We've had a couple of incidents recently where people have started being quite confrontational and generally unpleasant to other users. I don't want to call anyone out or mention any specifics but can everyone read and understand the SE community "Be nice" policy:

Be nice.

Whether you've come to ask questions, or to generously share what you know, remember that we’re all here to learn, together. Be welcoming and patient, especially with those who may not know everything you do. Oh, and bring your sense of humor. Just in case.

That basically covers it. But these three guidelines may help:

  1. Rudeness and belittling language are not okay. Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.
  2. Be welcoming, be patient, and assume good intentions. Don't expect new users to know all the rules — they don't. And be patient while they learn. If you're here for help, make it as easy as possible for others to help you. Everyone here is volunteering, and no one responds well to demands for help.
  3. Don't be a jerk. These are just a few examples. If you see them, flag them:
    • Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person. That includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to posts (like "lazy", "ignorant", or "whiny").
    • Bigotry of any kind. Language likely to offend or alienate individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation,
      religion, etc. will not be tolerated. At all. (Those are just a few
      examples; when in doubt, just don't.)
    • Inappropriate language or attention. Avoid vulgar terms and anything sexually suggestive. Also, this is not a dating site.
    • Harassment and bullying. If you see a hostile interaction, flag it. If it keeps up, disengage — we'll handle it. If something needs staff attention, you can use the contact us link at the bottom of every page.

We're proud to be a large, user-driven space on the internet where name-calling, harassment, and other online nastiness are almost non-existent. It's up to all of us to keep it that way.

In summary, have fun, and be good to each other.

Generally I think we an incredibly open and helpful community (much more so than other communities on the SE network cough...Stackoverflow....cough). So I don't think we have a big problem but there seems to be a slight trend towards not being as nice as we should be. So I wanted to prompt a quick reminder for some of the newer members.

If anyone needs any support I'd recomend they visit the chat room (The Base Camp) and ask one of the regulars in there

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    I think this is relevant meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/3082/… Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 22:11
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    @CharlieBrumbaugh Do we know if anything that severe is happening here? I agree with the general point that trolling makes the site less enjoyable and may cause people to leave. I'm not aware of targeted trolling here like appears to have been a factor in that particular case.
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:13
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    Liam, this is a great reminder. I just want to add for future passers-by that this is also in our site's own Help Center. The first directive under the Our Model section is Be nice. The link is to the same text but on our site. (Other sites have it too, it might be a network-wide boilerplate.) Maybe when we see things in posts or comments that are in violation, or headed that way, we can point to either this post or the Help Center. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:16
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    @Erik I have seen a multiple instances of revenge down-voting and I would say that half of the posts that I have flagged that were not in the review queue come from a single user. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:18
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    @Erik I have also seen some unpleasent comments directed at the mods, including a now deleted meta post Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 23:39
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    @CharlieBrumbaugh I understand where you're coming from now. It is unfortunate that people are spitting vitriol at the mods. I think the mods do a great job here. Personally revenge tit for tat down-votes make me chuckle because they feel so childish. Abusive comments and posts however are a whole other kettle of fish. That kind of behavior is unquestionably unacceptable.
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


I completely agree that this community is "open and helpful" and in my opinion also very reasonable and polite.

I really want to stress that: There is no "bad apple" here on TGO. As mentioned everyone has better and worse days and there are different mentalities - some can handle criticism better than others and so on and so forth. But really, there is no toxic behaviour whatsoever. Everyone who has participated actively in any online game, forums or maybe even the youtube comment section ( xD ) should be able to see that. I am not saying that we should measure ourselves by these standards, but it helps to keep perspective.

So please take this Q&A as a call to keep up the great constructive atmosphere here on TGO and improve it - there is always room for that. Don't start pointing finger at unnamed users or present worst-case scenarios - this can become toxic!

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    I have been trying to think of what to say, and you just said it!
    – ab2
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 22:44
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    yes, like I said (and I really can't stress this enough) Generally I think we an incredibly open and helpful community. Theere have been a ffew incidents recenttly where the mods have had to step in where a discussion has gotten quite heated. So I just wanted to try and disarm this kind of thing before it became an issue
    – user2766
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 8:34
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    Hell yeah... Youtube comment section is the worst :D
    – OddDeer
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 6:43

I think that the majority of the flack is being created by a very small percentage of users.

I realize that people are going to have bad days and occasionally mess up, and that's just part of life. I know that personally there seems to be a correlation between how sleep deprived I am and how good my content is.

On the other hand, when it gets to a point where an awful lot of people have flipped the bozo bit on a particular user, and if you are thinking of someone, then it definitely has been, then that person needs to go for the good of the community.

I have worked with bad apples in the past, and one person can ruin the atmosphere for a much larger group of people. It is also incredibly demoralizing working with someone like that if the authorities choose not to intervene.

I think that in these cases, for the good of the community and the good of perpetrators (who may not change their behavior without consequences), the hammer needs to be dropped.

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    Providing any person(s) who may be causing conflict can modify their behaviour and relaise that they should "not be a jerk" then all's good. If user(s) do continue to violate the guidelines then things can (and may well will) be done.
    – user2766
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 17:03

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