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I have come across questions that became debates and users got evidently irritated in their answers or comments (I am not the one to judge if on good grounds or not). Is this enough reason to flag them as unfriendly? Or is this too harsh?

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    Users can flag comments for whatever reason they think they should, it is then up to mods to accept or reject flags.
    – user 66974
    Dec 13 '20 at 10:42
  • No, disagreeing with an answer or a comment isn't being unfriendly. A comment saying that a user disagrees with an answer because, for example, what the answer says doesn't match with that user's experience, should not be flagged as unfriendly. If the comment is using a rude tone, then unfriendly would be the right flag.
    – apaderno
    Dec 29 '20 at 10:45
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No. One can disagree agreeably. It is disagreeable disagreeing that should be flagged ‘unfriendly’. Likewise with irritation.

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    It is sad to see our dear human nature be so inclined to irritation and deriving satisfaction from putting others in their place... That being said, however, irritation IS human. I don't want to go around flagging every irony that I encounter. The point you made is clear enough. Thank you.
    – fev
    Dec 13 '20 at 15:13
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    @fev - If you have been noticing this a lot recently, perhaps you should consider carefully the quality of your own answers and comments. Dec 13 '20 at 21:10
  • @MichaelHarvey: In learning languages my mistakes were my best teachers... In general, I have always considered mistakes a chance to improve, to learn something new, not grounds for irritation. I am thrilled to admit my mistakes when I understand them. In my experience, irritation simply cuts communication and blurs the process of improvement which seems to me to be the whole point of this site. I just think it is a pity, that's all.
    – fev
    Dec 14 '20 at 10:53
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If you read a comment, and you feel that it could be perceived as unfriendly, you should flag it. The primary goal of the "unfriendly" flag isn't to punish the person leaving the comment, but to remove the sort of comments that could make people not want to participate on the site. If a discussion has gone off the rails, just flag one of the comments for moderator attention instead of flagging a bunch of comments as unfriendly.

I believe that only repeated unfriendly flags have an effect on someone's account, so if someone is just having a bad day and isn't usually unfriendly, your flag doesn't hurt them. It does get the unfriendly comment looked at by moderators, and acted on if they find it necessary. If someone is consistently being unfriendly in comments, the moderators should be made aware. The least disruptive way to do that is for people to flag comments they think are unfriendly and let the moderators sort it out.

The guideline in A guide to moderating comments from the network Meta site is if it is more likely to upset readers than it is to inform them, it qualifies.

Even comments between two users who know each other and are OK with the tone of the discussion can be candidates for an unfriendly flag. The site's content should be for everyone, and snarky comments can leave a bad impression on users who aren't familiar with the community. The discussion can always be moved to chat where it doesn't detract from the answer or question the comments were under.

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