291

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 ...


191

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 ...


176

As said, I'm annoyed about the lack of previous discussion before you made the decision. People spent plenty of time refining and improving this and it's now wasted. It's not like you don't have a point with the reasons for deleting it, but you should have at least given some hint that the project is on probation, and any work invested in it may be for ...


144

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 ...


93

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 ...


92

I used to post ad-hoc comments like Please don't prefix your titles with "C#" and such. That's what the tags are for I replaced that with Please see "Stack Overflow does not allow tags in titles" I generally got good responses from these, if I got any responses at all, for instance: @JohnSaunders: Thank you for your information. I ...


80

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 ...


78

I think you've done a disservice in deleting the post. As you've mentioned the post isn't the problem, it's how the post was used to institutionalize rudeness that was the problem. However, we've dealt with institutionalized rudeness in the past through technology. For example, lmgtfy links are now banned on Stack Overflow. Yes, technology currently does ...


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 ...


69

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: ...


68

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) ...


68

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 ...


59

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

Generally speaking, answering questions that should get closed encourages bad behavior. This is how I handle it: If the question is a real question, constructive, not too localized and on topic on another SE site: Vote/flag to migrate. Answer the question. If the question is not a real question, not constructive, too localized or off topic on all SE ...


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; ...


51

I wrestle with this as well. What I have worked out as a habit is: I try to leave comments where another user has correctly answered but not yet received the green check mark. Do unto others and all that. For my own posts, I will sometimes comment something to the effect of, "Hi, I see you're new to SO. If you feel an answer solved the problem, please ...


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, ...


43

After all, I'm simply answering a smaller set of highly refined questions to the best of my abilities, through experience and the aid of Google, and working with the original posters to solve their problems concisely and correctly. It can't get much more "right" than that, buddy! That's what the site is for, and you're using it exactly as it was designed to ...


43

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

Anything you can say in comments can be phrased in a friendly way, an unfriendly way, and a neutral way. Neutral, short responses can sometimes come across as unfriendly. That's because on the Internet, nobody can see your facial expressions. In fact, no matter what you write, it's going to be interpreted by different people at different points on the ...


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