... Bring it to the mods' attention. Don't take on the user multiple times.

We've had a few separate instances over the last couple of months where higher-reputation users have actively (or passively) challenged newer users' behaviour repeated times. In comments. On Meta.

These challengers only do it for the betterment of the site.

However, leaving more than a few comments against a single user —especially a new user— makes them feel abused. They get defensive and their reaction is automatically against you, not the rules of the site, not their problems. Words like "troll" come up and that often just leads to another reaction.

Consider it this way. If they ignored you the first two times, what's special about the next ten? Continuing to nibble at a repeat offender will only make them angry. It won't fix the problem.

So, please don't nibble.

If you notice that a user is becoming a repeat offender, flag something they've done and leave an explanation for moderators. We can have a discussion with the user out of public view with them. Why?

  • Well, sometimes the setting and person talking to them can make the difference and improve their conduct (win!).
  • But sometimes they just attack us instead. The difference here is we can deal with that escalation surgically without a public brawl.

Either way the outcome is cleaner. You can focus on what you were doing, we can focus on the bigger problems and everybody stays calm and productive.

  • 5
    Oh, but public brawls are great fun! ;P
    – user364819
    Mar 18, 2016 at 12:13
  • 1
    So, just vote to close and move on...
    – Braiam
    Mar 18, 2016 at 13:50
  • 4
    No, if they're not getting it (or worse) flag it up with a custom message. By the time they have enough closed questions to buzz a moderator it's already too late. Their account is irreparable.
    – Oli Mod
    Mar 18, 2016 at 14:48
  • 4
    Use "please" a lot and explain why something is wrong: it makes it clear that you're not angry at them and that the reason for your comment is not that their behavior annoys you, but that their behavior is disruptive to the site.
    – kos
    Mar 19, 2016 at 11:15
  • A few time I've seen new users get uptight because their question is being closed and they get violent , directing their anger at specific users, spamming comments. There's not a lot to gain by continuing conversation with them, calm or not. After one or two comments, move on. Let the mods handle it Mar 25, 2016 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


Just a long text to have enough characters to allow posting

  • Does it come in T shirts? Mar 23, 2016 at 22:45
  • 3
    @JacobVlijm Yes it does. And while you're ordering: order one for me as well and all of the mods here too! ;-) :P
    – Fabby
    Mar 23, 2016 at 22:47
  • No kidding! Didn't that was your inspiration :) Mar 23, 2016 at 22:49

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