Do not derail topics with replies in "retaliation"


There has been a rash of topics lately where:

  • A user posts something in violation of our community guidelines, and
  • Rather than, or in addition to flagging the comment, a user resorts to retaliatory behaviour that goes against our guidelines in response (be that name-calling or insults, or other derailing behaviours).

Not only does this exponentially increase the work required by the moderators (as very often, and rightly, those responses also receive flags), but it also drastically increases the chances that the mod team is going to chose to excise a broad swath of the topic rather than try to weed out the few good posts from the moderated ones.

In other words, when you respond to trolls, you:

  1. make more work for the mods, and
  2. heavily increase the chances that your fellow posters will have their posts removed as collateral damage.

Don’t do that.

Flag posts that are inappropriate. We work hard to be responsive and take action quickly on moderated posts.

In addition, multiple members of the community will cause an action to be taken against posts without moderator involvement, allowing the topic to continue regardless of the disruptive behaviour (or, in exceptional cases, locking the topic until moderators can clean it up). So don’t assume others have flagged a post - do it yourself and be a part of the process. :slight_smile:

To those of you already flagging inappropriate comments: Thank you. You help us to keep discussions on-track so that topics can continue to be about the thoughts and opinions of the community, instead of meta-discussions and behaviour that instead stifle those same conversations.


Do not derail topics with replies in “retaliation”

Not sure what this means… is this a general reminder to not feed the trollies? Or is this something more specific?

It means:


More like “Don’t try to slay the trolls with rhetorical cleverness, for you quickly become the troll, and then the overworked local militia has to muster and everything gets messy. All that happens then is good people end up getting hurt, and in the meantime no one can cross the bridge.”


“Flags not swords” ?


I think I was mainly wondering if there was a more specific set of events being alluded to, in which case a few more details might prove instructive. But I also understand that sometimes a mod may not want to be more specific, lest it make people re-litigate closed issues. Basically I wanted to know if “welcome to BoingBoing” remarks were the impetus.

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“The flag is mightier than the snark”?


In this case, yes.


Please this, yes. PLEASE.

Otherwise it is non stop snark town for everyone and that is a bad place to live. Eventually everyone gets irony poisoning and … basically dies. On the inside, I mean.

If you are reading this and thinking, “hmm, does he mean me?” then I most assuredly mean you.


But what about the jobs of the people who manufacture eye-rolling gifs?




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