Possible Duplicate:
Are expletives allowed on SE sites?

For four days, my comment here had, after the question mark, something like this: "(To tell him to f**k off might not be appropriate, though.)"
Now it's gone.

Why did someone edit my comment and remove that?

  • 7
    Just for reference, only moderators can edit comments. This was not done by another user. Jun 1, 2011 at 12:06
  • 1
    I think this leads down to the old discussion. Jun 1, 2011 at 12:08
  • @Cody: That I assumed.
    – sbi
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:08
  • 5
    @sbi: The short answer is that it got flagged as offensive. Rather than seeing the entire comment removed by further flags, I opted to remove the (parenthetical and unnecessary) expletive. I don't think my edit changed the meaning of your comment. Jun 1, 2011 at 13:13
  • 2
    @Bill If he's not a mod, he can't edit his comment at this point, no?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 1, 2011 at 13:50
  • @Anna: Shoot, I thought users could edit their own comments! (But I verified that this is not the case on a site where I'm not a mod.) Thanks, I'll edit my comment. Jun 1, 2011 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


Your comment got edited because profanity is not acceptable regardless of the reason. See Are expletives (cursing, swear words or vulgar language) allowed on SE sites?

  • 8
    Where is that ruling? I've used profanity (with good reason) on English.SE. And I've seen profanity on other SE sites, including SO. Don't make up rules.
    – TRiG
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:06
  • 1
    You gotta be kidding me. Read that sentence again. It said "not appropriate".
    – sbi
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:07
  • 3
    @sbi, all you have to do is say, "your comment isn't appropriate" Jun 1, 2011 at 12:10
  • 1
    @TRiG, I didn't make this up Jun 1, 2011 at 12:13
  • @Mike: Your comment isn't appropriate. (And now what?)
    – sbi
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:17
  • @sbi, we disagree :). Would you like to post evidence for why my comment isn't appropriate? Jun 1, 2011 at 12:19
  • 5
    @TRiG @sbi there is nothing new here; we try to keep the sites reasonably civilised. I wasn't involved, but I fully support the edit. Jun 1, 2011 at 12:20
  • 6
    @sbi - I'm not sure on the relevance of geography. And I'm not sure of the relevance of instructing someone to vs to not. It was still unnecessary Jun 1, 2011 at 12:29
  • @Bobby: And this sad problem is so bad because so many websites are bending to these silly rules.
    – sbi
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:30
  • 7
    @sbi - would you walk up to a new client and say that? your mother? a random passer-by? Silly rules... that would be what we call "society". Jun 1, 2011 at 12:32
  • 1
    @Marc, regarding "society"... well said +1 Jun 1, 2011 at 12:33
  • 3
    @sbi, so an old lady can't be a programmer? Just because you don't find a word, or the use of a set of words, offensive, that doesn't mean others won't. You can't know who will read content on stackoverflow, it's on the internet thing, so it's available to people of all ages, the world over. It's been pointed out to you that the stackoverflow community don't accept, or appreciate, cussing/swearing, so either stop doing it (no matter how humorously meant!) or expect to have it edited out and the ban hammer eventually drop on you from a great height.
    – Rob
    Jun 1, 2011 at 12:44
  • 4
    Methinks it's a little silly to ban so-called expletives simply because they might offend someone. There are lots of other (arguably more effective) ways to offend people in comments, but we don't have any way of banning those. Because they're not words at all, they're phrases and ideas, you know, the things that actually have the tendency to harm. Of course, they also have the tendency to be very good and useful; open discourse is something a site like this one is based almost solely around. If @sbi wants to offend people with his word choice, I say let him. And blame him, not the site. Jun 1, 2011 at 12:53
  • 3
    @Mike: But that's just it: I wasn't "not nice" to anybody. The only one who could have been offended would be that silly guy's customer. (And even that would be construed, because I didn't even actually use that phrase, I merely said to not to use it on him.) It was not that I offended someone; someone felt offended by me referring to a phrase with an expletive in it. That's very different from me using the phrase on some SO user.
    – sbi
    Jun 1, 2011 at 13:03
  • 5
    Can't we bypass the argument about whether or not certain words offend and whom they might offend. It all boils down to the rule set out in the FAQ that expletives are unacceptable. Think of it as an arbitrary rule: we don't know why, we just know we can't do it.
    – pavium
    Jun 1, 2011 at 13:16

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