What if I see someone doing something bad?

Our site moderators actively moderate the community, but they 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 community members will be investigated, and the site moderators 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 dialog box that appears, select the reason for the flag. You can mark questions or answers as spam; rude or abusive; or a custom reason. To flag a post that is neither spam nor offensive, select "in need of moderator intervention" from the list and use the space provided to explain the issue.

Questions have the additional option of being marked as needing improvement/closure (which includes off-topic questions) or as a duplicate. Meanwhile, answer posts that do not attempt to answer the question can be flagged as "not an answer".

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:

  • It contains harassment, bigotry, or abuse. (This comment attacks a person or group.)
  • It's unfriendly or unkind. (This comment is rude or condescending.)
  • It's no longer needed. (This comment is outdated, conversational, or not relevant to this post.)
  • Something else. (A problem not listed above. Try to be as specific as possible.)
    • This flag reason is used to report comments that don't meet the other criteria but still require action by the site moderators. If your comment flag requires additional explanation or context that's not covered by the other options, use this option to explain the problem.

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 individually. Instead, flag the post itself for moderator attention, choose the "in need of moderator intervention" reason, and explain what's going on.

You can always delete your own comments without flagging for moderator attention: click the "Delete" link that appears after the comment 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 provide 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 contact us directly.