A code golf challenge entitled "Counting to Potato" was recently posted that has become somewhat controversial, as it could be taken as offensive to some people.

What should be done with this question? Should it be...

  • deleted outright?
  • edited to remove the controversial reference?
  • left as is?

Additionally, what should the general policy be on similar, possibly offensive types of challenges?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Leaving aside the controversial reference, it's closeable as unclear and borderline closeable as dupe of various previous base-conversion questions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Can you please elaborate? As the poster, I thought the conditions behind the challenge were clear. If not, I am more than willing to clarify. Also, I tried searching for like questions, but I may have missed some. Can you please reference the potential duplicates? \$\endgroup\$
    – tfitzger
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


In this case, I think we can simply edit out the reference. The challenge itself isn't offensive, and you could substitute any word for POTATO without changing the task.

"General policy" would follow suit IMO. If a simple edit can remove whatever's causing the offense, then just do it. If there's really no way to remove it, deletion might be a good option, but that should be decided on a case by case basis.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "If there's really no way to remove it" should probably include the OP's unwillingness to remove the offensive content (I don't know whether that's the case in this instance, but I mean in general). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Sure. If the OP rolls back edits like this (esp multiple times) after it's been explained in comments/edit notes, then throw down the mod hammer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ As the OP, I am more than willing to remove the reference. I left it there more for the sake of explaining the inspiration behind the question. It is, in no way, vital to the success of the question. @MartinBüttner, if you unlock, I will remove the reference. \$\endgroup\$
    – tfitzger
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tfitzger done. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinBüttner Thank you. I have updated the question to remove any references to the offensive meme. \$\endgroup\$
    – tfitzger
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @tfitzger Thanks for being responsive and doing the right thing (IMO). My downvote and closevote have been retracted. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 16:49

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