See this answer:

Is there any justification for Trump’s accusing the mainstream media of propagating “fake news?”

Obviously no.

Our friends on the left and in the mainstream media have defined "fake news" as anything distributed by online conservative news outlet that is unhelpful to the progressive agenda.

Under such a definition, the mainstream media is not capable of producing "fake news". And any accusation of them doing such is unjust, unjustified and unjustifiable.

This is just a rant. One who wears a tinfoil hat could say it’s an answer. However, if any question were written like this, it would very quickly be deleted.

What should we do about these—flag as not an answer? Rude or abusive? Nothing?

  • I must have misplaced my hat, but according to my experience here, this is 'an answer'. A quite bad one, to be sure. And I find the truthfulness of my first sentence a pity for the site. At least it was voted upon accordingly. So could you please clarify why with such a vote count a flag would be a good idea? (Whether it gets deleted or shows the negative count: a -10 is quite a fitting expression on the quality, content and form, imo) Oct 29, 2019 at 20:48
  • Whatever its faults, that quote is not a rant, at least not by standard usage of the term "to speak, write or shout in a loud, uncontrolled, or angry way, often saying confused or silly things". (Comparing that to "tinfoil hats" is abusive though, ranting does not imply insanity.) Anyway -- the fix for answers with too little info would be a downvote and perhaps a comment that broad assertions require more adequate support.
    – agc
    Nov 7, 2019 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


Flag as "very low quality" or "not an answer".

This is a flag which not just shows up for moderators but also puts the answer in the review queue where other users can vote whether or not to delete it.


I have flagged it as rude or abusive. The reason for that is that it is, as you say, a rant.

Contrary to what LangLangC says in a comment, I don't think it is an answer. Strictly speaking, it does address the question by saying no, but then the rest of the answer is rant that is not based in fact.

So, by allowing this to pass for an answer, we are basically opening the door to posting partisan political views as fact. That is not what this site is for:

Politics Stack Exchange is for objective questions about governments, policies and political processes.

It is not a place to advance opinions or debate, but rather for exchanging objective information about the policies, processes, and personalities that comprise the political arena. If you can't back it up, it's subjective.

  • @LаngLаngС there are arguments in favor of and against keeping rants (or what some would consider rants) as answers. It's certainly too complex to discuss in comments, but it could be suitable for a separate meta question which could serve as a pros and cons list. Personally, I wouldn't base our policy on the flaws of moderation on other sites. I would also point out that keeping them is an invitation to post rants, even though they are voted in to oblivion, they get to stay, giving them some validity. Lastly, the democracy argument doesn't really fly because there are limits on voting down.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 22:55
  • @LаngLаngС I don't really understand what you mean. I tried to write very concisely to fit it in a comment but if you want to discuss a bit without making a real post that can also happen in chat. I'd say, it's not censorship, it's curation. Just like a newspaper chooses what to publish, we don't have to publish rants, we have a good argument for not doing so: it harms the quality of the site and it invites more of the same. Would you read a newspaper that prints all the angry letters and emails they get?
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:05
  • @LаngLаngС down voting limits aren't a problem, they're there for a reason. But we should also consider that the limits on down voting are much greater than those on up voting (lower rep requirement and no penalty). At some point, delete votes can be considered and I've actually seen other sites go much further in that. On ELU a ton of experience-based answers are deleted (reasoning that being a native speaker alone doesn't make a good answer, it needs references or proper reasoning) and I think Skeptics also takes a much tougher line on unreferenced material.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:10
  • @LаngLаngС there aren't enough users for 10000 down votes on a post. ;)
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:12
  • @LаngLаngС well you can always ask someone to add references. Nobody references all their statements, so you can always find something to nitpick about. Also, if deletion is unjustified it can always be undeleted, either by those looking in mod tools or because someone raises the issue on meta.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:24
  • 1
    @LаngLаngС feel free to suggest that here. While I don't insist on it yet, I would up vote it and support the requirement if the community wants it.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:34
  • 2
    That wasn't rude or abusive. Worthy of deletion, sure. You might not know this, but a sustained red-flag carries a -100 reputation penalty (plus however many automatic downvotes it got) and raises a moderator flag for investigation. That's not what was needed here. Flag it NAA/LQP or downvote it and then use your trusted user privileges to vote for deletion. Don't red flag answers that are merely partisan.
    – Machavity
    Oct 30, 2019 at 0:56
  • @Machavity As a rule of thumb, everything that would be out of place in polite discourse is rude or abusive. I don't consider this polite discourse, so I flagged it.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 1:03
  • I'm glad you linked it. A bit further down it says A post is a (civil) rant in disguise. If any part of the post can be salvaged, edit out the rant-y parts. If not, vote, or flag to close as primarily opinion-based (for questions) or flag as not an answer (for answers).
    – Machavity
    Oct 30, 2019 at 2:03
  • @Machavity I think there is some opinion involved, but I wouldn't say it's 'in disguise', it's a rant plain and simple. Others too have said the new phrasing "has the advantage of capturing non-offensive abuses of the site and thus clearly applies to some forms of trolling to which offensive did not clearly apply.". So I am not entirely convinced (though I take your point) that a RA flag is wrong per se. I would still argue posting partisan stuff and taking a troll-like tone (friends on the left, attacks on the media) is abusive.
    – JJJ Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 2:09

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