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There has been primarily two questions that have been severely down-voted because of the code being childish / immature / possible "trolling".

How should we handle such questions where the code in the question is just.... silly / childish / immature?

Moderator Note: I (rolfl) have taken the liberty of deleting that second question. I see no reason why a question titled "Gay-o-meter" adds any value to the site. The same program could have been written with any other title, "Length-o-meter", etc. The only reason to call it "Gay-o-meter" is to provoke controversy and more.

Users with sufficient reputation can still view that question, which disappoints me, actually. It should be 'more' deleted than it currently is.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I should probably qualify here, that my deletion of the post is not specifically because the post is trolling, or childish, or immature. My reason is that I consider it to be offensive, that I was not the only one to feel that way, and that I believe the post is designed to be intentionally offensive. It was designed to offend on both a religious and social level. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 6 '14 at 0:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ The second question would also be prohibited under the new Stack Exchange Code of Conduct. If it hadn't been deleted already, there would now be an explicit rule for doing so — even if it's an ex post facto violation. \$\endgroup\$ – 200_success Oct 12 '14 at 7:16
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Do the regular process with an additional step:

  • downvote if you think a question is poor.
  • vote to close if it is off topic, opinionated, etc.
  • if questions contain questionable content (offensive, abusive, etc.), then flag it as such.

But also, Moderators have tools available that can help track users not only on our site, but across sites (we can communicate with other moderators, and with the SE community managers), and trolls can be monitored, and dealt with. If you suspect trolling behaviour, flag the post for moderator attention as well.

What you should NOT do is engage directly with trolls. Don't comment, don't engage. Flag, close, downvote, etc. and move on.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You say "don't comment". Would you say that this and this comment has been harmful? (Considering only the original comment itself, not any further comments by non-OPs) \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 5 '14 at 23:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ A real troll hopes for only one thing: to engage with someone and drag them in to a debate, conversation or even better, a fight. At each opportunity they will try to prod, evoke, or otherwise manipulate people in to giving them credibility of some sort. Not commenting, and not responding, is the same as not giving oxygen to a fire. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 5 '14 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't comment; don't engage. We should hand out buttons with that printed on them. This same debate has gone on for many decades, from fidonet, usenet, irc, etc. and invariably ends by arriving at exactly this same strategy: Don't feed the trolls! \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Oct 5 '14 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl You're saying a lot about commenting, what about answering? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 5 '14 at 23:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, in general, don't answer too. Trolling questions will generally be deleted, along with any answers, so what's the point? Your answer was deleted too, along with the 55 rep you 'won' on it. Now, in this particular case, the only thing of merit that can come is that you have the potential to earn an "Enlightened" badge by reviewing bad "Gay" content. There is a 'punny' thing in that... How about if you made it a "Hot Gay Question"? There is no up-side for Code Review to host content that content like that, whether your answer was a good review or not. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Oct 6 '14 at 0:01
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I would downvote, close, and delete the second question as broken code. Predicting gayness based on a person's name doesn't work. I would also suggest that trolls should not deserve an answer. Just get rid of the question and stop wasting everyone's time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. I am quite sure that the code does work for what it was designed to do though. 2. How can you tell if someone is a troll or not? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 5 '14 at 23:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SimonAndréForsberg: addressing How can you tell if someone is a troll or not?, I'd offer the following: If this person's post seems designed to get genuine feedback on improving programming skill, they're probably not a troll. If it seems more likely to be flamebait or socially unacceptable material cloaked in the merest hint of programming wrapping, then it's a troll. Ultimately it's a judgment call, but even a dog can tell the difference between getting accidentally tripped over and being maliciously kicked. \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Oct 6 '14 at 2:11
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Downvote, downvote, downvote.

Most importantly, downvote. Also feel free to add a comment to the question. The questions themselves are not necessarily off-topic, but down-voting them should send a clear signal that we don't like them.

We can answer them if they're not off-topic. We don't like unanswered questions zombies here. Feel free to criticize what the program does in the review. If it is "immature code", it is probably not useful code. And reviewing usability of code is definitely on-topic.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The context of the program is not neutral. If code were presented as a simulation of bacteria and phage interaction, it is very different if the presentation is of genocide of competing human groups even if the code were identical except for naming. \$\endgroup\$ – Edward Oct 5 '14 at 23:50

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