Suppose, there is a question, which follows the guidelines for asking a question on this site. But, OP aren't being cooperative and nice in the comment section. Someone flags those comments, all the comments are therefore, ultimately cleaned out by mods.

But, some users, voted to close the question as off-topic (the question is actually on-topic) because OP sounded bad to them.

Is it good/accepted to do so?

Something similar happened with this question. This is a nice question IMHO. Yet, it was voted to close. Other respectable users also followed and voted to close the question.

The question I linked was closed under the head : "This question is missing context or other details". (Reopened now, after this meta post from me)

I think this isn't OK, because when the comments are deleted, and the question remains closed, future-visitors will never come to know that why was this question closed in the first place.

So what is the correct way to deal with such users, who ask good, but apparently don't behave good. Is closing appropriate? If not, then what should be done?\

I am posting this, after this one, where I learned that OP wasn't behaving nicely, which probably was the major reason for closure. In the linked meta-post, I assumed, that the users who voted for closure, did so because of not paying proper attention. I apologise for that. But after knowing the reason for closure, I ain't satisfied either.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ If someone posts a question in bad faith, or does not respond to requests for editing or whatever... then yes, it's perfectly reasonable to close and delete the question if deemed necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Mar 12, 2018 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ Can downvotes be explained? $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2018 at 21:09
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There are no requirements for downvotes to be explained, but keep in mind that on Meta a typical role for downvotes is to express disagreement with a proposal in a post. From the history I suspect strongly you are not proposing what your title suggests, but some Readers may have reacted to your post in that way. History also suggests greater care in titles might improve your Meta Questions. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:18
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Jaideep, please don't obsess about unexplained downvotes. On meta, they are to be taken to mean that the downvoter is expressing disagreement with a proposal, or the need for a suggested feature, or in an opinion poll, that they disagree with your expressed opinion. Or they think the matter needs no discussion... etc. They are not to be taken personally as a judgement of you, rather a gauge as to where others are "at" in related to your expressed concerns. That's all. Seriously. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:18
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Jaideep, let me once again direct you to quid's post here. Please stop trying to imply ill will on the part of users who acted appropriately under the circumstances, and who could have, perhaps should have used a different reason for closure, but nonetheless, were within proper protocol to have voted to close the question. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ Take into account, not a single person informed me that why they think question is duplicate, or why it is missing context. And nobody even told me that comments were rude (they were, obviously). I never used rude comment earlier and afterward, unlike many respectable users on this site. $\endgroup$
    – King Tut
    Mar 13, 2018 at 4:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I am not obsessing with downvote. You should use "obsessed" if I am asking again and again the reason for downvote. This is the first time I have asked the reason for downvote, and that too, because this post is a question, not a proposal. Neither this is a topic to not to discuss. Plus, I have no "ill will", in this post I have added my opinion, and ask others for their view. Also, closing isn't "proper protocol" for bad behavior, instead flagging the comment is. Closing will confuse future visitors (because the comments will be eventually cleared by a mod). $\endgroup$ Mar 13, 2018 at 9:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Looking at this question and previous one on meta (including comments) as well as the original question on main site, I see that you are very dissatisfied that the question was closed as "missing context" even though it was a good question. But I think rude behavior is something which must be discouraged at all cost. After all people here are investing their time and energy for free and the last thing they want is rude behaviour. And it should also be understood that rude behaviour can generate harsh response like closure/deletion. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Mar 14, 2018 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


The first line of defense against rude users, or users participating in bad faith, should be flagging as rude/abusive; enough flags of this sort will automatically remove comments (or the moderators can remove them manually, of course). If it's an ongoing issue, it's good to also flag the original post to notify the moderators with more information.

If the asker's behavior is disruptive enough, then I think closing the question is absolutely a good option to quiet things down and remove the platform for rudeness or disruption. However, it should not be closed as missing context. Rather, I think such questions should be closed with a custom reason (and I have done this on several occasions); this does auto-generate a comment which can expose the close voter to targeted abuse, though, so use with caution.

You can always just use the catch-all "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." I for one am of the opinion that "math within the scope defined in help center" carries an assumption of basic politeness and decency.

With all that being said, I think that closure and deletion should be reserved for the most egregious cases. It is very rare [citation needed] for rude or disruptive behavior to be such a problem that judicious comment removal can't fix it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Appreciate your thoughts. I respect your position. But I really don't know whether your undocumented claim that it is very rare for rude or disruptive behavior to necessitate closure/deletion, I would add it is not so rare; very many of the profane, spammy, and rude/offensive posts MSE receives are quickly handled (flagged, and also voted close and or deleted (both questions and asnswers alike) by users responding as this site encourages, when mods are not readily available to handle them. But I agree with the spirit of your post, and think working out the fine points would be worth it. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is rather unfortunate (although maybe necessary) that the custom reason generates a comment. This makes more understandable that some other more "silent" close vote like the o.t-m.c. may have been unconsciously standardized as "other reasons", in order to prevent harassment from people on the comments. $\endgroup$
    – Aloizio Macedo Mod
    Mar 13, 2018 at 0:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .