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What should our policy be toward rudeness?

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What should our policy be toward rudeness? I don't think being blunt is a problem, but I do think that calling into question the OP's intelligence is a problem.

For example, I don't think there's anything wrong with responding, "Your question is based on a false assumption." However, I think responses like "completely wrong!" and "nonsense" are unnecessarily harsh. The implication is the OP should have known better. That kind of wording doesn't add to the value of an answer, but it does discourage people from asking questions in the future.

I know people sometimes don't do sufficient research before asking a question, and I know that can be frustrating. However, there are tons of misconceptions out there about physics. It's easy for people to get misled, even if they have done the appropriate research. Also, something that's "obvious" to one person may not be obvious to someone else.

I would suggest that we avoid making value judgements in answers and comments. If we think a question is not well-researched, we can just ignore it. If it's clear that a question is low-quality, then we can downvote. However, I would suggest that using disparaging language doesn't add anything to this site.

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General comments (5 comments)

2 answers

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This is a small site with 5 questions in 30 days, rudeness is just going to drive people asking questions away.

Casual users seeing newbies get insulted for not knowing things isn't going to make them want to ask their own questions or stick around.

Stackoverflow/Stackexchange has a well-earned reputation for rudeness, if the rudeness here is just as bad one might as well ask there because they have a larger user base.

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General comments (1 comment)
+3
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From my perspective, I can only agree that rudeness isn't exactly ideal.

In general, if someone's being needlessly rude or aggressive etc., editing/suggesting an edit that improves the post is a good option. I'm keen to encourage good, helpful edits anyway.

If, for whatever reason, you feel this isn't suitable or appropriate (or e.g. the post isn't salvagable), then flagging is an alternative.

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General comments (2 comments)

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