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I came across the following in an answer by rene:

This isn't kindergarten and we're not here to babysit everyone. If you have to ask yourself if your post is considered to be acting in good faith/acceptable to ask, I suggest to not post it yet and reconsider your options for 6 to 8 weeks.

There was a long comment thread about it being offensive and the answer had many down votes (+21 -30). It had been flagged as RA, per the comments, but these were declined (again per the comments).

I decided to clarify why I think it's offensive by flagging it for moderator attention. I added the following message to clarify my concerns:

This is extremely offensive. By making the comparison to kindergarten and babysitting the user suggests those who have been suspended acted like toddlers (who would frequent kindergarten and require a babysitter). This is not only condescending, it goes against the code of conduct as unfriendly language at best, with a lead up to being a personal attack against suspended users who cannot defend themselves from being attacked.

This flag was declined stating:

declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

Are these remarks really allowed according to the code of conduct? Not only does it refer to other users, it refers to other users who cannot defend them because they have been suspended, for questionable reasons (per the question).

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    If we have to remove everything that makes someone offended, we might have to rework the system - some people are offended by downvotes, some people are offended by the mere existence of comments and so on. Usually consideration on what is offensive takes some common sense, which will never be universally agreed to. For example, I don't think the kindergarden comment was offensive - not only that, it was a comment some people needed. – Senior Wrangler Dec 9 '19 at 6:35
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    Why would it be offensive? Aren't children just lovely? – Teemu Dec 9 '19 at 6:41
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    I'm sorry but that was non sequitur to me. I don't get how a comment saying adults should behave like adults can be condescending. Maybe there is some cultural gap here, or maybe I am dense enough that this goes over my head. – Senior Wrangler Dec 9 '19 at 6:49
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    Ugh. Rene’s answer did the exact opposite of what you’re accusing it of doing. Did you miss the “not” that it contained? This is not kindergarten; we are all adults, and we don’t require babysitting. We also don’t require overreaction about an extremely common turn of phrase. – Cody Gray Dec 9 '19 at 20:55
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    I did not miss the context. I am fully aware of Robert's situation. What I cannot figure out is how to make sense of your reply, in particular sentences like, "Clearly, the implication that the comparison applies to them follows from the claim that this isn't a kindergarten, yet these people have just been banned from the site." It is quite clear to me that rene is expressing an opinion that Robert's original post (the one for which he was banned) was perfectly acceptable discourse, and justified it in arguing that it simply asked us to treat each other as adults. I'm not offended by that. – Cody Gray Dec 10 '19 at 3:18
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    It isn't directed to anyone in particular. If you find this "extremely offensive" then I would strongly recommend avoiding the Internet, since you will find much more offensive posts in the average social media feed. – Lundin Dec 11 '19 at 8:34
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+500

This isn't kindergarten and we're not here to babysit everyone.

This appears to be a form of (typically British-style) dry wit, combined with the use of a metaphor.

The movie Snatch employs this style of humor repeatedly (see movie quotes; cuss words redacted):

  1. Turkish: It's an unlicensed boxing match. It's not a tickling competition. These lads are out to hurt each other.

  2. Bullet Tooth Tony: (What) You mean, "look in the dog"?
    Avi: I mean, open him up.
    Bullet Tooth Tony: It's not a [...] tin of baked beans! What d'you mean, "open him up"?!

  3. Vinny: It's a four ton truck, Tyrone. It's not as if it's a packet of [...] peanuts, is it?

  4. Turkish: We've lost Gorgeous George.
    Brick Top: Well where'd ya lose him? He ain't a set of car keys, is he?

Importantly, none of these are comparisons. E.g. Turkish is not comparing an "unlicensed boxing match" to a "tickling competition", he's using humor to emphasize how it's the polar opposite of a "tickling competition".

In this case, rene is using a similar style of humor to highlight that Stack Exchange of the polar opposite of a "kindergarten" (i.e., we assume users are capable of acting maturely). The purpose seems to be to highlight the consequent ridiculousness were everyone coddled at Stack Exchange.


My thoughts/feelings on the matter:

  • If it's offensive, it doesn't seem to target any individual person or group of people.

  • I feel your claim that "this is extremely offensive" is massively blown out of proportion. If this is what's considered "extremely offensive", then... wow!

  • If it were really "extremely offensive", why draw an audience to it by quoting it verbatim on meta.SE, and immortalizing it in your title? This seems to achieve the opposite of the desired outcome (its quiet deletion).

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    Thanks for taking the time to consider the quote. To your points at the end, I flagged it because I found it extremely offensive at the time, not just the words, but in the context of users who cannot defend themselves. When it turned out to be okay (declined flag), it was okay to quote (and required for attribution reasons). I think it may be less offensive than I made it out to be initially, though it can clearly be perceived as offensive. I guess in the end it was somewhere around the line, where you could argue it's humorous on the one hand but can be offending to some on the other hand. – JJJ Dec 9 '19 at 8:52
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    Yes but in the spirit of the last 2 CoCs, doesn't this humor hurt our feelings? Shouldn't it be removed for hurting our feelings? – user Dec 9 '19 at 12:03
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    "it doesn't seem to target any individual person or group of people" - On the top of my mind, I can think of 1 specific individual that can take it personally and a group of 55 that might as well take it personally. – user Dec 9 '19 at 12:07
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    Rene isn't british though.... :D – Journeyman Geek Dec 16 '19 at 13:51
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I've replaced the opening offensive/rude and provocative sentence with one that still conveys the same meaning that hopeful let you and others not lose less sleep over it. Let's see how it goes.

Maybe it is the overall premise of the answer that is unloved, in which case it is unsalvageable. I assume the community will delete vote the answer if they feel that way. I will not contest that.

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    If your answer is not posted in good faith, then it is beyond salvaging and both original and edited version are equally offensive. If you posted it in good faith, then your overall premise is reasonable and I wouldn't dwell too much on the wording. But it does not tackle the main issue, people that want to ask questions, not having any hidden agendas or malice and are afraid to ask almost anything because they can see (previously) respected users and long time contributors being suspended all over the place for reasons they cannot comprehend. – Resistance Is Futile Dec 17 '19 at 20:26
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Cause really, that's exactly the kinda thing he's been talking about.
It was rejected. Then it gets flagged again. The point of flags is to get someone to take a look, and act on it. And well, I suppose it didn't get enough.

The constant escalation dosen't help. Downvoting and moving on seems good enough.

Or better yet, take a deep breath and suggest a better way. It works sometimes.

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