As you probably know, GD.SE is part of the Stack Exchange network. SE's model is based on four 'cardinal' rules. The first two ones: Be honest, be nice. (they are not mutually exclusive ;) ).

This post is not directed at any specific user, nor is it in response to any specific incident. The subject of rudeness and unwelcoming comments has been brought up in our meta the past, for example here and here. It has also been discussed to exhaustion in SO's meta, here, and here.

Rudeness and incivility can come from those asking, as well as from those answering. Offensive comments from new users are generally taken care of more easily. Unwelcoming comments from long time GD users are equally unacceptable.

If someone is rude to you, that is not a free pass to return the gesture. Let it go. A flame war will never result in a positive resolution. Someone showing you disrespect if not justification to be disrespectful. If you find something offensive: flag so that a moderator can investigate and do their best to neutralize the situation.

As Tomjedrz mentions in the cited SO post,

"The fact that one thinks a question (or answer) is horrible, incorrect or useless does not provide an excuse for insults or rudeness".

SE is very clear about this: Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you because we’re all here to learn, together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know, and bring your sense of humor.

If you see a post that needs attention, instead of leaving a rude comment please consider doing one of the following:

  • If it's a badly worded post and you have the time, edit it.
  • If it's a bad post and the user is new, explain why it needs to be re-thought and vote to put it on hold.
  • If you disagree with a post, state why. Use your words to form a counter-point, do not include ad hominem attacks.

Our average flag handling time is less than an hour, and most close votes are solved way before that. In that hour, however, we'd rather have a bad question floating around, than rude comments that drive new users away, as OPs get notified of them instantly.

So... Be Honest. Be Nice. Treat each other like humans without exception.

  • 1
    I find your SSL Errors, with their bright yellow pages, rather rude :)
    – Scott
    Feb 26, 2014 at 19:36
  • 6
    @Scott if the error page incites any further offensive behavior, please flag it for my attention and I will sit down and have a talk with it so we can work together on a kinder way to report SSL certificate errors
    – JohnB
    Feb 26, 2014 at 19:41
  • 2
    I just read the book Crucial Conversations, it proposes that the most influential people are both 100% honest and 100% respectful. Just a random thought... It looks like that book went into that rule. Feb 26, 2014 at 19:53
  • 1
    ,,,I'm not human
    – Ryan
    Mar 10, 2014 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


It is of course impossible to disagree with this; it will not turn into a discussion - and that is a good thing. I just thought I should contribute this little gem:

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