I had a comment-flag declined, and thus I am posting on meta.

With the "Be Nice" policy in mind, I flagged the following statement.

Most conspiracy nutters neglect the fact that nearly 25% of the first ten floors were missing on the south side...

I find this rude. It has nothing to do with the subject matter of the comment, I simply find it rude to refer to people as "nutters", regardless of what type of views they hold, or the logical soundness of their arguments.

I guess it could be argued that the commenter is not referring to any given individual, but to a group of individuals and thus the rudeness can be seen as acceptable. I personally do not think so, as I believe rudeness is rudeness. Also, there are several users who were active in the thread in question, who may easily feel that they belong to the group which the commenter is referring to as "nutters". The commenter is referring to actual people, and thus, it is rude.

I believe that for a good, serious skeptics site, politeness is a total must. Of course, we deal with a lot of absurd claims here (I mean in general, there are, of course, also many claims that are not absurd). Regardless of what type of claim one is dealing with, though, it is extremely important to be polite, friendly and serious. In my opinion, referring to people as "nutters" is rather unproductive, and lowers the quality of the discussion. Also, as I mentioned, I believe it is rude, regardless of whether the commmenter meant it to be directed towards any particular individual.

I also would like to make the point that the commenter is a moderator here, and thus I think he has an even higher responsibility to uphold the standard of the "Be Nice" policy and general polite etiquette here on Stack Exchange.

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I now believe that the language I used in this flag is slightly strong, and I am posting here in an attempt to be more nuanced. However, I do believe this is an important topic for discussion, as I find politeness rather important.

I have also posted a more general question about this on the main Meta:

Does the "Be Nice" policy apply when you are referring to a group of people, without naming names?

1 Answer 1


I changed the wording now in that comment. While I don't have a big issue with this particular case, we generally try to use neutral language here.

I handled the original flag, but I must have misread it, probably looking at the wrong comment.

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