I just got 2 back-to-back 30-minute suspensions for "inappropriate content" for using the F-word. I usually don't use that word that often but for whatever reason people felt the need to bad me for it. The two messages were approximately:

fireworks are legitimately an invention from hell. people are setting off fireworks and it's so f***ing loud I couldn't sleep if I wanted to

what the f*** I just got flagged for swearing?

I don't get it...

I really don't.

Yes, every character in that is a link.

Unless they have something against me insulting fireworks? I don't know. I know an hour isn't really much, but I don't want this to stack to me becoming another one of the year-banned people just for using a word that has been used over 600 times in our chat room with no problem.


I apologize for my language choice; I'll try to watch it better, I was just rather annoyed at the time and didn't think it would be a problem given the 613 other messages containing the word. However, I do not believe I deserved the 2x30 minute suspensions and I also don't want excessive punishment (week-/month-/year-bans) for something other people never got punished for.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect it's the same people that have been abusing flags in Maid Cafe TBH. \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 2:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe they're drunk on the power they have from the new chat policies :P (well, they're pretty old now. but still new) \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only May 21 '18 at 2:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ASCII-only what new chat rules o_O \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ASCII-only ok so basically one person doesn't like me and I posted twice so I get to sit here for an hour. nice job SE \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think it takes 6 users to validate the flags? \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 3:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino ok so basically one person doesn't like me and I posted twice so I get to sit here for an hour. nice job SE That's simply not true. It takes 6 10K users validating a flag to apply an automatic 30 minute suspension \$\endgroup\$ – James May 21 '18 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh. Interesting, because I saw a blue circle go "1" and then I was banned right away. Probably a mod validated it then, which I would then be even more confused about (I can understand users acting on "I don't like swearing"; I'd expect mods to act more rationally) \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ For sure though, I deserved the second ban. At least, more than the first. \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ And I don't have any opinion about firework. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 3:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ brb flagging all the messages you linked o_o \$\endgroup\$ – Esolanging Fruit May 21 '18 at 4:26
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ You probably shouldn't count the word brainfuck as swearing... \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King May 21 '18 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EsolangingFruit LOL \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoKing Fair enough, but SE chat search is by whole-word match. \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ We should make up new esolangs called f***, s***, a**, etc. Maybe something isomorphic to Malbolge. \$\endgroup\$ – ceilingcat May 24 '18 at 3:00

Different people find different things offensive. While I personally don't mind some mild swearing, others might. Remember that it takes only six users (or less, if one is a mod) out of all SE users who see the first flag to get you a 30 minute suspension.

Now, while I wouldn't have flagged the first message, I'm not so sure about the second one. You spelled out OMFG, which is bound to offend at least some people.

Finally, swearing as a reaction to the first flag won't gather you any sympathy from flag reviewers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Meh. Again, I won't try to argue that what I did was right (including the first flag) and I guess if I run the risk of some people not liking swearing and happening to be around at the same time as me and getting me banned, I'll just avoid anything that anyone could pretend is offensive. I'm more wondering though, how much is this going to rack up my suspension timer for the future? I'm certainly going to try to not get suspended again but how much of an impact would me getting flagged by a few people who really like fireworks have on my use of SE Chat in the future? \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino I think each take 30 minutes. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 3:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino Yes. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 3:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 I've seen users (well, one user in specific) get banned for a year for a semi-harmless joke because of chat history. \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino That is definitely manual suspension from moderators. If you don't annoy the mods you should be fine. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 3:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @hyperneutrino how much is this going to rack up my suspension timer for the future? Not at all. Manually applied mod suspensions increase in time, but not automatic system bans. A single instance of offensive messages being flagged is visible on your account, but won't significantly affect your chances of being banned in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – James May 21 '18 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem Wasn't thinking so much "chance" as "time" because SE chat suspensions aren't from an RNG (I hope :P) but thanks for making that clarification \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino May 21 '18 at 3:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ It shouldn't affect time either. \$\endgroup\$ – James May 21 '18 at 3:28
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino, "flagged by a few people who really like fireworks"?? I'm not sure whether you're trying to make a joke or whether you need to take a bit more time to cool off. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 21 '18 at 5:56

If this is a rule, it needs to be enforced more consistently

I don't think it should be a rule anyways, at least not for chat. I feel that swearing itself is fine, as long as you Be Nice, Don't Be Disruptive, and Don't Make Noise.

  • Were you Being Nice? You weren't insulting anybody in particular, just expressing frustration. The section says not to use "inappropriate language," but inappropriate means different things to different people: I personally think that this should encompass only offensive racist and/or bigoted words rather than merely a curse.
  • Were you Being Disruptive? I don't think you were "doing anything that prevents, impedes, or discourages other users from using The Nineteenth Byte for its intended purpose." I certainly wouldn't have felt prevented, impeded, or discouraged by your comment.
  • Were you Making Noise? Perhaps. I'm not sure how relevant your message might be to the other users of the room.

Ultimately, a user's impression of what's appropriate for a chat room comes from what they observe in the chatroom, not just Chatiquette. Unless we plan on deleting all 613 messages now, users will continue to take that as an example of what is appropriate. So we need to either delete those messages as to not set an example or just remove that rule.

In any case, chat flags shouldn't be used for Chatiquette violations. They are broadcast to the entire SE network, including to other sites with users and moderators that may not understand our room culture. Those messages shouldn't have been flagged, and the users who flagged them are in violation of the Chatiquette.

Ideally, you should have been politely warned that you were in violation of the Chatiquette, obviating the need for the second message.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not a matter of swearing being against TNB's Chatiquette - the Chatiquette doesn't mention swearing because swearing is against the SE network policy. Many people just choose to not enforce the no-swearing rule unless it's particularly disruptive or egregious. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 May 21 '18 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ (1) it's not easy to delete old messages, unless a mod decide to do it. (2) people don't read the transcript that much. A star-pinned notification should be enough. (3) Flags are anonymous, reminds are not. Those are not exactly equivalent. (4) Don't use chatiquette as an excuse. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 May 21 '18 at 13:44
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Those messages shouldn't have been flagged, and the users who flagged them are in violation of the Chatiquette. If you find something inappropriate or offensive, you can cast a spam/inappropriate/offensive flag. Chatiquette does not (and cannot) prohibit that. So we need to either delete those messages as to not set an example or just remove that rule. Searching through the transcript reveals that either nobody had spelled out OMFG before or those messages got deleted as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis May 21 '18 at 13:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .