I am wondering whether the following statements adhere to the community rules:

The self-answer appears to be the kind of pastiche seen on RT this year.

This just makes it look like Russian propaganda used to justify the invasion of Ukraine.

Yes, and targeting the intellectually lazy with one-sided information is what propaganda usually does. Thanks for admitting your intentions.

This may be a fine piece of pro-Russian propaganda, but it does not answer the question.

I’m calling BS on this based on the “remark”.


1 Answer 1


Yes, they're fine as long as they target the content not the person.

One of the intended purposes of comments is to point out problems with the question or answer. When you see an answer (or question) that is (or that you believe to be) wrong, for whatever reason, commenting on it to point out the problems you see with it is a good thing to do. In the best case, the writer will clarify and/or remove or provide additional support for the questionable claims. In the worst case, the comment is a warning for others to take the post with a grain of salt. Commenting isn't necessary, but unlike simply downvoting, it gives the writer a chance to improve their post.

What we should be careful about is keeping the focus on the content, not the person. Saying that a post is incorrect because it parrots a false claim is good. Saying someone is a shill, or a propagandist, or a liar is not.

  • 1
    1) I don't think one can separate the content from its author. E.g., if one calls a questtion/answer/comment idiotic, it will be certainly taken personally. 2) I don't think name-calling like pro-russian propaganda is the same as pointing problems - it is a subjective judgement, unless supported by pointing factual inaccuracies.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 8, 2022 at 17:42
  • 6
    @RogerVadim 1) I strongly disagree there. Calling a post "idiotic" should be avoided, since it is both subjective and, as you point out, personal. Calling a post incorrect, or overly-simplistic, on the other hand, is focused on the content.
    – divibisan
    Mar 8, 2022 at 18:01
  • 3
    2) I disagree that calling something "pro-russian propaganda" is name-calling or subjective. It's a specific and disprovable claim about the content of the question – namely that it's false, and specifically that it's a false claim created and pushed by a specific source. The author can dispute this by provide additional, unbiased support for the point. As long as the comment doesn't claim that the post author is doing it deliberately, or out of evil, malice, or stupidity, then I'd say it is focused on the content, not the author
    – divibisan
    Mar 8, 2022 at 18:05
  • 2
    @divibisan Propaganda is not necessarily based on false claims. Quite often, propaganda cherry-picks facts which fit a specific narrative while ignoring the obvious elephant in the room which does not.
    – Philipp Mod
    Mar 8, 2022 at 20:31
  • 1
    @Philipp claiming that facts a cherry-pciked requires proving that there are serious omissions. Otherwise it remains just a subjective claim. Moreover, dismissing information as propaganda can be itself propaganda.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 9, 2022 at 3:59
  • @divibisan to address your response to 1): while what you say is generally correct, it does not apply to the quotes in the OP, all of which are accusations of propaganda (except the last one, which characterizes context as BS).
    – Roger V.
    Mar 9, 2022 at 4:02
  • @RogerVadim I'm not sure I see the distinction you're trying to make. All the quotes you posted (except for #3, which gets personal) are saying that the content is propaganda, not that the writer is a liar or evil or stupid, etc. I'm not usually a fan of people who say "it's the internet, you need a thick skin", but this isn't Facebook – posts here are supposed to be (as much as possible) reasoned and objective references. If you chose to publish an argument here, you should be prepared to defend it and back it up, especially if it's an unpopular view.
    – divibisan
    Mar 9, 2022 at 15:47
  • @divibisan It is interesting that on the basis of comments you concluded that my post had to be argumentative - in fact the post in question was just a listing of verifiable facts. This is why I think such comments are damaging - it takes little to write word propaganda, but few can defend such a claim. The post itself is a subject for another discussion.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 9, 2022 at 15:53
  • @RogerVadim I'm not sure what you're talking about. Where did I say your "post had to be argumentative"? Maybe it's a language issue? When anyone posts something here, they're making an argument - every post is an argument, and we use votes as a system to evaluate their quality. If one publishes something here, they should be able to back up and defend their arguments. If one takes their argument from a biased and/or unreliable source, people will rightly be more skeptical of it and supporting it will be harder, but that's just the reality of engaging with people with different views.
    – divibisan
    Mar 9, 2022 at 16:21
  • @divibisan ok, I see what you mean.
    – Roger V.
    Mar 9, 2022 at 17:58

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