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Are expletives allowed on SE sites?

I've had a number of times when I've wanted to use explicit language in comments (in non-offensive, possibly humorous ways), but I've censored myself because I didn't feel it was worth the possibility of some overly politically correct user reporting me for being offensive just due to the phrasing I've chosen to use.

Personally, I have a policy of not being afraid of my own damn language, but I know that this can lead to issues.

So I'm curious, does Stack Overflow have an "official" policy on swearing/explicit language/words-that-someone-somewhere-might-find-offensive?


1 Answer 1


This seems pretty official to me, being as Jeff Himself said it:


Expletives are not acceptable behavior on meta or any other Stack Overflow site. If you can't effectively communicate what you need to say without resorting to lowest common denominator cursing, then keep it to yourself.

If you use expletives, you will get a warning.

If you continue to use expletives, you will be placed on timed suspension.

  • 1
    I've always felt that StackExchange is extremely professional, and that profanity is better suited to off-duty-hours conversation, so this makes perfect sense.
    – eckza
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 18:00
  • 1
    -1 for logic flaw of hasty generalization. A better answer, "Profanity is not allowed. It's inconsistent with the tone and purpose of SE sites." The flaw was to forget the significant amount of speech we hold dear that includes colorful language, and presuppose someone is "resorting to lowest common denominator cursing". If the Supreme Court doesn't assume the F-word is failed speech no need for us to. Please note I agree with the policy. Just not the auto-moral judgement. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen_v._California Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 23:09
  • They say that intelligent people swear more often, shouldn't we try to invite intelligent people meaning they can use a language they are comfortable with :-) I understand not allowing to swear towards other people but things I think you should be allowed ;-)
    – OZZIE
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 7:03
  • "They" say? Sounds like a good question for the Skeptics stack exchange site... :-) Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 21:40

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