Here's a hypothetical situation. Suppose someone asks a question requesting traditional regional synonyms for gay/homosexual, many of which are hurtful, and there's no discernible intellectual reason for requesting the information. Would that be considered flaggable? If so, what would be the right category? On the one hand, What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work? doesn't appear to have anything that would justify such a flag. On the other hand, the Be Nice page seems to support such a flag, with the following as an example of material to be flagged:

Bigotry of any kind. Language likely to offend or alienate individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. will not be tolerated.

  • See english.stackexchange.com/tags/offensive-language/info and english.stackexchange.com/tags/pejorative-language/info I think they answer this question, at least partially. – NVZ Jan 17 '18 at 19:23
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    @NVZ - Thanks, but that doesn't help. Please imagine a very different type of question, with no discernible redeeming value. Here, I'll make something up. Question: Please provide regional synonyms for cunt that will have a similar tone but specific to such-and-so region. (Please excuse the vulgarity but I wanted to give a clear example of something vulgar and pejorative.) – aparente001 Jan 17 '18 at 19:29
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  • I am not writing an answer, so I'm merely supplying useful resources for whoever wishes to write one: Here's a relevant bit from an SE employee on another meta: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2220/345 – NVZ Jan 17 '18 at 19:41
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    +1 How is this not a useful question, downvoter? – MetaEd Jan 18 '18 at 18:03
  • @MetaEd Beats me. I wish people would indicate their disagreement with a meta question with an answer/comment rather than merely downvoting the question. Meta questions are what keeps the site functioning well. – NVZ Jan 18 '18 at 18:30

If you think it is gratuitously vulgar, why wouldn’t you flag it as rude/abusive? That the community might not agree shouldn’t change your judgement of what is best for the site, and trolling or otherwise disrupting the community is something I think falls under the "abusive" flag.

If you think someone isn’t asking in good faith, you could also ask your mod team to take a look. Sometimes mods have information that makes it easier to decide if a question is trolling or genuine. They can also edit a question to make it more likely to inspire English-related answers (and make that edit stick if necessary).

Whether a particular question is the sort of thing the community wants to entertain is up to the community. Your responsibility as a community member is simply to "speak up" when you feel something doesn't belong on the site and be respectful of the folks that disagree with you so there can be a constructive discussion. If you feel very strongly about a specific question, flagging might not be enough. You may need to bring it up on meta and explain why you really don't want that question on EL&U.

  • +1 This gets to the heart of the issue. A troll can very well be technically on topic for the site. It's still a troll. – MetaEd Jan 18 '18 at 18:03
  • +1 And here's something possibly relevant: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2314/345 – NVZ Jan 18 '18 at 18:33
  • I was asking about something that actually happened (but not at ELU); the OP was not a troll but I found the question and even more, the answers, offensive. This answer is very helpful, thank you. – aparente001 Jan 18 '18 at 18:50
  • @NVZ - Interesting reading -- although not relevant in this particular case. Still, it's good to know for future reference to prevent problems from snowballing. – aparente001 Jan 18 '18 at 18:51

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