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A user has been going around on this question and trolling -- posting anti-C++ answers -- to a question whose activity ended ~3 months ago, with no technical basis, to every possible comment box. However, when we flag for moderator attention, we flag only a single comment. What's the best way to tell a moderator that while a comment might itself be okay on it's face, but that the comments taken as a whole amount to trolling?

  • Trolling from only three months ago.. I get them on 3yr+ old posts. – Talvi Watia Jul 16 '13 at 17:03
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Flag any of the user's comments for moderation attention, and explain the situation. Make sure to point out that there are other comments and provide the user's handle, they can take it from there. Flagging all the user's comments will also make the moderators aware of the behaviour, but describing the situation is obviously quicker.

But if all comments are relevant to their respective posts and follow the normal comment guidelines there might not be much a moderator can do. But do flag anyway, if the behaviour is persistent it will most likely lead to a temporary suspension. If not, at the very least the moderators will clean up the flame-ish comments.

From what you describe, and without checking the question to see the comments myself, it's definitely a troll. Generic "anti-whatever" comments clearly fail the purpose of the comments, as does any comment without a technical basis.

And if you think there's trolling in C++ questions, you really don't want to know what goes on in PHP questions...


Checked every comment in there, flagged about 10 of them... It's not as bad as you describe it (imho), but definitely worth noting. Several poor comments, not just from the one user, and some blame for that should be attributed to the not so very high quality of the question itself.

  • Lol -- Unfortunately I'm well aware of the trolling that goes on in PHP questions. This just happens to be the first time I've seen behavior like this -- usually the mods are really good at making such disapper before I see it. – Billy ONeal Jan 14 '12 at 12:27
  • @BillyONeal It's an old post that wasn't bumped up from a recent edit, so kinda hard to notice, flag, flag, flag you are a moderator too! – yannis Jan 14 '12 at 12:34
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    To be fair, asking PHP questions might legitimately be considered trolling by some users. Wait, did I just meta-troll? ;-) – Jason Lewis Jan 14 '12 at 17:47
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    @JasonLewis Yes you did, and you deserve a badge for it :) – yannis Jan 14 '12 at 17:56
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox Thank you, and I would like to suggest (in no way out of self-interest) that the MetaTroll badge be a gold badge, simply due to the rarity of successful execution of meta-trolling. – Jason Lewis Jan 14 '12 at 18:24
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Flagging the comments is the right way to go.

I kind of took a shotgun approach to this and just purged comments on most answers.

The fact that (nearly) every answer generated extended discussion is a sign that the question itself is a poor fit for Q&A and should perhaps be closed.

  • I was just reading your answer here and wondering how you'd deal with this one... – yannis Jan 14 '12 at 17:42
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox Yeah, our typical approach is really tailored to shutting down a currently ongoing discussion. With the older comments here, I opted to not try wrangling several people to edit their answers. – Adam Lear Jan 14 '12 at 17:49
  • Actually I'd prefer the shotgun approach for newer "discussions" too, comments are second class citizens and I'd prefer the mod team not waste any time with them. If off topic, just kill. But then again that may lead in everyone wasting time on meta whining... – yannis Jan 14 '12 at 17:55

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