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What to do with offensive user names? Offensive posts can be flagged. I don't see any way to flag offensive names. I feel it should be reported somehow, but I don't know where.

In my opinion user names as this https://superuser.com/users/141130/anus should be banned from a “professional” site.

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Offensive user names (and Gravatars) are something we should not tolerate, in the same way we should not do so for content of posts. "Offensive" is a little hard to pin down (different things are offensive to different people), but if you personally find something like this offensive then let us know.

Now, you can't directly flag a user for moderator attention, but if you feel the need to tell us about something you believe is wrong about another user's account or profile then please just flag any post they own and use the it needs ♦ moderator attentionother option to explain the problem. Even just "user's name is offensive" would probably suffice.

Failing that, a meta post (like this one) or even a quick shout in chat will do the job.
But generally, flags are preferred where possible because of potential privacy issues - you don't want some troll targeting you for calling them out.

If necessary, the moderators can then contact the user, ask them to change it and maybe take direct action if it becomes necessary.


As an aside, that particular user seems to have created an unregistered account just to post an offensive snide remark, both they and the post have been removed.

  • So you'd delete users named "Pajero" because they like their Mitsubishi car? It's an international audience... – Daniel Beck Jun 19 '12 at 19:49
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    No, I deleted this user because they posted aggressive, sweary, rubbish from an unregistered account with a clearly fake email address (something expletive @ fbi .com if I recall correctly). They were clearly a troll, and it wasn't worth keeping the single-post account around (and in the unlikely case they were genuine they can create another with nothing lost). The name wasn't particularly offensive, IMO "Anus" is more of a sort of medical term. – DMA57361 Jun 19 '12 at 20:00
  • Maybe I should have phrased it inappropriate instead of offensive. Still, this answer is valid for obvious offensive names that should not be allowed, but it is also correct for localised ones like your example. If I consider a users name offensive or inappropriate I will flag it for moderator attention. The community (moderators) can then further decide what to do. In the worst case they ignore the request, that is better than cluttering the site with inappropriate content. – Marco Jun 19 '12 at 20:10
  • Concerning “Pajero”: Yes, we are an international audience, but the language is English and I don't consider that word problematic in English. We cannot flag everything that might be problematic in every language. I would only flag obvious expressions to maintain the professional level of the site. – Marco Jun 19 '12 at 20:13
  • So if I were Austrian and proud of my childhood home, and used the name of a certain village as the basis of the user name? You'd probably consider this an obvious expression, @Marco... – Daniel Beck Jun 19 '12 at 21:19
  • @DanielBeck The problem is that "out of context", there is only one way to read/interpret the "name of certain village". The user would not be capable of disclaiming knowledge that most of the English-speaking world would have some trouble with that as a username. Is this unfair to those with localized redefinitions/meaningfulness of some words? Probably. But it would be more unfair (and I hate that word) to turn-off multiple continents by ignoring the most-common definition/usage of some words. – killermist Jun 20 '12 at 14:53
  • @DanielBeck Don't forget about Mianus, Connecticut. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 23 '12 at 15:08
  • @techie007 Uranus? (That one was in Harry Potter!) – Daniel Beck Jun 23 '12 at 15:18

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