In a question about a specific network-based exploit a user answered:

I've always found that servers are least vulnerable to attack when turned off, removed from all networked systems, or otherwise isolated from the world.

This is it. That's the full answer.

This answer is just rude and does not even try to be helpful so I flagged it as "Rude or abusive", which has the following explanation:

A reasonable person would find this content inappropriate for respectful discourse.

Naturally I was surprised to have the flag denied! I would like clarification from a diamond moderator regarding this. Some situations are obviously opinion-based, but I think this is a clear case of content that should be removed - it's even collecting upvotes, showing visitors that it is a relevant and useful answer!

If not "Rude or abusive", which flag should I have used?

  • 7
    If not "Rude or abusive", which flag should I have used? -- Not an answer. It's useless as an answer, but I would suggest it doesn't rise to the level of rude.
    – Rob Moir
    Aug 10, 2018 at 19:34
  • You should have just downvoted it and moved on meta.serverfault.com/questions/5316/….
    – user9517
    Aug 11, 2018 at 20:14
  • In my non-mod opinion/experience, "rude or abusive" is generally reserved for "You're an idiot," racist/sexist/otherwise bigoted language, profanity, etc. I was a little confused on this point myself early on. My flag of something along the lines of "Windows admins are idiots who click next for a living" as "rude or abusive" was declined, but my flags of overtly sexist comments and the random guy who came back for days to harangue me about solving his problem faster were not. I would suggest "not an answer" or "unconstructive" (if that still exists). Aug 15, 2018 at 17:14
  • @KatherineVillyard Yeah, from the mod answers it seems as if the Rude part is completely ignored. "You're an idiot" is abusive not rude, but the close reason is "Rude or abusive", not "Rude and abusive".
    – pipe
    Aug 15, 2018 at 19:48
  • I'm not really saying that to criticize. I think what I'm trying to say is that rude is in the eye of the beholder, so the mods seem more likely to accept "rude or abusive" flags that are objectively awful rather than merely flippant. It's probably a good thing; I've had people take things I said the wrong way, too. Aug 17, 2018 at 13:58
  • Not sure if +5 funny or +5 insightful ;).
    – allo
    Sep 7, 2018 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


I don't understand at all how anyone can consider this as rude or abusive.

It's not particulary helpful, that is true, but it's not rude and it's not abusive. You might have flagged this as "not an answer", but even that is not really true because the answer is factually correct - a disconnected system can't be attacked via the network.

Become a valuable member of the community by asking good questions and/or giving good answers, get reputation and you will have the chance to vote, including the option to vote to delete an answer.

(BTW: I didn't handle that flag, but I would also have denied it, at least as "rude or abusive").

  • 1
    I find it strange that you can't understand how answering "disconnect your server" is not rude when someone asks for help. There must be some major disconnect here.
    – pipe
    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:01
  • 8
    Yes, and that's the major problem with the CoC crap. It tries to forces the lowest common value of "rude" on everyone. Rude would be "You are an idiot, go away", this is merely not helpful.
    – Sven
    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:10
  • 7
    > There must be some major disconnect here<br /> Indeed but not the way you are thinking.
    – user9517
    Aug 11, 2018 at 20:15

As it happens, someone else also flagged this answer, as "not an answer", before I came to read this post, and I handled it by converting the answer to a comment.

I have to agree with Sven that this answer doesn't rise to the level of rude and abusive. It doesn't even appear to be on the same continent.

I have to disagree, however, that it has any use as an actual answer. While true, and even funny, because such a disconnected and buried server is also perfectly useless, it's a useless answer.

But it makes a great and funny comment...and comments are temporary.

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