following me around? How does this sort of situation work?

closed as off-topic by Eliah Kagan, rene, Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog, Rob, Stormblessed Nov 4 at 23:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should relate to features or policies that commonly apply to the network or the software that drives it, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Eliah Kagan, rene, Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog, Rob, Stormblessed
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Can you provide some links or screenshots? Could be a coincidence, could be harassment but who knows from a two line question? – Mark Kirby Nov 4 at 17:40
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    From browsing OP's network account I suspect this was prompted by the discussion on this question. I see no evidence of that user following you around to other questions, but I can see from their network profile that they're... trouble, to say the least. – F1Krazy Nov 4 at 17:43
  • I didn't think to link to the other questions. I'm going to wait a few minutes and see if they go away. – Regional Director Nov 4 at 17:45
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    How d'ya know someone is following you around? Maybe they're just worried about you and want to make sure you're doin' fine. – Jeff Darwood Nov 4 at 17:56
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    Were those comments specifically about you and addressing you or about what you said in your posts? I still think you should share some more info so we can try to follow him. – Jeff Darwood Nov 4 at 18:03
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    @dfhwze, the questioner has not named the offending user, neither have they linked to one of their comments. Defamation required naming someone last time I checked (even in the US). – Frédéric Hamidi Nov 4 at 18:08
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    When you make questions on the same topic on multiple SEs and you crosslink them, wouldn't you expect people to go participate in both places? – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Nov 4 at 18:21
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    Your last comment didn't ping, you have a space after the @. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Nov 4 at 19:37
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    @FrédéricHamidi I think the italicized word is a reference to other recent events, but I could be wrong. – SmrtGrunt says Respond2Monica Nov 4 at 20:18
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    In order to notify = ping a user, you must use the @ followed by the username, with no spaces, e.g. @ShadowThePrincessWizard. The person "pinged" will receive a notification on their inbox. – Mari-Lou A Nov 4 at 20:58
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    Flag. No need to call users out here with more detail. Flag for moderator attention. That's it. If in the mean time they want to harm their reputation and ability to use to the site by posting bad content, it's their grave to dig. – Bart Nov 4 at 21:21
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    You tried disengaging for an hour? That's not disengaging. Comment on one of them that you are done and will not be responding. Flag something and explain in the "needs mod attention" box. Then do not respond to anything from this user. Not in an hour, not in a day, not in a week. Ignore them utterly. That is disengaging. If they know that 5 replies or 10 replies or waiting an hour will draw you out, well they will draw you out. Completely turn your back on the situation. – Kate Gregory Nov 4 at 22:00
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    The user in question has a very very high downvote ratio network wide, so probably it's nothing personal but just how they roll. I'd say disengage and ignore. – Josef Nov 5 at 10:24
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    @Josef No matter which metric used, the n°1 controversial user always seems to be the same person. – dfhwze Nov 5 at 16:43
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    @dfhwze if you remove or reduce the requirement for at least 100 upvotes, it changes a bit. But then, users with only downvotes are hardly that interesting. – Josef Nov 5 at 18:51
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Yes all of this is way more than enough to warrant a flag

Flags are a tool that you can and should be using to let moderators know of issues that they should be aware of and/or handling.

Situations where this is definitely appropriate:

  • Excessive arguing in post comments
  • If you think a user is harassing you
  • Consistent problematic behavior

For problematic answers you can:

  • Downvote
  • Flag (Very Low Quality, Spam, Rude/Abusive, or Not an Answer as appropriate)

Your situation could be a combination of any/all of the factors above. It's hard for an outside observer to tell what all the issues might be, a local mod will have a much better idea (because they are more familiar with the people, rules, and usual methods of dealing with things on that site than we are).

Do whatever things you think are appropriate for each answer. Flag for a mod on one of the posts with a custom message. Include a link to this post.

Meanwhile, just don't engage with the user. They are digging their own hole, let them do it and don't spend any more energy on them.


Note: this was answered before the question went through a major revision that added a lot of details and context. Below is the general advice that I gave that still holds true.

Disengage

As much as you can, disengage from the user. You don't have to bite when someone tries to start an argument under your answer and certainly not when they are under others'. After not engaging, if the behavior continues you should...

Flag for a moderator

When you are encountering behavior on a site that a normal user can't handle, the best thing to do is flag it. Flag a comment or post of that user with a custom message and the local moderator will look into it. Since comments aren't searchable, it is going to help if you give as much information as you can within the limits of a flag (links to examples eg).

In the case that a moderator can't handle it fully (in the case of cross-site activity that they can't see, eg) they may bump it up to a CM to look at.

This may just be a small-site thing or a coincidence (or not)

On many sites, there are power users who are active on many of the questions that get posted on the site. This can be especially true of small sites (which is what you look to be active on). That could give the impression that they are following you, when they are simply just being very active on the site.

However, being a very active user doesn't mean that they aren't also doing something wrong. They certainly aren't mutually exclusive.

It is definitely worth notifying a moderator if it is something that worries you though and it certainly could to turn out that this user is behaving inappropriately, just be ready to be open for other explanations as potential reasons for the behavior as well.

  • In this case they jumped to a question on a different Stack Exchange. I'm going to wait a few minutes and see if they walk away. – Regional Director Nov 4 at 17:48
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    I've seen it happen a few times myself. It is a thing. – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 4 at 18:56
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That user is known to be "difficult" and provides many low quality answers on Law.SE, being solely active in that community. Law is not usually a very active community and you happened to ask 4 questions there today, so unfortunately you drew much of his attention today. I don't think he's targeting you in any way, it's simply that you have posted many of the questions today. I too would like to see the mods do more to reign him in; but in the meantime, downvoting his non-answers and flagging any particularly rude comments is the way to go.

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You have a formidable tool in the fight against low-quality content - the downvote. Downvoting incorrect, poorly-researched, or otherwise low-quality content is valued. If too many of a user's posts get downvoted, they can lose significant amounts of rep and become subject to the mighty weapon in the war against low-quality, the answer ban.

To be clear, don't specifically target the user (e.g. visiting their profile and reviewing their posts in turn), but individually reviewing and voting on answers to your own questions is clearly within the bounds of acceptability. Are they low-quality? Downvote them. Do they not answer the question? Downvote them. Are they link-only? Downvote them and flag them as Not An Answer (NAA). Are they actually ads for dietary supplements? Downvote them and flag them as spam.

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