Another user seems to be very angry at me. I don't care about that. But in his comments to my answer here he misrepresented my answer to the OP.

I'm not the only one subjected to these attacks, so it seems.

What can we do as a community to make sure posters cannot harm others?

4 Answers 4


Everyone who answered here is a regular it looks like.

I'm not a regular on money.se at all.

I don't think you realize the effect misleading advice on a Q/A site can have on people who either:

  • Come here with some knowledge of money things (me)
  • Come here looking for information

If I post an answer like this one and then get trolled by how "why don't you just pick stocks and make so much more like me LOL!" or whatever the comment train was before it was deleted kills my motivation to stick around. Especially when that behavior is seemingly ignored.

  • 4
    Then I apologize for waiting so long to clean up that garbage in the comments. You were probably collateral in an on going fight, but you are exactly right; you shouldn't have to endure that. Don't hesitate to use the flag for stuff that is offensive or counter productive.
    – MrChrister
    Jun 12, 2013 at 1:44
  • @MrChrister keep in mind most SE sites use comments (and flagging them) in unique ways. I realize now I should have just flagged them but it is really hard to know when someone is effectively a troll vs disagreeing vs part of "site culture" from an external perspective.
    – enderland
    Jun 12, 2013 at 11:31
  • 4
    I am not saying the responsibility was yours, far from it. I totally agree with your comment and it makes me sad when Money.SE isn't a welcoming place. I really appreciate your perspective on this answer. It shows me some assumptions I were making are wrong; and it worries me because you took the time to hit meta, and I bet most new users wouldn't bother. Your answer is the strongest because it points where I wasn't looking.
    – MrChrister
    Jun 12, 2013 at 14:31
  • +1 but also keep in mind that the chance of being misled on this subject in this medium is very high anyway, because none of the answerers really know your entire financial picture. They only answer based on what the asker discloses, and may not seek more information before they answer. The responsibility rests with the asker to verify answers given with limited insight to their entire financial picture, for free. So, I'd take all answers on here with a grain of salt, not just the ones that appear trollish. If you want reliable financial advice, it's best to pay for it.
    – mbhunter
    Jun 20, 2013 at 0:19

If you think a comment is seriously misrepresenting your answer, please flag the comment, with an explanation, and one of us moderators will take care of it accordingly.

Please do not engage in non-constructive back & forth with the commenter.

If such issues persist, we can do more than just delete offending comments.


With the deepest respect to all of the community, all of whom teach me a great deal.

The correct answer is to flag it and move on. There literally is no harm to be done, because it is just the Internet. We like you all, but you can log off and go for a walk or hit up reddit any time. (And then come back and drop some more knowledge.)

We can remove any unnecessary comments. If the questions and answers are being edited in a destructive way, flag it and the mods have tools to prevent vandalism. I haven't seen a problem with edits getting out of hand. If an answer is wrong, it buried quickly enough.

I respectfully offer that a better question with regards to the community is:

How aggressive does the community want the mods to be removing negativity in the comments?

I think we are fairly aggressive, but I know I can certainly be much more aggressive when it comes to removing comments that I know are going to make somebody mad. I would be more than happy to take a strict policy on comments that are not 100% in relation to clarifying or expanding the answer. (I don't see a need for comments offering dispute as another answer can be posted.)

There is room in personal finance for different opinions. There is not room for personal attacks.

  • 3
    +1 the walk away is a great idea. I'm in favor of comment cleanup even when my own comments might get swept away. Comments should contain facts first, opinion to a minimum, and no ad hominem attacks at all. Victor and littleadv are both bright people whose answers have high factual content. When they get off on tangents and bicker, it's time to move on. Jun 5, 2013 at 0:42
  • 1
    LOL at what I am sure is a comedy downvote!
    – MrChrister
    Jun 12, 2013 at 5:21

It's a bit tough to capture intent over the Internet with text-based communication.

I can no longer see the comments you're referring to, but how do you really know that the other commenter deliberately sought to confuse the OP?

(If there were ad hominem attacks, those aren't appropriate in any case. Again, I don't know the conversation at hand.)

We're all passionate about money, or else we wouldn't be here. One person's passionate expression might be interpreted by another as confusing the issue, or worse.

And trying to find common ground is fine -- to a point. Sometimes there is no common ground, but if there is merit to both sides, then, well, that's what makes the Internet a great place. How horrible it would be if we all thought the same thing.

So, yeah ... another vote for walking away from such matters. The first person to walk away, wins. :)

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