Learn to communicate. Be nice. Avoid personal insults and abuse. If you can't, why are you here wasting time "helping" people? Flag personal attacks, useless sarcasm, insults; don't be a spectator.

New or occasional users are really encouraged to comment!

It takes 15 reputation point to flag posts. From my understanding, not all first time users can even flag, especially with the (sometimes) close votes and downvotes they go through at the same time. The higher population seem to keep each others in check, use the flag system and downvote, and keep it on topic.

In higher population, there's more people and older users who enforce a certain positive attitude. In lower population, this is harder to achieve... It's also harder to keep in check the rebellious users because of public intimidation and coercion; some people won't defend themselves or others because it's easier to just shut up but the result of this passivity also leaves full freedom to the bad attitude of certain dominating users.

Apparently the only way to tame down the "aggressive" users is to simply flag them. (edit) When dealing with mature individuals, these below were considered unacceptable:

Personal attack

(eg. "You are stupid" or any "You are --insert negative word to describe a user---" or "Hello kettle, you're black" or "I know you meant XYZ, don't deny it")

Description: Committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when attacking another person's claim or claims.

Abuse of derogatory words (same category as personal attacks)

(eg. "Your idea is stupid" or "Doing this is stupid" or "Only stupid people..." or "Your answer is overloaded with..." or "You use pointless...")

Description: A pejorative (also called a derogatory term, derogative term, a term of abuse, or a term of disparagement) is a word or grammatical form expressing a low opinion of someone or something, or showing a lack of respect for someone or something. It is also used as a criticism, hostility, disregard and/or disrespect.

Useless/aggressive sarcasm

(eg. "I have a car, does that make me a mechanical engineer?")

Description: Overt irony intentionally used by the speaker as a form of verbal aggression.

Totally off-topic comment

(eg. "My brother went shopping and...")

Description: Not on the main topic; irrelevant to the discussion.


(eg. "I see you do this everywhere and people don't like you" or bringing events from other stacks on unrelated questions/answers, pursuing an individual by bringing off-topic events)

Description: The use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. Act of harming or harassing via information technology networks in a repeated and deliberate manner. A repeated pattern of such actions and harassment against a target by an adult constitutes cyberstalking.

Online shaming

(eg. Giving personal information on users, posting unrelated content to attack a user, encouraging group attacks, supporting insults made by others even if irrationals, the "you vs them". And see above.)

Description: Tool that encourages online mobs to destroy the reputation and careers of people who made perceived slights.

Immature and incomplete/unclear ideas/noise or passive-aggressive comments

(eg. "...Photoshop???????" or "Relax..." or "Why are you so upset?" or "Whatever" or any short comment without any explanation or question or reasoning to help the discussion going or end. More examples)

Description: Indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

A way to be great hosts is to use a productive style of communication; What the community should aim for and the opposite of the examples above. The examples above restrain communication, the examples below encourage it and make it clearer. Confusion is a waste of time.


Description: The quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Assertive communication involves respect for the boundaries of oneself and others. It also presumes an interest in the fulfillment of needs and wants through cooperation.


Description: The status, methods, character or standards expected of a professional or of a professional organization, such as reliability, discretion, evenhandedness, and fair play.

Intellectual honesty

Description: Applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways: - One's personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth; - Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis; - Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another; - References, or earlier work, are acknowledged where possible, and plagiarism is avoided.


Description: The state or quality of being true even outside of a subject's individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings. A proposition is generally considered objectively true (to have objective truth) when its truth conditions are met and are "bias-free"; that is, existing without biases caused by, feelings, ideas, etc. of a sentient subject. A second, broader meaning of the term refers to the ability in any context to judge fairly, without bias or external influence; this second meaning of objectivity is sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.


Description: The process of groups of organisms working or acting together for their common/mutual benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish benefit.

The only questions here could be: Do I make sense, do you agree with this? Can moderators give us some clues on how we can make their job easier and still have fun? How do occasional or new users feel?

Disagreeing is alright, imposing your opinions is not so don't expect people to simply comply. If you keep disagreeing with an answer, provide evidences in your own answer. If you can't, gracefully admit it and move on; no need to fight for your ego. Fallacies are never a very intelligent way to "win" an argument and should be avoided...

I do flag what I consider very bad but it seems like the definition of aggression is not the same to all of us; the Meta of StackExchange seems to share the same views as mentioned above though.

I'm not implying that the entire Graphic Design community is bad (far from this).

Interesting links about the same topic:

The NEW new "Be Nice" Policy ("Code of Conduct") — Updated with your feedback

Could we please be a bit nicer to new users?

Why do we let hostile users dictate the perception of Stack Overflow?

I don't flag - What is wrong with me?

The Help Vampire problem

The problem with extrinsic motivation

How to disagree


I haven't found a single Meta about how to flag and what should be flag in this Meta. You can search for "flag" and have a look at what you'll find...

Obviously, seeing the numbers of downvotes and upvotes on this Meta within 1 day might indicate that people seem confused about flags and maybe some mix concepts of personal disliking vs objectivity. It's also possible they simply don't agree on what most professionals define as good communication.

In all fairness, it doesn't change the fact this meta post is about what "should" be flagged or not, and encouraging people to do so. AND inviting the discussion on this, the topic, not the poster.

It simply ended up DERAILING into bringing other events that I clearly don't feel comfortable with some users (2) and one that I even had to report using the "contact us" because my flags were totally ignored. I honestly don't know if the comments were finally deleted because of this or if it's simply a coincidence. Obviously, there was some confusion on what's acceptable and what's not.

Now one could wonder why the topic here was brought back to discussing my behaviors and these issues, and almost nothing from this post! I thought these things had to be done in a private way to be fair. Or maybe this is just another "animal farm".

Then, my suggestion is to simply invite the mods to define themselves what should be flag or not, as it was very well done on the Physics stack. What's above is simply a detailed descriptions of some of the examples given there, maybe mods will do a way better job at vulgarizing this and selecting what kind of level of communication they want in their own stack since they're the ones sorting the flags (or absence of).


PS: This is clearly not about downvoting or not agreeing with techniques. This is about "how" to disagree. Downvote is there to be used.

  • <destructive/antagonizing comments deleted>
    – user9447
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:34
  • 7
    Look.. I've watched for awhile and kept quiet but Scott and Go-meek have got to stop this bickering back and forth or we will have to take mod actions. I like you both and hate to do it but you two are like children at elementary school going back and forth. We have tried to work and stay unbiased. I think we've done our due diligence in warning you both but frankly you two both seem to provoke each other and the meta post comments are an example. If you two can't stop bickering then don't say anything to each other. If it happens one more time then BOTH of you will be suspended.
    – user9447
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:35
  • 7
    I hate to have to do it because I love both of your contributions but you leave your parents (the mods) no choice in the matter. It isn't healthy for the site and some can consider it as setting a bad example for the site. We are not saying at all we want you to leave the site and would hate to see you guys go but this has got to stop.
    – user9447
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:42
  • 3
    For anyone that reads @Darth_Vader comment I'll add that certain members appear to have "taken sides" regardless of who starts it in any specific situation, which only adds to the problem. I'm not sure any as severe yet to warrant suspension but those will stop now as well or warnings will be given out to those members too.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 18:43
  • 8
    I’ll admit I haven’t read through the entire question, but I can’t really seem to find what the crux is. I agree, of course, with all that I’ve read of it (good communication skills and avoiding spreading negativity are both essential), but is your premise that negative/attacking/etc. comments are more common or rampant here than on other SE sites? ’Cause that’s the exact opposite of my experience—of the SE sites I frequent, this is by far the nicest, most civil, and most lenient. Especially towards new users. Unlike other sites, I hadn’t realised there was a problem here at all. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    For whatever reason you decided to edit this post to exclude a numerous amount of content reflects the answers so I have rolled this back. I dont think anyone is making this about you so I see no validation in removing everything.
    – user9447
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


I'll be real clear here. I don't hold grudges, bias, or take sides. No matter who's saying what or flagging what or whatever you come into chat I say hello and treat you like anyone else. Likewise in Questions, Answers and Comments.

Flag and forget everyone. Memorize it, recite it, stop acting like you're innocent. You "defending yourself" is not the correct course of action and we've been over that.


  • Thanks Ryan. Although I didn't like the first version of your answer for not showing the whole interaction and this answer that uses the confusing "you", I do appreciate that you still tried to be objective and fair.
    – go-junta
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 10:11

Just to add. Many people push for clarity on a downvote however it would seem that a lot of people take it too personally. I think this falls under a catch 22 instance. Many people push for others to leave comments on why they were downvoted but they dont seem to take well. I like to think of it as a challenge on how can I improve my answer. So use this as encouragement to either give further detail in your answer or leave it as is but there is no reason to go on the offensive.

Stop treating a downvote as a personal attack and certain users need to stop taking it personally. Be happy you get a comment for the downvote, stop, pause, drink a beer, and try to see if you understand where that person is coming from. Example. DA01 had a perfectly valid argument into Go-meek's comment left under some question. While I do feel he had just cause as shown in Ryan's answer it could have been directed differently so it quickly turned into an issue.

If everyone wants the site to go on a positive path then positively contribute and vote. Take a min, spend time in a review, take a sec and make an edit. If a question has one or two tags see if you can add more tags to help the next person. I've tried to encourage, come up with ideas on how we can make the site better but Im not going to point it out anymore because I think its redundant.

This is going far enough. I love SE and I love design but come on now, we are supposed to be adults. I shouldnt have to say treat others as you want to be treated.


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