I tried to reject an edit which removed two relevant tags from a question with the following custom reason: "removes good tags". It wanted me to type more characters, so I added some spaces.

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Apparently the software didn't like this, giving the following error:

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Anyway I have two questions:

  • What sorts of custom reasons set off the error message? Was it the spaces at the end?

  • Is "Sorry buster" really necessary? Can't we have a more helpful (and less insulting) error message?

  • $\begingroup$ no offence but you really lack humour if you find this offensive $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2015 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ @MisterBenjaminDover I don't lack humor. I found it really off-putting at the time, though I'm not sure that it's objectively offensive. Part of it was I wasn't expecting it at all. The humor in this case is also very inane. Anyway you can't just go around putting error messages that call people names and hope not to offend anyone... $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2015 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ As someone who learned English in school, I don't even know what "buster" is supposed to say about me -- for me it's a character in Arrested Development and that's it. So the humor is completely lost on me, and in general it's easy to assume that if someone calls you a name you don't understand, it's not a nice name to call someone... $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2015 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ This is an error message that regular users aren't supposed to see at all. I think it is a bug that you can trigger it this way, there should be a client-side check for length that prevents whitespace-padded reasons like this. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Sep 8, 2015 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


When your review is submitted, the extraneous whitespace is trimmed from the reason on the server side. If this makes the reason fall under the minimum character limit, the above message is shown.

The origin of the message is explained here:

Now, as far as the actual message is concerned ("Sorry, Buster"? Really?), I have made sure to insert the comment

// blame Sam for this literary masterpiece

into the appropriate code line in order to make sure I'm off the hook when the revolution comes.

But generally, it is a Stack Exchange tradition to insert humorous remarks concerning the site's users around sites' interface. It's their platform, they can do whatever they want.

On the practical side, padding with dots instead of spaces works.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It is rumoured that "(this is just padding to make the character limit)" also does a decent job. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Sep 6, 2015 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ That was probably Sam Saffron, who doesn't work for SE anymore. The SE employee samthebrand isn't a developer. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Sep 6, 2015 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist Good point; I haven't considered the age of balpha's post. Retracted the remark. (That said, Sam B is a product manager, and as such could conceivably suggest interface wording, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Sep 6, 2015 at 20:43

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