What if I see someone doing something bad?

We actively moderate our community, but we need your help to do so. If you see behavior that is rude, offensive, unproductive, or otherwise inappropriate for the site, let us know. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, speak up. Anything consistently flagged by our community members will be investigated, and we will always follow up. Posts that receive enough spam or offensive flags from the community will be automatically deleted without moderator intervention.

Remember: don't feed the trolls! Replying to abusive, off-topic, or inappropriate content only encourages it – whereas flagging allows removal without providing undue attention.

Flagging a question or answer:

To flag a question or answer, click the “flag” link at the bottom of the post.

In the dialogue box, select the reason for the flag. You can mark questions or answers as spam; offensive, abusive, or hate speech; or a custom reason. To flag a post that is neither spam nor offensive, select “it needs ♦ moderator attention” from the list and use the space provided to explain the issue. Questions have the additional option of being marked as off-topic or as a duplicate.

Flagging a comment:

If the inappropriate content occurs in comment, hover over the offending comment and click the small flag icon that appears.

You must specify a reason for each comment flag. The most common cases are listed in the comment flag dialog box:

  • rude or abusive
  • no longer needed - the comment is obsolete, chatty, or otherwise unnecessary
  • in need of moderator intervention - A problem not listed above that requires action by a moderator

If you see a post where many comments should be deleted, especially if there's an ongoing discussion, there’s no need to flag each comment. Flag the post for moderator attention, and use the “other” reason explain what's going on.

You can always delete your own comments without flagging for moderator attention: click the “Delete” link that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment (or tab to it using the keyboard).

Contacting a site moderator

The usual way to contact a moderator is to flag problematic content. If the content or behavior is not in a place where you can conveniently flag it directly, please flag any post by the user in question and leave a custom reason explaining what you think should be investigated.

If the issue is too complicated to explain in a custom flag reason and you have sufficient reputation, you can try contacting the moderators in chat.

If you feel that there is an issue that urgently needs attention from Stack Exchange staff, you can also email us directly.