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I've noticed a few posters on serverfault that take potshots (ad hominem, or insinuations of stupidity) at people. This would seem to be in violation of:

Always be polite and have fun It’s fine to disagree and express concern, but please be civil. There’s a real human being on the other end of that network connection, however misguided they may appear to be. We’re here to learn from our peers, not yell at each other.

However they seem to get away with it. Is it because they have high rep, or because they hang out with mods in the chat rooms?

marked as duplicate by Ward, MDMarra, Mark Henderson Oct 14 '13 at 21:59

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    I typically only see rudeness to people who have been rude first; such as people who put no effort into their question (not searching first, just dumping a whole log without explanation, typical "Do my job for me" questions) or by people who take offense to people telling them that they're way off track and doing it wrong. Can you provide some examples? – Mark Henderson Oct 14 '13 at 21:00
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    @MarkHenderson Surely you would agree that even that violates "Always be polite...". One can choose to remain silent and allow the question to go unanswered vs resorting to rudeness. As to the examples, I'm still considering that, I'm just not one of those "name names" type of people. – Colyn1337 Oct 14 '13 at 21:04
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    Please provide examples; what I consider rude othr people certainly don't and vice versa. – Iain Oct 14 '13 at 21:09
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    These types of issues are incredibly difficult to address in the abstract. Please provide specific examples so that they can be addressed, lest this question begin to collect a mountain of downvotes. – MDMarra Oct 14 '13 at 21:09
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    @Colyn1337 ServerFault isn't quite like the other SE sites. We get a deluge of sorely underqualified questions and if we don't address/remove them immediately, we run the risk of alienating the actual professionals that come here. It's not a matter of turning the other cheek. – Joel E Salas Oct 14 '13 at 21:10
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    @Colyn1337 Telling people to go and do some research (up to and including comments saying "This was the first result on Google!") is not "rude". If that's what you're referring to I'm afraid the general sentiment of the community is "Deal with it." We don't want the terminally lazy here. Beyond that there is no point in discussing this matter yet again without some specific examples. Please provide some or I will close this as a duplicate later this evening – voretaq7 Oct 14 '13 at 21:20
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    Colyn, before you ask (even though I wasn't one to downvote it), downvotes here aren't the same as on the main site. It means they were disagreeing with your premise/post. You should really post examples, even if those examples are in regards to someone here in this "thread", otherwise you aren't going to really get anywhere. The high rep users have thick skins, they'll be alright if you cite them as the example you are referring to. – TheCleaner Oct 14 '13 at 21:20
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    Also, for what it's worth, hanging out in the chat room is no guarantee of leniency. Obviously we can't name names, but we've had to give a slap on the wrist or even suspensions to many high-rep users for any number of things over the years, even to those who hang out in chat. We don't like giving anyone a slap on the wrists or a suspension, but we do it when we need to. – Mark Henderson Oct 14 '13 at 21:35
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    @Colyn1337 There is a contact us link in the footer of every page on the site. It details how you can contact stack exchange employees directly. That said, it's unfortunate that you won't provide specific examples. That's like me walking into my HR department and telling them that an employee is harassing me, but I don't tell them any other details. How is the issue going to be resolved without you providing examples? It seems silly to complain if you're unwilling to discuss the actual issue(s) you're complaining about. – MDMarra Oct 14 '13 at 21:53
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    @Colyn1337 Making claims like "If they were, I wouldn't see comments here..." is a logical fallacy. We certainly have a few members who like to play hop-scotch with "the line", but they're regularly banned, and only allowed back because the community allows it. If you see "rudeness" please Flag it. If you think the moderators aren't dealing with the offenders appropriately please feel free to contact the SE Staff. But I'll warn you they aren't receptive to people who haven't made real efforts through the provided mechanisms. – Chris S Oct 14 '13 at 23:14
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    I can't help thinking that making unsubstantiated claims and accusations is, ironically, somewhat rude in itself. – Rob Moir Oct 15 '13 at 7:10
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    Nobody in chat is shy about calling someone out for being rude. They quite often ask if they were being too mean. Granted, you'll probably see people ripping on the user in the chat transcript, but definitely not on the main site. As for regulars not getting slapped: serverfault.com/users/118258/hopelessn00b He never came back after his suspension. And just recently this was brought up on meta: meta.serverfault.com/questions/5888/serial-close-voting as a direct reaction to what a regular in chat was doing. I'd say being a regular in chat makes you more likely to get called out. – Tanner Faulkner Oct 15 '13 at 14:28
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    Sometimes the truth isn't nice... And the right answer isn't the one you want. Especially if your in a community that expects a certain level of thought and effort to be put into a question. – Matt Bear Oct 15 '13 at 21:11
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    Is all this over the "/etc/mtab" answer? (Deleted answer to this question.) I wasn't trying to be rude, but you wouldn't listen to reason and just kept providing some vague hypothetical as justification for a band-aid fix. – Aaron Copley Oct 16 '13 at 22:43
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If you were looking for an actual answer to:

However they seem to get away with it. Is it because they have high rep, or because they hang out with mods in the chat rooms?

First, you should have posted examples, but according to your comment you keep thinking certain people are excluded from the rules and are part of the "in crowd clique".

As MarkHenderson and Voretaq both have explained, no one is "above the law" here. If the citations were valid the offending party, regardless of rank/file, would be dealt with appropriately.

However, just like with Amex, membership has its privileges. One of those being that if the person was judged offensive and had high rep they would probably be told "you know better" and that'd be the end of it, typically. It is different if the user is new and simply starts posting insinuations of stupidity as you call it.

This is no different than our personal lives. Your siblings can mess with you more than a complete stranger can, with mom and dad only telling your sister "stop picking on your brother" whereas they might really let a stranger have it.

It also depends on the seriousness of the post. Again citations would help here. Offcolor/personal insults aren't tolerated, period.

You also have to bear in mind that context/intent is very hard to convey online and often taken however the reader wants it to be taken. The "offending party" might not even realize they were being offensive. The reader might simply be having a bad day and read into something that was never really there.

This is also why there is a "flag" available so that mods can look at someone's post and help determine its merit. If it still doesn't get the attention you think it deserves that's where citing the post/comment here in Meta is appropriate, and beyond that going straight to the SE staff via the "Contact Us" link.

Hope that helps.

  • Yup. The history of The Comms Room is replete with examples of the mods giving "high-rep users" a stern talking-to about being nice. In fact an examination of Server Fault's history will show that when high-rep members of "the in crowd" cross the line (either stepping way over on one occasion, or constantly dancing on the line) the moderators will suspend even some of our most useful contributors from the site. Moderation is not personal: Everyone's wrists get slapped the same. – voretaq7 Oct 15 '13 at 2:33
  • Agreed @voretaq7 - I've seen multiple high rep users get a hand slapped from time to time. I've even been given one when I posted a sarcastic lmgtfy link (albeit I truly didn't know they weren't allowed). People are people...they aren't going to act perfect, especially online. – TheCleaner Oct 15 '13 at 12:59

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