A rather old answer of mine was deleted, citing mention of a racist phrase.

I realize now it had collected some downvotes, presumably due to the same issue, without a comment being posted. Now, within <20h that included European night and business day, a comment appeared and the answer was deleted by mod-hammer.

I don't want to discuss (here and now) whether that phrase had any business being in that answer or how it could have been referenced more appropriately, but the moderation action taken.

The answer was deleted without any attempt at contact with me (the author). Neither was an edit proposed; it would have been easy to remove the offensive phrase or frame it appropriately.

This strikes me as rather heavy-handed, and I request the action be reverted and replaced with a more approprate one.

3 Answers 3


Agree with all the statements about racist expressions. And appreciate the expression was marked as such by the OP.

But this is GSE and not "Clean speech 101". When racist expressions are part of the language (and they are, unfortunately), they should be able to be discussed here, as long as the language viewpoint is prevailing - which it was, in this case, IMHO. Deleting answers blindly because they contain racist expressions (clearly marked as such) is wrong in my opinion.

  • I agree that racist language should be a possible subject here, but I do not see where the expression would have been "clearly marked as such".
    – Jonathan Herrera Mod
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 10:52
  • I agree with the reasons given, and those led me to decline the deletion request a few days earlier. I wonder, if stuff like this could be hidden by the spoiler marking (>!) to be shown only on separately given intention?
    – guidot Mod
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 12:43

The proposed resolution of hinting to a possible phrasing or partial removal, waiting for reaction, approving that or timeout and only in the latter case doing something drastic is possible, but mostly in principle.

With existing tool support it is burdened with a more than inattractive effort on side of the moderators. Note also from the Help section:

Additionally, any answer that accumulates enough offensive or spam flags will be automatically deleted.

There is no easy resolution here and raising a related question on Meta (as you did) is the standard way of escalation in case of dissent.

What I can suggest is, to undelete the mentioned answer after having removed the two offensive phrases, so Raphael may further revise it on his own.


I deleted the question. I agree, that this is a rather heavy-handed reaction. It was the first time I encountered the post and I felt it needed to be taken care of immediately.

The phrase in question is heavily dehumanizing and racist. Having this on german.SE without any context, presenting this as "child language" (which it is clearly not, btw.) would give the impression that german.SE would approve this kind of language.

So, this was the reason why I felt the post needed immediate reaction. Deleting the post was the quickest way to deal with it. Please edit your answer so that it does not contain dehumanizing or racist content. Then I will be happy to restore it.

I understand that you might feel a contradiction between the fact that the post already existed for quite a while and what I call "immediate reaction". This gap is explained by the fact that I hadn't seen this post before. The moderator capacities on german.SE are quite limited, which is a problem on its own.

  • If you hadn't seen the post, and nobody flagged it for 7 years, chances are the negative impact it could have had in the additional day or two it would have taken to reach out to me via chat and reach a better conclusion, would have been rather limited. ;)
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 12:24
  • "The phrase in question is heavily dehumanizing and racist." -- That can be argued. When I was a child, it was used. Times have changed, obviously. Given the phrasing of the question, I don't think historical mentions are necessary at all, and certainly not some that we have moved away from (hopefully).
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 12:25
  • That said, I reckon it might be appropriate on German Language, where ,presumably, non-native learners drop by, to explicitly mention that a certain phrase they might overhear is not appropriate. What is the standing policy on such issues?
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 12:26

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