I had an answer to a moderately controversial question that was just deleted by Community as spam/offensive. The answer was highly-voted (last I checked, +14/-7) and appreciated by OP as indicated in a comment. The content was not offensive or disingenuous in any way, but was the sort of thing that MRA troll types don't like to hear, and the deletion, along with a string of downvotes, happened right after a hostile user created a new account on the site just to argue in the comments. It seems likely all the deletion votes were from people associated with this user.

Aside from flagging for moderator attention, is there anything that I should do? Are there mechanisms that should be put in place to prevent this?

Link to the answer here for users who can see deleted answers: https://english.stackexchange.com/a/457848/10593

And text copied here (first line answering the question):

Is there a gender neutral equivalent of “manspreading”?


While there are words that carry the meaning of sitting in a way that takes up too much space, an essential part of the meaning of manspreading is the connection to a culture of male entitlement and the power dynamics of gender and personal space. If this is the meaning you intended to convey, you should keep it. It is not "misandry", and claims of "misandry" should be treated as highly suspect of being misogynist in nature (denying the reality of gendered power dynamics). There are cases where the word "misandry" is a meaningful criticism (e.g. denying that a man could be the victim of sexual assault or claims that men are not suitable as single parents) but this is not one of them.

  • Isn’t the proper term a “bridge” of trolls? ;) What the heck is an “MRA troll” anyhow? The world we be a much nicer place if we could express ourselves without calling other people names IMO.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:54
  • @ColleenV MRA? That stings. But I don't know what it stands for either. Metropolitan Road Association? Mitochondrial Reduction Anomaly? Most Recently Activated?
    – Mitch
    Jul 30, 2018 at 20:04
  • @Mitch In financial circles it’s “mutual recognition agreement” but I don’t know how one might troll that. Maybe by disparaging another country’s quality control processes? So, yeah, I did finally get a clue from urban dictionary but it doesn’t change my opinion that it isn’t constructive to label people trolls. We should try to focus on content.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 30, 2018 at 21:27
  • @JJJ: I think they were kidding. ;-) Jul 31, 2018 at 0:06
  • Ah, okay. I expected it to be a term anyone involved in content moderation issues would be familiar with. Jul 31, 2018 at 0:32
  • Well maybe just don't call people names regardless of whether the initialism is well known or not. Have you had a chance to look over the second draft of the new Code of Conduct yet? meta.stackexchange.com/q/312850/273494
    – ColleenV
    Jul 31, 2018 at 0:50
  • 1
    @ColleenV the user didn't call any user an "MRA" troll. Whereas I've been accused of supporting authoritarian Marxist propaganda, calling men "pigs" because I accepted the answer "seat hog" and supporting denigrating and discriminatory language (and more worryingly that comment attracted 4 upvotes before it was deleted). If anyone has been called names, it's been me. Right.... breathes deeply. Opens fridge and eats some comforting ice-cream
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:40
  • (no more ice-cream left in fridge) And I want that specific user who said my post was a misanthropic question in disguise to be suspended. Or they can apologise to me in public.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:43
  • @Mari-LouA I would think that having experienced all that, you would be in support of asking folks to be more civil. We could say "I think my answer was unfairly deleted" instead of "a bunch of trolls voted to delete my answer".
    – ColleenV
    Jul 31, 2018 at 10:31
  • 1
    @ColleenV Did you read the answer posted? Not the meta post. Besides, you're missing my point. And I'm going to stop here.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 31, 2018 at 10:34
  • @Mari-LouA I didn't read the answer because my point has nothing to do with it. I'm commenting on the language used in this post. I think it could be more constructive. We can't control how other people behave. We can hold ourselves to a higher standard. It sounds like I would have a problem with the language used in the comments of the posts this refers to if I were involved with it, but it doesn't interest me (especially now that I hear the kind of stuff going on).
    – ColleenV
    Jul 31, 2018 at 11:21
  • I am concerned with your statement: "...right after a hostile user created a new account on the site just to argue in the comments. It seems likely all the deletion votes were from people associated with this user." I know you are a high-rep user on Overflow, so I am assuming you have access to tools we don't have...or am I wrong? Aug 1, 2018 at 22:58
  • 1
    @Cascabel: No, I don't have any special access. I was just able to see (from the user profile page) that the user making the hostile comments (which were since deleted) had 101 rep and no questions or answers on english.SE, from which it's pretty clear the account was newly created just to comment. Aug 2, 2018 at 3:06

2 Answers 2


As a long time user here, I don't see anything egregious in your answer to warrant voting to delete. It does not seem opinionated, but then I agree with most of what is said.

But sociolinguistic assessment is hard to keep objective (being in the situation often means being on one side of a situation). I note that as of deleting time it had 14 upvotes and 10 down, which is about as controversial as you can get.

The only difficulty I see is that it may be stylistically a bit abrupt with the 'No' and that may have triggered a lot of casual viewers (it hit the HNQ list which makes the question known to many people across the SE network).

That said, I don't think this requires a colluding set of 'trolls' to explain being closed. Just a number of unrelated opinionated people to decide to flag...

wait... it was just undeleted. So sanity prevails.

  • Also, most all answers on that question have some downvotes, probably due to the nature of the question and who is drawn to it by the HNQ.
    – Mitch
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:23
  • I would like to know how the question got deleted. The label on the 'edit' reasons (which is not available now) says 'deleted by Community' which I think means that it was not voted on to be deleted, but instead flagged with an automatic delete after 2 or 3 flags. Mods, is that right (and thank you for undeleting)?
    – Mitch
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:25
  • Luckily, despite the ill-disguised snide comments about the alleged misanthropic nature of the question, which continue to be posted in comments and in chat even after three days (get over yourself userXXX), @R..'s answer was certainly neither rude nor abusive.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:39
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA If the roles were reversed (and the question were about 'she-bagging'), and male/female swapped mutatis mutandis other things being equally ceteris paribus, we should still be able to discuss the terms rationally and this particular answer still would still be fine. I might disagree with 'misandry/misogyny' but it'd still be rational.
    – Mitch
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:48

Your answer seems like a legit post, it attempts to answer the question (no is a viable answer to single word requests), you provide a solid argument (it isn't merely a comment) and it isn't covered by other answers.

Note that, as far as I know, new users cannot really delete posts. Normal downvoting requires 125 rep and certain flagging (which as you mentioned also carries a down vote) requires 15 rep.

I think you can actually vote to undelete your answer (should be an option next to the edit button). Since you already opened this post on Meta (and flagged for moderator attention), I think it's time to wait for high rep users or a moderator to come into action.

  • 1
    Virtually anyone who reaches a SE site they haven't used before via HNQ has the 15 rep required for flagging (free 100 rep), and presumably no consequences against the original (other-SE-site) account they came from for inappropriate use of flagging... Jul 31, 2018 at 0:08

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