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I've flagged a few posts in my time here as "offensive". When comments are flagged, the option is "rude or offensive", which is relatively straightforward. But some of the answers/questions I've flagged as offensive are often what I would consider extremely rude (and generally not an answer, in the case of answers) than necessarily offensive. (I realise that this is probably idiosyncratic, to an extent.)

Thus - is flagging extremely rude, off-topic posts as offensive appropriate (particularly when such posts aren't comments, where "rude" doesn't seem to be stated in the reasons for flagging)?

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  • well.. in the case of off topic, I'd just VTC. as for general rudeness.. you obviously find it offensive, so I don't see why you can't just flag it as offensive
    – ton.yeung
    Jun 17 '14 at 4:18
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    This is more-or-less answered here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58032/…
    – Logan M
    Jun 17 '14 at 4:20
  • Also, assuming you're talking about the recent (now-deleted) answer at anime.stackexchange.com/questions/2057/…, it's probably fine in that kind of case.
    – Logan M
    Jun 17 '14 at 5:27
  • @LoganM: yeah I was referring to that sort of thing.
    – Maroon
    Jun 17 '14 at 6:28
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    No, that answer was not abusive. It was low quality, but it was not abusive. The only reason I approved the flags there was because there were other flags which were correct (and I can apparently not mark individual flags are approved or declined). Jun 17 '14 at 6:59
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    @MadaraUchiha Sorry, but I disagree. "You guys are just a bunch of feeling geeks and nerd making a stupid website over some dumb anime show" can easily be construed as harassment. It's clearly phrased in a way that is "inappropriate for respectful discourse" on this site. While I wasn't offended, I don't think it would be unreasonable for someone who was to use this flag. If it is, then it's misnamed and poorly described. The -100 rep penalty is also irrelevant here since the user was a new user with 1 rep who signed up solely to post this answer.
    – Logan M
    Jun 17 '14 at 16:56
  • Oh, I apologize. I actually did not see what the post was originally after it was edited. Theo original post deserved every single offensive flag it got. Sorry for the misunderstanding. @LoganM Jun 17 '14 at 17:06
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    No problem @MadaraUchiha. I didn't realize it was edited, and yes, the edited version, while not an answer, is not offensive.
    – Logan M
    Jun 17 '14 at 17:09
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Offensive flags have a very specific and narrow meaning

it is offensive, abusive, or hate speech This question contains

content that a reasonable person would deem inappropriate for respectful discourse.

Abusive flags, like spam flags are red flags. When you a post gains 6 of them, it is deleted, the author is penalized with -100 reputation, and its content feeds into the various anti-spam mechanisms.

Do not abuse the abusive flags (oh the irony!). When in doubt, make a custom flag.

Abusive flags should be kept for active swearing, racism, harassment, and otherwise harmful or hateful. Specifically, posts that target another user, rather than address a specific issue or question are usually abusive.

Flag constructively! -100 penalty hurts!


Note that the original answer, before it was edited, deserved the offensive flags.

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  • Thanks - this was helpful. I assume then that extremely rude but not outright abusive posts should just be flagged as "not an answer" and downvoted?
    – Maroon
    Jun 17 '14 at 7:29
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    Yes. Like I said. When in doubt, flag it with a custom flag and explain what you think is wrong with it. I tend to approve nearly all flags, even if not action needs to be taken. The exception is flags which are noise or downright incorrect. Jun 17 '14 at 8:08

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