I noticed that the 'delete on sight' threat was used in this question "Robust" as a noun as a comment on this answer https://english.stackexchange.com/a/234368/71783

Whom are you quoting? Where is this from? Moderators are instructed to delete on sight any third-party material that is not properly attributed. – RegDwigнt♦ 8 mins ago
[ "Robust" as a noun ]

As I was typing this meta question, the answer disappeared. I don't know if it was deleted by a moderator or by the answerer.

Is there a policy to delete on sight and if so, is this policy now being put to use?

  • 2
    Yes, there is a policy, and yes, it has always been put to use. If I leave that comment but don't delete and we get hit with a DMCA takedown notice, they have proof we had prior knowledge.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:10
  • 7
    That said, on a personal level, it just saddens me how people think a lazy copypasta with no attribution is somehow a-okay. That's just something you don't do. Not even as a comment. You just don't take other people's words and pass them off as yours. Basic human courtesy. Saddens me to no end.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:13
  • @RegDwigнt So users should flag unattributed material for moderator attention rather than mentioning it to the answerer that they should provide attribution?
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:15
  • 1
    Flagging is always good. As to still leaving a comment after that, I don't know. As I just said, marking a quote as a quote is such a no-brainer that if someone's not doing it, they obviously don't care. There's little point in leaving a comment saying how you've noticed that they don't care. Life is short.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:38
  • @RegDwigнt Users have often responded positively when I've asked them to adhere to the attribution 'rules' as laid out by Andrew Leach at meta.english.stackexchange.com/a/4981/71783 but now you've got me wondering if just flagging would be better.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:45
  • 1
    @Frank: I think in principle it's better if "civic-minded" users can deal with problems without needing to call on moderators, so if you expect your own "chiding comment" to have the desired effect then by all means carry on as you are. But obviously Reg's Flagging is always good confirms that the mods would rather you called their attention to a problem than leaving it unresolved. They did volunteer for the job, after all, so we shouldn't worry too much about "overworking"them! :) Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:02
  • @FumbleFingers I'm slightly concerned that Reg is saying "If I leave that comment but don't delete ... we had prior knowledge". I can't delete a question, I'm not sure if higher rep users can, so if I leave a comment, then that would perhaps fall foul of the same issue Reg has about leaving a comment - prior knowledge.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 3:56
  • 1
    @RegDwigнt The policy from SE on possible copyright violations is that mods shouldn't be involved in that at all, this is handled by SE employees via DMCA notices. But each site can have their own rules about plagiarism and remove posts for that reason.
    – user23030
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 8:34
  • @Mad Scientist, Frank: That sounds sensible. IANAL, but I doubt any court would uphold the idea that unpaid users (including mods) count as "legal representatives" of SE itself at the level of willfully ignoring possible copyright violations. I'm guessing that in most jurisdictions, the organisation would be obliged to take "reasonable steps" to prevent violations, and remove any which they become aware of ("they" being the company, not us users). Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 12:26
  • @RegDwigнt, FumbleFingers - I did a mod-flag today and sure enough - zap - the offending item was gone (I say zap, I think it was more like five hours) but that's zappy enough that it wasn't just someone who intended to add the attribution a few minutes later after posting.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 18:53
  • @FumbleFingers I think you're right, leave it to the lawyers. I've decided that if it's just a basic cut and paste dictionary type answer I'll flag, if it's a good beefed-out answer but missing attribution I'll suggest that they follow the 'rules' - and flag a bit later if nothing happens.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 18:58


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .