I added a meme in one my answers. The meme:

  1. Was not offensive
  2. Was relevant to the subject in discussion albeit on a humorous note
  3. Was polite

Basically it was inline with Be-Nice Policy we follow on Stack Exchange. I have also used memes in my previous answers on other Stack Exchange sites where they were either positively received or left untouched.

Yet an edit was made to my answer which removed the said meme from it. If it had been a regular user, I would have rolled back to previous version. But the edit was made by a moderator so I reckon there is something I am missing in regards to this particular SE site.

So my questions are:

  1. Do we hate/disapprove memes here?
  2. How much freedom am I afforded over composition of my own post especially if it is not violating basic guidelines of writing a good answer with references and being in accordance with Be-nice policy?
  3. Are there situations here in which I can use memes?

What is the community consensus on these points?

4 Answers 4


Images can be a powerful tool to make an answer more useful. A good picture can say more than a thousand words.

But only if used correctly. Images which don't add useful information can be extremely distracting due to their eye-catching nature. So please don't add pictures to your questions and answers when they don't add any useful information.


Yes, on Stack Exchange, we hate fun. It's been this way since the early days.

  • That blog post deals with Stack Overflow which is understandably not a place for fun. Where does it address wider stack exchange network?
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 19:46
  • 1
    @NSNoob - Aside from rare by-design fun sites (SFF, Code Golf, Puzzling), most sites are for serious discussions, not fun. And even on SFF, gratuitous images are considered a bad idea as per community consensus.
    – user4012
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 0:42
  • @user4012 Thanks, can you provide a link to the specific SFF meta post you are referring to? Also, I have seen and used memes on History SE as well which I hope you will agree to, is for serious discussions. The image wasn't unrelated "Can I haz a cheezeburger" or something! I have linked it on Yannis' answer
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 6:31
  • @NSNoob - one of the high voted meta posts, search for "images". It should have an answer by Slytherincess and maybe myself.
    – user4012
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 12:34
  • @user4012 If you're referring to this Answer from slytherincess, it says "I think images should be occasional additions to a post, to add clarity to a question, or, sure, the rare show of humor that is appropriate within the context of the question or answer." .... Regarding editing out other people's images, I don't feel comfortable doing that myself at this point.
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 12:56
  • In any case, I understand each site has their own culture and temperament. As I said earlier, While I am here (As rarely that is), I shall strive to comport myself to the accepted practices of this site as well. Cheers!
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 12:58

Discussing politics is already hard enough without adding juvenile attempts at humour to the mix.

The image added nothing of value to your answer. If anything, it was an unnecessary distraction to an otherwise good answer. I would have also removed it.

  • 1
    At the risk of sounding peutlant, can we please abide by "be nice" rules even in moderator answers on Meta? I can see calling a meme "unprofessional", but "juvenile" is needlessly demeaning. (just to be clear, I didn't yet look at the actual post and its history, if the meme was indeed 100% undisputedly juvenile I will take this back, but would still enoucrage the moderators to take the high road)
    – user4012
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 0:41
  • @user4012 You can view the version Here if you feel like it. Also I agree, Juvenile attempt does sound unnecessarily demeaning and not-quite-nice as we would expect from a mod but I take it as yannis's opinion. For him, it may appear juvenile attempt so all ist gut.
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 6:27
  • @yannis, So are there any situations in which I can use memes here? As you said "It added nothing of value to your answer", How do you gauge when do such images add something of value to an answer? Off the top of my head, I can think of one of my answers here where I guess the meme adds value to the answer with extra information not covered in text
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 6:30
  • Also do moderators have the authority to judge what content adds or does not add value to a post? Isn't that right something which resides with the OP? If I think it adds value, leave it be? If you think it decreases the post quality, DV the post and move on (Or leave a comment explaining why) and let other members of the community judge too? As far as I am concerned, It perfectly described the situation I was talking about in one picture
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 6:34
  • 2
    @user4012 I meant that all memes are junevile attempts at humour. No redeaming value whatsoever. Was not targeting the specific one.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 7:18
  • 1
    @NSNoob Try to approach this from the perspective of someone reading your answer for the first time. It's only natural that the image will steal their focus, the chances they'll read the entire answer before seeing the image are very slim. And is what they'll see anything more than a crude caricature? A childish cheap shot at the people pictured? I don't think so. Out of context your image (and memes in general) is very open to interpretation. It only becomes somewhat relevant after you've read the answer (or in your case, already know the answer), and then it's completely superfluous.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:42
  • Again, "Childish Cheapshot" is your opinion. For the life of me I can't comprehend how is it a cheapshot on the people pictured. Seeing as how you circled around the question of my freedom of composing my post as I see fit as long as it complies with basic policies and directives, Should it be inferred that you agree that OP is free to add content which they feel is relevant and moderators do not have any authority to judge whether it adds value to the post or not and the proper discourse for people disagreeing with it is to DV and move on?
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:52
  • As for "Out of context" bit, same can be said about any part of any answer taken out of context. As for the "It's natural that image will steal the attention", I disagree. The image is at the bottom and anyone who has bothered to read the post will reach there after reading the post and will see the relevance. It's my job to make sure my answer is backed up by references, is non-partisan, is polite, is well-formatted and easy to read. It's not my job to ensure that people read my answer in entirety.
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:55
  • In any case, If that's how things work in this specific community, I shall also comply with the culture here. Thank you for your response even though I disagree with it as it is not based on SE policies, but rather your own opinions and feelings but I guess there's no helping it as community has spoken with two UV on your answer and I shall concede
    – NSNoob
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:56
  • 3
    We can't have an official policy for everything @NSNoob. And individual SE communities are certainly free to make their own policies (within reason, of course). On this community, people tend to get distracted easily and are always ready to start a (comment) war over any and all nuances in an answer. That is the nature of our subject matter, I guess, and not something we can ignore. You've already noticed how far our opinions are for the image in question. Is there really any reason to further test how people will react to it, especially since it adds absolutely no information to your answer?
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 11:53
  • @yannis - well, i can't say i'm too willing to defend memes... :)
    – user4012
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 12:33
  • 1
    @yannis You are way off base. Humor is a legitimate form of communication. We are not all Puritans and this isn't 1688.
    – ohwilleke Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 6:38

In my answers, I use images to support my answer because sometimes, you need to use it.

See my answer about perception of corruption in China or my answer about the media influence in the elections. The correct use of images will help you to build better answers but if you use it just for fun, it won't work. This place hate fun.

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