Let's say we have user, call him "Trumpster2016". He asks questions, gives answers, perfectly correct and using appropriate language.

But his user profile picture is a Nazi swastika and his profile bio says "Thank goodness for Trump, he'll rid this country of [racial slur]s, [racial slur]s and [racial slur]s! I sure am glad I voted for him! Judenfrage Endlosung now! Blut und Ehre! Blut und Ehre!"

What should we do? Do we censor his profile?

This is an exaggerated and fictionalized example of an actual profile I've seen today. Depending on the answers I get here, I may decide on either a scaled down version of what we'd do with Trumpster2016, or to let it go and take no action at all.

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    $\begingroup$ Probably not about the same problem, but related: Username restrictions, Vulgar Username and perhaps also User with homophobic name. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2017 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ Flag one of the user's posts for moderator attention. Only moderators (and SE employees) have the ability to edit another user's profile/display-name, and suspend as needed. We will take appropriate steps as dictated by the inappropriateness of the actual profile. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Jan 24, 2017 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ I find your fictionalization problematic. You could easily have asked an abstract question, or described the situation. It's also rather incomprehensible that you see the need to censor some insulting words, while you have no problem to reproduce or invent, it's not quite clear, a call for genocide. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Censorship is really funny business sometimes. According to one of my friends, Trump's name is the most offensive word in the whole post. But FYI, the genocide call is a grammatically incorrect reproduction. $\endgroup$
    – David R.
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidR. I can imagine at least two very different interpretations of your friends remark; one strikes me as completely absurd another as considerable exaggeration. Maybe there is also a reasonable one that escapes me. Anyway, that's likely tangential as was that part of my comment. My main point is that this meta post needlessly draws attention to a provocation. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jan 24, 2017 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, @quid, please tell me you didn't vote for Trump. If you're honestly offended by the Nazi terminology, censor it, or tell me to censor it. $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2017 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ @arjafi Maybe I'm overreacting to a word that many rappers and hip hoppers use very casually. On the other hand, it's a word that if I used it, I'd be in some real hot water. I flagged it as you suggested, so you or another moderator can be the judge of it. $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2017 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ It seems you miss the main point of my remark, while I feel "[m]y main point is that this meta post needlessly draws attention to a provocation" was pretty clear. One never knows, but if I had to bet my money would be on you feeding a troll. Re my vote: like most people, around 98 percent to be specific, I did not vote in that election at all. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jan 25, 2017 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ @quid My problem with Mr. Soupe's fictionalization is that it's unrealistic. It's true that Trump supporters are rabidly racist, but I think it's highly unlikely any of them are intelligent enough to participate on this website in a constructive way. Sure they might ask homework questions, but giving answers, too? I strongly doubt it. $\endgroup$
    – Mr. Brooks
    Jan 25, 2017 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Brooks as I said I'd consider it as likely it is a troll. That said, is your comment a persiflage? $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jan 25, 2017 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Persiflage? "Light and contemptuous banter"? Any contempt I have is for the Trumpsters. What do you think is going to happen when StackExchange decides it can't pay for an Internet fast lane? At any rate, I think I know what the real case is in this instance, and, unless my memory's playing tricks on me, a moderator has already taken care of the profile, and the user "prefers to keep an air of mystery about them." Hint: I commented on his question and Mr. Soupe answered. $\endgroup$
    – Mr. Brooks
    Jan 25, 2017 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Brooks I will neither confirm nor deny. $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2017 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ One loses the moral high ground when one censors. I think disrespectful profiles are truly obnoxious. However, I would prefer honesty & directness, even if the ideas expressed revile me to my core. Isolation breeds virulence. $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Jan 26, 2017 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


I think there needs to be guidance that's not buried in the comments.

Flag one of the user's posts, even if the post itself is not offensive like the user's profile bio. From the options that come up, choose "In need of moderator intervention". A text box will come up in which you can write something like

This post is okay, but please look at the user's profile bio.

Then it'll be up to the moderators to decide what, if anything, needs to be done.

  • $\begingroup$ It is poor advice to flag a comment. To flag a post, which is what a moderator told you to do, is much preferable. (I can elaborate on why, but I suggest you just change that.) The leading sentence is pointless and questionable; also best removed. (Plus the entire post was essentially a duplicate anyway.) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Feb 16, 2017 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Changed per your suggestion. For the record, in the real life case, I flagged a comment. It wasn't the best way to go about it, but it got the job done. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 18:13

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