enter image description here


"Declined dude, use standard flags"

Trying to be helpful here. The post wasn't quite rude, just a rant, like I mentioned. Is this the style to get people behave like you have in mind?

  • 1
    I didn't handle this, but could you explain what bothers you? Was it the use of the word dude? Or was it that the flag was declined?
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:16
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    @terdon the combination, to decline a flag because it is, according to the one who declined it, in the wrong category is, well, bureaucratic. Anyone would have understood "Please next time use...". The style in which it is declined is saying, "he dude, don't waist my time". The word dude is then indeed the key. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:25
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    I can understand why it would feel bureaucratic, from the outside, but the truth is that we need to handle many flags a day and using the right category really makes our work easier (different options are presented to us for different flag types). That's why there's actually a default flag decline reason (these are defined by the system, like close reasons) that is actually designed for this: "Using standard flags helps us prioritize problems and resolve them faster. Please familiarize yourself with the list of standard flags [. . .]. "
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:32
  • @terdon I believe you instantly, but since we don't see the back end, the last line you write would have done the job, or even shorter "Please next..". Bottom line is that the post needed attention. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:34
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    Agreed. As I said, I did not handle the flag. I just wanted to give you some background so you can understand where the other mod was coming from. Also note that dude isn't necessarily rude. Sadly, text-based communication is very limited and doesn't convey tone, but that comment can easily be read as friendly. Yes, I also see how it could be read as exasperated, but seeing as you have a personal relationship with most active mods from chat, friendly seems like the likelier interpretation.
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:36
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    @terdon Is this policy over? If that is really "rude or abusive"--as the custom decline message says--does your guide need updating? Deliberate nonsense is now considered rude or abusive, but that's not what this was. Does "rude or abusive" now mean "NAA and they really should've known better"? Did this "abuse" the system? Are we expected to be equally outraged by everything? I think you could clear some of this up in an answer. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:25
  • @EliahKagan perhaps you should read my answer to this post. I classified it as "rude/abusive" because it's an abuse of the system and all rants end up being at some point or another against a "Be Nice" policy that is global, and one of the facets of the community. Rants are just posted to complain, b****, and moan. They serve no useful purpose and for all intents and purposes are not conducive to respectful discourse. That's where I came from with that response.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:12
  • @JacobVlijm You need to read my answer.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:14
  • refer to meta.askubuntu.com/questions/17373/… to voice opinions on this use of flags from my opinion please. (Let's consider this thread a dead horse and focus on the actual issue at hand in the other meta thread?)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:44

2 Answers 2


IIRC there are arguments made for flagging rants with no useful content as abusive because they abuse the SE system to voice their rants instead of actual questions or answers. I would have flagged NAA (since it makes no attempt to answer the question). In any case, I don't think a custom flag was needed.

But I suppose your post is more about how that mod addressed you, and while it was decidedly informal, and aggravating to someone who's flag's just been declined, IMO it's just a person being a bit casual and not a big problem.

Le mod probably looked like this then.

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    I agree with the thought of your answer, but I think this isn't the style to work with. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:30
  • @JacobVlijm lack of sleep makes slipups though, I'm usually a lot more formal than I was :P
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 19:20

Your moderator (read: me, but tired beyond reason) was operating on exactly 2 hours of rest. What I should have typed is "Please use Rude or Abusive for this. If you have any questions ask on meta." Lack of sleep was a factor here, oops, for that message.

That not withstanding, though, I believe that such rants are valid use cases, in my opinion, for "Rude or Abusive" on the grounds that it doesn't warrant respectful discourse. I personally don't believe that 'ranting' falls within the "Be Nice" rule as rants target things with rudeness, and ultimately are intended to just complain in a non-nice way about things. Consider that "inappropriate for respectful discourse" is actually part of the flag reason:

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Which is why I said you may wish to use that flag. However, when one of us operates on two hours of sleep, we often don't reply to flags properly.

(My other opinion: rants don't fall within the category of 'respectful discourse' either, whether it's using foul language, etc. or not.)

  • 4
    Thanks for responding to some of the concerns in my comment. "I believe that such rants are valid use cases, in my opinion, for "Rude or Abusive" on the grounds that it doesn't warrant respectful discourse." The words "inappropriate for respectful discourse" in the flagging dialog aren't about anyone's opinion. They link to the "be nice" policy, so clearly they indicate that the posts that violate that policy are what the "rude or abusive" flag is for. That doesn't mean your position is wrong. But I don't think the explanation you've given holds water. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:34
  • @EliahKagan meta.askubuntu.com/a/15833/10616 may suggest otherwise.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:41
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    Why is everyone downvoting this? Just because he is the one who went against the OP doesn't mean he was wrong. This answer explains exactly why the flag was declined, and why he said what he did. You shouldn't care that he is complaining about two hours of sleep, either — it is still the reason he responded in the tone that he did! Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 18:24
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    @NonnyMoose I can only guess here, but it seems to me that the decline reason given might be construed as a mini-rant all by itself which in this case appears to have been construed as inappropriate for respectful discourse. After reviewing the ["answer" ](askubuntu.com/a/965683/225694) this is about, I agree that it doesn't belong here and it appears that the user who posted it isn't really experienced in the community. I think I would have left a comment pointing them to askubuntu.com/help/how-to-answer downvoted and moved on.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 14:54

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