I will give the example of this answer.

It was a bad answer, not much information in it, not really a good work around. A bad answer is a bad answer, we all understand that.

Now, I look at the user that answered that and I see 1 valid question, nothing else. I can assume that this was one of his first answers in the site. Everyone has been there: new to the site, ingenuous, maybe a bit shy and not knowing exactly if his information will be in any way received or helpful, and then it gets hit with comments as the ones posted on that answer.

  • This answer is not helpful or useful at all! explain yourself give us names and links! or just delete the post! read the FAQ!!!

  • (...)but that answer is so bad that it annoys me a lot...

In my humble and not so important opinion, this way of commenting should be strongly avoided. We are a community that prides it self with good behaviour, help is given and taken, development is done based on that. We are one of the faces of Ubuntu.

If someone needs help or guidance when he himself is trying to help but instead gets whooshed out what kind of example are we?

I was tempted to flag those comments as rude at the time, but being myself also a recent member to the site I have failed on not doing so. I was afraid another user would be punished for something that can be considered rude or for others just harsh.

What is your opinion on flagging comments to moderators, where is the threshold where things go from acceptable to rude, who decides those and will there be any consequences to the person flagged? What if a moderator does not agree, what will happen?

In the end my question is: should we be quicker on flagging rude comments?

  • 9
    Just to let you know. Your opinion is equally important as anyone else's opinion. It is a community driven website and you are part of that community. ;) Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:46
  • 11
    I flag all useless comments, rude or otherwise. :) Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:49
  • I know "I am the community", its just sometimes it kinda sounds hard to reach all of you and these questions have 3rd ppl involved. Kinda sucks to point out the finger :) <3 Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 13:52
  • Thanks for having written this question - I was just about to ask something almost exactly the same. Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 1:47

3 Answers 3


Comments are very clearly second-class citizens in the system, and we delete them much more briskly than questions or answers. So I'd say it's okay to flag (and subsequently delete) them for mild rudeness, given that the comment doesn't add anything useful to the question.

Rude comments are seldom useful, but when they happen to be, I tend to just edit them. So in that case a flag would be helpful as well.

Now the important bit:

Clearly mark your flag to provide some context.

If you know, for example, that a commenter has misunderstood the question, add that to the flag's description. This'll make it much more likely your flag is dealt with quickly and it saves us a bunch of time.

Do flag comments that are:

  • Obsolete or wrong ("You can't install Gnome3 on Ubuntu")
  • insulting in any way ("Haha, you use Windoze?!?!", "Is this a serious question?", "roflcopter that's not a daemon, that's a kernel module.", "rtfm"*, "[lmgtfy]")
  • Noisy ("Don't I know you from IRC?")
  • unnecessary ("Works for me too")



If, however, a comment is useful, please indicate that in the flag's description and we'll do our best to salvage it by editing out the rudeness.

*:RTFM stands for "read the fucking manual". Not so nice when you spell it out, right? (: It's actually close to being bullying.

  • 4
    Thanks man, clear as water :) (me starts flagging rude comments with appropriate flags with out fears) Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 19:00

Those two comments you have quoted in your answer are downright rude. I would flag them if I'd spot them.


To add to what was said earlier I definitely think those 2 comments don't belong on Ask Ubuntu, from experience I've always found users on this site friendly, constructive and polite and most people would agree it's far better to keep it that way.

However I am also of the opinion that if someone tries to answer and doesn't go into enough detail you should be allowed to give some constructive criticism in order to give the person (especially new users) a chance to explain more clearly their answer, such as:

  • I'm not sure exactly what you mean with your answer, could you please go into more detail? As it is, it doesn't give me enough information. It might turn out to be exactly what I need once you've added to it.


  • I know you are trying to be helpful; however as it stands your answer isn't complete enough for me to understand, could you please go further with your explanations so I can see what you mean as this might solve my issue

As pointed out by Bruno Pereira in his original post, a new user could have good ideas but because they're new to the site they could hesitate in posting, and this is even truer for user's who don't have English as their first or second language. And constructive criticism would not only help the poster of a question, but also enable people who answer to improve their answers and bring an added benefit to the rest of the community.

If you feel my examples of criticism are too harsh, feel free to mention it in the comments so that I'm aware of it as I'm quite new to the site and the rules. As stands I think that people wouldn't take those two examples of criticism badly in a real situation, however I should state that this is just my personal opinion.

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