296

Thank you for this heartfelt, encouraging message, and for being willing to have the conversation that preceded it instead of just walking away. We need more of that at Stack Exchange. It's too easy to forget that, behind the gravatar and user name, there is an actual human being. We have text-only interactions, sometimes limited to messages of a few ...


190

Expletives are generally not allowed I didn't like it before, and I don't like it now. An expletive is a word that fills space without adding any semantic content (meaning), or that's only for stress. Examples are on earth (in "why on earth did…"), the heck (in "what the heck is…") and, yes, some other, vulgar things. Expletives are (or should ...


145

We re-examined this issue recently in light of Aaron Swartz's tragic suicide. We concluded that, for a site like ours, a formal policy or process around memorializing the accounts of the deceased might do more harm than good. Here's why: On a site like ours, it's not as necessary as it is on more social networks. For many, sites like Facebook serve as the ...


142

That's a lot better! Remarks on the content Don't expect new users to know the rules “the rules” → “all the rules”. Saying that new users don't have to know any rule won't go well. We're proud to be one of the few large, user-driven spaces online where name-calling, harassment, and other online nastiness are almost non-existent. I don't think that ...


106

TL;DR: Don't go into chat without thinking about the other side. Don't be a Sith. I've never been particularly involved in politics. Sure, my age is a major factor in that, but I consider myself pretty well-read in what's going on in the world - outside my house, my state, and even my country. And in years past, I had stances on some issues, and some that I ...


97

Wendikidd mostly nailed this, but here's the semi-official guideline: Generally speaking, your "about me" is just that—what you want to share with the world, and we try to allow users a good bit of freedom there. However, in the rare cases where what's there is likely to be truly offensive to large groups of seemingly reasonable people, we may not ...


96

I find the phrase Be civil. Attacking or harassing individuals based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, age, race, or religion – and any and all other type of personal attack – is unacceptable. bothersome - and it feels like it was written by a lawyer. That long list comprises "legally protected characteristics", but it fatally ...


95

I go by ‘they’, and I speak for myself, not on behalf of all queer folks. What I understand of Monica's position—based previously on public TL leaks and now on what heather has relayed—is a little baffling to me. Nevertheless, it seems that SE.inc have foolishly chosen Monica as a scapegoat for much larger issues—and now, having put their corporate foot in ...


79

SE has already subverted their no animated ads policy in the past few months, which finally led me into installing AdBlock Plus. I think it's time for everyone to enable their ad blocker on SE now, had anyone disabled it before. Oh what? NSFW video??? Are we going to see more than 15k bottles of Viagra from Kenya??? Where's your stand? Please, Stack ...


76

One problem is the wide disparity in attention levels at different sites. Is 39 moves the longest a chess game can go moving only pawns? was posted to Math. I think it is a much better fit for Puzzling, but the activity level at Puzzling is so much lower. Cross-posting would help in cases like this. The proliferation of sites (particularly betas) ...


74

Let's read that "be nice" policy: Whether you've come to ask questions, or to generously share what you know, remember that we’re all here to learn, together. Be welcoming and patient, especially with those who may not know everything you do. Oh, and bring your sense of humor. Just in case. That basically covers it. But these three guidelines may help: ...


72

One of the problems with political discussion is that they tend to escalate to heated debate and eventually insults and personal attacks. In some cases, people may be offended enough to flag political messages, even if they read like mere parody or fall just short of offensive to the general audience. I responded to two sets of flags on political messages on ...


69

Let me preface this by saying that we've got to understand that someone somewhere will find something offensive in what you write if they really want to, no matter how tenuous, they'll find a way. I know you're asking for generics but I want to talk specifically about the post you're referring to. If it wasn't clear through my comments, I was fine with the ...


62

If it's ok to praise god in your profile (it is), then it should be ok to insult god in your profile too. This is a matter of people's personal beliefs, and as a Stack Overflow moderator I don't have the authority to tell you what you can or cannot believe. I can't even keep track of what people believe. Some people might honestly believe that god is a pig ...


58

I think what we're seeing here is the confluence of two very separate problems. Together, I think, they create situations like those Yannis described in generalities. First: The Silent Majority I've done my best to consistently remind people that the VAST MAJORITY of our userbase is excellent. We have some really amazing people on our sites who, while ...


57

Harassment and bullying Harassment and bullying. If you find yourself in a hostile interaction, disengage. If the other party keeps it up, flag it. If you think something needs staff attention, use the "Contact Us" link found at the bottom of every page. I think that this paragraph is a bit ... off. It should be named "Reaction to Harassment and ...


52

English is a living language; it changes slowly but constantly. Old words take new meanings, new words replace old, and sometimes old uses resurface in new contexts. Also, sometimes there are emoji. We gather together here from across the earth, bringing with us myriad notions of language and meaning. Our purpose is to share knowledge with one another; ...


48

Plz is slang, especially used by an immature younger person. Often when having a formal conversation people do not like the use of slang in the conversation. Also, to me, someone not taking the time to write out something as simple as please feels disrespectful to me; like I was not important enough to make our conversation formal. So things like Plz ...


46

From what I've seen, the general way SE handles stuff like this is that you can put anything in your profile/comments/whatever until someone finds it offensive, at which point they flag it and mods decide whether it's something that could legitimately cause offense or not. You've got a lot of leeway in profiles, but things have been removed before; racism, ...


44

This sounds like hair-splitting to me. The Be Nice policy is certainly geared toward being nice to other users as that's the common case. But it seems weird to classify the people you ought to be nice to by whether they have an account on our sites. For one thing, that would mean people could gain protection from harassment just by signing up. But I think ...


42

I really like the updated guidance, but somehow I also think: Are they really necessary to that extent? I cannot remember I have seen anyone being "harassed" by "on gender, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, age, race, or religion"... Are there any IRL examples of that? It is not meaning that I don't think rules like that should be part of the ...


40

I don't think this behavioral pattern is limited to politics at all. Generally, in respectful discourse, it is unacceptable to denigrate others because of their opinion if you want to continue to have respectful discourse. In my experience, Stack Exchange is one of the best places on the internet for respectful discourse. The level of maturity and relative ...


39

The real question here is why do you care? It's just some guys user profile. You don't need to look at it. It's not like he's posing it in his questions or answers. Now I understand that you or any other person may find this offensive and it is well within your right to be offended. You may also ask him to change his profile politely if you are so inclined....


38

Is a duplicate question really that offensive? When it comes down to these mass duplicated questions: yes, yes it is. They get annoying after a while, and waste our time trying to close and get rid of them so we don't have 50 million duplicates of the same exact thing. Basically, you're offending us by not conducting a simple search that would have saved ...


37

Treating good questions with the appropriate attention is the best way to help people change in the way you want Thanks for this useful guidance, I agree with everything. Except... ...what happens next? There are a zillion good questions, which follow your instructions to the letter, are highly upvoted and they are routinely "ignored". I put that in quotes ...


36

The person making the comment should have posted an answer instead. If they chose not to do so, and someone else did, I don't see a problem. It happens to me all the time; I'll post a comment that seems to be the simple solution, and someone else will take that and make it an answer. It's my fault, not theirs, because I decided to post the comment instead. ...


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