As many of you surely already know civility is required on StackExchange:

Etiquette

Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Be nice.

Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you. We’re all here to learn together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know. Bring your sense of humor. Be honest.

Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Add comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Provide better answers of your own. Best of all — edit and improve the existing questions and answers!

From the FAQ

Please take this as a gentle reminder that we expect a certain quality of behavior as well as a quality of content. This has many reasons; attracting and maintaining new users is certainly one, but really it's about the kind of community we want to be.

On this note the moderation team will be deleting comments and editing out rudeness in questions and answers. Please be nice in your own posts, and if you see rudeness on the site, old or new, edit it out (or flag it if necessary).

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+1. Part of growing the site is making it more welcoming to new users. When we see a new user ask an off-topic or otherwise unsuitable question, it's not just important that we respond consistent with the site quality guidelines, but how we respond: polite, friendly, helpful. –  Chris W. Rea Oct 22 '12 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

If You Feel You Are Being Attacked

Start Off On The High Ground

It is a good idea to assume the best of intentions in the questions you are answering and the comments you are responding too.

It is hard to gather inflection from the written word, and the cultural differences in this worldwide site make that even more important to remember.

If you don't like it, flag it, and move on.

But If It Gets Ugly

If however, there is a clear lack of good intentions, please help your community and help the Internet in general by not engaging.

When the attack is personal or inappropriate, set a flag for the mod team so they can remove the offense and perhaps even remove the offender. If the attack is on ideas, or simply lacks the civility of adult communication, flag it and the mod team will remove any ugly comment that doesn't propel the conversation forward in a constructive way.

It Is Just the Internet People

It is terribly upsetting to be insulted. I don't like it and I everybody else to be as defensive as I feel, but continuing to engage with a person who is hiding behind a fake name and an IP address over the Internet isn't going to ever work out.

Remember, there are people in this world who simply delight in make you mad. If you are like me and feel those people don't deserve that kind of happiness, join me in ignoring them. Don't make a big deal of it. Don't announce it. Just ignore them. Let your troll burn themselves out in their own white hot hate.

Help Yourself

The least helpful thing you can do is keep arguing. You don't need to defend against personal attacks because the attack itself is a petulant and childish action.

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